Power Up Your Job Search with a Memorable Elevator Pitch
No one likes the awkward silence that engulfs an elevator as it takes a group of strangers all the way to the top floor. How can you break that awkward silence? By striking up a conversation, of course!
In the context of a job search, an elevator pitch is a conversation starter that digs deeper into your professional strengths. It can be a small but powerful tool in your professional repertoire, helping you build your network in meaningful ways. If you want help perfecting your elevator pitch, turn to an expert.
Just like an elevator ride, an elevator pitch has to be brief but purposeful. When people ask about your job, you could give them a simple answer or offer one that shows your value and possibly advances your career. They’re presenting you with an opportunity, and it’s up to you to seize it.
So, how can you create an elevator pitch that leaves a lasting impression?
Consider your audience
Your elevator pitch won’t be the same for every audience. You may have to tailor it to the job you’re after, and you may alter it depending on the person you’re talking to. Whatever the case, introduce yourself and immediately state any credentials that you feel separate you from the competition. Consider what you most want your audience to know about you, and see if you can fit that in concisely.
Also, work to find common ground with your listeners. Discovering that you went to the same college, pursued the same career path, or have a prior connection to another professional will help your elevator pitch stand out. Establishing even a minor thing in common can make you more personable and trustworthy to your audience.
State your goals and qualifications
Your audience cares about your passion, so be specific and accurate. They want to see that your passion for this position isn’t fake or short-lived and that your goal is to succeed in this career. Make sure to back up your ambitions with qualifications. When your listeners learn that you have the necessary qualifications to attain your goals, they’ll be more likely to believe your claims.
You may be competing with people who are more experienced, but that should never discourage you. You also have traits and accomplishments that set you apart from the crowd, so you should home in on those elements. Think about unique qualifications you can highlight and focus on sharing those.
Leave your elevator pitch open-ended
The conversation shouldn’t end when your elevator pitch is over—after all, the purpose of an elevator pitch is to start a conversation! When you finish your pitch, wrap up with an open-ended question that invites the listener to respond. A question like “Could you direct me to the hiring manager so I can show them as well what I have to offer?” is an open-ended query that prompts the listener to take action. Obviously, the question you ask will depend on the context—that’s a decision you’ll have to make on each occasion.
Know your elevator pitch
Knowing your elevator pitch by heart enables you to project confidence. Practicing it also helps you see what you should add or cut out to make it more effective. Additionally, you don’t want it littered with uhs and ums, but you don’t want it to sound scripted and robotic, either. Be positive and natural. Don’t bash your current job, but do communicate your enthusiasm about this new opportunity.
Also, watch your body language and facial expressions. Don’t make distracting hand gestures or movements—observe yourself in the mirror or record yourself to better evaluate your delivery. Be confident in the pitch you’ve prepared and practiced, but be flexible in your delivery.
Elevator pitch example
My name is [name], and I currently [current job] by providing [product/service]. My knowledge/expertise can benefit you by [list benefits].
The next time you ride an elevator, think of it as an opportunity to take another step forward in your career. Are you ready to put together an elevator pitch that can help get you hired for your dream job? For help with crafting the perfect elevator pitch, check out our services for jobseekers.