You Need a Personal Elevator Pitch: Here’s the Best Formula
October 19, 2019
Image from https://www.careeraddict.com/elevator-pitch-tips
You’re at a friend’s social event and suddenly get introduced to one of the executives of a company you’ve been dying to apply to. Or you are walking the booths at a career fair and a recruiter starts a conversation with you.
How do you react? If you’re prepared, you’ll have a 25 to 30 second personal elevator pitch to get a dialogue started. A personal elevator pitch is a personal introduction that is an engaging but succinct summary of who you are. Ideally, it leads to a longer conversation that keeps the other party interested in hearing more about you.
Personal elevator pitches can be leveraged in a wide array of situations: networking or social events, cover letters, cold emails, job applications, interviews, your LinkedIn profile, and more. Of course, your pitch should fit each audience and situation, and the more you practice, the better you will get at tailoring it.
In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take to start crafting the perfect personal elevator pitch.
1. Write out your ideas.
Write down what you do; what inspires passion at work; what your proudest accomplishment is; where you want to be in 5 years; and how you plan to get there. Writing your ideas is a great way to sharpen and visualize what you want to communicate.
2. Focus on your skills and unique value.
Which skills set you apart from others? Have you exhibited those skills in a recent project or work initiative? Consider your knowledge and expertise, and how you’re applying it to your work in a unique way.
3. Determine your key motivation and goals.
Your elevator pitch should be more than a cursory summary of what you do. It should enlighten others on the main drivers behind your career. Where are you headed and what’s the vision guiding you? If you are looking for a job, what position do you want? If you are looking to raise capital for your startup, what goals do you hope to accomplish with the new injection of capital?
4. Tailor your pitch to your audience.
Your elevator pitch should cover a few key areas (who you are; what you do; where you’re going) but what you emphasize depends on your audience. Keep it flexible and consider the social situation. What information about my background is most relevant to this audience? Should I use industry-specific jargon to show my knowledge or will they find it off-putting? How much do they know about my industry?
5. Practice and get feedback from others.
Practice on your own and with others until the elevator pitch sounds second nature and not robotic or rehearsed. Get feedback from a colleague or a trusted friend. Once you’ve honed your message, go out and try it and figure out what part of your personal elevator pitch resonates with others!