Many interviews open with the same question, “Tell me about yourself.” Many interviewees see this as an invitation to tell their personal life story, but this is not what hiring managers want to hear. “Tell me about yourself,” is an invitation to provide an overview of your career background, your achievements, and where you see yourself in the future. The answer to this question is often a great place to utilize your elevator pitch.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
Elevator pitches are named for a challenge: How would you express your value as an employee if you found yourself on an elevator with your dream employer and you had to describe yourself to that person in the time it took you to reach your floor?
Your elevator pitch should be concise, illustrating who you are and how you can help the listener. It is a sales pitch about yourself that you deliver verbally, which means it takes focus and practice in order to deliver it with confidence. To be effective, an elevator pitch should be compelling and memorable, and it should clearly illustrate your value to the employer.
How to Create Your Elevator Pitch
Developing an effective elevator pitch takes some time. Though it is short, it carries a lot of weight, and determines the tone of the rest of the interview. Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling elevator pitch:
Set aside time to sit down and create a career inventory.
Write down the things you would want potential employers to know about your skills, achievements, and relevant experience.
Edit, edit, edit.
Once you’ve got a nice, long list written down, it’s time to edit. Delete anything that is not absolutely critical to your elevator pitch. You want to be left with just a few bullet points. Remember, the elevator pitch is not your life or career story, it is more of a highlight reel of your “top hits” that should leave the interviewer wanting to learn more about you.
Format the pitch.
Now that you’ve got a list to work with, you can begin to craft your pitch. A solid elevator pitch will answer the questions: Who are you? What do you do well? What are you looking for from your career?
Tailor your pitch to your audience.
Remember that you are giving a sales pitch, and the listener only wants to know what’s in it for them. Therefore, the message should focus on your benefits as an employee. Instead of saying, “I am an HR professional with 12 years of experience in the finance industry,” it would be much more powerful to say, “I am an HR professional with a track record in successfully recruiting top-level management.”
Practice, practice, practice.
After you’ve got a solid draft in place, practice your pitch out loud with friends, family, or your professional recruiter. They can help you make any edits that might be necessary, and the more you practice delivering your pitch, the more confident you will be in your delivery.
Professional recruiters can be an invaluable resource when it comes to perfecting your elevator pitch and your entire interviewing technique. If you are a professional in engineering, information technology, operations, sales, or marketing, and you are looking for new and exciting career opportunities, contact The Prevalent Group today. We are a nationally recognized management and executive placement and recruitment agency that works with innovative organizations in northern Illinois and beyond. We can help you locate job opportunities that align with your long-term personal and professional goals.