Networking is one of the best ways to get hired. In fact, networking is the second most popular way to find a job. As years have gone by, we have seen people get jobs based on who they know rather than what they know. Someone who has minimal connections may be losing out on job opportunities because of their lack of a network. However, having limited connections shouldn’t be a reason for you to worry. We have a solution; using an elevator pitch.
Even if you have an extensive network, it may still be beneficial for you to expand it. One way to grow your network is through an elevator pitch.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
The name “elevator pitch” comes from the notion that you should conduct a summarization of your career & goals in under 60 seconds (which is the same time it takes for an elevator ride). The goal for an elevator pitch is not for you boast about yourself or to explain what you are currently doing, but to get to express your future goals in hopes of connecting professionally.
An elevator pitch isn’t going to end with you getting a job offer. Instead, the goal at the end of the pitch is to exchange contact information for you to reach out to them later in hopes of growing your network.
Let’s first start by discussing why having an elevator pitch handy is necessary for everyone. Have you seen or heard of the show Shark Tank? Shark Tank is a show that features a panel of investors called “sharks,” who decide whether to invest as entrepreneurs make business presentations on their company or product. These presentations are usually around 60 seconds long. Sound familiar?
Elevator pitches are used to sell products, services, or yourself. In the show Shark Tank, entrepreneurs use an elevator pitch to persuade the investors to invest in their business. In your case, your elevator pitch will be used to persuade others to invest in you.
Whether you are in an elevator, walking the same route as someone, or meeting someone for a brief moment, you should always be prepared to use your elevator pitch.
First things first, the elevator pitch is only supposed to be a brief overview of yourself. More than likely, the person you are talking to will be busy thinking about other things rather than your conversation. However, the only goal of the pitch is to make that initial connection for later. You don’t want your pitch to last more than one minute because the other individual will probably lose your attention after 30 seconds if you don’t grab their attention. The most important thing is to not waste their time.
Let’s dive into what steps you need to take to make a perfect elevator pitch. Once you master it, you will quickly see more job opportunities for yourself.
Always Be Ready For Your Elevator Pitch
You never know when you will need your elevator pitch. We have heard stories of people using their elevator pitch at barbeques, high school reunions, dinner parties, the gym, and actual elevators.
The opportunity to use your pitch will come out of nowhere, most of the times when you are least expecting it. You should always be prepared just in case. The best way to prepare would be to practice consistently.
How do you start? Take some time to take notes on topics you would like to talk about for your elevator pitch. Do not just list off your achievements or life story, but focus on your future goals. Talk about what you are working on and what you plan on doing in the future. Don’t sound robotic about it when going through your pitch.
The best way to not sound robotic is to write down five bullet points on what you want to discuss during your elevator pitch. Practicing in front of a mirror can also help you get away from your stage fright.
Most of the time, you will be doing your elevator pitch on someone you barely know. Whether than is a friend of a friend or someone you follow on social media, make sure you acknowledge how you know them before diving into the pitch.
When you do not know the individual that you are doing the elevator pitch for, make sure to acknowledge what you have in common (whether that is you having the same watch, nail color, etc.). Introduce who you are and get to know a little more about them professionally.
Keep Your Conversation Short!
The name says it all, “elevator pitch.” I am sure you haven’t ever been on an elevator ride for more than 2 minutes. Even the Shanghai Tower goes from floor 1 to floor 95 within 45 seconds. You should be able to finish your pitch within that time. If your elevator pitch is longer than a minute, you will never be able to complete it before being interrupted.
Realistically, you should aim for a 45-second elevator pitch. Don’t try to fit all the information into 45 seconds by speaking faster than usual, just try to minimize the information. One tip we have for you is to only talk about the most important things, rather than smaller details.
When practicing, you should time yourself! Timing yourself is the easiest way to see if you can get the pitch to be under 45 seconds. Also, we suggest recording yourself and re-watching the footage to make sure you aren’t talking too fast.
Don’t make the other person feel uncomfortable when doing your pitch. You should act similar to how you would act in a regular conversation. You wouldn’t cross your arms or stare into the sky when having a regular conversation, would you? Make eye contact, and don’t be nervous!
Ask Questions and Exchange Contact Information
You don’t want to go through your whole pitch and never speak to the individual ever again. More likely than not, the individual will not go searching for you on social media or LinkedIn. The goal of the elevator pitch is to get the individual’s contact information.
Whether that is linking up on LinkedIn or exchanging phone numbers, you need to have some way to reach back out to them.
The purpose of the elevator pitch is for an introduction, not a close. You will not get a job offer immediately after your elevator pitch, but you may be one step closer to getting one! An elevator pitch is one of the best ways to expand your network that will help you find a job you love.
These tips will give you the best chance of landing an interview with a recruiter! If you need some interview tips, check out our blog! We would love to help you find your next job or give you more tips and tricks! Contact us at 401.331.2311!