Build a tight 60 second elevator pitch using these tactics
"Tell me about yourself."
This is a common interview prompt employers use in order to understand how your strengths, ambition and personality traits are the right fit for the job opening they want to fill. In this employer market driven workplace, where there are more qualified applicants than available jobs, articulating your strengths and skills is an essential step towards enhancing your value in the eyes of recruiters.
The key to mastering this question is to have a pre-prepared “elevator pitch” that briefly and effectively describes who you are, what you do, and what you want to do.
What’s an Elevator Pitch?
In short, a elevator pitch is a way to quickly share your expertise, skills and credentials with people who with hiring managers in a convincing manner so they may want to hire you. A quality elevator pitch is brief, (60 seconds or less), highlights your strongest professional attributes and closes with an “ask” or follow up request.
Our goal here is to help you craft a top notch written elevator pitch within 4 brief sentences designed to allow you to reflect on your strengths, expertise, education and in-demand skills then loop those sentences into a brief statement that will clearly show off your value and compatibility are a perfect fit for the job(s) you’re pursuing.
First Sentence: Introduction
Your introduction should start off with your full name and career/education background. Consider where you are in your career. If you’re a recent grad you may want to highlight your area of study, degree level and college attended. If you have one or more years of work experience then focus your introduction on your previous job title and/or industry.
- Example: Hello, My name is Jane Smith and I’m a recent graduate from the University of Boston with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
Second Sentence: Define Your Hard Skills
Hard skills are abilities that let you tackle job-specific duties and responsibilities. Hard skills can be learned through courses, vocational training, and on the job. These skills are usually focused on specific tasks and processes such as the use of tools, equipment, or software
- Example: I have both classroom and internship experience with preparing balance sheets, profit and loss statements and other financial reports.
Third Sentence: Emphasize Your Soft Skills
Soft skills relate to how you work. Soft skills include interpersonal or people skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and teamwork, among others. Hiring managers typically look for job candidates with soft skills because they make someone more successful in the workplace. Soft skills also speak to your ability to fit into the companies culture.
- Example: My professors would describe me as highly confident, deadline oriented, analytical and a fantastic team player.
Fourth Sentence: Strong Close with A Call To Action!
First consider this question, what do you want from the person or people you’re talking to? An interview, a job, or maybe all you want is an opportunity to get your foot in the door for a career employment opportunity. This is your moment to address exactly what it is that you want to take away from this meeting.
If you’re a job seeker at a job fair, hiring event, or experiencing a chance encounter with a hiring manager your goal might be to get an opportunity for a one on one interview. If this is your goal then just ask for it!
- Example: I’m very interested in discussing how my education, financial reporting skills and ambition make me an excellent candidate for the Accounts Receivable position you’re trying to fill and would like to schedule an interview with you at your earliest convenience.
Now, Loop All 4 Sentences Together!
Here’s where you get to review and refine your elevator pitch. Take sentences 1 - 4 and line them up in a paragraph form.
- Example: Hello, My name is Jane Smith and I’m a recent graduate from the University of Boston with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I have both classroom and internship experience with preparing balance sheets, profit and loss statements and other financial reports. My professors would describe me as highly confident, deadline oriented, analytical and a fantastic team player. I’m very interested in discussing how my education, financial reporting skills and ambition make me an excellent candidate for the Accounts Receivable position you’re trying to fill and would like to schedule an interview with you at your earliest convenience.
Read it back to yourself a couple of times and make sure it sounds fluid. Add or remove punctuation marks if you want to set up pause indicators for yourself in order to add pace and tone to your delivery. Make sure your pitch sounds persuasive and compelling enough to spark interests in your candidacy for employment.
Elevator Pitch Do’s & Don'ts
- Be positive and avoid talking about bad previous work experiences or tasks you don’t like doing.
- Use language that is compatible with your audience. Industry and professional jargon can be very confusing to someone not directly involved with the position you want.
- Practice, Practice, Practice!
- Smile and be Memorable!
- Get too caught up in specifics. Save all that information for the actual interview.
- Speak too fast. Pace and tone are important for a strong elevator pitch delivery.
- Restrict yourself to just one elevator pitch. Alter the hard and soft skills sentences in your original pitch to fit with the position(s) you’re pursuing.
So...let’s try this again. Tell me about yourself!
Write out your 60 second elevator pitch in the comments below to practice your pitch!
Hello, I'm Denise Clairesa Falzoi & I obtained my undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Clinical psychology. Currently, I'm working towards my thesis Masters degree in Forensic psychology online. I'm a highly motivated, mature, intelligent woman who has not only studied the field, I've assisted graduate students obtain their doctoral degrees, volunteered & facilitated for some large mental health organizations such as NAMI, Grassroots, the APA & I have personal experience in the field as well. I've taught both undergraduate & graduate students, assisted professors in clinical laboratory studies, worked 1:1 with clientele who suffered from disorders ranging from TBI (traumatic brain injuries) to personality disorders such as Antisocial Personality disorder & wrote behavioral treatment plans. I've held caseload ranging from 10 -35 and had to present each monthly in front of a standing committee. I am highly educated in psychopharmacology, clinical psychology, criminal justice & possess a strong, working knowledge of the DSM V. Finally, I accomplished all of this while dealing with my own personal diagnosis of major depression & have been a victim of a predatory "Big Pharma" multi-billion $ corporation, the FDA & was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Therefore, I'm extremely passionate about the field & hold extensive knowledge as well as occupational & personal experience in it. I firmly believe I'm the best candidate for this position as I've studied it, worked it & still continue to live with it.
Hello my name is Cheryl fargason I am interesting and warehouse forklift positions I have 8 years experience in the forklift and pallet jack through OSHA I work in shipping and receiving
My name is Tina Howell, im very interested in warehouse job. Im a hard worker, on time and reliable.
I tend to interrupt, not because I'm not listening but when the topic is important to me I tend to get overly excited is this ok as a "weakness"