Sell Yourself… Quickly

A reader writes…

Dear, Anita,

In a world that has become so incredibly competitive… I know that every single word I say to a potential employer matters. I also know that there’s not a lot of time to make a good impression and “sum up myself” in a way that will be effective and convincing. What’s the secret?

Dear, “Sound Bite,”

It’s true, only the people that have a good handle on who they are, what they can offer, and how they’re unique will win in the game of job hunting. Regardless of the position, you need to know how to “position” yourself clearly and concisely. Easier said than done… but very possible and something we should all practice.

Imagine that you’re in an elevator and from the time the doors close to the moment they open again, you need to be able to pitch yourself to a perfect stranger. It’s called having an “elevator line.” People in marketing come up with “elevator lines” all the time to sum up a product or service (sort of like a mini commercial). As an individual trying to “market” yourself into the workforce,  you, too, need an “elevator line” that you can dish out within a matter of seconds.

I found this great article on that addresses this specific issue and includes tips on how to make it happen. I encourage each and every one of you to take a stab at it.

Once you’re done reading the article and coming up with your OWN sound bite to sell yourself, I’d like you to test it on me. Post your “elevator line” here, and let’s learn from one another and make comments!

Sound good?
Ready.. Set… Go!

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dia
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 21:26:15

    jobs are hard to find and why are all the applications on line now its so annoying i think that they should go back to paper apps and actually look at the application instead of keeping it on file for 3 months…BOTTOM LINE WE NED BETTER JOBS AND BETTER WORK TACTICS


  2. Lliam
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 04:20:09

    WOW whats next?
    Sorry to sound bitter, BUT…
    I have revamped my resume 7 times and I am working on reducing it some more.
    It seems to be hard to sell yourself to a person still wet behind the ears, who seems like they got the job because their daddy owns the company, I have done everything in my power to even get my foot in the door, I have certs and paperwork that shows my skills, and they think I have no hands on.

    When I tell them that I worked hard for the certs and alike, I also advise them that my ability rests where the rubber meets the road, with hands on ability, and usually get the deer in headlights look.

    Sad to say, BUT…
    We have went from a moral One Nation under GOD
    To a whats in it for me whatever it takes, don’t care who it hurts country.
    I Am also 52, been in manufacturing all my life, until downsized 2 1/2 years ago when I got cut, along with many others.

    Now I deal with employment agencies, who I like to call head hunters, work contract jobs, till the contract ends, then wait for the next.

    The corporations seem to capitalize on the economic disaster that our country is in, by using temps, not providing health care, no holiday pay, most don’t offer overtime, or too much, that you end up in a higher tax bracket with less pay.

    In effort to stay a float and keep our home, I’ve been doing everything, from selling our possessions on CL to raking leaves even scraping metals, all to just make it by the end of the month, with the winter cold now setting it, our heating costs will be overwhelming.

    I hope your site will be a help, and like that you actually seem to care.

    I guess its time for some elevator music.
    How relaxing


    • m.capriola
      Dec 28, 2011 @ 10:40:50

      Unfortunately, it’s a buyer’s market. Temp agencies may be your salvation, but your anxiety level will remain high.

      Oddly enough, Socialism got its hold in Europe way back because labor became a seller’s market. Pay and conditions were so bad that millions of workers said, “Screw this — I’m going to America.” So wages, benefits, and workplace conditions had to rise to a level high enough to keep people at home.

      Something similar happened in the 14th century when the Black Death wiped out a third of the population. Post-Plague wages went through the roof.

      Anyway, until conditions again favor the seller of labor life is going to be difficult.
      Good luck.


  3. ACM
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 11:08:39

    This has been perhaps one of my biggest problems. I am going to get tested soon for Asperger’s. I have great difficulty picking up on social cues. I wish employers were more understanding, but, frankly, a lot of my past employers have been very nasty people who simply do not want to hear it. I don’t write this to get people down, but I do not fit into the corporate environment and frankly there isn’t much I can do about it. I have no respect for those who expect everyone to fit into some corporate mold. I particularly despise the retail sector, with its attitude of “we can and will fire you for any reason.”


  4. Tiffany Lieu
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 15:53:58

    I have not had a chance to use an “elevator line” so far. I got lucky not having to meet the hiring managers sooner than the interviews. I guess, if I know the person prior to the interviews, I would just say hi in my usual conversational manners yet somehow not overdo it, or there won’t be enough materials to discuss later, and I might sound too redundant. I don’t think the “elevator line” should be all nonsense talks though. Although that can occupy the one minute period before the meeting in the office actually happens.


  5. Dave
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 13:18:24

    We all need to turn off the tv for good


  6. barbara norman
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 12:40:43

    I am 52 i need more job tips and interview skills.
    What i have to offer.
    Why should they hire me over someone younger


    • m.capriola
      Dec 19, 2011 @ 08:06:06

      Older people offer experience, reliability, focus, and seriousness. Many young people simply don’t take life seriously yet and think nothing of not showing up for work because they’re hung over or they want to go out and party. Or they can’t work without music pumping into their brains. (This is not an indictment of all young people — My niece at 18 years of age had more smarts and savvy than many people twice her age.)

      So concentrate on what you have to offer — years of experience in whatever industry you work in, and the skills you acquired there. Emphasize that your employer could depend on you to come in on time every day and do whatever tasks put in front of you. And so on.


  7. Artina Graves
    Dec 13, 2011 @ 08:22:56

    They this on the show Style by Jury. The woman wanted to work with corporate in her business. She teaches Yoga but wanted to be a Career Health Coach or something like that. Her pitch was to a Marketing/Sales person in the elevator. Took her a few times cause she talked slow but she finally was able to do it. Style by Jury is a makeover show for people who lives a life without beautifying themselves and they make the people look very modern with eye surgery, teeth repair, clothes, makeup and hair makeovers. And a jury of 9 people judge their looks. Its a pretty good picture. But I saw exactly what it is on the picture. I never had that problem with my picture. Its so many people that says the same thing and look just as good as me that its hard to be extremely competitive.


    • m.capriola
      Dec 19, 2011 @ 08:11:15

      I haven’t seen that show, but the general rule of thumb is that TV presents fantasies in place of realities.

      Also keep in mind that the purpose of TV is to sell products. Only children and morons will buy stuff based on TV advertising, so the TV shows have to be geared to the target audience of children and morons. Which explains why TV is so crappy and only getting worse.

      In short, I don’t often trust much of anything that the TV tells me. If someone on TV said that the sun rises in the East, I would look for outside verification.


Leave a Reply to ACM Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Recent Comments

Terri on Employee
Alberteau Presuma on Quick Question Quibble
Bill on Job Seeker
Cindy on Public Recognition
BRYAN KEITH EARLEY on Public Recognition


Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.

Select Family Tweets


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47,375 other followers