First impressions are like dating. Each person we meet makes assumptions about us immediately: Visually, mentally, and verbally, we only have seconds to convince someone we are worth their time and energy. After the first few seconds, the rest of the time together is spent filling in the blanks around the very first opinion someone forms about us. To stretch the metaphor further, if we don’t impress our date in the first few seconds, the chances of moving from drinks to dinner, or from introduction to job interview, are slim.
An elevator pitch is a brief, confident, concise, seductive, and intriguing introduction of you, your accomplishments, and your goals, all within the span of time it takes an elevator to rise between a few floors. While it may be a quick spoken introduction pitching everything important about you as a career professional or job candidate, it is a priceless opportunity to make a stunningly positive first impression.
How do you create a brief message that shows your STAR quality? Plan and practice, just like any other skill you’ve developed. Identify the attributes and experience most important to the people you’re likely to meet. Adjust your pitch to match the job, organization, or networking group you’re attending. Know your best qualities, your core values, and what your goal is. Don’t forget to drill down and find one single word that accurately sums up your career success. (One word examples clients have shared are: Courageous, inventive, competitive, and enterprising.) Put all of that together in just a few sentences, practice verbalizing your marketing message and refine it for introductions and those all-too-frequent “So why should we hire you?” questions and you have your elevator pitch!
It’s well worth spending some time and energy distilling your most attractive, relevant, and intriguing selling points! It can be difficult to be enthusiastic about your skills and expertise if you’re feeling overwhelmed after being downsized. If you have difficulty extracting career wins, consider consulting a Career Transition Coach. A good executive and career coach will help you identify your candidate value and show you how to customize your elevator pitch for different audiences.