Whether you were recently laid off, a college kid getting ready to graduate into the real world or just want to be prepared for the opportunity to make for greener pastures having a personal elevator pitch on-the-ready is the first step towards a new job. Take some time this weekend and put together your personal elevator pitch.
I recently found myself at a health professions career fair on my Universities campus and walking from booth to booth one question dominated the experience:
Tell Me About Yourself
How do you sum up your life’s experience and job ambitions in 30 seconds or less? Many people make the mistake of thinking they should walk an interviewer through their entire résumé. That is a mistake, you want the interviewer to remember you for your energy, experience highlights and for how you could contribute to their company not as a dictated résumé.
Where do you begin?
That’s the easiest part, introduce yourself. It’s the part people often overlook and almost never do properly. Example, “Hi, my name is Kevin Curry” and a handshake.
What are your experience highlights?
Keep it quick and stick to the important stuff. Example, “I received a bachelors in biomedical science from Colorado State University, am a fourth year PharmD candidate at Regis University and I have 3 years experience working as an intern pharmacist.” Education, professional experience, pertinent certifications/qualifications and that’s it. They don’t need a complete list of clubs, fraternities or sports you participated in.
What value do you bring to the organization?
Start by filling a page with what you would want to say to a hiring manager, pull out three bullet points that give a snapshot of your value to the company. This is also where you can align your value with the companies needs or mission statement if you’ve had time to prepare, if it is a true elevator pitch go with things that are a bit more generic.
“Instead of going in with a laundry list, say, for example, “I can make sure your employees are well supervised and motivated and I bring with me 8 years of customer service and retail experience.”
Sometimes you will have the opportunity to pitch yourself at a social setting such as a fund raiser or training. In that kind of situation you might want to mix in some personal details to try and open a conversation. Example, “While in college I started my own business and it has become a true passion of mine. My wife and I were recently married in the mountains near Lyons.”
Pay Attention and Adapt
We are trying to escape the script of reading your résumé, so do not memorize a pitch to the extent that it is stiff, awkward and insincere. Pay attention to the audience, watch and listen for cues and try and develop a real relationship with the person if you want them to remember you. One of the best ways to do this is by preparing several pitches for different audiences in both professional interview settings, social gathering and an elevator. By having many pitches ready you will be more agile when the time comes to actually give one.