3 Creative Ways Highly Successful Women Pitch Themselves
Career Growth

3 Creative Ways Highly Successful Women Pitch Themselves

by Abby Roskind
December 09, 2015

AFTER COUNTLESS HOURS OF RESEARCHING, WRITING COVER LETTERS, APPLYING, SOUL SEARCHING, DESPARIING, AND REPEATING THIS CYCLE, I FINALLY LEARNED SOMETHING.

I was approaching my application process in the wrong way. When pitching yourself, it's tempting to be formulaic. Not only does it save you time, but also grief if you are rejected. Afterall, one application is just a small step in the grand scheme of your employment search. Keeping that distance allows the process, or rejection, to feel less personal than if you were to spill your soul onto the screen. And it's a huge mistake to make. 

To truly succeed in “pitching yourself,” and land one of those coveted positions, you must master speaking about why you do what you do in a concise, genuine, and logical way. {Click to Tweet}

1. Concise­: Being direct shows that you really know what you’re talking about, and that you value your listener’s time. 

2. Genuine:­ Of course, it’s always easier (and more believable) to pitch something you are passionate about (duh).

3. Logical:­ You can’t exactly say you want to run a country while knowing nothing about current events.

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples of the creative ways that highly successful women market themselves, and their work. 

KRISTINA SALEN, CFO OF ETSY 

Her Pitch:

“As CFO since last year of an online marketplace with one million vendors of handmade goods, my job is to help others do. I’m a strategic therapist. I listen to my colleagues, listen for opportunities, hear their problems and help them prioritize. A CFO’s job is really to enable growth over a multi­-year period, to help determine whether plans will sustain growth.”

Why It's Great:

In her self-­assessment, Salen highlights her strengths, how she uses them, and exhibits her clear understanding of what her position requires. By giving herself the title, "strategic therapist," she provides accurate and self-aware descriptions of how she envisions her role at Etsy, which illustrates how well she fits within the company culture. Although Salen’s making these statements in terms of her current position, the same argument could be rephrased as, “As CFO, I would...” 

When pitching yourself, it's tempting to be formulaic. Not only does it save you time, but also grief if you are rejected. 

EMILY WEISS, FOUNDER AND CEO OF INTO THE GLOSS AND GLOSSIER

Her Pitch: 

“I just interviewed Isabel Marant the other day, who I’ve been dying to talk to for three years because she doesn’t colour her hair or wear any make up. I am just as interested in why a woman decides that’s her M.O. in life as I am in a woman who won’t leave the house without flat ironing her hair everyday." 

"I’m always observing people and their style, so I would stop girls on the street and ask to take their picture and pitch them to [Teen Vogue]. Quite often, the magazine would say yes and they would have me style the shoot or write the piece. I learned to see every story in a very 360 degree way, from concept to pitching to execution; from ‘Who is she? How are we seeing her? What’s her story? How are we going to capture that?’ to the layout and ultimately seeing the whole process.”

Why It's Great:

Weiss initially got involved in the beauty world by identifying gaps in how the established fashion media covered beauty. She realized that people were only getting a fraction of what they wanted, and women were inundated with this mantra of “next, next, next” in regards to beauty trends and products. She wanted to slow things down and offer something more substantive—something that felt more trusted and personal, like a friend giving you the inside scoop on her most recent mascara purchase. 

Weiss created Glossier in hopes that it would “encourage women to be O.K. wherever [they] are.” {Click to Tweet} Her real-world philosophy and undaunted curiosity about people's routines and beauty regimens put her on the cutting edge of beauty blogging, and now, beauty products. Her commitment to honest dialogue and candor makes her trustworthy, and she's clearly not afraid to innovate. It's a perfect pairing, and it's definitely working out. Boy brow is next level stuff. 

JEAN CHATZKY, FINANCIAL EDITOR OF NBC'S TODAY SHOW

Her Pitch: 

“I [am] a fact­checker. And I was proud of it... It was while I was at SmartMoney that I was tapped to be the financial editor of NBC’s Today show. I’ve always believed that I got this job because I found a way to make difficult subjects understandable—to lay them out in plain English. I did it for you, but—make no mistake—I also did it for me... I spent more than I made, racking up high interest rate credit card debt equal to a full half-­year’s salary. I withdrew money from my 401(k) rather than rolling it over when I left my first job—costing myself taxes and penalties. And I ceded control of way too much of the money in my life to others. I realized that I needed to understand money so that I could fix what was wrong in my financial life—and by understanding it, and fixing it, I was able to explain what I was doing to anyone who was willing to listen.”

Quite often, the magazine would say yes and they would have me style the shoot or write the piece. I learned to see every story in a very 360 degree way.

Why It's Great: 

Chatzky's very candid about the fact that her pursuit of a career in financial advice stemmed from hardships of her own, demonstrating that she understands her personal biases. She identified a real issue in her life and moved to correct it. At some point, a future, potential employer will ask you, “What’s your worst quality?” or "Explain a time you failed." Chatzky's pitch is a great example of how to take a failure and spin it, showcasing results-oriented thinking.

WRITE YOUR OWN PERSONAL PITCH

So how do you use these women as examples when describing your own experiences? Download our free personal pitch worksheet to start brainstorming your own unique ways to sell yourself to potential employers. {Click to Tweet}

Practice speaking about your professional passions when you go out, to yourself in the mirror or whenever you have some idle time. Think about pitching your business, idea, brand, or yourself in a conversation. You'll want to explain who you are, and what really makes you tick. If you can explain this well, it’s hard for others not to listen.

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Here's a cool thing: share your personal pitch with us in our comments section, and we'll give you some personalized feedback.