Pitch, please

It’s okay to brag about yourself — actually, we insist that you do

We live in a world where it's only too easy to feel undervalued and underpaid. A key distinction between the "wanters" and the "doers" is, well, the verb itself. Those who "want" spend their time planning, wishing on stars and moving silently. Those who "do" aren't very different – they dream, they wish, they shuffle behind the scenes, but when they leap, you hear them roar.

The doers are the ones who tell the whole world who they are and aren't afraid to brag a little. When there are potentially 35-to-50 other people (just in your city) who can do the same job as you, you need to be able to make your qualities shine, and show employers you're the doer they want. Enter the pitch.

Pitching yourself isn't just a chance to boast about yourself — it's a format that demands some bragging, especially if you know you're the right person for the job. The world thrives on those who put themselves out there and make it known to their potential colleagues that they are the right person for the job.

But pitching yourself is more than just a willingness to brag. The way you put you best foot forward matters, too. Here are five tips that will help you make the perfect pitch.

1 Seek out face-to-face contact with those who need to hear your pitch. Social media can be important to your work life, but most professional growth happens during social gatherings and networking events, and even though we think most jobs are posted online, surveys say up to 70 percent of them aren't.

2 Once you get someone face-to-face, try not to overwhelm them with eagerness. Share a meaningful exchange, practice your firm (but not too tight) handshake and start with a relatable opener.

3 Don't eat or drink too much. An event may be all-you-can-eat (or drink), but that doesn't mean you have to. You don't want to run into a potential client or owner with your mouth full, or get caught with the wine hiccups.

4 Be open to questions but don't talk too much. There is such a thing as an "over-sell." They want to know about you, not your horrible breakup.

5 Have an "elevator pitch" ready to go — a few top points that you can breeze through to leave the perspective employer impressed. By the end of this five-minute convesation the employer should know who you are, what you do and why they should keep you in mind in the future. If you leave them with a piece of information to remember you by, the next time you apply for a job, you'll be a shoo-in.