If you’ve been job hunting for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of the “Elevator Speech”. It is your short marketing speech (your job search objectives) and can be used in a variety of situations such as cold calls, job fairs, meeting someone at a networking event, yes – even an elevator!
Why You Need an Elevator Speech:
- Provides a concise answer to “what do you do” when it really counts.
- Provides a potential networking contact with the information they need to determine if they should provide recommendation or job lead.
- Explains to a hiring manager why they should hire you.
- Defines “your brand” (you as the product).
- Helps you summarize many years of experience into a short powerful opening introduction.
The actual length of the speech varies depending on who you speak with and what you read (30 seconds, 90 seconds, 3 minutes). I think the length is less important than the content (although 3 minutes would be a very long elevator ride). Suggestions as to style and content vary as much as the suggestions on length. Regardless of the length and format, it is an essential part of your job search toolkit and many times is the opening line in an interview.
What Your Elevator Speech Should Include:
- Define your target “market” (recruiters, hiring managers, people in your network, etc.).
- Define the core of your experience (why a hiring manager should consider you for the position).
- Include your top 3 accomplishments in your career (include the benefit – cost savings, etc.).
- Define the purpose (what are you trying to achieve).
- Include a “wow” factor, keep them interested and listening to you.
Above all else, practice makes perfect. Recruit a friend or relative to listen to your speech and have them provide constructive comments.
I’ve listed several resources to help you with this aspect of your networking tools.
- The Elevator Speech is the Swiss Army Knife of Job-Search Tools – This article, by Quintessential Careers, offers a comprehensive review of the topic with background/history, several suggested formats and several examples. The article also offers links to other resources.
- Job Search Marketing Toolkit – Your Elevator Speech – From CareerAlley’s Job Search Marketing Toolkit, this post will provide a bunch of resource you can use to help build out your elevator speech.
- HOW TO CREATE YOUR MEMORABLE ELEVATOR PITCH [4 SIMPLE STEPS] – This article is from Undercover Recruiter (http://theundercoverrecruiter.com) and provides some basic steps to writing your elevator speech. The article starts a What, Who and How, followed by a four step process and follow-on questions (for you) to determine if it is effective. The most important point is that your speech is generally targeted, so you will need to tailor it depending on the situation.
- Preparing Your Elevator Speech – This brief article, posted on the Pepperdine Business School’s site, provide some of the basic components of a job search elevator speech.
- Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect
- How to Sell Yourself in 30 Seconds
- Small Message, Big Impact: How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech Effect to Work for You
Take a look at the first three lessons in this series:
- Your Job Search Marketing Toolkit – Overview
- Your Job Search Marketing Toolkit – Planning
- Your Job Search Marketing Toolkit – Resume Building
We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.
Good luck in your search,