4 Steps to Crafting Your Elevator Pitch
You are at an industry conference on the elevator, the doors open and the CEO who just announced he is looking for talented people gets on. You have 20 seconds to get him interested in talking with you.
When you are networking, you need an elevator pitch, a 20-30 second statement that positions you for job opportunities and distinguishes you versus other candidates.
The purpose of the elevator pitch is simply to get someone to want to know more about you. It needs to be short, easy to understand, very compelling, and convey that you have valuable talent and experience.
Here is how you create one:
- Write down the top 10 things you accomplished.
Don’t try to wordsmith, just get the information on paper and make sure you can describe the tangible results of each effort (e.g. saved the project from going 4 months past deadline).Use the C-A-R process; what was the Challenge, what Action did you take and what was the Result?
- Develop your theme.
Review your top 10 accomplishments and see if there is a theme. Is your experience centered around specific skills or a style of performance? For example, are you the person management assigns to turnaround underperforming locations? Are you the go-to person for SOX compliance? Are you the resident Subject Matter Expert for mobile application development?Think about your peers and the issues management would come to you over others.
- Condense your stories into 1 sentence each and then rank them. Keep writing in a conversational style focusing on the challenge/situation and result.For example:”When the Chicago office kept missing their numbers, I’m the guy management sent to turn it around and I was able to deliver 123% of goals in just 6 months.Now rank the stories in terms of their impact in describing your talent and impressing them with results. You might want to have multiple pitches so you may have different ranks for different themes.
- Put it all together and practice.
Start by stating your theme and then give one to three short statements that prove it.”I am a senior sales executive with over 10 years of success selling office solutions for Xerox and Ikon. Consistently ranked in the top 5% nationally, I am also the guy management sent to turn around the Chicago office, where I delivered deliver 123% of goals in just 6 months.
Your pitch should be very conversational and easy for you to remember and say. Remember the mission of the elevator pitch is not to secure a job offer on the spot, but to open the doors to a more serious conversation.