First impressions count, but how can you be memorable in less than a minute? Creating an effective elevator pitch can ensure that you have a message that sticks. This is especially important during a job search.
As a job seeker, an elevator pitch can be beneficial in your most important scenarios. It can come in handy when talking to employers at a job fair, or responding to the infamous interview prompt, “Tell me about yourself.” Knowing how to form your pitch can help you land your next job opportunity.
So… What Is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch is a description of yourself that you can give in 30-60 seconds. It should be short enough that you could deliver it in an elevator ride, hence the name.
Why Is It Important?
It only takes seconds for hiring managers to form an opinion about a candidate. A strong elevator pitch tells your professional story in a way that is concise and interesting. It can also demonstrate your personality and soft skills; things that can’t be shown on your resume. Having a pitch ready shows your confidence and ambition from the start.
Crafting An Elevator Pitch as a Job Seeker
When thinking about your elevator pitch, you should say three things: who you are, what you do, and what you want to do:
Who Are You?
This is where you will introduce your professional self. Think about your background, interests, and past employment.
What Do You Do?
This is where you’ll put the good stuff. What are your skills and strengths as an employee? In what areas do you add value? Do you have numbers to prove it? If you know the answers to these questions, put them in your pitch! Branding yourself as valuable and unique will make you stand out as a candidate.
What Do You Want to Do?
If you are job seeking, your basic goal is to find employment, but be more specific than that. Express that you’re looking to use your skills and add value to their team. State what field or position you intend to work in.
Here’s an example that follows these three steps:
“I’m a recent college graduate with a degree in graphic design. I’m passionate about delivering messages through compelling visuals. I take pride in my expertise in Adobe Suite, my time management skills, and my eye for creative design. My most recent project included making infographics for my university’s Instagram page. My graphics increased our social media engagement by 20%. I'm certain that I can add a unique layer to your company’s key messages as a Graphic Designer."
More Tips for an Outstanding Elevator Pitch
- Rehearse: You should be familiar with your pitch, but you don’t want it to sound robotic. Practice keeping a conversational tone when delivering your pitch.
- Tailor your pitch: If you're on the job search, your audience will likely be hiring managers. Not all jobs are identical, so you'll have to alter your pitch to fit your intended outcome. Make it relevant and interesting to the job you want. Don’t talk about your pizza delivery job if you are interviewing for a finance position.
- Get excited: If you’re passionate about what you do, then show it! Presenting yourself with enthusiasm makes your audience enthusiastic about what they're hearing.