5 Ways to Polish Your Personal Elevator Pitch

Group of professional people having a discussion

What exactly is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short description meant to interest and persuade people into learning more about a business, a product, or in this particular case – you! Imagine you get on an elevator with someone who has the ability to give you an opportunity, and you only have the length of the ride to convince them why it’s in their best interest to do so. You want to make sure you have a convincing statement prepared about why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Elevator pitches are very useful in the business world, especially for those networking or exploring new career possibilities. Here are five tips on how to make the most of your elevator pitch!

1. Keep It Brief

Share your credentials and expertise without going into too much detail or providing your entire work history. Speak clearly and conversationally but don’t rush! Try to get your pitch down between 30-60 seconds.

2. Practice Makes Perfect

Practice your short speech so that you’re comfortable giving it in any situation, such as at a job fair or career expo. You can use it for your LinkedIn profile, at networking events, or in an interview when the employer asks you to tell them about yourself. Practice at home, in the mirror, or with a friend, until it comes easily and naturally. You never know who you’ll start a conversation with while waiting in line at Starbucks!

3. Highlight Your Key Points

Explain who you are and what relevant skills or qualifications you have. You want to spark the listener’s interest and focus on elements that would bring value to them or their organization. You can also mention what you’re looking for, such as “a role in accounting,” or, “an opportunity to apply my skills in the hospitality industry,” as a way to share your goals.

4. Prepare More Than One Pitch

Depending on the situation or circumstances, it can be useful to have different types of pitches prepared. One you might use in formal settings, such as a job interview, the other could be for meeting someone in a more social setting. If you have experience in a few different fields, such as graphic design or copywriting, than you can tweak your pitch to suit your specific aims.

5. Ensure You have a Way to Follow-Up

If you make a connection, great! But you’ll need a way to follow-up. It’s useful to have a business card on hand or, if you’re at a career fair, a copy of your resume will do. If you happen to be caught without either, you can offer to use your smartphone to share contact information. Or you can always ask for the person’s name and reach out to them via LinkedIn. Remember to be respectful and don’t push them if they decline to share their information.

Here are two examples you can use as a guideline in creating your own pitch. Google more examples to find one that you can adopt to suit your personal needs.

  • I recently graduated from college with a diploma in Hospitality Management. I’ve worked in the hotel industry as a front desk agent where I provided excellent customer service to guests. I’m looking for an opportunity to put my people skills to work.
  • I’m a graphic designer with several years experience in crafting creative images that pull people in and convey a strong message. I am interested in learning more about how I can contribute to your organization.
  • I’ve just finished up my accounting degree and eager to gain additional experience in the workforce. I’m motivated and driven to succeed and feel that my educational background would make me a great fit for your company.

If you’re looking for more ways to improve your networking skills, be sure to check out our video series offering tips and best practices from Niagara College – Toronto’s (NCT) Career Services Placement Manager, Rizwan G. NCT is always here to provide our students with the resources and support to help them achieve their educational and career goals. Contact info@niagaracollegetoronto.ca to find out more today.