A Career Hackers' Classic, read the full post here.
The value of resumes has decreased heavily with an increased rate of so many people having decent-looking ones. You need more, something to stand out.
You need a pitch deck.
Pitch decks are usually used by professionals to tell stories and information about their companies or products. It makes them stand out from a pack of business plans.
And the reason it works so well is that it tells a story.
And here is why you need one-
It Tells a Story
Sit down and put a pitch deck together. Ask yourself ‘what is my story?’ and this will force you to get out of the resume- padding bullet pointed-list mindset.
Connecting what you’ve done by a good narrative thread is a more compelling way of telling that you’ve achieved an ‘X’ or ‘Y’ thing, which are barely related to each other. Mix in the facts and let people know the things that you’ve achieved, but tell a story in it.
It Leaves an Impression
The biggest and most practical advantage of putting together the pitch deck is that it actually leaves an impression on the person you are sending it to. A pitch deck is unique and interesting and even a poorly-done pitch desk shows a business that you’ve taken the time to present something unique to them.
It Forces You to Reflect
Young ambitious people way too often have no idea what their story is because they never stopped to ask themselves what they are good at and what they want to achieve.
The reason why putting together reports and meeting agendas is useful is because it forces the person putting these together to reflect on what they are doing. So, take the time to reflect on the story you lived.
The Nuts and Bolts
Putting together a pitch deck needs logical presentation and storytelling which means telling your professional story in a logical flow that makes sense to your audience. It should be visually engaging with no more than 20 words on any given slide of the PowerPoint. And to put more details, use the presenter notes underneath the slides.
Your first slides should show you off with a punchline that can be three words that describe you or an elevator pitch.
Show off your work experience using photos, embedded videos, and visualized data. Show how you practically added value to these projects. Most of the resumes show what you did rather than how you added value which makes the information useless.
Use a bar chart to illustrate your skills comparing them against each other- on a scale out of 100. Your very best skills should be close to 100. Remember not to clutter up the slide. Using 3-5 different skill sets helps to minimize clutter.
Display the best endorsements in a few sentences prominently in your pitch deck. This would be like a customer testimonial or an adviser slide of a startup pitch deck.
Social proof is huge
Display it right after your skills and before your ask. This will help back up your analysis of yourself and make sure it is fresh in the mind of the reader.
Include an ask. If it is a generic deck you can send to potential clients, you can leave it generic. If it is for a specific company or role, alter it for that. Saying something like, “I’ve proven myself before, now I want to drive sales for [company].” is a good move.
Add your contact details in the last slide like your website, LinkedIn, blog, or any other social presence. Try to make it visually appealing.
A powerful excerpt from the blog:
“Storytelling is so much more powerful than a bullet-pointed list. Mix in the facts and let people know the things that you’ve achieved, but tell a story in it.”
Read the full blog post here.
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