Sharing Your Story

Sharing Your Story

The brand you are selling in networking and interviewing is YOU - your story, background, skills, and interests! The more you share your story, the broader your reach can go. Simply put... having conversations helps to build connections, creating relationships that can broaden your career opportunities. To maximize these conversations, whether you are networking to learn as you consider a career transition, to land a role in a target company, or to entice potential investors with your entrepreneurial ideas, you must be both authentic and memorable in your conversations. Don't worry about a complicated formula, just remember these two key points:
  • Be curious. Ask real questions, listen, and follow up to find commonalities or learn.
  • Tell stories. Storytelling is an intrinsic human characteristic and a way to convey emotions that stick in one's memory. In fact, stories are potentially 22 times more memorable than facts (according to psychologist Jerome Bruner). Regardless of the exact statistic, the point is clear - stories form connections and are key to showcasing your talents.

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Maximizing Your Pitch

Think of your pitch as a brief, succinct introduction of yourself. While the term elevator pitch refers to a 15-second introduction (just in case you are in an elevator with your CEO and need to showcase your value to the firm quickly), most often we will have a bit more time than that to introduce ourselves (think 1 to 2 1/2 minutes as the ideal). In fact, research shows most people determine how they feel about someone within the first two minutes of a conversation, so continue reaching for tips to maximize your pitch.

Time of your pitch by event type:

  • 15 seconds: casual networking events, office introductions
  • 30 - 60 seconds: conferences, employer-sponsored events, informational interviews
  • 90 - 120 seconds: interviews

Key elements a pitch should include:

  • Name & Tagline
  • Past experience
  • Present motivation
  • Future direction
  • Question

Framing questions for how to structure your pitch:

  • What do you do?
  • What do you care about?
  • What are you interested in learning?

Questions to answer as you expand your pitch, especially in an interview setting:

  • What did you do previously?
  • What did you enjoy in that role?
  • What are you hoping to do next?

Now that you have a strong pitch, it's important to think about the other dimensions of showcasing your brand, including LinkedIn, resumes, and cover letters.

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