What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a snappy and persuasive speech that you can use to spark interest in who you are, what you do and your career ambitions.
A good elevator pitch should be no longer than 20 to 30 seconds – the amount of time you would have to talk about yourself if you were in a lift with someone you’d like to work for.
Your pitch should be interesting, memorable and succinct.
When should you use an elevator pitch?
- When you’re speaking to recruiters
- In a job or university interview
- In your CV or your LinkedIn summary
Creating an elevator pitch
Before you can start practising your elevator pitch aloud, you will need to write it down.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Say as little as possible. An elevator pitch shouldn`t be your whole life story but instead a few key facts about your career and ambitions.
- Be direct and honest about what you are currently doing, your ambitions and what you want from the conversation.
- Figure out who you are talking to. Your elevator pitch is only valuable if the person you are talking to understands it.
- Avoid using business jargon. Your elevator pitch should be personable and accessible to everyone.
- Turn it into a conversation. The best elevator pitches should turn into a two-way conversation. Make sure to allow time for your listener to ask questions and probe deeper into what you have said.
- Use a memorable story to sell yourself. People are more likely to remember a compelling story than vague examples and statistics.
- Practise. It is normal to feel awkward the first time you use your elevator pitch. Familiarise yourself with your speech by practising with friends, family and colleagues. You could even record it on your phone and play it back to yourself.
- Time yourself. Thirty seconds is shorter than you think, make sure you are able to fit in all your key points without rushing.
- Close your elevator pitch with an open-ended statement that allows your listener to respond, for example, “I would love to meet with you to hear more about the organisation.”