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The Elevator Pitch and the T-Letter

By  May 25, 2008

Topics: Certification

Fortunately, I have done well historically in handling job interviews, from initial inquiry through responding to a job offer. However, many of my industry friends and associates...shall we say...aren't so hot in this department. In this post I will share two excellent tips for better job success in the IT industry.

The Elevator Pitch

Wikipedia defines an elevator pitch as "an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (say, thirty seconds or 100-150 words)."

As an IT industry job candidate, you want to encapsulate the great gifts, skills, and abilities that you can bring to bear for the company in question into a 30-second summary. You then can roll out this summary either in speech or in writing, as the case may be, in order to win the attention and interest of the hiring manager in question.

Believe me, you need to have more to offer a company than a string of certification acronyms after your name.

Check out the following collection of Web links to help get you started with crafting your elevator pitch:

The T-Letter

Let's have the good folks at TechWR-L describe the purpose of the T-letter:

"A T-letter is like a cover letter, except that it doesn't 'cover' anything. After an introductory paragraph, the T-letter includes two columns. In the left column, you list the prospective employer's job requirements; in the right column, you list your qualifications as they match the job requirements. The T-letter focuses on what the initial screening person needs to know to qualify you for the next step: The interview."

Here are some more references on crafting T-letters:

I have experienced wonderful return on investment (ROI) on sending unsolicited T-letters to key decisionmakers in industry. Truth be told, much of my thriving consulting business (including my present position with Pearson) resulted from well-crafted T-letters.

In summary, I want to stress the importance of job-hunting skills as well as certified technical competency. The goal is to be as well-rounded a candidate as possible.

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