Selling Yourself with the Present-Past-Future Formula

May 30, 2019

Career Advice

Whether you’re headed to a networking event or on your way to a job interview, you know you’ll have to talk about yourself. It’s not an easy thing to do. But there is a formula you can follow that demystifies the process and makes you sound extremely prepared and put together.

It’s called the Present-Past-Future Formula. The Muse sums it up well in article called A Simple Formula for Answering, “Tell Me About Yourself”: “First you start with the present—where you are right now. Then, segue into the past—a little bit about the experiences you’ve had and the skills you gained at the previous position. Finally, finish with the future—why you are really excited for this particular opportunity.”

If you’re attending a networking event, start by stating your name and what you do at which company. Follow that with a summary of what your last position was, and finally finish with what you hope to gain out of this networking event or this particular conversation. Perhaps you’re hoping to better familiarize yourself with the industry or you’re looking for new vendors to assist with an upcoming project. It may sound like a lot, but three sentences is the perfect amount to state who you are and what your purpose is.

If you’re on a job interview, this formula becomes even more important. It’s a great way to open up the interview on a great note and direct the conversation in your favor. Again, you’ll seem very prepared and put together. After all, you can never assume that each person who interviews you has memorized your resume but this little pitch gets everyone on the same page. Who are you and what are you looking for? That is the ultimate goal.

What’s your Present-Past-Future pitch? Comment below!

Image via Hernán Piñera/Flickr.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

View all posts by Spectrum Brands Careers


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