Introduce yourself with a high-impact statement that showcases your value
You may have heard the term “elevator pitch” – but what exactly does it mean and how do you write one? Read on to find out!
What is an elevator pitch?
Imagine you're on your way to a job interview. You're excited, yet nervous. You've made sure that you're looking your best, you've researched the company, you've arrived on time, and you're on the way up to the manager's office in the lift. In your head, you're rehearsing what you're going to say – the killer statement that will convince the hiring manager that you are the right person for the job. The trick is to make your spiel last less than 30 seconds so you can have your game face on by the time the lift doors open. That's your elevator pitch!
Where does the elevator pitch come from?
The elevator pitch as we now know it originated back in the 1950s, when, thanks in large part to the Writers' Guild of America, screenwriters had considerably more power and influence in the studio model. For instance, writers did not, at that time, write script proposals without being paid in advance. As a cost-saving exercise, a producer might network with a few writers and ask for a short version of what they were working on. “Pitching” became a custom for writers and producers to share shortened versions of their work, in the interest of saving time and money.
What does this bit of film history have to do with applying for a job? Well, the principles are exactly the same – you're effectively “pitching” yourself for the role. You have to capture the hiring manager's attention to convince them that you're the perfect fit.
The foolproof elevator pitch formula
The elevator pitch is an opportunity to convey your experience, personality, achievements, and career goals without padding or fluff. In fact, you should try to distil it down to one or two sentences. Your personal elevator pitch should encompass what you're about and should include these elements:
What you do (in practical terms)
What audience, market, or demographic you serve
The problem or issue you solve
The key benefit you bring to a business or customer
How to write an elevator pitch about yourself
Write your own elevator pitch using these 3 simple steps:
1. Write down a list of your achievements
I have met or exceeded my sales targets each month for the past year
I consistently increase social media engagement for my clients, with an average of 60% growth across all channels
My approach to restructuring our organisation resulted in fewer redundancies and higher employee satisfaction than the previous quarter
2. Identify what unique trait or skill you used to make that achievement happen
Using the social selling techniques I learned in my latest certification, I have met or exceeded my sales targets each month for the past year.
By conducting thorough market research and employing social listening techniques, I consistently increase social media engagement for my clients.
My top-down approach to restructuring our organisation resulted in fewer redundancies and higher employee satisfaction than the previous quarter.
If you're seeking to expand your professional circle, self-employed, or testing the waters for a new role through networking, you may wish to include the following:
Who are the customers you would ideally like to work with or help?
What makes you unique in your field?
What results have you delivered for your clients?
3. Pull it all together
Now that you've identified your value and key skills, pull it all together into a convincing pitch that really sells you! Consider how you'll hook the listener from the start and what action you want them to take at the end.
I specialise in increasing social media engagement for clients in the hospitality sector, through market research and social listening. If anyone in your network is looking at improving their brand visibility and online presence, please put them in touch!
What if I don't have any experience?
Lack of formal experience is not a deal breaker. Wherever your professional interests lie, there's a community built around it. If you've had any training recently or just completed a degree or certification, reflect on what you've learned and list your accomplishments. Don't be afraid to get personal, either. Perhaps you've been out of work due to a chronic illness or you're transitioning from one career path to another. What did you learn from those experiences and how have they informed the choices you're making now?
Should I use a different one every time?Think of it in the same way as the Personal Statement on your CV, which should be tailored to the role you're applying for. It may help to come up with a “master pitch” that you're happy with, and tweak it as necessary - or wheel it out when you're caught on the hop! It's all about showing contacts who you are and what you're about.Elevator pitch examples
Why not take some inspiration from these punchy pitches?
I provide specialised media consulting to small business owners seeking a wider platform for their brands without expensive monthly retainers.
I help clients to reach their optimal level of fitness and strength, with plans tailored to the individual, without the need for dieting or excessive time at the gym.
I promote leading luxury lifestyle brands, set trends, and build successful multi-million-dollar businesses through constant, unrelenting access to my personal life and that of my family members.
The elevator pitch may be short, but it has the potential to make a great impact. Revise and rewrite your elevator pitch regularly. Like a pitch for a film, it's designed to spark the imagination and leave the person you're pitching to wanting to know more. It takes practice to get it right, but when you do, it just might grant you that competitive edge over other candidates.
Need advice on where to start? Our experienced CV writers can help you to identify your achievements, value, and unique selling points.