Mastering a career elevator pitch can be hugely beneficial when you’re job hunting. It lets you summarise your value and expertise and deliver it quickly and succinctly so that you can position yourself well and maximise your worth to a potential employer.
The concept of an elevator pitch is said to come from the old Hollywood era when a screenwriter would catch an unwary executive on an elevator ride and attempt to tout their idea. But have you ever thought about how elevator pitch could improve your job search efforts?
When it comes to job searching, interviews and networking, having a well-prepared elevator pitch is essential for a few reasons. Firstly, imagine finding yourself face-to-face with the hiring manager of the job you’ve always dreamed of. What would you say? It’s also an impressive way to start the conversation in an interview or during the shortlisting stage. Being able to succinctly articulate who you are, what you’ll bring and what you want from your next job combine to form the key elements of a compelling career elevator pitch.
How to create your pitch in 4 steps
Follow these steps to help you develop a concise pitch that’s focused on your background and ambition, but also shows value in what you offer. Writing down your elevator pitch enables you to get it right. Try reading it out loud as it can help you refine it and ensure it rolls off the tongue naturally.
- Who are you? Begin by introducing yourself with your full name and a pleasantry such as, “Thanks for seeing me” or “It’s great to meet you!”
- What do you do? Provide a summary of what you do and your background. You should only include the most relevant information to the role. That might cover qualifications, work experience, personal attributes or other specialities. If you’re not sure what to omit, start by writing everything down that comes to mind and refine it later.
- What do you want? Explain what you’re looking for. You might ask for the job, request some advice about a role or organise a meeting to discuss next steps. This is an ideal chance to drop in how you’d be the perfect fit. Your goal is to get the message across about what you’re looking for, but you also convey what’s in it for them (the recruiter).
- Now read back over what you’ve written and cut it back to 75–100 words. Delete any words that feel clunky or distract from your main point. Make it relevant, concise and easy to understand with no industry jargon.
How to deliver your pitch
- Speak with confidence and make it conversational. Don’t speak too fast and try your best not to sound rehearsed.
- By memorising the main points, you’ll be able to adapt your pitch to suit each situation. Before attending a job interview, review the job advert or role description and make sure you tailor your pitch accordingly.
- If you’re approaching someone outside of an interview scenario, there’s a chance they won’t be receptive to your elevator pitch. If that’s the case, stop and ask if it’s OK to call or email them instead.
Examples of an elevator pitch
In a job interview, my pitch might look something like this (after the introductions):
“Thanks so much for seeing me today – I was thrilled to get the call. I’ve been with ABCV Solutions for over six years, during which time I’ve helped hundreds of engineers secure new roles and promote their talents online. My background is in technical recruitment, and I’ve also worked for big-name engineering companies such as KBR, Siemens and BP. I’m very excited to leverage my writing skills and career market understanding to support your company’s tender preparations.”
If my networking efforts lead me to someone whose company I’d like to work for, my pitch might look more like this:
“Hi, my name is Amelia. I’m excited to finally meet you. I’ve been following your LinkedIn articles for some time now. I run a successful CV Writing company with six years’ experience helping engineers develop their CVs as well as writing internal CVs used in major project tenders. I also write my career advice blogs and social media content and have held various senior resourcing roles in the UK and Australia. I’ve heard that you have your sights set on winning the (insert name) project and I think my background could work really well for you. Would you mind if I called you next week to talk about how I might be able to help you?”
Successful job seekers know their career elevator pitch and how to customise it depending on with whom they’re talking. Invest some time mastering yours to boost your job search efforts and strengthen your personal brand.
If you’d like some help job searching, networking or preparing for a job interview, take a look at our Career Advice Pack which is available to purchase or download free with a Middle Level or Executive Level CV.