Elevator speech

Your elevator speech or pitch is all about the story you want to tell and is based on the idea that it can be delivered in the short time of an elevator ride. As it relates to your job search, your elevator speech should communicate who you are, what you are looking for, and how you can benefit a company or organization. Our Networking Profile can help organize your thoughts.

An elevator speech or pitch is a valuable and adaptable tool which can be used in numerous situations such as:

  • Networking events
  • Career fairs
  • Strategic and planned networking opportunities with former colleagues, industry subject matter experts, college alums, friends, and family
  • Casual or informal networking opportunities we might encounter any given day – at the grocery store, on an airplane flight, on the subway, at a child’s baseball game, and yes... even on an elevator!
  • Cold calls to potential employers
  • During a job interview when someone simply asks you: "Tell me about yourself".

Best Practices

  • Do sound conversational, natural and sincere
  • Keep your elevator speech or pitch to 90 words max/30 seconds
  • Focus on how you can benefit employers — answer the question WIIFM (what’s in it for me) - Use examples and stories to support your points and develop different versions for different audiences
  • Do make sure to end with an action request
  • Write and rewrite your speech - refine the message and eliminate unnecessary words
  • Practice your speech, but do not sound rehearsed
  • Obtain input from and practice with your Transition Assistance coach
  • Do not ramble
  • Do not use jargon

Start building your elevator speech for your job search today by answering these key questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Why are you exploring new opportunities?
  • What is your area of expertise? (share a summary of your experience)
  • What makes you unique? - Do you have a niche? - What sets you apart from the crowd?
  • What types of opportunities are you targeting?
  • How will you add value to the organization?
  • Why should an employer hire you?
  • What do you want from the listener? (ie, what is the ‘ask?’)

Sample Professional Elevator Speeches

Hi, my name is John Smith. I have over twelve years of professional experience, most recently within Enterprise Risk Services at Deloitte & Touche LLP. I have a deep understanding of operational and information technology processes and significant experience in implementing cost effective internal controls in an effort to reduce risk. My passion for this field also encouraged me to go out and obtain my CISA and PMP certifications. I am seeking growth opportunities within a second-tier public accounting firm, as I know I can add value in such an organization. Do you have any contacts I might reach out to and network with?

Hi, my name is Jan Jones – we recently met at the ABC association meeting in New York. As you may recall from our discussion last week, I have five years experience in market strategy, eBusiness enablement, and customer relationship management. I also bring to the table a high level of project management experience working directly with clients on developing project scope to final strategy delivery - strengths I believe set me apart from others in my field. What advice do you have for someone with my professional background on how to effectively break into your industry?

Hi, my name is Sara Simpson. I am a strategic thinking Internal Audit Manager with over ten years public and middle market audit experience. My primary focus over the past decade has been within the Healthcare and Consumer Products Industries. I have a proven track record as an effective and impactful leader and business partner - setting goals and exceeding them in both the private and public sectors. I was recently out on your organization’s career site and discovered several open positions that are in-line with my career aspirations. Would you have a few minutes to discuss?

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