If Twitter and Instagram are your thing, you’ve got the building blocks of a strategy to win over the employer of our dreams. If they’re not, don’t worry. Start here.
Wherever we are on the job ladder, we should start with a tweet. We don’t need to be Donald Trump, sending out messages at all hours of the day. We don’t even need to be on Twitter. What we need to think about is what would we say about ourselves in a single text message or tweet?
In no more than 50 words, draft a personal statement that says what you’ve done, what you can offer and what you’re looking for.
Remember the lonely hearts ads that were published in the newspapers? They’re not around so much now, but another way to think of a personal statement is a bit like one of these. ‘Young female teacher with good sense of humour and a passion for hill-walking seeks male similar.’ Only it’s a new boss we’re looking for, not a date.
The power of a personal statement cannot be stressed enough. It is the seed from which everything else grows – a CV, a cover letter, and our responses at interview.
Watch any politician on TV and see how many times they use the same phrase over and over again in a single interview. It can be annoying but it gets the message across. When we’re applying for a job, we need to do the same. What we say in a personal statement, and at the top of our CV, should then be reinforced with the skills we list and examples of when we used them. The experience we describe should reflect what we’ve said about ourselves. And so should the job we’re going for.
THE ELEVATOR PITCH
If the personal statement is concise enough, it should be locked inside our head, ready to be called on should the opportunity arise.
Referred to as ‘the elevator pitch’, the idea goes like this: You’re in a lift and the boss of a company you want to work for gets in. You have a once in a lifetime opportunity and 30 seconds to tell them what you’re looking for, what you have to offer and find out how to get your foot in the door. It helps to be confident (for confidence tricks click here), but what do you say?
There are plenty of places offering to help us get our CV sorted out but they often don’t make sure ours is different to the next person’s. They don’t bother with a short personal statement, which is where we can make that winning first impression on paper. Read our tips on how to write a winning CV.
Thinking of a personal statement like a tweet or a text message, (or a lonely heart ad, for that matter), helps us keep it concise. After this, we can draw on other forms of social media that we can borrow ideas from. Think of a cover letter like a Facebook post, our CV like a LinkedIn profile and our interview like a video blog (or ‘vlog’) we might find on YouTube.