I mean, c’mon, what does that really mean?
You love working with all people? Doubt it.
You communicate well with all people? Doubt it.
When I say I am a dog person, it conveys that I love all dogs. Not exactly true. I’m not a fan of little yippy dogs. I like big dogs, Great Pyrenees is my favorite breed. Anything under 60 pounds is, in my eyes, a small dog. Two of my three dogs outweigh me.
The third is a Puggle, who reigns supreme over the other two; and she does not yip.
Saying you are a people person is an empty statement, a space filler and meaningless. It truly does not describe you but rather conveys that you are a generalist.
Stop making generalizations about yourself. There is nothing that will tune an audience of 1 or 100 out quicker than making generalizations.
Why? Because they apply to no one. Therefore, if it is not important, why listen?
When you are job searching, advancing in your career, engaging new clients or networking the one thing you do not want to happen is people tuning you out. Game over.
You are not a generality, you are not insignificant; you provide or add value.
The key is you have to discover how.
There may be many ways in which you do this so start with asking yourself the following questions and writing down your answers:
What do I do?
How do I do it?
Whom do I work with?
What is the benefit they receive from working with me?
Now, if you were to use all the information you just gathered from the above questions you would have quite the lengthy elevator pitch and end up sounding like a yippy dog after the first minute or two.
You don’t want to be a yippy dog; so let’s not stop there.
Now is the time to cut it down for impact. Let me give you a bit of insight about the people you are talking to: we have a short attention span. Please do not force us to try to politely concentrate for three minutes when we got lost after the first 15 seconds.
It is painful.
We need to the point, attention-getting statements that peak our interest. Give me something to hold on to a hook, a morsel. If you blurt out everything about yourself what motivation do I have to continue the conversation?
I already know everything about you.
And odds are I have misinterpreted something.
Boil it down to the most important value that you bring and how it relates to me.
That is how you get my attention and that is how you get me to ask you a question and engage in conversation.
Yippy dogs keep yipping; big dogs bark less frequency and with more power. Big dogs get attention, yippy dogs get ignored.
Be your own big dog. They are awesome.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach & Brand Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer