The 30 second elevator pitch

The 30 second elevator pitch
SEEK content teamupdated on 05 February, 2018

Job hunting season is now open. Is your elevator pitch old crooner Liberace or supercool Lorde? If you’re selling yourself with an outdated tune, listen in.

A beautifully tuned elevator pitch _ a summary of your professional self and ambitions _ can land you a job. It?s your verbal cover letter.

  1. What is it. Can you summarise yourself in the span of an elevator ride? That’s 30 seconds to a minute? Imagine meeting the chief executive of your dream employer in a lift? Could you convince him or her that you’re a perfect candidate to interview?  People with elevator pitches get employed faster, says Richard Dunlop, regional director at recruitment firm Michael Page International
  2. Why do you need one? If you’re ambitious you need to be able to sell yourself.  Having an elevator pitch will help you network, says Dunlop. If you are at a dinner party and meet someone who could be beneficial to your career you don’t want to downplay what you do or stumble through your spiel, says Dunlop. Being ready with an elevator pitch is the answer.
  3. How to write it. Identify your career goal, understand what you do, and work out what your unique selling point (USP) is. It’s about understanding what will prick (an employer’s) interest.” Use bullet points to record the information you want to include. Then pull it all together into two or three sentences.  
  4. Keep it simple stupid (KISS). The KISS acronym applies to elevator pitches. Don’t try to repeat your resume, says Richard Dunlop. Your aim is to grab your target’s attention and get them interested in you.  There’s plenty of time for them to read your supercharged CV if your elevator pitch works. 
  5. Refine and perfect. You can bet that Lorde’s single Royals wasn’t perfected in five minutes. Likewise your elevator speech needs to be rewritten and refined many times. Read it out loud and record yourself on your smartphone to check that it flows. Time it as well to ensure that the elevator doors won’t open before you’re finished.
  6. You need to practice. Practice makes perfect. Try pacing up and down in your hallway or repeating it in the shower. And then, try it out on others. “If you don’t get them interested in the first 15 to 20 seconds you’ll be fighting an uphill battle,” says Dunlop.   
  7. Use it often. Don’t be shy. When you’re introduced to someone at the pub, your kids’ cricket, or at a 21st birthday party rattle off your elevator pitch. This helps you build confidence. Australia is a small place. You could well make useful contacts this way.
  8. Focus on delivery. Breathe, smile, relax, and look your target in the eye. The more natural your delivery the greater chance you have of being believed.
  9. Enjoy. Having a great elevator pitch can make you feel great. You’ll appreciate what you do and get positive reinforcement from others. 

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