Your Job Search Secret Weapon: The Elevator Pitch


One of the top tools for jobseekers to help them promote themselves more successfully is the elevator pitch. This is the approximately 30-second statement where you introduce yourself, your talents and your goals to a potential employer. It is essentially a commercial where you are the star, spokesman and the product, and it can be an effective way to market yourself into landing a new job. Here are some ways you can make yours get more results.

Find Your Purpose
Before you go out and start pitching yourself to employers, you need to make sure your statement has a sense of purpose. That means you have to prepare ahead of time and write it down, instead of winging it. Make a decision about what kind of job you’re looking for and what industry you’re aiming to get hired in. Then, you can start brainstorming ideas for how to express this in your speech. This way, anyone who listens to your statement will understand what you’re looking for right away.

Write It Down
Although in many situations your elevator pitch will be shared in conversation, it’s essential to write it down when you first start putting it together. Think of your statement as a speech that you will be giving on more than one occasion. When you start writing your main points, make sure everything makes sense and goes back to your main purpose for marketing yourself in front of an employer. Practice reading it aloud several times to see how long it takes for you to get through it. Ideally, your speech should last between 15 and 30 seconds. Start trimming away any excess verbiage if you go over that recommended time frame (and check out these other elevator pitch do’s and don’ts).

Organize Your Thoughts
The key to keeping your elevator pitch focused and coherent is in the organization. In this limited time frame, you must do whatever you can to get your point across effectively. If you organize your thoughts in a logical way, your audience may be likelier to remember your message. Start by introducing yourself and your job search goal. Then, end your speech by discussing how you can help a company reach its goals. Be sure to mention your most valuable skills that prove you have what it takes.

Make It Appealing
While you’re focusing on the format of your pitch, make sure your key points are more about your potential audience instead of solely touting your attributes. You must develop the mindset of a marketer and position yourself as offering multiple benefits to a company. Instead of simply mentioning each skill you have, present your talents as opportunities that could help a company be more successful. Try to be somewhat specific depending on the industry you’re aiming to work in and the job you want to land. Most of all, you want to help your audience understand why they should hire you and how you could contribute more to the company.

Practice Sounding Natural
The last thing to do before going out into the world and reciting your pitch to potential employers is to practice its delivery. Ideally, you want to sound natural and conversational. Since your speech started as a piece of written communication, you may need to make some word choice swaps so it flows more naturally. Don’t go overboard with informal language; just a few tweaks should be sufficient. Then, start practicing it by reciting it repeatedly until you have it mostly memorized. Look in the mirror when you’re going through your speech, and make sure you pay attention to your body language, gestures and eye contact. You don’t want it to sound like a rehearsed, sterile statement, so do whatever you can to bring more life into it.

When you find yourself in front of an influential person in your industry, you can make an impression with an effective pitch that convinces an employer to consider you. Preparing this pitch ahead of time makes it likelier that your speech could help you in your job search, rather than hinder you.

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