Professional Profile: • Results-driven project-management professional with significant and progressive experience and expertise in such project-management concepts as project plan, project completion, scope, costing, scheduling, risk management, contract negotiations, planning and tracking, quality, and change management throughout the project life cycle. • Creative and strategic visionary with the savvy to ensure that project deliverables are quickly brought to market. • Strong team leader with the proven managerial experience/skills to lead multidisciplinary teams and ensure productivity and morale in high-pressure situations; successful record of leadership development. • Technical guru experienced in the software development process, deployment of technology to meet global markets and internal customer needs, as well as complex technology management and integration in a multi-platform development and processing environment. • Competent problem-solver with exceptional commitment to quality, and communication, negotiation, and persuasion skills.Keywords in ad or job description: • Look for the words that appear early in an ad or job description; the first keywords mentioned are likely the most important. • Just as workers are advised to dress to emulate those in positions to which they want to be promoted, look at ads and job descriptions for the job that is "one level above" the job you are targeting at that firm, and add some of those “next-level” keywords to the ones that come from your current level. Recruiting guru Darrell Gurney gives a good example of how to use next-level keywords in your resume: If an ad mentions a keyword for which you dont have the associated experience/expertise, use the keyword in your objective statement to indicate that you want to be using that experience in your next job. “You are a financial analyst, and your past experience does not include work in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or 10K reporting, but you do want to move into this area,” Gurney writes. “In the ‘Objective on your resume and in your cover letter, be sure to state these skills as areas of interest. Example: Objective: To secure a growth-oriented position as a Senior Financial Analyst with a focus on SEC and 10K reporting.” • Look at ads and job descriptions for competitor firms that are "one step up" from your target firm. “Because most firms try to emulate the practices of their ‘superior competitors, Sullivan writes, “showing that you have the skills required by that competitor will generally give you a competitive advantage.” • Peruse the job descriptions and want ads of any jobs in the same job "family" as the one youre targeting to identify patterns of words that the employer uses repeatedly. • After scrutinizing ads, identifying keywords from them, and loading them into your resume, test your resume by comparing it to ads you want to target. If your resume doesnt include more than 50 percent of the keywords in an ad, Sullivan exhorts, dont expect an interview.Its is a very short introduction of yourself used in situations where you are meeting a lot of peopleand probably not spending a great deal of time with any one of them. Events specifically designedfor networking were made for the Sound Bite, which lasts about 15-30 seconds and may or maynot be the prelude to a lengthier conversation. The trick is to make your Sound Bite so intriguingthat people will want to spend more time talking with you. The Sound Bite also might beincorporated into an initial phone conversation with a prospective new member of your network.At its most basic level, the Sound Bites structure is:
Hi, my name is ___________. Im in the _______________ field, and Im looking to_____________________.The last blank would be filled in with your current career aspiration, whether it is to stay withinyour field and move up or move into a different career.A college student or new graduate might add the following to the basic structure. Hi, my name is ___________. I will be graduating/I just graduated from ____________________with a degree in _____________________. Im looking to_____________________.You can stick with the Sound Bites basic structure and see where it takes you. It may not takeyou far, however, because it lacks two things: a "hook" and a request for action.Beware of a Sound Bite/Elevator Speech that inspires the thought "so what?" in the listener, asthe above examples might.If, however, you add an element of intrigue -- a "hook" -- by incorporating your Unique SellingProposition, the ensuing conversation now has considerable potential. Lets look, for example, athow a conversation might go that starts with an intriguing Sound Bite: Networker #1: Hi, my name is Carmen Southwick. I make dreams come true. Networker #2: How do you do that? Networker #1: Im a wedding planner. I plan dream weddings for couples. Ive been working for myself, but Id like to get in with one of the big resorts that hosts weddings.Lets look at another example: Networker #1: Hi, my name is Ned Peters. Im a warm-and-fuzzy man. Networker #2: How so? Networker #1: I manage a pet store and love to watch childrens eyes light up when I put a little animal in their hands. Im training to use pet therapy in hospitals and nursing homes and hope to break into that field.And one more: Networker #1: Hi, my name is Betty Joiner. Im responsible for this countrys future. Networker #2: This Ive got to hear about. Networker #1: Im a teacher! I love shaping the minds of the next generation, but Im also interested in getting into corporate training.The concern, of course, with the intriguing sound bite is that youll sound corny or hokey. And, infact, chances are you will. Ill admit that when I first researched these sound bites/elevatorspeeches, I found them very corny. But they work by hooking your conversation partner intofinding out more about you.You just have to decide whether or not youre comfortable with incorporating an intriguing line intoyour Sound Bite. If not, go for a more basic Sound Bite/Elevator Speech. One way to test theeffect is to try both approaches out on members of your inner circle.
Even the intriguing Sound Bites/Elevator Speeches above lack an important element -- a requestfor action. Here are some action items that can be appended in various situations:At a career fair: "Id like to take your business card, as well as leave my networking card andresume. Would it be possible for me to get a spot on your companys interview schedule?In a networking situation: "What advice do you have for me? Can you suggest any employers Ishould be contacting?"Cold-calling an employer: "When can we set up a meeting to discuss how I can help yourcompany?"Telephone or e-mail situations: "May I send you my resume?" (For in-person situations, youshould always have resumes handy.)The Commercial, a.k.a, Elevator Speech for a high-rise building or slow elevator, is a longerversion of the Sound Bite and can be used in networking situations in which you have more timeto talk about yourself, such as when you are visiting in the office of a prospective member of yournetwork or having lunch with a contact. It can be a great job-interview response to "Tell me aboutyourself" or "Why should I hire you?"Its also an effective response when youre conducting an informational interview and theinterviewee turns the tables and starts asking questions about you. The Commercial canpiggyback on top of the Sound Bite; you start out with the Sound Bite, and your conversationpartner asks you to tell more about yourself, so you segue into the Commercial. This introductionis typically one to three minutes long and contains more about your background, qualifications,and skills than the Sound Bite does.Obviously, you dont want your Commercial to sound memorized. But you are, after all, talkingabout yourself, so the material is not hard to remember. It helps to write it out first -- outline formis fine; then read it over a few times, and practice saying it without reading or memorizing it.Practice saying it in front of friends and members of your network, too. Its not a big deal if youforget a detail, as long as you remember the main points you want to get across. Here are acouple of samples, which range from about 200-300 words: Hi, my name is Michaela Shaw. Ive had many years of experience in the electronics industry. During this time, I was drawn to the field of information systems. I enjoyed the challenge and new technologies that I learned while working with the company systems administrator in my job as a database controller. I loved receiving and implementing the system-management training I gained while working with the Hewlett Packard board test system. The spark ignited, and I began to focus my efforts on obtaining additional training in computer information systems. I am achievement and detail oriented. I work extremely well in a team environment and have been a team leader on several of my projects. I further developed my communications skills, which were extremely important in my past work experience, throughout my academic career. I have worked with the latest technologies in my classes. For example, I helped design a database interface application in Visual Basic for one of my schools programs. When assigned a project, I possess the skills to see it through to top-notch completion. I am prepared to make a significant contribution in the next step in my career. Hi, my name is Mateo Santiago. My background to date has centered around preparing myself to be the most well-rounded marketing professional possible. I
have specifically prepared myself for a career in marketing by taking competitive undergraduate classes and by gaining invaluable real-world experience. To improve my written communication skills, I completed four upper-division English classes in addition to the two core classes required of business majors. Since many Texas businesses today work with people of Hispanic origin, I chose to enhance my desirability and versatility as a potential employee by acquiring a Spanish minor. I have also prepared myself to transition into the work force through real-world experience involving travel abroad, internships, and entrepreneurial opportunities. While interning with a private organization in Ecuador this past summer, I developed a 15-page marketing plan composed in Spanish that recommended more effective ways in which this company could promote its services. I also traveled abroad on two other occasions in which I researched the indigenous culture of the Mayan Indians in Todos Santos, Guatemala, and participated in a total language immersion program in San Jose, Costa Rica. In addition to my travel and internship experience, I also obtained considerable professional sales training as a result of my own entrepreneurial pursuits. During this past summer, I telemarketed for Riella Tire Supply of West Texas, a work experience that prompted me to develop conflict-resolution and personal-selling skills. Furthermore, I have established and maintained two businesses -- Santiago Lawn Service and Full Throttle Auto Detailing, which exposed me to valuable real-world experience with cold door-to-door sales calls and relationship selling. As you can see from my academic and extracurricular backgrounds, I have unconditionally committed myself to succeed as a marketing professional.Want to learn much more? See Fantastic Formulas for Composing Elevator Speeches andElevator Speech Dos and Donts.Here are the keys to successfully developing and using an elevator speech in your job-search.Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success with this important tool of job-hunting. • Do make your Elevator Speech sound effortless, conversational, and natural. • Do make it memorable and sincere. Open a window to your personality. • Do write and rewrite your speech, sharpening its focus and eliminating unnecessary words and awkward constructions. • Do avoid an Elevator Speech that will leave the listener mentally asking "So what?" • Do consider including a compelling "hook," an intriguing aspect that will engage the listener, prompt him or her to ask questions, and keep the conversation going. • Dont let your speech sound canned or stilted. • Do practice your speech. Experts disagree about whether you should memorize it, but you should know your speech well enough so you express your key points without sounding as though the speech was memorized. Let it become an organic part of you. Many experts suggest practicing in front of mirrors and role-playing with friends. Certified Professional Virtual Assistant Jean Hanson advises practicing in the car on the way to networking events. • Dont ramble. Familiarizing yourself as much as possible with your speech will help keep you from getting off track. • Do be warm, friendly, confident, and enthusiastic. A smile is often the best way to show friendliness and enthusiasm, while a strong, firm voice the best way to express confidence. • Do take it slowly. Dont rush through the speech, and do pause briefly between sentences. Breathe. • Do project your passion for what you do. • Do maintain eye contact with your listener.
• Dont get bogged down with industry jargon or acronyms that your listener may not comprehend.• Do be prepared to wrap up earlier than you were planning if you see the listeners eyes glazing over or interest waning.• Dont hesitate to develop different versions of your Elevator Speech for different situations and audiences.• When developing an Elevator Speech for a specific employer youve targeted, do research the organization and incorporate that knowledge into your speech. See our Guide to Researching Companies, Industries, and Countries.• If youre cold-calling a hiring manager and get his or her voicemail dont be afraid to leave your Elevator Speech as a voice message. You may be even more successful getting action from the speech than if you had talked to the manager personally.• Do incorporate examples and stories to help support your points. Provide examples of successful outcomes of deploying your skills. Stories make your speech memorable.• Dont focus just on yourself, an approach that will almost assure a "so what?" reaction.• Do focus on how you can benefit employers and help them solve their problems. Remember as you deliver your Elevator Speech that the listener may be mentally asking, "Whats in it for me (or my company)?" Author Carole Kanchier especially suggests that your benefits include how you can save an employer time and money, help people feel good, or expand markets.• Do use concrete, listener-friendly language, but at the same time, dont be afraid to paint vivid word pictures.• Dont forget to include your competitive advantage also known as your Unique Selling Proposition (USP); in other words. how you can perform better than anyone else.• Do end with an action request, such as asking for a business card or interview appointment.• Dont forget to update your speech as your situation changes.• If you are uncomfortable with the kind of speaking that the Elevator Speech entails, do consider joining a group such as Toastmasters to boost your confidence.