How can you land a great job without jumping through the normal hoops, sending out loads of resumes and cover letters? Simple: Demonstrate your value by sending a tailored pitch to the company you most want to work for. That’s what I did, and it worked wonders.
When I heard about an opportunity to help with marketing at an organization that shares and supports many of my values, I immediately got to work on a plan. I fleshed out some marketing ideas, created a little bit of content, and sent it over. After following up, I secured a phone interview and have been working there since.
Pitching yourself to a potential employer can be intimidating, if not completely foreign, for many people. We are used to copying and pasting details into repetitive online application forms or mass-emailing resumes. Pitching sounds like something only salespeople do.
That’s the trick though! If you want a job, you have to sell yourself—you have to think like a salesperson. So how do you pitch your way into a job?
1. Know your Target Audience
Before you create your pitch, ask yourself some simple questions: Who am I pitching to? Do I understand and share their values? What is my relationship to this audience?
Before landing my current role at Objective Standard Institute, I was one of its customers. A friend of mine was a former employee, and she encouraged me to take OSI’s writing course. Through this experience, I became familiar with the institute and its staff. This was why I was on the email list and thereby heard about the opportunity. I understood OSI’s goal of promoting life-enriching philosophy and giving people the tools to improve their lives. I knew this was a mission that resonated with me, and I was able to frame my proposals with that in mind.
You can’t effectively sell yourself—or any product or service, for that matter—if you don’t know your customer. So get to know a company and its values well before pitching yourself.
2. Focus on the Company’s Goals, not Yours
To successfully pitch a product or service, you must emphasize the value others will get from it. A good pitch isn’t about your wants, but theirs. The same is true when selling yourself to a potential employer. Don’t go on about your life goals; be clear and to-the-point about the value you can create for the company. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes: If you were responsible for hiring, what type of pitch would you like to see? If you ran this company, what sort of problems would you think need fixing?
In my pitches, I like to send a little free gift. It could be an updated logo or maybe a quick animation. I focus my message on how this gift can advance the organization’s mission.
3. Use the Many Tools at Your Disposal
We live in the digital era. There are so many online resources that can help improve your pitch. Although there’s nothing wrong with a direct email or phone call, it’s worth finding ways to stand out even more. Sending a video with your pitch can help showcase your personality. Or think even more outside-the-box: Companies such as Crash.co can help you put together a landing page for your pitch to showcase your offer and skills. I did something similar with a personal website. I showcased a list of projects and explained how they could help build the brand. What tools can you use to stand out? How can you leverage technology to craft your pitch?
Stop hoping for your dream job, and go pitch it into reality.
Further, if you share OSI’s values, check out our careers page, and consider pitching yourself. As a fast-growing startup, OSI is always looking for new talent!