Development of a message to get a new job


If you’re looking for a new gig, you’ve probably studied every tip. You’ve read the books, articles, and long Twitter threads on how to find a job, from A to Z. The literature is vast and valuable.

But there’s one thing we don’t talk about enough, and that’s your message: your gist, your why, your main idea. It’s the message that enables you to inspire those who are hiring – and everyone else along the way.

Every job seeker needs a compelling message.


Your message is simply the main point you want to convey about yourself. It is the basis of the story you will tell during your quest.

At school we were taught to write with a “thesis”. Without a thesis, we were told, our essays lack coherence. We couldn’t convince without a thesis. In business, too, we need a thesis for every communication: every presentation, every speech, every answer to a question needs a common thread. I’ve built a business and career teaching leaders how to speak with a strong, clear message.

Because without a message, what we say is literally meaningless.

When looking for a job, you need that compelling idea that carries you through every interview, every job interview. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to change your message every time you see a new job — and if you do that, you can’t sound centered or authentic. Those you meet won’t know why they should believe in you or what you believe about yourself.


To determine your message, ask yourself, “What is it a big thing about me that will captivate the decision makers I meet in my job search.”

This message should be inspirational – and based on your particular strengths. No one will care if you say “I’m goal oriented” or “I’m a self starter” or “I like to work alone”.

To create your message, sit down with a recording device and pretend to answer the “Tell me about yourself” question. A marketing professional might have this as their first cut: “I’m passionate about marketing and have gained market share at three consecutive companies. I did this by having a keen strategic sense for each market we entered. Now I’m ready for a CMO role!”

This is too long to be an idea. Shrink it down to one sentence. For example: “I’m an experienced Marketing Executive with strong market intelligence and a proven track record – ready for a CMO role.” Now you have a clear, powerful idea to share.

Focus on that one message about yourself.


This one idea can be adapted for all your encounters. It’s not expressed exactly the same way every time, but using it over and over again will create a thematic continuity.

Suppose your message is as follows: I’m a seasoned HR professional with a strong track record of building employee engagement.” For a short elevator pitch, your message might be, “I’m really good at employee engagement.”

For a networking conversation, it might be: “I would appreciate if you would help me find a senior human resources position that builds on my strong background in employee engagement.”

And in a job interview, your message might be something like this: “I have a strong HR background in employee engagement and I would love to bring that expertise to the role we are talking about.”


All of these versions of your message will serve you well as you self-script during your job search.

A defining message will focus your search. We keep hearing about candidates applying for 50, 100, 200, even 400 positions. This becomes a game of darts. Your message focuses on who you are, what you bring to the table and which select group of positions are right for you.

A single message will also give your entire job search a thematic unity. Armed with a single message, you won’t think about delivering your elevator pitch and networking script and interview script as separate events. They will be chapters in your story, and your story will have a much better outcome when you have a narrative that makes a point.

Having a single message has another benefit: it puts you in control of every conversation. You won’t ask yourself, “What should I say?” You are not in a reactive mode. You will proactively know what to convey – because that one idea will produce a clear and coherent narrative.

After all, once you have that big idea planted in your head, you won’t stumble when asked about your experiences or your goals. You have a ready statement that allows you to project supreme confidence.

How do you know if you’ve achieved this consistency? If someone heard you give your elevator pitch, overheard your networking call, and had a fly on the wall during your interview, they might say, “Ah, that’s the same person. And what a strong candidate she is!” Development of a message to get a new job


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