As the world starts to pick up the pieces left behind by quarantine (or stay-at-home orders), many people will be looking for a new job. With the unemployment rate hitting a high of 14.7% in the United States, companies will surely be bombarded by resumes as roles start to open back up. In a competitive market there are far less jobs than there are applicants, which means the stakes are higher than they were at the beginning of the year. Understanding how to pitch yourself as companies start adding to their headcount or returning to their offices is extremely important.
Sure, we get it, the thought of pitching yourself to potential employers can seem overwhelming, difficult, or downright scary. You have to craft a great resume or portfolio that will make an impact on the reader. You need to promote your strengths and skills honestly and confidently. But when done right, you'll leave a lasting impression on the employer as to why you're the only (or best) qualified candidate for the role.
If you’re wondering how you can stand out when there’s an influx of competition in the job market, read on below.
Check your resume and/or creative portfolio
Think about how many resumes or creative portfolios a recruiter sees in a day. After a while, they might all start to look the same. That’s why your resume needs to catch the reader’s attention in an instant.
Your resume also needs to be brief and easy to read. Keep it to one page if you can, and use a large, professional font. Put the most relevant and important information at the beginning so it’s read first. Only include sections you need, and leave out old or irrelevant information, which will just distract the reader from what you have to offer now. Don't forget to highlight your key achievements and document any meaningful business impact, successful campaigns, or data. Adding real, tangible results will only help to drive your point home and set you apart.
On top of that, creative professionals need a portfolio that shares their work history and education, and shows off their best creative projects or campaigns. Use a creative portfolio presentation to showcase your skills in a clean and concise way and impress a potential new employer.
Tell your story with compelling visuals
You’ve moved past initial screenings, and now you have the chance to pitch yourself as a candidate to a potential employer. How can you make yourself stand out from the rest of the candidates?
Tell your story with a visual presentation. The potential employer already has your basic information from your resume, but you may use a slide presentation to expand on that information and craft a compelling story about you.
Now’s your chance to talk about your work experience, education, skills, and more. List your top achievements and include any supporting data that demonstrates your impact in previous roles. Share anecdotes that demonstrate your skills and tools you've mastered from your last job. With our customizable presentation templates, we do all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is plug in your information and make sure it looks and sounds good. Plus, using Beautiful.ai over other presentation software will ensure your strengths and accomplishments are shown in a more professional light.
Know your strengths
If you’re awesome at learning new things, leading teams on projects, or working diligently under pressure, play up those strengths on your resume and in your pitch. But don’t just list those skills on your resume without giving them context. Key words such as “quick learner,” “team player,” and “hard worker” are used so often they’re almost cliches. Explain why those are your strengths.
Back up your points, or strengths, with data reference worked in. This is also a good opportunity to show how you went above and beyond job responsibilities by using examples of your past work as evidence. Maybe you taught yourself how to code, you boosted sales with your last team, or you met all of your deadlines for a huge project and your manager thanked you. Showing real examples is how you can play up your strengths, both on paper and in person.
If you have unique skills or expertise, be sure to include those, too. For example, being efficient in presentation software (like Beautiful.ai), may set you apart from every other candidate who is only familiar with the PowerPoint basics.
Sell yourself as a solution
Your goal in an interview is to convince a company that you’re the perfect person for the job. That’s why “sell yourself” is a helpful mantra to keep in mind for your pitch. Everyone knows how important it is to dress appropriately — one level above what the employees wear is a good rule of thumb — but take it a step further and consider mirroring the company culture in how you show up. Invest in research and prove that you've done a deep dive to uncover the true mission of the company. This will show that you align with the company culture and values, and that you're the overall right fit for the job.
Of course, you don't want to overdo it. Remember to approach an interview as a conversation and be yourself. Focus on being honest, listening to the interviewer, and responding to their questions. If you try too hard to sell yourself as the solution to the company’s problems, you may only hurt your chances of getting the job.
Be clear and concise
Recruiters and hiring managers see a lot of resumes and have a lot of interviews to get through. Make their jobs easier. Be clear and concise on your resume, in your creative portfolio, and in your face-to-face pitch.
How do you do that on paper? Read and reread everything in your resume or presentation. Simplify your language where you can, while using an active voice.
For example, you could change...
My specialties included writing social media posts, blog posts, and editing various forms of copy.
I specialize in social media content, blogging, and editing.
The second sentence is concise, straightforward, and confident.
Use a similar strategy when talking about yourself in an interview. Take a breath and think about what you say, rather than filling the silence with “um” or “uh.” You’ll sound more collected and sure of yourself.
Practice, practice, practice
The most important thing to remember when prepping for an interview? Practice. Practice several times so you nail your delivery. Practicing is even more important when you’re giving a presentation: you want to know your speech inside and out so you sound natural when you’re delivering it. Run through your entire presentation a few times. Try practicing in front of someone else if possible, so that they can give you feedback in real-time. But practicing in front of the mirror works, too.
The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel when speaking to an interviewer, answering questions, and talking about yourself.
Boost your pitch with Beautiful.ai
When you need to build a creative portfolio or a presentation for your pitch, use one of Beautiful.ai’s presentation templates. Beautiful.ai’s templates are easy and quick to customize. Instead of spending hours designing a creative portfolio or presentation, you can focus on practicing the delivery and nailing your pitch.
If you're sending a presentation as a follow-up and you can't be there to present it, you can narrate your slides with our newest audio recording feature. It will add a personalized touch to your portfolio, and the potential employers will appreciate the added effort.