Think about it, your dream job is at stake. You encounter the senior partner leading the search at a noisy cocktail party at a professional association conference. Other executives hover nearby hoping to snag an introduction. He asks, “Who are you, what do you do?”
When you are scrolling through your news feed, or old schooling it — turning the pages of an actual newspaper – what posts or stories typically grab your attention? Usually the ones with the catchy, interesting headlines.
Just as news sites and webpages have headlines, so do executives when they engage in professional networking or when they are in the market for a new position.
What is your headline?
You are at that reception, and you are asked, “What do you do? How will your headline – your one or two focused sentences — grab and hold their attention? What are you going to say?
Think about that. Now, think about meeting me at that cocktail reception. I am leading the search for your dream job. We have never met before. What are you going to say?
Ready, Set, Go! Remember you have less than a minute to engage me otherwise I will be looking over your shoulder to find someone who might be more interesting.
Ready, Set, Go! Remember you have less than a minute to engage me otherwise I will be looking over your shoulder to find someone who might be more interesting.John G. Self
This is NOT a response you can make up on the fly. You must be purposeful. You must communicate your real value to an organization. You must be creative and engaging in communicating that information. Not glib, not arrogant, but engaging. Now, and for the rest of your career.
I cannot tell you how many executives show up at these receptions and are NOT prepared.
I cannot tell you how many business cards I have found in suit pockets following national meetings, business cards of executives whose names did not register with me. People who were not memorable. I am not trying to be cruel, but this is a very important fact of life in professional networking. If you take this for granted, if you are not purposefully prepared, you will lose. The competition is just too intense.
…people who were not memorable. I am not trying to be cruel, but this is a very important fact of life in professional networking.John G. Self
Do not become one of those business cards in a recruiter’s pocket with no face, no recollection of why he/she should call you back.
They probably won’t.
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© 2021 John Gregory Self