Perfecting the Elevator Pitch

Here it is! Your big moment. The recruiter asks you the time tested question, “So,,,,tell me about yourself.” YIKES!  How in the world can you concisely and adequately describe yourself to someone without sounding boastful or too modest?  This is often referred to as an “elevator pitch”. Your elevator pitch in this instance may well be the difference between getting the job and losing out on the opportunity. Want to create an awesome elevator pitch?  Try these strategies and you’ll have it in the bag. 

Keep it short and sweet. Your pitch should be no more than 30 seconds and should not consist of more than 100 words. Sounds like an impossible feat to describe yourself in that short amount of time and with those few words. But it can be done. 

First things first, remember to smile. So much can be conveyed about us based on our facial expressions and our body language. Sit up confidently in your chair and give it your best shot.

  • Tell them about yourself. Make sure your opening statement has a hook about you that’ll grab their attention. Something unusual about yourself that sets you apart from others. Describe what you are currently doing and do it with enthusiasm.
  • Talk about what you have to offer an organization. How your skills, training and education will benefit the organization. Offer examples for your interviewer and make sure to include why you are interested in this particular position. Do your research about the company so you make sure your skills closely align with their mission. 
  • Offer up any special skills, experiences or additional education that you have that sets you apart from other candidates. It is vital that you target the specific organization and job when pitching yourself. 
  • Make sure you only include information relevant to the particular position for which you are applying. Remember you are looking for succinct and impactful!
  • Be careful to not be pompous. Don’t try too hard to impress by using larger words than necessary that may or may not be appropriate to the situation. Direct and concise is your goal. 
  • This one is a biggie… WRITE IT DOWN. Whatever you do, don’t wing it. Make sure you take the time prior to your interview that you write down what you do, where you were educated, specials skills you possess, your future objectives, how your skills match the job description and how this would be a mutually beneficial relationship. 
  • Next up is practice. Don’t take for granted the importance of trying this little gem out loud – either to your mirror or to a trusted friend who will tell you honestly how you’ve done. These pitches can make or break an interview so don’t take anything for granted. 

Just as in resume writing, when selling yourself there are particular words that will be more impressive and convey a strong message. Using words like:

  • ambitious
  • adept 
  • confident
  • conscientious
  • creative
  • diligent
  • flexible
  • loyal
  • motivated
  • organized
  • persistent
  • punctual
  • reliable
  • team player

You get the idea. Some of these you can comfortably use to describe yourself and others don’t really fit you. But this gives you an excellent starting point for creating your winning elevator pitch.  

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