perfecting your elevator pitch l

Anyone can be going through the motions of a typical day when they step into an elevator, get in line at a coffee shop, or any number of scenarios and are face-to-face with the CEO of their dream company, or even a representative from their dream job. 

No matter the time or place, it is important to be prepared for this scenario. The key to preparation for this is perfecting what’s often called your elevator pitch! An elevator pitch is a short description of yourself, an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way that any listener can understand it in a short amount of time. In short, it is a quick and persuasive sales pitch--something that you could tell in the length of time that you might be in an elevator. This is also a good skill to use when introducing yourself during an interview or at career fair. 

The first step to perfecting an elevator pitch is to start from a blank canvas. Think about the things that make you stand out as a candidate for a job, the reasons you want to work for the specific company, and your achievements and goals. In essence, you want to identify the goal of your elevator pitch. Specifically, identify the skills you possess that would contribute the most to the company or job you are hoping for. 

The content of your elevator pitch should answer the following questions: Who Am I?, What Do I Do?, How Do I Do It?, Why Do I Do It?, and “Who Do I Do it For? You should focus on who you are and what you do presently, what relevant information and skills from your past are applicable, and your future goals that are related to the conversation. 

This gives the person you are pitching to a well rounded summary of your professional self and your work experience and how you can fit in with their company. Elevator pitches should be about 60 to 90 seconds in length. This should be the perfect amount of time to answer the questions above, as well as throw in an engaging question for the person you are pitching to.

Make sure your elevator pitch highlights your name, major and class standing (freshman, sophomore, graduate student, etc), skills and your proficiency levels with them, as well as any related experience you may have (this can include courses, class projects, previous and current jobs).  At Career Fair, you can end by briefly mentioning how you see yourself fitting at the company based on your prior research.

For example, if Charger Blue were at Career Fair trying to find an internship, he’d say something along the lines of, “Hello, my name is Charger Blue. I’m a mascot (insert your class standing and major here instead) at UAH. I’ve got a background in hyping up a crowd and getting students excited about UAH, and I’m excited to use those skills to benefit (insert company name). I saw that you had an opening for (insert job) that I applied for online prior to the Career Fair. Can you tell me more about the types of projects I’d be working on?”

Elevator pitches are a handy tool to keep in the back of your pocket, especially when attending a career fair or an interview. While at a career fair, there will be a lot of potential job candidates hoping to impress the same employer as you, so having a clean and organized elevator pitch ready to go will make you stand out among the competition. As for interviews, elevator pitches are a perfect go to when asked “So tell me a little bit about yourself.”

When crafting your elevator pitch, make sure to keep it short and sweet. Only include the essential information, and make sure you perfect it before delivering it to potential employers!