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How to Write a Great Personal Pitch!

You are the product! We are all in the business of Marketing Us!

Most of us are familiar with the Elevator Pitch concept, which was developed as a 30 second (an elevator ride) pitch on your business idea to a potential investor. However, many of us neglect to have our own compelling introduction about who we are (our ‘Personal Pitch’) so that the audience knows who they are engaging with.

The Personal Pitch can be more challenging. Rather than being a business idea, which is somewhat removed from us, the Personal Pitch is about us. Most people do not like talking about themselves. However, to build trust we need to show them our authentic self.

‘Your Personal Pitch is Your Amazing Succinct Career Story’

Your Personal Pitch is a summary of your story about the impact you have made in the world to date, your gifts, and talents, your career dreams and the impact you want to have on the world.  It’s about your core skills, personal attributes, values, achievements and it is important and sometimes hard stuff to share, particularly in 30 seconds! This technique is often adapted to personal introductions when networking, introductions in meetings and interviews.

Sometimes people fail to share because they have not considered it important or relevant. Others know their story well and how they want their story to unfold, yet, lack the confidence to share this with others. Both result in the audience missing out on learning about your ‘value add’ to them. We often forget that the audience needs to know who we are to build trust and assess our competence.

‘Don’t be afraid to capture the magic of who you are, & share it in your pitch’

Here’s an example of a CFO’s Personal Pitch used to introduce themselves to a company who is looking to resolve a problem with data accuracy in their business systems.

Hi, my name is John. For the past 15 years, I have worked with dynamic start- ups in healthcare and helped them commercialize and grow sustainable businesses. Currently, I am a CFO of a dynamic healthcare technology company where I am heavily involved in the Accounting, Strategy and Technology system development. Recently, working with our IT team we have created a new technology to improve the healthcare data accuracy within the public healthcare system by 50%. I am excited about the improved healthcare outcomes it offers as well as the time saved in problem-solving.

Crafting Your Personal Pitch

Crafting your Personal Pitch will take a little bit of time and practice. If done well, it will be instrumental in helping you create wonderful career opportunities. Everyone has an amazing career story to share.  You will be surprised how people are interested to hear your story too. The key is to capture your career story in a succinct engaging manner keeping in mind your audience. If your audience is engaged, they will want to find out more about you.  Which is why you need to take into account every audience. Your Personal Pitch may differ at a casual social networking event, to that of an industry conference.

It is important to remember that your Personal Pitch is your amazing succinct career story.   Do not fall into the trap of letting your education, job title or employers brand overshadow you. For example, when networking in person or on their LinkedIn profile (online business networking) most people state their name, occupation and employer! Avoid this at all costs. Own your Personal Brand and your Personal Pitch.

Below is a template to help you start to craft your own amazing Personal Pitch and capture the magic of you and what you offer to the world of work. It will take a few attempts to get it right and deliver it authentically. The secret to a great personal pitch is that is delivered with confidence, authentic and consistent to your personal brand. We recommend that you practice your pitch to gain confidence. Then see the difference it makes in your engagement with your audience.

Your Personal Pitch Template

Imagine you are going to an event. Think about the specific audience at the event and how you want to position yourself. What outcomes are you seeking? What do you want to share with this audience in your pitch to make your personal brand clear & achieve your outcomes?

  1. Introducing you and your background – name, relevant work experience and education that positions you for the career you have or are looking to have.
  2. The value you bring? – skills & talents, key achievements, personal attributes, networks.
  3. Who you are focused on added value to or fixing problems for? types of problems you have solved in the past, or want to be solving, industries or companies you want to help.

Your Personal Pitch              Now summarize 1+2+3 into a short paragraph (see example above)

 


Personal Branding Coaching Support

Crafting an engaging Personal Pitch is a part of building and sharing your Personal Brand with the right audiences. If you are seeking support around developing your personal brand, contact our Career & Executive Coaches at Diversitas to learn more about how we can help you.

Are Cover Letters really needed in the digital age?

computer and emailsEven though online job applications are now the norm, cover letters are still widely used in the recruitment process. It could be argued that cover letters are more important in the digital age as many candidates are job searching across countries and industries where they are not established. New careers are being created so hirers will be looking for candidates who can clearly demonstrate their aptitude for the role and also why they want the role with some sincerity.

You cannot guarantee that every cover letter will be read thoroughly but many recruiters like to see a cover letter in an application as it shows that the candidate has really thought about why they are a suitable candidate for the role and they have considered why they want to work for your organisation. The secret is to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the hirer. What will make them interested to read your cover letter? The answer is usually some evidence that the candidate understands the role and can explain why they want the role with some authenticity.

A good example of this is from one of my clients who submitted a rushed and blandly written cover letter for an organisation she was very keen to join. She was not shortlisted for that role. After a few months there was another role and I encouraged her to reapply, but this time, write a cover letter that is authentic and accurate. My client wrote a really completing argument on why she wanted the role and why she was a great fit too. Not only she got the interview, she got the job and is still working for the organisation five years later!

The simple rule to follow is that if the hirer asks for a cover letter in your application, then write one! If you do not include a cover letter, you may not be shortlisted for the role.

Even though the cover letter is for the hirer’s purpose, writing a cover letter has many benefits for the candidate, for any level of seniority.

Here are five reasons why we recommend that you write a cover letter for every job application and how the process can be highly beneficial to you:

  1. Check that you are a credible candidate for the role. The primary purpose of a cover letter is for the candidate to describe in their own words how they are a good match for a specific role. i.e. do they have the skills, experience and qualifications needed for this role. Have you checked that you have at least 80% of the requirements listed in the essential criteria? If not, you are probably wasting your time applying for the wrong  roles.
  2. Identifies why you want the role. The process of writing the cover letter will help you to assess why you want the role and why you want to work for that particular organisation. Your enthusiasm for the opportunity can come across in the way you write your cover letter. The hirer will be ‘reading between the lines’ to get an impression of your personality and interest in the role. Focus on writing your cover letter with some enthusiasm and honesty. Tell the reader why you are suitable for the role and why you want it in your own words!
  3. It helps you to be objective at a stressful time. It is widely recognised that job searching can very emotionally challenging. Are you showing your desperation to change jobs or focussing on tangible reasons why you want the role? Many candidates waste time on rushed application and wonder why they get a high number of rejections. One explanation for feeling a fraud or not wanting to talk about yourself is the psychological concept of Imposter Syndrome. It is common in high achievers, perfectionists or simply people with a fear of failure. You might like to take this short quiz to see how Imposter Syndrome may be holding you back from writing about yourself. Having a strategic approach to your job search will include writing a cover letter based on your analysis of your fit for the role, including evidence such as achievement stories. Writing a cover letter can help you to manage the emotions of the job search and assist you to objectively evaluate a role.
  4. Keeping your application consistent to your interview. The process of writing a cover letter will also help you to prepare for interviews and help you to form your answers that are consistent to the rest of your job application. For example, ‘Why are you the best candidate for the role?’ ‘Why do you want the role? Preparing and practicing answering these questions before applying for the role will also ensure that you are applying for a role that excites you, and why you want to do that particular job.
  5. Marketing your Personal Brand and skills. Cover letters provide an example of your writing skills and need to be consistent and authentic to your personal brand as displayed in your resume and online profiles. The ability to analysis the requirements for the role and summarise your suitability in a one page, focussed letter will convince the recruiter that it is worth reading your resume. Writing in your own voice will be more compelling to read too.

In summary, the need for a cover letter is alive and well. The process of writing a cover letter will help you to focus on why you are the best candidate for the role and why you want it.  It will save you time by identifying the roles not to apply for! Instead of thinking if a cover letter as a chore, use it as a tool to differentiate yourself in a sea of lacklustre candidates.

Contact us for more information on our coaching programs to help you write your most effective cover letter. Here’s a link to our webpage on career coaching for professionals and executives.

#coverletters #jobsearch #jobapplications #writingskills #executivecoaching

 

Are Your Saboteurs Holding Back Your Career?

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At the Australian Psychological Type Conference (AusAPT) this month, we were fortunate to have some fantastic speakers from Australia, the US, NZ and the UK. Two of the speakers, Jane Kise and Ann Holm, presented an engaging and theatrical demonstration of their Saboteurs, which are self-driven thoughts that hold us back. This presentation was based on the work of Shirzad Chamine, the author of the New York Times bestselling book ‘Positive Intelligence’ and designer of the Positive Intelligence assessments on Saboteurs.

“The Judge is the universal Saboteur that afflicts everyone. It is the one that beats you up repeatedly over mistakes or shortcomings, warns you obsessively about future risks, wakes you up in the middle of the night worrying, gets you fixated on what is wrong with others or your life, etc. Your Judge is your greatest internal enemy, activates your other top Saboteurs, causes you much of your stress and unhappiness, and reduces your effectiveness.”  Source: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/assessments/

I think we can all relate to the Judge saboteur and how it can hold us back from getting on track in our careers. You may refer to it as the internal critic or those negative voices in your head. The one’s that hold you back, cause you to slip up, worry or just bring unnecessary negativity into your life.  There are 9 Self Saboteurs in this tool: Stickler: Pleaser; Hyper-Vigilant; Restless; Controller; Avoider; Hyper-Achiever; Victim and Hyper-Rational.

If you are ready to increase your self-awareness, discover your top 3 Saboteurs and engage and strengthen your inner Sage to fight back then I would encourage you to invest the time to do the assessment and read the comprehensive report.

You may or may not be surprised with the results. I know for me, one was a bit of a shock. However, when I reflected on it, it made sense and I identified several situations where my saboteur has held me back in the past! You may discover some of the answers to why your career is not on track?

To complete this free assessment and read an insightful report on your saboteurs go to https://www.positiveintelligence.com/assessments/

 

How to be Be Happier At Work (and life…)

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Last month I had the good fortune to do a podcast with The Wellness Collective girls, Cecelia Ramsdale & Nat Kringoudis and spoke about our types and how we can be happier at work.

Perception is everything but if we are unaware of ourselves and how other people see us, we can find ourselves miscommunication and certainly not getting to where we want in life. When we know about our own personality type as well as others, we can use this as powerful information to help us get what we want in life.

On The Wellness Collective, Nat & Ceceliachat with me about how we can find out more about ourselves and use it to our advantage in life!

Click to listen to the Podcast.

To find out more you can visit The Wellness Collective 

For coaching support & MBTI personality profiling visit us at  Diversitas

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How Organisations Can Leverage Cognitive Diversity to Benefit Their Culture & Decision Making

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“there is now considerable scientific evidence for the idea that cognitive or deep diversity – that is, diversity in how people feel, think, and act – has significant benefits for organizations” source  Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic  

 

While there are many great interventions within organisations to increase awareness and drive change around social, gender and cultural diversity,  one area that seems to be neglected is cognitive diversity, which looks at the deeper psychological functions of each individual.

As a coach, I wonder why organisations only look at diversity at one level.  Maybe it is all too hard to factor in the time and effort or is the organisation lacking in expertise in People & Culture function within HR? Interestingly, there are really effective tools to help organisations understand the cognitive diversity of their employees.

One tool that has been around since the 1940’s, the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI), which defines and measure cognitive diversity around our four preferences for gathering information (Sensing Vs Intuition) and making decisions (Thinking Vs Feeling).  It stands to reason to achieve a good well-considered decision making you need to factor in all four of the preferences as shown in the Z model image below. Which is very hard for one person to do effectively!

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Yet within many organisational groups we see a lot of ‘group think’ – people who share the same cognitive style, which can at times be a positive thing for collaboration, but does not necessarily position the team for growth!  Particularly if those making the decisions have not developed their self-awareness and effectively used their non-preferred cognitive functions. For example, if a dominant decision-making style is ‘Thinking’, leveraging their logic, yet they fail to tap into their ‘Feeling’ preference and consider the needs of the people around them when making important decisions.

From a workplace culture perspective, given so much of the miscommunication, conflict, and stress can be caused by different cognitive styles, providing employees with an awareness of their preferences and those around them can only be a positive thing.

Rather than simply taking in information and making decisions leveraging their dominant cognitive functions, which provides one perspective only, they can start to gain an awareness and appreciation of the other preferences, all of which are equally as valid as their own. Steering away from the mentality of ‘I am right’ and ‘you are wrong’, that there are various equally valid diverse solutions. Yet in organisations where employees are so often under stress, this can be forgotten (even if it was once known).

Take a moment to reflect on your own cognitive style?  Then consider the dominant cognitive style of those in your management and leadership groups?  It may be time for your organisation to consider adding cognitive diversity to its mix of diversity initiatives and professional development. This training will also give leaders an awareness of a fantastic tool that will help them understand the preferences of their team, colleagues and clients too.

For organisations, leaders, and managers interested in learning more about cognitive diversity and training & development options to develop this please visit us at Diversitas or contact us to discuss your needs.

Kelly Magowan is a Career & Executive Coach, Leadership Development Facilitator, and runs MBTI® Training programs for organisations through Diversitas.   She has built a reputation as a thought leader in the careers space, regularly appearing on ABC Radio.

Are Your Job Applications In The ‘Yes’ Pile?

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

So often a new client comes to us because they have made a multitude of job applications and have become very frustrated about their lack of success. Some blame the recruitment system (rightly so, as there are many flaws), others dislike recruiters and often they just simply lose confidence in themselves and their ability to successfully job search. Therefore, they turn to a career coach as a last resort, in search of expert help.

Job searching is a challenging process for the best candidates, particularly with online job sites and complex recruitment process. It is time consuming and often you are writing an application for a very vague job ad. Without knowing ‘how to play the job search game’ you can dwindle away hundreds of hours and find yourself not even getting through to the interview stage.  In this article we will explain some of the rules of the game and ways to increase your ‘Yes’ pile odds.

Some myths about online job applications …

Technological change has created opportunities for organisations and candidates to communicate 24/7. It has also enabled people from anywhere in the world to connect. The bad news is that this ease of communication creates the assumption that it is easy to get to interview stage. Here are some common reasons why the process is not working and some relevant examples:

  • The recruiter may write a vague advertisement or do not check the details and attract too many candidates or even inappropriate candidates. One example is a recruitment client who accidently marked the location for the job as Melbourne, USA, not Melbourne, Australia!

 

  • The candidate will tend to write generic one application for many jobs and avoid tailoring their application for each job. The similarity of the process may also make candidates assume the requirements for each application are exactly the same for every job. I helped a client get through to the ‘yes’ pile after their first application was rejected. By helping them write an authentic cover letter that described why they were really interested in the organisation the second application was successful.

 

  • Candidates do not read the job application instructions. Another client specifically asked for an extra piece of information in the application – a short description of their interest in this small, start up business. Only one applicant out of 60 actually submitted as per client’s instructions! If you want the role you have to follow the application instructions exactly. There is usually a very good reason why they want this information.

 

  • The technology is only as smart on recruitment as the person who entered the selection criteria in the recruitment system. Some recruitment software providers call it ‘AI’, where key word matching is a tool used to shorten a large application list. If your application does not include the key words, its unlikely it will make it to stage two, having a human review it. Once I had a client apply for a role in Australia who was originally from America. The computer system allocated my client’s application to the USA office due to an assumption based on the last role, which happened to be in USA!

 

I am sure that you will appreciate that there are many other reasons for lack of job application success. Watch this TedTalk on one recruiter’s experience of poor online applications for internships in Dubai and suggestions on why they were unsuccessful.

What will you do differently to make you are in the ‘yes’ pile?

Here are our top three tips to help you prepare successful job applications.

Tip #1: Take a strategic approach to your job search

One of the most important tips for job searching is to value the learning experience and start by preparing your story and exploring your interests, personality, values and strengths before setting a career direction. Then the job search is actually the marketing part of your job search, not the starting point.

Set aside some time when you have no deadlines or interruptions to review and update your resume (and your career strategy too) when you do not need it. This will take the pressure off yourself to produce something quickly when you need to make a job application. By allocating time to write your resume when you are not applying for a new job you will be less stressed and thinking clearer about what you include in your resume.

Incorporating career planning and resume updates into your year will also help you to prepare for your annual appraisal and reflect on your career progress too. Your resume is a marketing document and using the principles of ‘getting prepared before you go to market’ by clearly knowing what you want to sell, who is your likely customer, will help you create a winning resume.

Think of your resume as a database of your career history. You can create a long document that lists your key achievements and records your career moves, qualifications ready to edit down to create a tailored resume for a specific application. This could also be used for your annual career development and appraisal discussions with your boss. Think about how you can use this database to help argue your case for a pay rise too.

Tip #2: Focus on solving the hirer’s problem

A client rang me very stressed about an executive level job application and wanted resume writing help in the next 24 hours. When I reviewed the advertisement, it required a specific qualification that my client did not have. When I pointed this out to my client, they were so relieved that they did not waste their time applying for a job that they had no chance of getting.

This story illustrates that so many job seekers do not know what the recruiter wants. Often our fear of acceptance is tied up in writing a resume and we feel that the audience is judging us by reading our resume. In reality, when you apply for a job, your audience will want you to succeed as they want you to fix their problem – to fill their vacancy.

The audience, or recruiter, will have written a job advertisement with an ideal candidate in mind. So, use the information they give you to understand what they are interested in. Create a checklist to make sure that you have written about all the ‘essential criteria’ in your resume. That way you will be writing about what they are interest in and easily engage your audience.

Get familiar with your audience. Do some research on the company, find out why there is a vacancy, explore their culture and look at the profile of the people who are in the recruitment process. Company website and LinkedIn are great resources for this information. See glassdoor.com for some key employer profiles.

Using this technique will also help you to check whether you are applying for a role that is right for you too.

Tip #3: Analyse the job advertisement to avoid wasting your efforts

Read the job advertisement and position description in detail to check that you are clear on the job requirements (see the key criteria section). Then, use a checklist to make sure that you match at least 80% of the key criteria. Do not waste your time on applying for jobs that are not right for you. This exercise will keep you objective and help you to plan how you write your application too.

Use the advertisement to learn about the organisation reasons for the vacancy. Note any concerns. This is research! Get to know your job market – country, industry and profession. This analysis will also help you to reflect on why you want the job too. All important to include this in your cover letter.

Need extra help?

If you are feeling stressed about your job search in Australian and would like career coaching support contact us for a complementary initial discussion on your needs and how our coaching programs can help you to make the most of your job applications on our website.

Sue Daniels +61 417 331 162. sue@diversitas.com.au

Kelly Magowan +61 417 330 693 kelly@diversitas.com.au

Want to be a successful Leader? Start with Personality Profiling

Like a thumbprint, personality type provides an instant snapshot of a person’s uniqueness’ Isabel Briggs Myers

Being a coach gives us the privilege of supporting inspiring professionals and executives throughout their challenging and rewarding careers. We are often introduced to a new client when they are leveraging their technical brilliance and transitioning to a leadership role. However, while the technical brilliance has taken them far, their people skills have not often been sufficiently developed to succeed as a leader. Hence, they seek the expertise of a Career & Executive Coach to help them explore and understand themselves in a safe space.

The trigger for seeking help can be a myriad of things. As they reach midlife it is natural to question who they are and our place in the world, to re-asses their values and their purpose in life.   Or, it may be that they are unable to progress to the next level due to decision makers believing that they are not competent to take on people responsibility.  Other drivers for help include support to undo bad career habits or to help develop or re-build more authentic relationships in their work and personal lives.

The challenge is that most of our clients have never been provided with a framework or the tools to develop high level people skills. Unfortunately, organisations often can justify technical career development training, but struggle to invest in people skills development.

Personality Profiling assessments are a well validated and reliable tool that we use to help our clients to develop their people skills and become an effective leader across all stakeholder relationships.

 

The role of Personality Profiling in coaching leaders

We often start a coaching program with a new client by completing a feedback session on a personality profiling assessment (MBTI, The Majors or Birkman). This exercise helps our clients to review their preferences on career drivers, their leadership style, team interaction style, how they live their life and also an indication on what might cause them stress.

The assessment provides an objective view on themselves, something that they have not often experienced. This is the first stage of being true to self and thinking about ourselves as an individual rather than labelling, just like job titles and functions.

When exploring personality preferences clients gain deep insights into how they can be more effective in their work and personal life. These insights can help clients to become focussed on their true purpose and gives them confidence to be true to themselves.

Unfortunately, society sets perceptions of what we should do with our life to be accepted. As humans, we want acceptance but sometimes we lose who we truly are in the process. Personality profiling helps us to find the right balance and be true to who we are.

 

Why are we afraid of finding out who we truly are?

Labels are just the beginning of understanding ourselves. Unfortunately, much of the training provided in the workplace does not go beyond the first step of describing the personality type. If a type tool is used (for example MBTI®), then describing the 16 categories is the end of the learning session. To really understand your ‘type’, you need to go beyond this and dig deeper into the analysis of the results and explore how the preferences are used for each individual. Whilst we are labelled with one of the 16 types, we actually use all of the opposite preferences too. The secret to using type is learning how each individual uses all the different preferences, and in what order.

Secondly, the type assessment helps us to understand others. By using the Type framework, we can read behaviours of other people and assess what drives them. If you are working with multiple stakeholders or leading people, this framework will be an invaluable tool to help you to read others’ needs. For example, if you are selling to someone with an S (Sensing) preference they will want evidence or data to convince them to buy. They are unlikely to tell you their preference.  However, their questions or your well-crafted questions will give you clues on their preference.

Contact us to understand more about the range of coaching packages we have on understanding your personal preferences to develop your leadership skills and develop a greater understanding of yourself, your team, management and clients.

When your personality is aligned with what your soul is here to do, nobody can beat you at it’– Oprah Winfrey