An elevator pitch is an executive summary, just 60 seconds or fewer, that you can use to sell yourself. It’s one of the most effective ways to promote your personal brand and one of the simplest yet most powerful tools for any professional. Follow these simple steps to build your own interesting, memorable and succinct pitch that clearly explains what makes you unique and how you can add value.
If you’re attending a networking event, an interview or you’re just speaking to somebody you know who could support you in securing your next career goal, you may be asked, ‘Tell me about yourself’, ‘What do you do?’ or ‘What is your company about?’ If you’ve not pre-empted these questions you can end up giving an unclear description of what you do and where you can add value and miss an employment or business opportunity.
A good elevator pitch will include:
You need to start by capturing the listener’s attention so that they are eager to learn more. Remember, the people listening to your pitch will be thinking ‘What’s in it for me?’ It’s crucial that you make your pitch relevant to them before talking about yourself and tailor your message to their needs.
‘I’m an experienced career coach with a comprehensive understanding of the modern job market’
Make sure you can describe what you do without relying on your job title. The person you’re delivering your pitch to may not be an expert in your field. For example, saying ‘I’m a lawyer’ becomes much stronger and clearer when you include the type of law you specialise in, and perhaps an example of the cases you have worked on.
If you’re using your pitch to promote a new business venture, start by describing the problems you solve and how you help people.
‘I have a proven ability to facilitate a successful career transition for individuals at all levels through supporting them in all aspects of their job search. For example this can include a full CV review giving specific advice around tailoring the CV in line with the opportunity and also giving advice on the most suitable style of CV to use.’
Your pitch should convey enthusiasm; if you don’t portray interest in what you’re saying, it can be hard to engage and influence your audience.
What are your USPs (unique selling points)? Focus on the qualities that only you have, that can benefit the listener. The intention is to stand out from the competition, whether it’s other candidates or business competitors.
‘I have extensive experience of actively hiring good quality candidates within both a corporate environment and also for a leading high street recruitment agency. I apply this knowledge and experience to provide specialist, focused, practical outplacement and career transition advice and guidance to enable participants to achieve their desired goals.’
Be clear about what you want and align it to what the listener is looking for. When you have communicated your USPs, you need to engage your audience by asking open-ended questions to involve them in the conversation.
‘What areas of your CV do you currently tailor when applying for a role?’
‘Where are you finding most success from your job search? What approaches have you tried so far? Talk me through your job search strategy’
Like anything else, practice makes perfect. How you present your pitch is just as important as what you say. If you don’t practice, your pitch may sound unnatural or you could miss some key information out. Remember that to be pitch perfect, it’ll need to be tailored in line with the opportunity, so always consider your audience and which elements are most relevant.
If you’re unemployed or facing redundancy, we can help. Work one-to-one with a professional career coach online, over the phone, or face-to-face and find your way back to work. CABA’s career coaching support is available free of charge to all past and present ICAEW members, ICAEW staff members, their husbands, wives, life partners or dependent children up to the age of 25.
This article was written by the career coaching experts at Renovo.