Job Hunting Clinic: Your Elevator Pitch
Okay, job seeker. You’ve read What Color is Your Parachute? and done all those dispiriting exercises, you’ve LinkedIn with 600 people you barely know, you’re Facebooking and Tweeting about improving efficiency and maximizing search engine optimization and all that other crap, but you have not prepared what will be the single most important weapon in your job search arsenal.
That weapon is Your Elevator Pitch!
You’ve done your homework. You found the perfect job that fits your skills and experience like a glove. You applied for the job. Of course you’ve heard nothing back from the company! You’ve determined who the hiring manager is, found out where he lives, watched him as he leaves for work in the morning, observed that his wife drives a better car than he does, followed him to work, and learned that on Thursdays, he leaves the building to eat lunch at a nearby deli. The stage is set for you to strike!
As he returns from lunch, you wait until he enters the elevator, you get in with him, hit the Close Door button before anyone else can get in, ascend five floors, hit the Emergency Stop button, and unleash your Elevator Pitch!
“Mr. X, allow me to introduce myself. My name is (your name here) and I recently applied for the position of Assistant Marketing Manager, which reports to you. Have you by chance received my resume from Human Resources?
“No? Well, if those assholes were doing their jobs, they would have shredded all the other applications because not one of them is as uniquely qualified as I am for this position.
“Why, you ask? No, please don’t reach for the Emergency button until I’ve finished. I assure you this will only take a minute if you cooperate.
“I have the exact qualifications for this job. In fact, in my previous position, I was two steps above you on the corporate ladder and had people like you reporting to me! So I ask you, with that being the case, how could I not be able to do this assistant position?
“That was a question, Mr. X, and it deserves an answer. Do you really think I’m unqualified in any conceivable way to do a job that I did ten years ago and from which I was rapidly promoted? Well, do you?
“That’s right. In fact, I’m qualified to do your job, and my guess is, looking at the recent numbers for your company, I could do your job a hell of a lot better than you are.
“Am I almost done, you ask? Why? Am I boring you? Aren’t you interested in getting the best possible candidate for this position? Don’t tell me you’re going to drag out that you’re-over-qualified bullshit so you can hire some young dipstick with two years of experience and pay him less than you’d pay someone who can actually do the job efficiently from the get go? Is that what you’re trying to say?
“I don’t really care if you have a meeting now. If I were you, I’d think getting the right person for this position should be pretty goddamned important, don’t you? Maybe if you were better at hiring the right people, you’d be driving a new Lexus SUV LX like your wife and not the 2002 3-series BMW you’re driving.
“Never mind how I know. I’m going to you ask you some very important questions and I want you to think about the answers before you speak. Are you ready?
“Do you want to be a success? Yes, of course you do.
“Look at me, Mr. X. I mean it, look at me. Do you know who you’re looking at? Do you?
“That’s right — I amgoing to tell you. You’re looking at the person who will do anything — anything — to help you succeed. You tell me where you want to be in three years and I assure you, I will clear your path to that Vice Presidency like a flamethrower. I am your Seal Team Six! Point me at your problems and I will liquidate them!
“Don’t you want someone like me on your team? Of course, you do. Have I persuaded you to give close consideration to my candidacy for this position?
“Why thank you! I’m glad to see I’ve made such a favorable first impression on you!
“I see that I have run a little over my allotted minute. Here’s a copy of my resume. You’re going to the 12th floor, is that correct? With me on your team, you’ll be up on the 20th floor in no time at all.
“Thank you, Mr. X. I look forward to our next meeting!”