Did you know you can make an excellent first impression on a potential employer in less than a minute? Creating the right “elevator pitch” is like producing a commercial about your qualifications. Keep it short and simple and adjust it to fit different companies’ objectives or job descriptions.
According to Business Insider, three questions should guide your pitch:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. What is your objective?
Prepare. Write down the material you want to present. Summarize your qualifications — work history, skills, background, and goals — in a few sentences. Be concise, stick to the topic, and use terminology that your intended audience can understand. Remember, you only have 30–60 seconds, so make every word count.
Memorize and practice your pitch. Record and time yourself to make sure it isn’t too long. Vary your tone of voice so you don’t sound scripted. Avoid rambling or talking too fast. “Tweak” your speech for different audiences.
Deliver your pitch. Your audience is more likely to remember you if you make it compelling. Capture listeners’ attention by opening with an interesting fact or relating a story about how you acquired your skills or why you want to accomplish a goal. Describe how your qualifications can benefit a prospective employer. If you’re unemployed or still in school, focus on goals and past work experiences or leadership roles in extracurricular activities and community organizations.
Deliver your pitch in person at trade shows, job fairs, and other networking events. Be confident and poised. Smile and make eye contact. Present your pitch online, too, via email, LinkedIn, your Twitter Bio, and other Web-based platforms.
Next steps. Carry business cards listing your name, contact information, skills, and goals. (VistaPrint, Alphagraphics, or Moo.com are great resource for professional-quality marketing materials). When networking face-to-face, thank your listeners for their time and let them know you’d like to touch base in the future. If you’re connecting with a prospective employer online or in person and haven’t heard from them in a while, follow up via email or LinkedIn.
Being prepared with the “perfect pitch” can get you well on your way to realizing your career goals. Ready to get started? Check out this example for inspiration: snip.ly/TheBestElevatorPitch.
Once you develop and execute your “perfect pitch” and get your job, contact the non-profit LandAjob. Did you know that if you are on SSI or SSDI, you can be eligible for up to $12,000 in job-expense reimbursements through our job-services program? Register today at bit.ly/30SecondPitch. Maybe we can help?