QUESTION: I’ve been told to refine my elevator pitch. What should it include and how will I use it in my job search?
The elevator pitch is for networking, used in response to questions like, “What do you do?” Instead of giving your job title and employer, offer a value statement: “I manage global projects and teams to ensure that cultural differences do not compromise budgets, schedules, or quality in communications technology rollouts.” In this way, you can explain not only what you do, but how well you do it.
You will use your elevator pitch when meeting new people or engaging in dialogue about mutual career interests. It should take less than one minute to communicate and contain highlights of the work you do, your background, and the goal that you want to convey (requesting an informational or job interview or an introduction to another networking contact). Always end on a positive note!
An elevator pitch is a 30-60-second synopsis that answers who you are, why you’re qualified, and why you’re here. Your pitch should include distinguishing features from your background, such as years of specific industry experience, specialized training, current projects, recent accomplishments, etc. that reflect your career goals, business, and personality traits.
Career coaches work with clients to develop and refine elevator pitches. Ideally, an elevator pitch should describe what you offer an employer in no more than two to three short sentences covering your credentials, skills, achievements, and career goals. The important thing is to memorize the elevator pitch so well that you can effortlessly weave it into conversations in a natural, casual manner.
Differentiating and making yourself memorable is the goal. Describe what motivates you and how you add value. “As a technology leader, I create cost-conscious solutions enabling critical, 24×7 information delivery to customers. The best part of my work? Seeing ideas come to life through my teams, who I’ve mentored in expedited development techniques and productive business user conversations.
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