When somebody asks you what you are doing for a living, what do you say? And suppose you would have 3 sentences to describe yourself, your wishes and ambitions to talk yourself into the company of your dreams. What would this sound like?
In this article you will discover 4 important features of a good ‘elevator pitch’ that will make sure that the right people will think and talk about you at the right time: when they need you!
3 Sentences and 30 seconds. Ready set go!
With the advent of the internet, email and social media, we often pay (too) little attention to the power of the spoken word. However, when you are looking for a new job (or if you want to consider opportunities at a later point in time) it is important that you can articulate who you are, what you can do and what you are looking for in a brief, concise and enthusiastic manner. Anytime and anyplace!
This ‘short resume’ is often called a ‘career narrative’, a ’30 seconds pitch’ or an ‘elevator pitch’. If you know what you want and if you can articulate your message in a powerful way, others will remember you and talk about you when they need you. An good elevator pitch is usually easier to remember than a long resume.
4 Key characteristics of a good elevator pitch
What does a good elevator pitch look like? Imagine the following situation: you are on your way to a job interview and you are waiting in front of an elevator in a large office building. A senior employee approaches and asks you what you are doing, and who and what you are looking for. At that moment, the door of the elevator opens and you have exactly 5 floors to tell your story before the senior leaves the elevator.
At this moment (and any other moment in time), the ideal elevator pitch would be:
Short, clear and easy to retell
Make sure you can deliver your elevator pitch fluently and make sure that everyone can remember and retell your story easily when others are in need of your knowledge and experience. Craft a short, clear and simple story. Try to aim for 2 to 3 sentences and 30 seconds at most.
A bridge between your past and your future
Based on your background, knowledge and experience, describe your ambitions and added value for your ideal job and employer. Think from the employer’s perspective. Clearly state the added value you can offer and support this statement with knowledge and experience from the past.
Honest and personal
Confidence is good but it should never turn into arrogance. An elevator pitch is not about previous successes but about the added value you will bring thanks to these successes. This also goes the other way around: a lack of confidence will get you nowhere. Believe in yourself! If you don’t believe in yourself then why would others?
A good elevator pitch should roll off your tongue. Everytime, everywhere and for everyone. So make sure you thoroughly practice your elevator pitch and get comfortable with the feeling of promoting yourself.
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