Most interviews start with the interviewer asking the job candidate to talk a little bit about himself. Very often, the results are disasterous. Some people go blank and many others ramble on and on not knowing when to stop. A personal elevator pitch keeps you on track to deliver a short, pointed message. This elevator pitch should be no more than a minute long and should be centered on three to four succint sentences.
The elevator pitch should be directed to who you are professionally. Don't use the pitch to talk about where you were born or how many kids you have. Focus it on what you do and your specific qualifications for the job.
Start the pitch by describing your profession and how many years of experience you have. You could say, "I'm public relations specialist with 15 years of experience in the field."
Include a sentence about specific skills, qualifications or experiences you have that make you stand out from the crowd. For example, "I'm adept at handling crisis communications and I've guided five Fortune 500 clients in building a social media presence."
Finish up your pitch by aligning yourself to the position for which you're interviewing. You could finish the pitch by describing why you want to work for the company or why you know you'd be a good fit. If you're transitioning to a new career, you could use your last sentence to briefly describe why you're making the transition.
Prepare and practice this pitch before you begin interviewing. Practice giving the speech to friends and recite the speech in front of a mirror.
Tips & Warnings
- Elevator pitches are meant to be living things. Don't be afraid of making changes to keep them updated and interesting.
- Respond to and ask questions. Questions indicate interest. Always remember an interview is a two-way street. If you don't ask questions, it could appear you are not interested in the position or the company.
- An interview is like a dance. Be prepared to lead, follow or change the beat.
- If you're interested in creating a personal brand for social networking, an elevator pitch can be a nice addition to your brand creation.
- Never speak negatively about a former or current position, manager or company. Never!
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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