It’s called the elevator pitch, because it is intended to be persuasive in the short time of a ride on an elevator. The key to the elevator pitch is therefore to get straight to the point… but without forgetting anything. 7 tips for using it in your job search.
Answer the 5 questions
There is a rule in journalism: every article has to answer the 5 Ws (What? Who? Where? When? and Why? ). These five essential questions can also help you structure your elevator pitch. Present yourself (Who>), say what you do and what position you are aiming for (What?), what company you currently work for or would like to work for (Where?), say when you are available (When?) and explain why your listener would have an interest in hiring you (Why?).
If you are in a very technical field, it would be best to prepare two elevator pitches, one for those who are very familiar with your field (people performing the same functions who could recommend you to their company, specialized recruiters, etc.), the other for those who are recruiters but do not necessarily have full knowledge of the specific subject (HR generalists, business owners, etc.). The first lets you demonstrate your
expertise with a specific vocabulary, while the second lets you reach a wider audience without getting lost in technical terms.
Make it simple
Don’t launch into complicated metaphors or 12-line sentences. You have a very short time – this is not the time to show your rhetorical abilities. Go for the subject-verb- complement technique. “Hello, my name is Firstname Lastname. I am a Profession. I
have X years of experience…”
Before giving your mini speech before THE person that could advance your career, practice it. Practice it by yourself, but also in front of other contacts (family, friends, people who support you in your job search) who can tell you what they think. Sometimes, while immersed in a project, an obvious part escapes you and you might forget essential information or express yourself poorly, hence the interest in an external viewpoint.
So your argument has hit the spot, your listener is convinced, you part ways delighted… and when you get home you realize that you forgot to give him a way to find you! Always carry business cards with your contact information to remind your listener of you when
he empties his pockets or, at least, don’t forget to give your phone number to your new contact.
The perfect length of time for an elevator speech is from 30 to 45 seconds, and not more than one minute. Don’t forget – you will get to your floor very quickly!
Open the conversation
It’s not just about you – at the end of your presentation, involve your listener by asking a question about him and and his company. If you can get him to engage in conversation, you have aroused his interest, and the work is largely done!