How to Get Off on the Right Foot – Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch
By Wiss Associate
What is it?
An Elevator pitch is a quick (30 – 60 second), clear message about you. Why is it called an Elevator Pitch? It should be short enough to share with anyone, anywhere, at any time- even in a short elevator ride, which would be about 30 seconds (Oohhhh). It tells a recruiter a bit about who you are, what your experience is and what you’re looking for.
Why do you need it?
It will be very handy to use in a number of situations in order to make a powerful and lasting first impression. You can use it in interviews, phone screenings, career fairs and more!
During career fairs you should use your Elevator Pitch to introduce yourself to employers- yes, they will expect you to have one. At the career fair, people try to talk to as many employers and candidates as possible so keep it concise, but NOT boring.
For phone screenings and interviews it’s more than okay to expand your Elevator Pitch. You will more than likely be asked a question along the lines of, “Why don’t we start by you telling me about yourself?” In this situation, the employer is looking for more than just 30 seconds of information.
What should it consist of?
Typically an elevator pitch must contain the year you’re graduating, your major, your relevant experience (internships or classes), and what you want professionally for your future. But remember, you’re trying to make a lasting impression. You must be passionate; show them why you’re different than everyone else. They will make a snap judgement decision about you by the time your Elevator Pitch is over, so get their attention and keep it! Then finally, make a request. Whether you are looking for an internship or full time position, ask what they have available.
Practice, yes, we’re talking about practice!
First, write down what you think you want to put in your elevator pitch. Then practice saying it out loud in front of a mirror. I know this may sound obvious, but you really don’t know what it sounds like until you say it out loud. This will allow you to pick which pieces you want to get rid of and pieces you want to highlight. Then practice saying it in front your friends and family. If you’re not comfortable saying it in front of your friends and family, do you think you’ll be comfortable saying it in front of a potential recruiter?
Now, if they like you they will ask for your resume and may even ask to schedule an interview. It will be extremely beneficial to you if they have a face to match to the resume you give them. So don’t be shy, be confident and be memorable!