The elevator pitch in action

An elevator pitch is a persuasive speech that you can use at networking events or when speaking to potential contacts and employers. It is one of the most important tools you can have up your sleeve when looking for a job.

It is about showing an employer who you are and what makes you special (in roughly two or three sentences). It’s also the perfect answer to the common interview warm-up question – ‘Tell us about yourself’- and can be used more formally in resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles.

The aim is for you to be remembered, so leave your mark and show them why you are the best!

What’s in an elevator pitch?

  1. Who you are.
    Start with your name and what you do, whether that be your job or what you are studying.
  2. Your goals.
    Highlight your interest in the industry you are targeting and any experience you already have. This is your chance to show why you want this opportunity and what you are passionate about.
  3. Why you’re qualified.
    Talk about more than just your studies. Let them know about other experience you have gained, including work placements, internships, part-time work and achievements. This will help you stand out from a crowd of graduates with the same piece of paper.
  4. Why you’re different.
    Speaking of standing out, you also need to pitch what you will bring to the table that others may not. Explain how you will add value to a company (rather than focusing on how gaining a job will benefit your career). Whether you have had experience in a similar work environment, can work well under pressure or have mastered time-management, now is the time to mention it!
  5. Ask questions.
    If you’ve got questions, don’t be afraid to ask. You will be able to find out more about the industry or company, plus it will show your genuine interest in becoming an employee.
  6. Be contactable.
    There’s nothing worse than delivering a great pitch and forgetting to leave a contact! Whether it’s your email, phone number or LinkedIn profile, make sure the person has a way of contacting you.

Quick tips:

  • Remember to keep it quick but don’t speak so swiftly that you can’t be understood.
  • How you pitch yourself is just as important as what you say. Be confident and pay attention to your body language: stand naturally, keep eye contact and smile.
  • Enthusiasm is key. Have a high energy level and be positive.
  • Be mindful of the setting. Adopt a more formal tone for an interview but be more relaxed if you are in a social setting, such as a networking event.
  • Practice your elevator pitch until you know it off by heart. That way you are ready to use it at any opportunity.

Here is an example – this is my pitch to the editor of a sporting magazine that I’m hoping to work for:

My name is Jordan Treloar and I am currently studying sports journalism at Charles Sturt University. I have always had an interest in writing and I love sport.

I have experience working for the media at major sporting events and have also written for other newspapers. Working at these sporting events have been great achievements, and I have been able to work under senior journalists who have helped polish my skills as a journalist and communicator. I would like to know if this company has any internship opportunities available and if so, please contact me via my phone number.

Find out more on elevator pitches and other career resources.