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Make It Happen Tipsheet
Career Management and Life Balance

Elevator Pitch - Going Up

You're in the elevator, or waiting in line at the coffee shop, and someone says to you "Aren't we going to meet in just a few minutes? Tell me about yourself..." While you may not be ready to meet the person, the opportunity to make a positive impression is one that you do not want to miss. The term Elevator Pitch itself comes from the metaphor of the elevator: your "pitch" must be made before the elevator stops and the doors open.

But what makes a great elevator pitch great?

Most importantly, remember that the hiring manager or recruiter doesn't really care about you: they only care about how you can solve their problems. With this in mind, describe yourself in a way that actually adds value to the listener: it can be one sentence, or five. Some guidelines:

  • The importance of research: if you don't know the issues, then how will you know what is important to them?
  • The elevator pitch must be framed in terms that are benefits to the listener.
  • The pitch should contain some emotion or passion -- but don't over do it.
  • The pitch should never sound rehearsed - it must appear spontaneous and authentic.

This week's action item: Write a 20 second elevator pitch for yourself, and record it. Does it pass the litmus test of being listener-focused, or is it exclusively about "me"? Look for an opportunity during the week to test-drive a customized version with a new contact. Each time you use say it will increase your comfort, and your confidence.

Make It Happen Tipsheet
Comments or questions?
Let us know: editor@ptadvisors.com.

Copyright © 2006 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.

Publication Date: December 5, 2006

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