With the first game of the 2014 World Series in the books, I started thinking about what a perfect pitch looks like. I Imagined a 98 mile per hour fast ball blazing past a batter as he swings with all his might to connect. He swings and misses and the pitch was perfect for a strike. If you had 30 seconds to speak directly to the hiring decision maker for a job you really wanted, what would you say to them? What is YOUR pitch when applying to a job? Is it perfect or would you get knocked out of the park? As a headhunter, I ask my candidates to write up their pitch to the decision maker of the job they are applying to, so I can gauge how well they will do in an interview. If you can’t describe who you are and why you deserve the job in a written paragraph, how well do you think you would do when asked the question on the spot and in person? Know who YOU are and why you DESERVE the job, and explain what’s in it for THEM! Don’t stutter or stammer; be confident in yourself and what you bring to the company. Sales is about product knowledge and confidence, and it’s never more critical than when selling yourself. Think about it from the hiring manager’s position, if you can’t sell yourself (something you know better than anyone) then how will you possibly sell their product or service? A major league pitcher doesn’t just walk up to the mound and pitch a perfect pitch without first spending hours of practice to get it right. You should do the same on your personal pitch. It’s not easy to try and summarize your life’s accomplishments into a 30 second pitch, but it might be a little easier if you structure it something like this. Begin by deciding if you are qualified for the position and if so, what your experience has done to back that decision up. Next, make the pitch focused on the company you are looking to work for, and how you are the best choice. Finally, if you are in sales, add a close to the end of your pitch. As an example, “Hi, my name is Bob Rollins and I’ve been headhunting top producing sales guys for over ten years. I would love to find ‘ABC Company’ some top performers that will consistently blow away their quota. When can we sit down to discuss what a sales producer looks like to you?” My pitch gave a quick validation that I know what I’m doing, but then turned everything towards the company (not me) and set expectations of success by working with me. With my pitch, my objective was to build a strong case for the person to want to sit down with me and further discuss working together. What does your pitch do for you? Do you even know your pitch? If not, put on your thinking cap and figure it out. Write it down and practice saying it aloud until you feel like it’s a winner!