Introduce yourself to potential career and business connections with an elevator pitch. Make sure that this pre-prepared speech about yourself is memorable and exemplifies exactly who you are, what you do, and what you want to do within the timeframe of a brief elevator ride. With a stellar elevator pitch, you can successfully build your network, land a job interview, or connect with new coworkers.
Elevator Pitch for Job Interviews
Since an elevator pitch is a synopsis of your background and experience, it is often given as a response to the dreaded “tell me about yourself” interview question, at job fairs as a way to introduce yourself to hiring managers and company representatives, or on a professional networking profile biography. It also works well as an icebreaker to share your credentials and expertise quickly and effectively during networking events, mixers, professional association programs, and activities where you meet people who do not know you. Let these people know why they need to connect with you by presenting a succinct and captivating elevator pitch.
How to Draft an Elevator Pitch for a Job Interview?
An elevator pitch is characterised by its ability to convey who you are in a short period of time. In just 30 to 60 seconds, you need to be able to capture the attention of the other person and convince them that you are worth their time. As such, there is no time to add additional points that are not necessary.
Each word has to be intentional. That is why, before writing an elevator pitch, you have to think about the objective of the pitch. Is the elevator pitch for a job interview, gaining new insight? Or is it for the purpose of networking with someone in the field that you want to know more about? Set the tone of the elevator pitch right from the beginning. Avoid using jargon, highly technical terms, acronyms, or slang if possible. Instead keep it simple, straight forward, and conversational especially when speaking to recruiters. Remember to not restrict yourself to only one elevator pitch. Know your audience and cater it to your specific audience.
Begin your elevator pitch by introducing your name and providing a summary of what you do. Present relevant information like your education and work experience. Use this opportunity to explain your unique selling point, point out why you are a good fit, and demonstrate the value that you will bring by giving concrete examples and describing applicable career goals in an entertaining way that will capture the listeners’ attention. Finish off with a call for action statement that will help to guide the next step. Tell the other person directly what you want out of this interaction and be clear when asking for a job opportunity, internship, or contact information.
Tips for Job Interview Elevator Pitches
An elevator pitch has to be convincing and persuasive. It needs to sound comfortable and natural. Avoid rambling and speaking in a monotone way. Practice, practice, and practice even more out loud until the speech comes smoothly and instinctively. Keep in mind the speed and pitch. Do not speak too fast or too slow. You want to make sure that the listener is fully absorbing everything that you are saying. Rehearsing and memorising the key points of your elevator pitch can ensure that you can breeze right through it confidently when the time comes.
An elevator pitch for a job interview is not an aggressive sales pitch. Although you practice it like a speech, remember to make it more conversational and allow for natural engagement with the other party. Be prepared for additional questions. Keep a positive tone throughout the elevator pitch. Add your personal touch to the pitch and let your personality shine through. More important than the actual words itself is the impression that you give off. People do not tend to remember specific details of what is spoken but rather the vibe or enthusiasm of the individual. Remember to not only smile but be passionate and confident in what you are saying. Keep energy levels high, be approachable, and carry yourself in a way that endears yourself to others positively. First impressions count.
For networking scenarios, you usually finish off an elevator pitch with a call to action. You may be asking for a scheduled meeting or expressing interest in a job. Either way, wait for their response. If they agree to a next step, remember to get their contact and say thank you with a concise and action-oriented farewell. If not, you should still gracefully say thank you. You can consider sending a follow-up email to see if there is a better time to connect if appropriate.
To demonstrate your eagerness and enthusiasm to continue the conversation, prepare your business card and resume beforehand. Learn how to overturn a dire resume in our previous article where Scott Thomson, Links International’s Managing Director, gave 3 Tips to Help Better Advertise Yourself. Supporting your elevator pitch with a take away allows the other party to not only remember you but be able to contact you at a later date even if their initial response was not too favourable.
Sample Pitches for Job Application & Interviews
Elevator pitch for a job interview
“Hi, my name is (your name). It’s so nice to meet you! I’m a (job title and company) where I (insert relevant specialisations that make you stand out and concrete examples of recent challenges and how you solve them. For example, “helped to create intuitive website designs for startup companies”, “coordinated large scale events for the auto industry”, or “devise data-driven solutions to increase our client’s cyber security”) in the last few years. I was excited to learn about this opportunity in the (industry) because (talk about your passion and future career goals such as “I’ve always been passionate about the way sports brings cultures together”, I love to be able to empower others in my community with efficient and useful products”, or “I want to use the arts to give back to the community”). I would love to be able to bring my (personal skills such as leadership quality, adaptability, or work experience as a manager) in this position.”
Elevator pitch to gain more information
“Hi, my name is (your name). It’s a pleasure to meet you! I’ve spent the last few years as a (Job title and company) where I (insert details about your related work experience such as “developed strategic plans to optimise our client’s marketing portfolio”, “organised customer data and boosted sales up to 10%” or “designed a product that is set to go into clinical trials this month”). I’m looking (talk about your future career goals. For example, “to become an Art Director” or “to change career paths”). I would love the opportunity to (clarify the purpose of this elevator pitch e.g. “learn more about this industry”, “ask for tips for success in this industry”, “talk more about a potential mentorship”, “if you know of anyone looking to increase their social media presence, feel free to send them my way!” or “see if it’ll be possible to have a sort of collaboration between us.”).
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