What is a pitch?
A pitch is a summary of your claims against the position you’re applying for. It should be concise and relevant to the selection criteria, responsibilities and other position requirements.
It’s your opportunity to tell the selection panel why you’re the right person for the position by backing up your claims with demonstrated evidence.
Generally, employers limit responses to 500 words or one page. Other variations include 600 words, 750 words, 1,000 words and two pages.
This is different from the traditional approach in Government applications where each selection criteria point is addressed individually with headings (around 250-300 words or half-page per response).
Why move to ‘pitch’ from the traditional approach (assessment criteria)?
Limiting responses makes it easier for you to focus on key aspects of your work experience. It also makes it easier for the selections panel to assess your responses and finalise shortlisting in a faster timeframe. This means a more streamlined hiring process that is not labour intensive.
Some do’s and don’ts when preparing your pitch
- Include an opening statement about why you’re attracted to the role and the organisation
- Add a short statement about what you know about the prospective employer as well as how you can use your skills and experience to help them achieve their objectives
- Use 1-2 (maximum of 3) concrete examples to showcase all criteria; these should be the ‘core elements’ of your pitch; then try to link the selection criteria and position requirements to these examples
- Develop your response using the CAR storytelling framework
‘C’ or ‘Circumstance’ – describe the situation, challenge or the problem
‘A’ or ‘Actions’ – describe the things you did to solve the problem or improve the situation
‘R’ or ‘Result’ – finish how your actions helped the organisation; try to be as specific as much as possible by providing numbers or figures
- You can show self-awareness in your examples by discussing what you could have done differently to achieve better outcomes (in short, don’t just say your work was successful but also show how you can improve going forward)
- Make sure to have readable font size (between 10 and 12 points) and use of white space
- Pitch your statements at the right level; if there’s no APS classification level listed (for example, job opportunities at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet or PM&C), try to work out what level of role you want and pitch for that level; this means you have to review the APS Work Level Standards
- Don’t only ‘tell’ your relevant skills and experience through general statements; use concrete examples
- Don’t use bullet points – these could compromise the flow of your narrative and you may come across as lazy
- Don’t try to provide a separate example for each criterion (for example, if the position requires strong communication skills, the ability to problem solve and work as part of a team, you don’t have to use separate examples to demonstrate all these skills)
- Don’t waste precious space in repeating information that’s already mentioned on your resume (for example: “In my former role as an Office Manager at XYZ Company…”)
- Don’t use narrow margins just to fit your response to the page requirement
Still not sure how to structure your pitch?
If you’d like assistance in creating a truly impactful pitch, view our services here.
With such a small space to cover several selection criteria, our team can work with you to choose your strongest examples that would cover several aspects of the application requirements. By integrating keywords relevant to the position, we can produce a concise and compelling pitch that you can use with confidence and back this up with a detailed resume.