By Jaclyn Ades
Ever think to yourself…?
- “If only I could get a face to face meeting with a certain CEO, surely I could convince her that she should hire me.”
- “Less than a minute – that’s all I’d really need to win over that hiring manager.”
- “Spending just a moment with me will show that business owner that I am perfect for the job.”
If there’s one thing that every job seeker needs these days, it’s an elevator pitch. You know – the 20-30 second speech during which you are basically summarizing your work experience, describing what you currently do, and sharing what you could be doing for this person’s company.
As you might guess, the term elevator speech pretty much means what it says. The idea is to ‘pitch’ yourself to someone in the time it would take them to ride the elevator to their destination. Elevator pitches were originally used for selling a product or idea. So why shouldn’t job seekers use one to sell themselves? The elevator pitch can be extremely helpful when attending networking events where you’re meeting a bunch of different people in a very short amount of time. Since many introductions start with “so what do you do?”, having a prepared elevator speech is always a good idea.
- Stay focused – Clarify the job or industry you want to target, take time to think about a specific position or organization within that industry
- Be concise – Experienced workers should narrow down career highlights, while new graduates should pinpoint related coursework
- Be conversational – Rehearse… but not too much. Build rapport with casual conversation about your work. Don’t be too technical.
- Remember that numbers sell – Include important details as well as quantitative information when applicable; i.e., selling $90,000 of ABC software or saving the company $1 million in revenue.
- Get personal – Modify/customize your elevator pitch based on your audience.
- Follow up – Request a future meeting or ask for a business card to continue the conversation in greater detail.
- Practice, Practice, and Practice – Try out your pitch for family and friends. The better prepared you are will show confidence!
Try to make your elevator pitch succinct, unique, and memorable so that prospective employers will think of you when they have a position to fill!
Jaclyn Ades is a Career Coach for the JCS Career Center.
The JCS Career Center offers comprehensive employment assistance that helps job seekers of all abilities and skill levels find and maintain employment. Services include career coaching, career assessments, resume and cover letter services, interview preparation, job readiness training, vocational rehabilitation and job placement assistance. For more information, call 410-466-9200 or visit jcsbaltimore.org.