“Tell me about yourself” is one of the most dreaded questions of any job search. Most of us have no idea how to talk about ourselves—where to start, what to say, or how to present ourselves in the most professional light.
This is where the elevator pitch comes in.
An elevator pitch is a short, compelling speech about you and your career goals. It should only last about 20 to 30 seconds, or the length of an elevator ride (hence the name).
Having a prepared elevator pitch is essential. It’s something you can pull out in any networking situation, whether that be over the phone, at parties, or meeting anyone for the first time.
Luckily, there is a strategy for developing your elevator pitch. I’ll go over the general outline:
- Begin with who you are.
Start with the basics—your name, your current profession, or the profession you’d like to work in, and maybe even where you’re from (depending on the context).
- Share your high-level background.
Where are you working currently? Where did you work previously? If you’re still in school, state your major and an internship you’ve done within your desired industry (if you’ve had one).
- List your key skills.
Your key skills are four or five competencies you need in your targeted profession. If you can’t think of what those might be off the top of your head, write down the skills you currently use at your job. These are most likely your key skills.
- Mention one major accomplishment.
This accomplishment should be something you’re proud of that made a real difference within your company. If you haven’t been with a company recently, you could mention an accomplishment within any other organization you’re a part of—volunteer, church, community, university, or otherwise.
- Name your target job positions.
These are the one or two positions or titles you’re interested in.
- Name your target companies.
Which companies do you really want to work for? List three to five of them.
- End with your value statement.
Your value statement is how you, personally, will bring value to an organization. What strengths and talents can you bring to the table? Everyone has something that differentiates them from the crowd. If you are having trouble thinking of yours, consult with your close family and friends. They can help you see what makes you unique.
Put together, all of this makes an elevator pitch. It’s crucial to have this ready to go before you enter any networking situation, especially if talking about yourself doesn’t come naturally. Practice in front of a mirror, or with your family and friends. Make it concise and snappy. You’ll feel much better entering any networking event with your elevator pitch polished and prepared.
These are just some tips to get you started, and I hope they were encouraging and helpful. I know how difficult it can be to find the right words to describe yourself and your career desires. At Don’t Dread Monday, we have over a dozen certified, experienced career coaches who know the best way to craft an elevator pitch. If you need the extra help, sign-up for a free, 15-minute consultation with a career coach.
As always, contact us via our website or call 800.680.7768 if you have any questions.
Until next time.ele