Your elevator pitch is an important part of your professional presentation to future employers. The same content you might use in a resume, cover letter or LinkedIn profile can be used to create your elevator pitch. It is a short (thirty seconds or so, but will vary based on the situation) summary of you and what you have to offer. In other words, it is what you might tell the CEO of your top choice company if you were stuck in an elevator with her for a ride from the 10th floor down to the lobby. This short summary is your “core message”: the most important things you need a hiring manager to know about you. You will weave those points through all the marketing tools you create to support your job search. It is a summary of your personal brand.
You don’t want your pitch to sound rehearsed, and you want it to be versatile. You might use a long version if you are speaking with someone in more depth at a networking event, a really short version waiting in line at a store (yes, this happens!) and something in the middle as you approach an employer at a job fair. You’ll also want to customize it, at least a little, to your audience.
The best way to prepare for these multiple situations is to think in broad concepts and achievements and try to keep those top of mind. Practice how you might address each of these points in the different circumstances outlined above.
1. Who am I?
2. What do I offer and how am I unique?
3. What problem is solved?
4. What are the main contributions I can make?
5. What should the listener do as a result of hearing this?