How to Craft a Winning Elevator Pitch

Your elevator speech…career brand sound bite….elevator pitch. No matter what you call it, your ability to give people a 30-second commercial about yourself can make or break your next career move.

Simply put, an elevator pitch succinctly captures who you are, what you do and how you add-value to organizations. Without it, you’ll be left in a lurch at networking events, casual opportunities, conversations with hiring managers and encounters with the higher-ups.

Here’s a six-step guide to creating a Swiss-Army-Knife elevator pitch that will get you noticed and into your next job.

  1. Choose your market. As the old adage goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. If you don’t know the exact job target you want to aim for, you’ll never reach the promised land.
  2. Create your core message. Creating a concise, less-than-30-second script that highlights your value is no easy feat. It takes work, so get out paper and a pen and start brainstorming your skills, accomplishments and experiences that match your target role. Whittle the information down to a core message, and add a few key points highlighting your skills and accomplishments to back it up. “Your goal is to interest the listener in learning more, not to tell your whole life story. So remove extraneous details that detract from your core message.” Source: Forbes 
  3. Make it compelling. The best elevator pitches answer three questions: Who are you? What are you looking for? What do you do?
  4. Think about your audience. Your elevator pitch is not static. It should be dynamic, adjusted to the specific person to whom you’re speaking, so focus the pitch to their needs.
  5. Use the right language. Don’t assume the person to whom you’re speaking will understand your industry’s terminology and acronyms. “It’s your job to figure out how to translate your experience and past successes into terms that resonate with your new target audience.” Source: The Ladders  Adjust your elevator pitch so that regardless of industry, your audience will clearly understand that you have the ability to deliver results.
  6. Practice. Just because you’ve formalized a pitch on paper, don’t assume it’s perfect – yet. Rehearse the pitch out loud, to yourself and to a safe audience who can provide feedback. Keep in mind that when you write, you’ll tend to be more formal than you would be in a conversation. Your elevator pitch should be conversational, not rehearsed.

In less than one minute, your elevator pitch could turn a chance encounter into a viable job opportunity. Remember to select the right target, create a core message, make the pitch a good one, tailor the sound bite, get rid of industry jargon and then practice the pitch. In no time, you’ll feel just as comfortable pitching yourself to a CEO as you would your own mother.

Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional.  She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice. Copyright 2016 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you much career success!

Joanne Loberg
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers

© 2004-2013 JL Careers, Vancouver BC, Canada

JL Careers provides Career and Leadership Coaching, Career Development Workshops, and Career Transition Services which support organizational succession planning, leadership development and employee engagement strategies.