It’s no secret that people have short attention spans. In fact, a recent study reported that the average human’s attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to be able to deliver a short, clear and memorable elevator pitch. From networking events and job fairs to business meetings or informal introductions, a good elevator pitch is a great way to get off on the right foot.
The first time I attended a networking event, I had homemade business cards that pointed to a personal email address, and I had virtually no career to speak of. I barely had a college degree, and the conversations I had hinted that I didn’t have a job: “So if you hear of anything….” I’d trail off, leaving an awkward silence.
I was one of those people you probably wanted to slowly back away from at a networking event. Why? I was relying on the rest of the networking professionals to help me find a career focus, as well as a job, instead of coming to the event with a polished game plan and knowing what I wanted.
If you had been stuck talking to me that night, here are the tips present-day me would give you to get out of that awkward networking conversation:
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A referral through someone in your network is a highly effective way to land a job. Sometimes it’s not just what you know, but who you know. An endorsement from someone the hiring manager trusts is a powerful means of influence. People in your network are also a great source of information about relevant job openings and may be able to provide advice about how best to position yourself to the company.
Here are six ways to get more referrals and value from your professional network.
Although the economy has shown some recent signs of recovery, the current unemployment rate stands at 7.5 percent.
Because there are plenty of obstacles standing in your way to a new job, it’s imperative to hone your approach. See if you’re making any of these job-hunting mistakes and fix them before it’s too late:
“It all comes down to how they want to be communicated with and what they value,” says business adviser and author Beverly Flaxington about communicating with the C-suite.
As many human-resources professionals can attest, getting buy-in from the often time- and attention-challenged C-suite isn’t always a trip to Disneyland. It doesn’t help that there seems to be a fundamental difference between the way HR and the C-suite each communicate. Flaxington, a certified professional behavioral analyst, shares her tried-and-true tips for human-resources professionals to effectively communicate with executives and gain leverage to achieve their goals.
When you started your search for an information-technology position, you were optimistic. People you knew seemed to have no problem landing great tech jobs, or they were telling you about other people who had just been hired. But now that you’ve sent out many résumés with little or no response, you’re wondering why no one is snapping you up. What’s going on?
First, take comfort in knowing that the demand for skilled IT talent hasn’t waned, so there are still opportunities to be had. However, the emphasis here is on “skilled:” Companies that are hiring generally seek experienced professionals with specific skills.
If your experience or area of expertise doesn’t quite align with what many employers are looking for right now, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a viable candidate for hire. You may just need to confirm that you’re doing everything you can to give yourself an edge in a competitive marketplace. Here’s some advice: