Every job seeker should have a basic one minute elevator pitch. If you are not familiar with the concept this is the basic minute long introduction that attempts to establish a connection with someone who may be helpful in your job search beyond that half minute and make them actually want to help you. A modified version of your one minute elevator pitch can be used in an interview but that is not really what it is for.
An elevator pitch is basically your own personal commercial and it is primarily a networking tool. Here we will explore how to write a great basic elevator pitch so that the next time a complete stranger asks you what you do you are not left struggling to find the right words for so long that they are gone before you come up with an answer.
Writing Your One Minute Elevator Pitch
There are five, very basic elements to the elevator speech:
Your Name – always the opener but the key is to keep it simple. First names only at this point works best, you can always hand over a business card later that bears your full moniker. If you are usually known by a shortened version of your name it is OK to use that instead but other nicknames are not appropriate. “Hi, I’m Sally” really is all you need to make that opening salvo.
Your Title – The point her is to give your listener a sense of what you do professionally, not give out the actual title that was attached to the last position you held, something that may be hard for a military vet to translate into civilian terms anyway. And always use generic descriptions rather than falling into using ‘lingo” that not everyone is going to understand, and therefore probably not listen to. One sentence really should be enough.
What you do – This is where you expand a little on that title statement, but again, without veering off into lingo land. For instance if your title statement was “I am a computer programmer” you can expand on that, and give your listener a “visual” of what you do by adding “My specialties are mainframe/cloud integration and RIA portability”
At this point in your elevator speech you should have achieved one very important thing. The person you are giving your pitch to would now, if another person they knew were to step on to that imaginary (or real) elevator at this point they could introduce you easily “Oh this is Sally, she’s a computer programmer”
You Passion – This is where you sell yourself a little, demonstrate your passion and make this person want to help you in any way they can, even if that just means listening to you. “ I love the challenge of 21st century computing, you really get to help so many different people and learn about so many different aspects of various industries” Demonstrate that passion but again, avoid lingo and keep it simple (fourth grade level if at all possible)
The Request for Help (that Isn’t One) – You do not end your elevator speech with a direct plea for a job, even if you happen to know that this person is the right person to help you. This is where you introduce your objective into the conversation. As a parallel, if you were writing a dating profile this is where the “I’m looking for a girl who likes Pina Coladas and walks in the rain” line would come in.Except in this case it might be “ I am looking for a new challenge in a new company though. “Do you know of anyone that I could talk to about their experiences?” This is the part of the elevator speech that you will need to be able to vary on the fly a little to suit the situation but you get the basic idea.