Rethinking the Elevator Pitch

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One of the hardest challenges of the job hunt is being able to create and communicate an effective elevator pitch when the time arises. The elevator pitch often feels awkward and unnatural, yet it is such an important part of the job search. We must have one, whether we are in the job search, are selling a product or selling an idea to our colleagues.

Your elevator pitch has one purpose: to get your prospect to request a more detailed conversation. The goal of an elevator pitch for networking is to ensure that the other person leaves with your key message so that when that person finds himself in another conversation with a potential lead who could benefit from your solution, he remembers to refer them to you.

Sometimes we can end up with a bad elevator pitch, one that sounds like bragging, pompous and spoken in a professional voice that sounds official or unfriendly. When someone sounds like this, we often question whether they are like this all the time. Is this the person we want to work with?

We tend to trust people and believe them when they’re being open and honest, sharing with us something about themselves. This can help the recruiter, HR person, or hiring manager know a little bit more about what makes you tick, and how and why you want this particular job.

So how do we get there, making sure we sound like a great person who would be great to work with? Speak like you are approachable, believable, and likable. People want to help people that they believe and that they like.

Try to answer the following questions in your real voice, like you are having a conversation with a friend or family member. Then call your voicemail to hear what you sound like until you are satisfied:

  • Why do you like your work, field or volunteer activities?
  • Why have you been doing this for this long?
  • What is it that you find interesting about it?
  • Why do you want to keep doing this?
  • What do you like about this industry?
  • What types of challenges at work make you excited to continue doing it?

Take these elements and make a conversational elevator pitch that focuses on your motivations. Your elevator pitch will sound authentic and effective.

Here’s mine:

My name is Val Matta, I specialize in helping frustrated job seekers manage the job hunt, in less time with less stress. By working with me, colleges, outplacement firms and Companies have an economical resource to provide. I have been doing this for over five years and find that I am learning something new about the job hunt every day. Helping people through what is a very stressful time in their life is very rewarding.”

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta, Managing Director of CareerShift, co-founded the company in 2005 to help individuals bridge the gap between education and employment.  As a recognized expert in the field, Val is a frequent speaker on career management, networking, and job hunting strategies.  You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.