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ELEVATOR SPEECH EXAMPLES AND WRITING TIPS

WHAT’S IN AN ELEVATOR SPEECH?

This speech is all about you: Who you are, what you do, and what you want to do if you’re job hunting. Your elevator pitch is a way to share your expertise and credentials quickly and effectively with people who don’t know you. Read on for guidelines for what to include in your speech, when to share it, and examples of elevator pitches.

WHEN AND HOW TO USE AN ELEVATOR PITCH

If you’re job searching, you can use your elevator pitch at job fairs and career expos, and online in your LinkedIn summary or Twitter bio, for example. An elevator speech is a great way to gain confidence in introducing yourself to hiring managers and company representatives.

You can also use your elevator pitch to introduce yourself at networking events and mixers. If you’re attending professional association programs and events, or any other type of gathering, have your pitch ready to share with those you meet.

WHAT TO SAY

Your elevator speech should be brief. Restrict the speech to 30 to 60 seconds — that’s the time it takes to ride an elevator, hence the name.

Even though it’s a short pitch, your elevator speech should be persuasive enough to spark the listener’s interest in your idea, organization, or background.

Your elevator pitch should explain who you are and what qualifications and skills you have. Try to focus on assets that add value in many situations. The best way to get comfortable with an elevator speech is to practice it until the speed, and “pitch” come naturally, without sounding robotic.

You will become comfortable varying the conversation as you practice with it.

You aren’t interviewing for a specific position, so you want to appear open-minded and flexible. It’s your chance to make a great first impression with a potential employer.

If you have a business card, offer it at the end of the conversation as a way to continue the dialog. A copy of your resume, if you’re at a job fair or professional networking event, will also show your enthusiasm and preparedness.

EXAMPLES OF ELEVATOR SPEECHES

Use these examples as guidelines in crafting your own elevator pitch, and make sure your speech includes details on your background, as well as what you’d provide an employer.

  • I recently graduated from college with a degree in communications. I worked on the college newspaper as a reporter, and eventually, as the editor of the arts section. I’m looking for a job that will put my skills as a journalist to work.
  • I have a decade’s worth of experience in accounting, working primarily with small and midsize firms. If your company is ever in need of an extra set of hands, I’d be thrilled to consult.
  • My name is Bob, and after years of working at other dentists’ offices, I’m taking the plunge and opening my own office. If you know anyone who’s looking for a new dentist, I hope you’ll send them my way!
  • I create illustrations for websites and brands. My passion is coming up with creative ways to express a message, and drawing illustrations that keep people clicking and sharing on social media.
  • I’m a lawyer with the government, based out of D.C. I grew up in Ohio, though, and I’m looking to relocate closer to my roots, and join a family-friendly firm. I specialize in labor law, and worked for ABC firm before joining the government.
  • My name is Sarah, and I run a trucking company. It’s a family-owned business, and we think the personal touch makes a big difference to our customers. Not only do we guarantee on-time delivery, but it’s me and my father answering the phones, and not an automated system.

JOB FAIR ETIQUETTE

A job fair is the best way to explore careers with several organizations at one time. There are job fairs for specific industries and specialties, as well as fairs bringing together a wide variety of employers filling many positions. These are employers that you know are hiring, or they wouldn’t be spending a day at a career fair. With a little preparation, you can impress potential employers and be on your way to a new position.

Before the Fair

You should get a list of companies that will be attending when you register for the fair. Take note of which ones you are particularly interested in talking with and plan to target them first. You will most likely have a map of where employers will be located at the fair, so use that to plan your strategy. Spend some time researching all the companies that will be attending. Interviewers will be impressed if you can speak intelligently about their organization. Prepare a 30-second speech (sometimes called an “elevator pitch” or “commercial”) highlighting your skills, strengths and the value you bring to an employer. Practice your speech until it is smooth and sounds natural.

At the Fair

Arrive early, you will be able to speak with the interviewers when they are still fresh, before you begin to blend in with all the others they have met. Dress professionally, as you would for an interview—a suit is the best choice for both men and women. Bring more copies of your resume than you think you will need—the worst thing would be to run out before you’ve met with every employer. Carry a portfolio with pens and paper for taking notes.

Follow your plan to meet with your preferred employers first. Greet every interviewer with a smile and a firm handshake and be sure to make plenty of eye contact. Give them your prepared speech and ask how they feel your skills and background may fit in with the organization. Ask as many questions as you can, using them to show that you’ve researched the company as well as learning more about possible openings. Don’t waste time asking if they’re hiring. Ask instead what positions they feel might be right for you. Ask as many questions as you can without wearing out your welcome or monopolizing the recruiter’s time—they have a lot of other people to meet.

Finish by stating your interest in working for the company and indicating that you will be following up. Be sure to get a business card, or at least the interviewer’s name (ask them to spell it) and position. Thank the interviewer for their time and move on, repeating the process at each booth.

After the Fair

Follow up with all companies of interest. Send a letter to the person you met, reiterating your strengths and interest in working for the company. If possible, include information to remind them who you are, for instance, “I was the one who also went to State U.” Include another copy of your resume and ask about the best way to proceed.

Written By: Ben Bontekoe