Have you ever tried to have a conversation in an elevator? How long did it last? Did you get an opportunity to truly connect with the person you spoke with?
Think about it: the average elevator ride lasts for a very short time. Now imagine you have a job interview in that same elevator. You have about 30-90 seconds to tell the interviewer about yourself, your skills, and why they should hire you. This speech, or “elevator pitch,” can become a powerful tool when you have just a short amount of time to “sell” yourself to someone who can help you get a job. Whether it’s in an elevator, at a networking event, or in an actual interview, you should have your elevator pitch memorized and ready to use any time you need it.
Give the person a reason to listen. You’re trying to get the person to help you find a job, but the conversation should not focus on what they can do for you; it has to be the opposite: Your pitch must be about what you can do for them. So you have to find a way to simply say who you are, what your experience is, and why this person should want to hire you/give your name to someone who needs the type of help you can provide. Tell the person:
- your background/experience
- what help you can offer (why should they want you?) and how can you provide that help
- why what you offer is different from other people
Think of it in terms of fishing: What “bait” can you use to “hook” the person?
Keep it simple. Tell the person three things: your name, what you do/your experience, and what you’re looking for. To practice beforehand, write down all of your qualifications and then cross out the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary for the person to know in 30 seconds. How can you get the person interested using about 150 words? After you’ve said your three things, talk about how your skills can help that person – it goes back to what you can do for them. If you get some extra time, be ready to answer questions about what you do. No matter what, end the conversation by getting and/or giving contact information to that person so you can connect later.
Practice! Once you figure out what you want to say, set a timer and see how long it takes you to say it all. Have a friend practice with you to help you get the pitch down so you know it well but it doesn’t sound memorized. Have different versions for different places you might meet someone (a friend’s house, a career fair, a bar after work…who knows?).
Practicing your elevator pitch is like creating a commercial about yourself: You have just a little time to convince your audience why they want to “buy your product” and connect with you again. Using these tips can help you make those connections and possibly get your next job. Reach out to the expert recruiters at Creative Staffing today!