The idea behind the infamous elevator pitch is that if you can’t describe yourself and your value to a potential company in thirty seconds, you might not know what that value is. I, for example, have the ability to clearly and effectively give useful guidelines for elevator pitches in 600 words or less and I’d like to know if your web browser is looking for someone with that skill.
That’s the elevator-pitch version of an elevator pitch, which you can use at job fairs, seminars, parties, or on the subway or in an elevator. You can even use one in an actual job interview, even if they’re usually used to get an interview. Here are three tips on elevator pitches for job seekers.
1. Befriend the Verb
Notice I didn’t say “verbs are your friend.” Perhaps they are not. Maybe you have to actively gain their friendship. When giving an elevator pitch, focus on verbs, saying that you know how to write computer code, streamline processes, liaise with clients, conduct and interpret market research, synthesize that research, etc. That’s you doing something, like a little cartoon character with a cloud of dust behind her. If you say “I’m in marketing,” that just asks the question, “but what do you do while in it?”
2. Relate Results
Elevator pitches have to quantify things in some way. Remember, this person doesn’t know who you are. Being in marketing or education or web development doesn’t mean you’re good at it. So after you’ve establish that you supervise customer service representatives, you may say that you re-vamped the company’s protocols for customer service reps, and you’ve been told by many clients it’s much better now.
There’s nothing wrong with seeming modest or “aw-shucksy” while saying these things, since that will be disarming. You can even be self-deprecatory or jocular, as long as you don’t undermine your search in so doing. You don’t have to say you increased sales by 8.2 percent or throw any kind of numbers around, and you do want these facts to not sound like they’re coming out of left field. If the achievement sounds like a fairly logical thing to say after the verb (“supervise customer service reps”), that is ideal.
3. Relate Your Goal
It may be the case that the person your pitching understands that you’re looking for a job. He or she is being asked about possible openings or opportunities, whether he or she has one or knows a buddy who does. However, by way of human nature, most people will wait to be asked. Perhaps they find it more forthright and not subtle in a way that’s a bit weird. For job seekers, the elevator pitch really has to go somewhere or else it sounds like a strange recitation of facts about your job.
If you follow this steps, you should present yourself as somehow unique and qualified. You’ll be giving your elevator companion a clear sense of your value.