Looking for a job? You need to be clear, specific, and have a plan.

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You’ve decided to change jobs. Or maybe you’re looking to reinvent your career completely. Whatever your motivation, you need to clearly articulate what you’re looking for in your next role. And you need to be specific. In my work with clients, I am amazed at how frequently many clients are unable to articulate what they want.

I’ve got news for you. No company out there is looking for a Director of Whatever or a VP of Anything in Operations. No. You need to not only know what it is you want to do, but you also need to be able to convey that message in a way that puts the focus on your audience—the employer. I say this all the time— seeking a new role and interviewing are not about you. These activities are all about the employer and the value you can bring to them.

Create a succinct and pithy statement that conveys who you are and what it is you do. “I’m in logistics” or “I’m a finance guy” doesn’t cut it. What every hiring manager wants in a new hire is someone who can solve their problems quickly. “I’m a marketing leader who leverages best practices in branding and social media to drive revenue and growth” is a statement that immediately tells someone who you are, what you do, and what value you can bring to the organization. 

Here are some tips for crafting your personal statement:

It should be self-promotional. This is not the time to be humble. Highlight your skills, expertise, and the value you can bring to the organization. Does it sound salesy? It should. You’re selling your most valuable product—YOU!

Avoid buzzwords. The point of your personal statement is to be clear and succinct. So don’t talk about kicking the tires to gain traction or shifting paradigms. Keep it simple. Keep it lucid.

Mention your goals. This demonstrates that you’ve thought through what it is you’re looking to accomplish, and you’re focused.

Keep it brief. Your personal statement should be no more than two sentences and should take you no longer than 30 seconds to speak aloud. Anything beyond this will cause your audience to lose interest. 

Be persuasive. This should be a compelling statement. Does it engage your audience? Does it sound genuine, or does it seem contrived?

Practice. Practice your statement until it becomes rote. Yes, rote. Memorize it and be able to pull it out whenever you need it. 

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Spend some time writing down what’s most important to you in your next career move. Think about how that aligns with your long-term goals. Craft your messaging around the value you bring and the problems you solve. If you’re having trouble bringing your point across, or if you need guidance, you may want to consider working with a career coach.

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