Marketing skills are an essential for anyone in the midst of a career search. You might think you’re prepared if you’ve already done a thorough self-assessment of your personal qualities, accomplishments, skills, knowledge, lifestyle needs, goals and objectives. But, first, you need to put it all together in a “this-is-me” format, which is also known as a self-statement.

Your self-statement will serve as a valuable commercial that you can use during networking contacts and interviews. You usually only have a few minutes to capture the attention of your audience and you will need to supply information that focuses on your strongest points.

A person creates their first image of you based upon what you say. Start your self-statement with current information, then highlight your background and finish with an ending appropriate to your listener. Keep the content of your self-statement simple so that your listener can process the information quickly.

Here is an example of a sports marketing executive’s two-minute self-statement, or commercial:

Information Related to the Present

“I am a senior level marketing executive with significant experience in sports manufacturing.”

Personal Qualities

“I have built strong teams by supporting the ideas of the team members and have been able to motivate my staff to achieve high levels of performance.”

Accomplishments

“One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is my management of the introduction of a top-selling line of athletic clothing with sales that topped $250 million the first year.”

Skills

“My strongest skills are my creativity and the innovative methods that I use to introduce new products. My division earned recognition at an international conference for its cutting edge approach to marketing the company’s products.”

Education and Knowledge

“I completed a Master’s Degree in marketing from a top Ivy League university.”

Lifestyle Needs

“I have gained international recognition as a top-notch marketing expert and I have written articles for several publications on the topic. I am active in professional associations which provide me with the opportunity for personal growth. Because of family considerations, I prefer to remain within the state.”

Goals and Objectives

“My career goals are focused on continuing both as an individual contributor and as a manager in a sports marketing environment. It is important to me to work with an organization that encourages growth and recognizes contributions through performance bonus plans.”

Once you have completed your career self-assessment, you can create your own two-minute commercial. You may also wish to develop a shorter 30-second version to use for telephone contacts. A well-prepared self-statement will help you put your best foot forward in all of your job search activities.

Taking the next step

Many people remember the uneasy moment of silence that filled the room when they first met someone and were faced with the universal line, “So, tell me about yourself.” We’ve discussed how to develop a self-statement about yourself so that you are prepared to answer this question. Now, we will expand upon that idea.

To avoid stammering out an unrehearsed answer when you are asked about yourself, you need to prepare yourself in advance for the question. The ability to effectively communicate with someone is crucial whether someone is looking for a job or they are settled in their career. Each new contact is a networking opportunity and everyone needs to make the most of it.

Prepare at least two self-statements, or commercials, to use during networking activities and interviews. These commercials should contain a brief description of someone, their accomplishments and what they want from the networking contact.

Create both 30-second and two-minute versions. Telephone contacts usually allow only enough time for the 30-second commercial, while the two-minute self-statement is perfect for the “tell me about yourself” question. The self-statement should answer several questions:

* What I am? Two or three words that best describe what you are, your profession or strongest quality.

Examples: Motivational Leader; Sports Marketing Executive.

* What have I done? Your strongest areas of accomplishment.

Examples: Launched successful promotional campaign for ABC team; Created logos for DEF and GHI professional teams.

* What I know. Your most desirable areas of education or knowledge.

Examples: Honors Graduate of JKL University; Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Broadcasting.

* What I have to offer. Why they should be interested in you.

Examples: Creative cost saver; Known for on-time performance in product distribution.

* Other important life experience. Your community involvement.

Examples: Board Member of local YMCA; 10-year Coach of various Little League teams

* What I’m doing now?

Examples: Director of Marketing for XYZ Sports Corp.; New Graduate of ABC University.

* What I want to do in the future.

Examples: Work in the non-profit sector; Land a position in the legal department of a sports-related organization.

Now, put together all of the answers to these questions in brief sentences and phrases to form the 30-second commercial:

Example: “I am a sports marketing executive who launched the well-known promotional campaign for ABC team in Phoenix, an honors graduate of JKL University and a creative cost saver. I have served on the board of the YMCA here. Currently, I’m the Director of Marketing for XYZ Sports Corporation. However, I’d like to use my expertise in the non-profit sector.”

For the two-minute, person-to-person self-statement, expand on each part of the 30-second statement. Information can be added about previous positions, community involvement and personal information. Include goals which reflect knowledge of and interest in the industry.

As former Indiana University head basketball coach Bobby Knight said, “The will to succeed is important, but what’s even more important is the will to prepare.”

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