As much as you may want to appear genuine, authentic and unrehearsed as you search and interview for jobs, actually preparing yourself professionally goes a longer way than if you were just to wing it. Crafting an elevator pitch not only gives you a springboard into conversation at networking events, but it also helps out with one of the toughest questions encountered in the job search process: Tell me a little about yourself.
Thankfully, formulating your elevator pitch is simple if you follow these 10 steps presented by GreenBiz.com.
- Reel them in. Seriously, throw them a little bait. The first statement out of your mouth needs to intrigue them. Do you have a story to tell? What makes you stand out? Don’t be afraid to be funny or quirky. The more individualistic your pitch, the more memorable.
- Keep it short. This is an elevator pitch, not a monologue. It should last anywhere from 30 – 60 seconds, which may not seem like a lot. But once you’ve got your elevator pitch figured out, record it. You’ll find you have ample time to highlight who you are, what your goals are and why you’re the best.
- Make it flow. Think of the elevator pitch as a story. Every line needs to feed off the last and segue into the next; yet stand on its own. If that sounds complicated, that’s because it is. An elevator pitch isn’t something you can just jot down in a minute flat. It takes days and weeks to construct.
- Stand proud. Ok, so you may not have accolade after accolade rewarding your work, but you can still be proud of what you’ve done and where you want to go. Carry a confidence into your elevator pitch.
- Get excited. You’re talking about your dreams here! Don’t recite something from memory. Inflect your vision and your hopes into your pitch. At the same time, make sure you’re maintaining your authenticity.
- Paint a picture. No, not literally. But use your elevator pitch to show them what it would be like to work with you. Don’t just spout off your resume summary. Invoke a picture in their mind with an illustration.
- Be detailed. Don’t just jump from role to role. Rather, highlight your skills. No one is going to hire you for being a retail store manager. They’re going to hire you for being a results-oriented leader.
- Know your audience. Yes, this requires you to change up your elevator pitch based on who you’re talking to, but that’s a good thing. Educate yourself on the company you’re interviewing with or the companies at networking events. Weaving their story into yours will be one of the more impressive conversations they have.
- State your goals. Don’t shy away from your goals in this conversation. Employers want to know where you’re heading so they can help you get there. Chances are, your success will correlate with their success.
- Turn the tables. End your elevator pitch with a question. This isn’t just about you, right? Asking a question pushes the conversation past the point of networking and into job hiring.
Have you crafted the perfect elevator pitch? Tell us about it below.
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by srqpix