Susan Strayer, a friend of mine, posed a question on twitter the other day (by the way, come follow me there – it’s a very cool platform): “Can you sum up your expertise in 140 characters or less?” Great question. A few people took her up on the challenge. Me being an overachiever, I did it in three words. Before I dive in, let me set some context.
For some odd reason, headhunters like to talk to me. Maybe it’s because I actually pick up the phone and listen to them. Or maybe because I’ll have them send me a job spec and I’ll forward it along to colleagues who might fit the role (which makes the headhunter’s job infinitely simpler and, incidentally, it gives me first crack at seeing the opportunities before I pass them along). Occasionally though, I’ll talk to them about a role for me. Invariably they ask me to summarize my experience.
That’s the moment where Susan’s “twitter pitch” approach comes in really handy. Mine goes something like this:
“I like roles where I can demonstrate two things: leadership and impact.”
When they ask me to explain and elaborate, I articulate how I view leadership as both people leadership and thought leadership. I can then use that structure to explain roles I’ve been in and how I’ve led in those respective areas. It gives the headhunter an easy framework to understand my experience in that arena.