November 21, 2009

The Hook

Yesterday, while teaching my Career Development course at the Art Institute of California my students and I came up with the concept of The Hook. It derived from the exercise where each student had 60 seconds to answer the question, "so, tell me about yourself". This would typically be your elevator pitch or speech. But at the heart of it there needs to be a Hook.

As one of my students wrote on the board, THE HOOK, is your unique selling point framed in a story that is engaging and easy to remember - both for you and your "audience". Ideally it has a beginning, middle and end. It demonstrates your core competencies beyond, "I am a team player" and all the other typical cliches that spew forth from us when we are on the job search or prospecting clients.

After each student got up in front of the class to do their 60 seconds, the rest of the class helped them define their Hook. Some didn't have one and so we kept probing until we got to something that made them memorable and unique. Helping a student translate how their gas station experience has prepared them for a job in interior decorating takes some clever thinking. My students are becoming pros at helping each other find the connection, the transition, the Hook.

I suppose that this links directly to defining moments. Framing a defining moment as a unique selling point in your professional career is a great way to connect with your audience. we also realized, if all else fails try humor.