1. An Elevator Pitch
Imagine this: You are running late for an important client meeting and are clamoring to get to the elevators through the thick crowd. Determined to make a good impression, you push past several other employees and practically run to the back of the elevator to avoid having to wait for the next lift. As you try to organize your rumpled files and documents, you glance to your left and realize that you are standing next to the CEO of your company.
Now what? Do you look nervously at the faint coffee stain on her shirt and try to blend into the wood on the wall behind you? Do you introduce yourself and invite him out for drinks after work? Do you grab your wrinkled resume from the bottom of your bag and ask for a promotion?
No, no, and absolutely not. Option A literally gets you nowhere – you’ll be no better off than you would have been if you weren’t in the same Elevator as the CEO and will spend the next month regretting a perfect opportunity lost. Option B is way too forward. Maybe the CEO doesn’t drink or has a policy against socializing with employees. Or maybe he is busy after work and can’t make it – then all he will remember about you is that you wanted to take him out for a drink. He won’t know anything of value that will prompt him to remember you for future considerations. Option C is just going to get your resume thrown into the recycling bin in the corner of his office – the CEO of your company has too much to think about to spend time looking at your resume.
So how do you take advantage of this golden opportunity? Have an elevator pitch prepared: a brief summary about yourself and your career goals. Tell him something interesting about your accomplishments and ambitions in story-form, and he will remember it. The ability to tell and understand stories is what makes us distinctly human – use this nature to your advantage to engage your audience. It works every time! This article tells you everything you need to know to create a fantastic elevator pitch. Write it, know it, own it.
Bonus: Have a business card to give him after your brief conversation! A card in his pocket is less likely to be discarded than a resume document in his hand.
2. A Website
A website is a great way to showcase yourself as a person beyond the 1-page confines of your resume. It is also an easy URL to slap onto a business card or tell a potential employer you run into at an event.
Your personal website can include links to all your online profiles (all of which you want to maximize traffic to in order to develop your personal online brand), links to your work samples, your personal blog, your interests and hobbies, and pretty much anything else you could consider putting on there. It should become your online home base that leads to any site or document you have displayed on the internet and want a potential employer or your boss to see.
This post details ways to build your personal website and provides some tips to improve your other online profiles.
3. Work Samples
Work samples are your validation! Stating something in your resume or on your website is a great way to grab a viewer’s attention, but getting an interview or job offer is dependent on your ability to prove your claim.
Recent years have seen a trend toward an appreciation for skills and abilities of a job applicant over test scores and GPA’s. Why? Because a display of skills through work samples are directly applicable to an employer’s open position. Got a great GPA that you want to flaunt? Go for it – it can only help! Just don’t forget to include tangible proof of what you can do to back it up!
Accredible provides a great platform to showcase your skills with not only work samples, but also assignments from online courses you can take to improve and develop new skills. Even if you don’t have a full portfolio of work to display, though, be sure to include a couple samples with your resume and cover letter whenever possible.