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How Strong is Your 30 Second Elevator Pitch?

Make a lasting impression in 30 seconds or less

Imagine being in an elevator with the person who manages the team of your dream job. You only have about thirty seconds to get them to notice you. What do you say? How do you act? Do you stay quiet and watch them exit as the doors of the elevator close taking your opportunity along with them or speak up and sell yourself? Here are some tips on how to never miss your opportunity to shine.

First things first – what is an elevator pitch? It’s simple. An elevator pitch is a quick synopsis of who you are, what you do, what makes you special, and what you are looking for all said to convince someone of your skills within 30 seconds or less. Although that may not seem like a long time, if you learn how to perfect your pitch, it will be more than enough time to win them over.

  1. Who are you? What do you do? These questions should be answered within ten seconds and in one flowing sentence. The introduction and how it is delivered will be essential on getting their attention. An example of the perfect opening statement is “Good morning, I’m Jane Doe and I am a web designer with over five years of experience developing websites and apps.” This statement has effectively expressed your name, your field of work, and your experience. An example of an ineffective introduction is “Hello, my name is Jane Doe and I am a web designer for Fake Job Industries.” Although it may seem like a good idea to mention the company you work for, it is essential to put yourself in the listener’s shoes and assume they have no idea what that company is or about. By stating your employers name, it leaves them with the impression that you are already off the market for a job, and decreases the chance of holding their attention.
  2. What makes you special? Beside your years of experience or eagerness to land the job, what skills do you have that make you a great addition for their company? If they are not hiring, what about you is memorable to make them consider hiring you anyway or remembering you for when they do have an opening? This is the most important portion of your pitch and should take anywhere between 15 to 20 seconds. Your response should be tailored to express how your skills would benefit them and not just a list of what your skills are. An example of an effective statement to communicate your skills is “With my extensive knowledge of designing using Adobe Creative Suite and developing websites and apps with Bootstrap and Javascript, I am comfortable developing any web product from scratch, independently or in collaboration with a team”. This statement shows your worth and ability to be independent and a team player. An example of a poor description of your skills is “I am capable of designing and developing websites and apps on any platform.There is no specific information to prove your knowledge or track record.
  3. Your closing statement. If you currently have a job, explain why you are interested in changing companies. You can say “I am interested in changing environments to learn the work culture of different companies.” Most people are intrigued with hiring new workers who not only have talent but can offer advice gained from other companies to better their own.

It is important to rehearse and perfect your elevator pitch for both foreseen and unforeseen opportunities. Know your audience and always adjust your pitch to suit them, not you. If you are a web designer meeting with an HR manager, avoid using too many technical words that they will not understand. Be confident, bold, and take charge of the moment because you will only have a few seconds to sell yourself effectively.

Written by Sheena Roman.

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