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Shelly Palmer

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Improve Your Job Search by Using Hollywood Pitch Techniques


If you think getting your next job is tough, try selling a movie idea. Since studios are seeing many more ideas than your potential next employer sees candidates, the Hollywood Pitch has been honed to generate an immediate desire to purchase.

If you are intrigued with this concept, here’s the first article worth reading: Meet Hollywood’s Mr. Pitch from Fast Company. The opening paragraph makes it clear that the best idea (candidate) doesn’t necessarily win (get the job). “Often, it’s the idea [candidate] with the best pitch that wins.” For marketers, this shouldn’t be a surprise.

He talks about making the sale using one or two sentences that are so powerful that your audience is compelled to get so excited they don’t want you to leave the room before agreeing on the deal.

Joseph Finder, a NY Times bestselling author, wrote in his blog What’s a Hook? The Art of the Pitch:

“I’m convinced that if you can’t ‘pitch’ it in a sentence, you don’t have the story figured out yet.”

This applies whether you’ll pitching a book, movie, TV show … or yourself.

Finder also writes about high concept — “a story idea that can be easily grasped” — as well as appealing. Another approach he presents is having a great “what if” that I translate into job search terms as promising a great benefit if they hire you (his meaning may be much different).

Several articles included the advice that a pitch is not a summary of the plot, therefore not a recitation of your career, even in reverse chronological order.

Deep in the article Pitch Like the Hollywood Pros: The 8 R’s of the Perfect PR Pitch are these three traits, which seem particularly important for job search:

  • Relevance: You must make it obvious and undeniable that you have the right background and necessary skills.
  • Freshness: You must be up to date and different than any other candidate.
  • Brevity: You have to communicate your positioning in one or two sentences.

[Note: The traits are selected from a list in the article, but the commentary is mine.]

Many of these articles emphasize that the total sale takes fifteen to thirty-five minutes, but you only get to present the full story if the quick pitch generates the necessary interest.

Finally, this links back to another blog post I wrote about Career Advice from Hollywood, still one of my favorites.

(This content was originally posted at MENGonline.)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.