You’ve no doubt heard of the elevator pitch but many people don’t get around to creating their own version of it. If you are a genuine person, it can feel a little contrived to spend time on something you deem to be a glorified sales pitch.
But let’s not overlook that any version of recruitment is selling. It’s matching a skillset well enough with an employment need to spike an interest. So with that in mind, why wouldn’t you want to have a well honed synopsis of yourself at the ready for when the opportunity presents itself?
Keeping it simple – your elevator pitch is a super quick summary of your background and experience. Super quick being the operative words. As the name suggests, the elevator pitch was designed to be your little ‘me speech’ which you can deliver in its entirety in an elevator ride, so 30-60 seconds is your limit.
Admittedly we may not be spending all of our time in lifts, but if you think about how many situations present themselves to you as a chance to share what you do in day to day life, not having a perfectly natural elevator pitch to draw from is a missed opportunity every time.
If you get this right, you’ll feel prepared enough to confidently introduce yourself to business or career connections in a compelling way.
Want to know how you can sound like the next best employee rather than a bimbling Hugh Grant when people ask what you do?
Here are some tips to get you primed and ready…
What Should I Include In My Elevator Pitch?
Remember – no padding! All this needs to be is who you are, what you do and a short recap of how you got there. If you are job hunting, then you share what you’d like to be doing instead of current employment. If you are naturally able to, add some emotion too which highlights that you’d be an invested employee – spark their interest.
Here’s an example…
I recently graduated from university with a degree in communications. I worked as a reporter on the university newspaper and progressed to the role of editor of the arts section. I loved these roles and am looking for a job which will put my journalism skills to work.
You can see how having such a succinct opener gives people the opportunity to strike up a conversation if they wish. That’s all an elevator pitch is. You didn’t sound pushy or needy, you simply offered enough information in a short space of time to introduce yourself properly and confidently.
When Do I Use My Elevator Pitch?
The beauty of capturing yourself in such a short and precise way is that you can deliver this in many formats. In person or online – if people can see a quick snapshot they don’t mind reading to the end of it.
If you are job hunting, you’ll want to be able to use this wherever you possibly can…
- Career Expos
- Job Fairs
- Networking Events
- Professional Meetings
- Job Interviews – when asked the “Tell me about yourself” question
- Linked In – use it as your headline so that all comments are a mini advert
- Twitter or other Social Media Platforms
- Whenever asked “What do you do?, Where did you study?” etc
Basically any conversation with the right audience could be a potential connection so be a little more attentive with the people you’re talking to.
Practice Really Does Make Perfect (AND Relaxes You!)
There’s nothing worse than people gushing at you when you ask them what they do. Offputting is an understatement so the more relaxed you can be in delivering your elevator pitch, the more likely you are to engage your recipient.
It’s hard to be relaxed with something unfamiliar though, so make sure you practice this until you can deliver it in a way which sounds totally ‘you’.
If you have close friends you’re comfortable to practice on, rope them in, but if not, try recording yourself either on video or simply on a voice recorder and listen or watch back. Would you employ you if you saw or heard that version?
If the answer is no, keep going until you would. You’ll hone it very quickly but the practice will also help you to learn your pitch too, so if it feels silly, just think of the ££’s that could come your way when you land your perfect job because of a chance meeting at Costa!
We joke, but you really don’t ever know where opportunities are lurking so a great elevator pitch really could be one of the best tools in your job hunting arsenal!
Know Your Audience
Following on from the practice your pitch comment, try to be intuitive about your audience too. Clues such as their age, their dress sense, their job or role will all act as identifiers of how to pitch yourself. Knowing you’re speaking to the head of a technical team would allow you to drop a tiny bit of jargon in to show you know your stuff.
Trying to dazzle the CEO with tech lingo may not be so well received so paying a tiny bit of attention to anything that hints at a shared interest will go a long way in getting you heard.
A little secret too – if you are confident enough to try to make them laugh – don’t hold back. Laughter is unspoken resonance – an instant ‘I like you’ BUT it has to be natural – if you;re usually funny very easily this shouldn’t be excluded. However, if you don’t feel you could carry it off, maybe give the comedy a miss as you risk making an impression for the wrong reasons.
Hopefully, you can see how just a bit of confidence to use your elevator pitch regularly will really spread the word far more easily for you than not being prepared. You’ll be happy to talk about yourself rather than being petrified of being asked what you’re currently doing – particularly if you’re job hunting right now.
We’ve all been there and stuttering your words along with your sweaty palms may not get you off to the best start.
Feel free to share with us how you’re getting on, or your successful elevator pitch stories!