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The Elevator Pitch for a Job-Seeker

Image Source: Elevator Pitch.

Have you ever considered the possibility of your introductory speech getting you a job?  what do you think an interviewer wants to hear when s/he says- “tell me something about you”, “walk me through your background”, :why should I hire you?”; or you attend a networking event and you come face-to-face with the VP of a Company you would like to work, how would you introduce yourself?

An elevator pitch (or speech) is an effective job-search tool that provides the opportunity to convey the right impression in the mind of a potential employer. It is simply a summary of who you are; your distinctive qualities and future prospects. It is called an elevator pitch because it emphasizes on what you can say about yourself in the number of seconds required to move up or down an elevator- this normally takes about 40 seconds or less. The elevator pitch transcends the job market through to day-to-day business platforms and relationships; however, many Job-seekers are yet to explore this avenue to take on job opportunities.

Chris O’Leary -author of Elevator Pitch Essentials– explained that by virtue of design, connection or luck, many individuals come face to face with people who are able to help them achieve their goals; however, too few people are prepared for such opportunities, hence fail to capitalize on them, probably for the rest of their lives.

Wouldn’t you rather have a potential employer hooked to your every word while you have the chance? Here are some things worth noting in your elevator pitch preparation:

1         Your introduction must have a hook: All parts of an elevator pitch matter but the beginning determines whether your listener will be eager to hear more or pretend s/he is listening to you. Some people suggest starting an elevator pitch with a question that leads to your main point is appropriate, but I see this depending on the kind of relationship you have with such persons as it’s easier this way with someone you already have a growing/working relationship with. Nonetheless, you can still gain the attention of a complete stranger with a compelling introduction. You could use whatever information you have about your listener to get him/her listening more- recent promotion, product launch or mention the name of your school if s/he is an alumnus of the same school.

2         Have a brief and concise message: Having less than 40 seconds to talk about yourself is not the time to talk about your preferences for movies -except if it’s connecting to your main point, or the type of cars you dream to buy and a list of invaluable statements- in this context-. The purpose of an elevator pitch is not, primarily, to get personal with your listener or to close the deal, but rather to get you talking; so don’t reel off everything you’ve memorized. Carefully drive through the important points -avoid floundering and the use of too many technical or ambiguous words. An elevator pitch that sells conveys a clear message.

3         Present an opportunity: An elevator pitch should talk about you but also appear to center on your potential employer. It should answer the question –“what are the benefits for hiring you?” Your statements should aim at providing a solution or value to your listener.

4         Prepare, practice, perfect: A good elevator pitch requires; thorough preparation in order to highlight your most important points, Practice so as to master the pitch and perfection because it should sound natural. Surprisingly, many try to think off the perfect elevator pitch from the top of their heads only when they are to deliver it. Spend ample time practicing, read it aloud to yourself and to your friends, get useful feedback, pull out unnecessary words, adjust the speed and practice again. Repeat the exercise until the elevator pitch sticks.

Elevator pitches vary, particularly with the kind of audience. Have as many elevator pitches as possible, perfecting one after the other. Adjust the pitch to the person who is listening, know your main points and be ready to answer any questions. Ensure to maintain eye-contact and show confidence while delivering your pitch.

Below are samples of an elevator pitch to help you craft out yours.

Elevator pitch for an experienced worker:

Hello, I am Andrea Tommy

I major in Brand orientation and management. I formerly worked as a Brand Manager with XYZ Corporation where I harnessed my skills in consumer research and product analysis to effectively create a model for launching new products; this increased the company’s client base by 7% in the first 3 months of my appointment. I am currently in transition and looking to work in a Company with established product marketing platforms where I can approach consumer relations with a fresh perspective. Again, I’m Andrea Tommy and it’s a pleasure meeting you.


– If you read this aloud, it sounds scripted, probably delusive too. The essence of constant practice with your elevator pitch is to perfect it until it sounds natural and flows spontaneously like you are only catching up with an old friend. See #4 above

– Recruiters advise you don’t include your name in your elevator pitch during an interview.

–  The introduction and conclusion of an elevator pitch can be modified depending on your audience. The conclusion in the aforementioned example could be “… I’d like to know the skills your firm looks out for in its brand managers.”

Elevator pitch for a recent graduate

Hello, I am Samuel Jones

I am a Sociology graduate from XYZ University where I gained a strong foundation in research and analytical skills. I have worked as an intern in the research unit of a Non-Governmental Organisation where I provided up-to-date information on customer preferences with my skills, which consequently expanded the company’s network base across several countries.  I am currently seeking employment as a research analyst and would like to know what qualifications your company requires for such positions.

How would you describe yourself in a minute? Please drop your comments in the section below.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell