Career Edge - Find The Best Jobs Locally

Crafting Your Pitch

Pitches are more than what you see on the baseball field. Whether you're applying for a job, a scholarship, or an internship, putting your best foot forward requires something that catches people's attention in a positive way. Even if you know the subject matter, you still have to express yourself well on paper. Unfortunately, not everyone is good at doing this. These people may be great businessmen and women, and they may speak eloquently and with passion, but if what they write down is confusing or doesn't read well, they can lose out on a lot of opportunities they would have had.

One of the first things you need to know when crafting your pitch is how to use an acceptable format to express interest in a particular job. If you're too formal for a casual job, you might be seen as stuffy or pretentious. The person doing the hiring will determine that you don't fit in, and you won't even get to the interview stage. However, if you're not formal enough, and you don't take an important job seriously, you also stand to lose out. Anyone who doesn't seem focused on the scope and significance of the job probably won't make it to the interview stage, either.

You also need to get through keyword filters when you apply online. Many companies have set up their application processes to look for specific words used by applicants or contained on their resumes. If you don't match those words you'll likely not be asked for an interview. That's very unfortunate, because you might have just the skills the company is looking for. It's all in how you present yourself and whether you say what the company is expecting to hear. Consider the scope of the job, and what kinds of people the company seems to be looking for. Without lying, rephrase and reframe your pitch and resume to match words the company would likely want to see. That can get you in the door and on to the interview.

Mistakes are a big problem in many pitches. If you aren't that good with spelling and grammar, make sure you use at least one good spelling and grammar checker to avoid simple mistakes. You can also have a friend or family member who's good with language read over what you've created. Hiring an editor is also a possibility if you have the funds for that. In short, you should do whatever it takes to make sure that a misspelling isn't what takes you out of the running for a job you really want and may also really need.

Your pitch should be honest and open, but it should also remain professional. Don't talk about your hobbies or your family unless there is a very specific reason to or a realistic tie-in with the job you're applying for. For example, if you have a special needs child and are applying for work in that field, that's relevant. If you're applying to an auto restoration shop and your hobby for the last 15 years has been restoring classic cars, that's also relevant.

If you don't have that kind of tie-in, though, avoid personal information that's not needed. The person doing the hiring wants to know how and why you'll be good for the job. He or she isn't interested in your life story. Read and re-read your pitch. Read it out loud. You'll often catch mistakes and awkward phrasing that you wouldn't have noticed if you didn't hear the words being said. By following easy tips and taking the process seriously, you'll be well on your way to crafting a great pitch.