Landing your dream job is all about showcasing your value. You can do that in a number of ways, like through your resume/CV and cover letter. But sometimes it’s helpful to have a document that you can use as an elevator pitch or to stand out during the shortlisting process. A pitch deck is simply a visual representation of who you are and what makes you great, presented in the simplest way possible so that anyone can understand it quickly.
Presentation of your Personal Pitch Deck
A good pitch deck will contain:
a design that is appropriate for your industry that has impact and is memorable
a font that’s easy to read
succinct text with no waffle or unnecessary words
images that convey your personality
Why use a pitch deck instead of a resume?
You need a pitch deck to help you stand out from the crowd.
You may think that your resume is enough to get you an interview, but it isn’t. Recruiters and hiring managers receive hundreds of applications for each position they post, and they have very little time to review them all before making a decision about whom to call in for an interview. What they look for in those initial applications is something that will catch their attention—and make them want to learn more about you.
A personal pitch deck can do just that: it will show why you are the best candidate for this job (or any job) by demonstrating how well-suited your skills, experience, and personality are for what the employer needs now. No one cares about where you went to school or what type of car you drive; they care about how your skills and passion can help them achieve their goals!
The building blocks of your pitch deck
A pitch deck is a visual presentation that you can use to communicate your story, vision and value proposition. Depending on the job you are applying for, you can tailor your pitch to suit with a combination (or all) of the following topics:
Define your core values. This is as simple as writing down a handful of words that describe your core beliefs and principles. For example, I value transparency and innovation. An inclusion of a mission statement or personal quote is another great addition here.
Your story. You can include your personal brand story. Explain what makes you unique, from the perspective of your employer. The most important part of this section is to explain what drives you and what inspires you in your career, so that hiring managers know why they should hire you. You can talk about how much research went into picking one particular field or project over another.
Family and down time. How do you relax? who do you hang out with?
Education and experience. Provide a quick summary of academic achievements, focussing on recent experience and learned insights that are applicable to the job. Other accreditation and certifications can be covered in this section
Project showcase. If you have something you are proud of and want to highlight, it's highly recommended that you include it here. For example, if you created an app for the mobile market or built a website for a client, this is where that sort of thing should go. There are no hard rules here—just make sure whatever project showcases your skills, values and education/experience best fits in this section.
Inspirational Figures. A collection of quotes or reasons why certain people inspire you helps future employers complete the picture of what makes you tick.
Employment timeline. Graphically illustrate your working career along a timeline, highlighting when certain skills were learned, promotions received or other milestones along the way.
Interests. Showcase your hobbies with interesting images and anecdotes.
Skills & core strengths. Provide a checklist/summary of your skills (include all, even if you think they are not appropriate for the job).
Reviews, feedback, endorsements, testimonials and recommendations. Ask previous employers or clients to write a review - one paragraph from them will be a great addition to the deck.
Going forward. What are your goals and how to they tie in with what you can offer your new employer.
Specific sections or portfolio. If you are an author you could showcase your publications. If you are a video editor, add in links to your work. If your social media following is important, include a list of appropriate statistics. If you organised a conference, add in a feature about attendance stats, post feedback etc. Tailor this section specifically to your situation and achievements.
Unknown trivia. List four facts or funny stories - the reader needs to guess the incorrect one - then reveal they are all true!
Call to action. Conclude with a statement about hoping you are a good fit and your current contact details (in case your pitch is separated from your resume and cover letter)
Points to note
Make sure your pitch isn't too long. A super entertaining pitch may get away with being up to 20 pages long, but the goal here is to keep it to ten pages. It can accompany your resume and cover letter and can feature more about your personality and highlight accolades, leaving your resume to fill in the details.
When presenting a personal pitch deck, submit in a PDF format (please avoid a Word doc or PowerPoint slides).
A Personal Pitch Deck is a key tool that can help you land your dream job. It also makes a great addition to any other application materials you may choose to include with your application, and can be used in the same way across jobs, internships, grants and scholarships as well as fellowships.
It is important that the design of your pitch is on point. If a picture says a thousand words, I don't know how many words a expertly designed pitch can say! Don't leave anything to chance and enlist the help of a professional designer. The money spent will be well worth it and when you receive the call to attend an interview you will be very glad you invested in your application.
Looking for inspiration? Check out these Personal Pitch Decks for some ideas!