What’s an elevator pitch and how to create one

Posted November 27, 2013

You know that when you’re on the job hunt, networking is critical. But have you thought about what you’ll say when a new—potentially important—acquaintance asks you what you’re looking for? You need to create an “elevator pitch,” sometimes called an elevator speech or elevator statement.


An elevator pitch is a short, pre-prepared speech that explains who you are, what you do and why you’d be a great employee. How short? Fifteen to 30 seconds. And it’s called an elevator pitch because it should be able to be delivered in the space of an elevator ride.


You’ll also need it during job interviews. At some point, you’re going to hear “Tell me about yourself.” You don’t want to talk incessantly or ramble on about irrelevant topics.


So how do you create your speech?


1. Determine your target. What type of job are you pursing? In what field?  Unless you can clearly explain the type of position you want, nobody will be able to help you find it—or hire you to do it.


2. Write it down. Put it all on paper: everything you’d want a prospective employer to know about your relevant skills, accomplishments and work experience. Then cut it until you’ve whittled it down to 3 or 4 key bullet points or sentences that give the highlights of your career so far.


3. Organize it. You need your pitch to answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you looking for? Within your 30-second timeframe, you can add details about your special skills, unique value and specific ways you could help a potential employer.


4. Remember to answer the WIFM question. If you’re talking to a potential employer or a hiring manager, you need to answer their most pressing question: “What’s in It for Me?”


5. Avoid buzzwords and tech-speak. You need to make your pitch understandable to everyone, so don’t use too many acronyms and other jargon that the average person or job interviewer might not comprehend.


6. Start reading your pitch out loud. Your writing is probably more formal and structured than what you would say in conversation. Read it aloud, then alter the words to help you sound more natural.


7. Practice it. Rehearse your elevator speech in front of a mirror and record yourself so you can see and hear how you come across. You want to look and sound smooth and natural, not awkward and rehearsed.


8. Sell it! You can work hard on writing and practicing your elevator pitch, but when the moment comes, just remember to look the recipient in the eye, smile and deliver your message with confidence.


At Team Ambassador, here’s our pitch to you: Your success is our top priority! We will listen to you, support you and help you connect with the right companies in the industries of your choice. If you are looking for temp agencies, contact us today.