Develop Your Elevator Pitch

By Christy Eichelberger

You've heard about the importance of having an elevator pitch- a brief statement that lasts the length of an elevator ride that succinctly explains your product or service. People talk about having one, and maybe you even had one prepared for your last job. You were probably able to recite it without a second thought in order to explain what your company did or why someone would need to do business with you.

Now what if you're not currently employed? Do you have an elevator pitch prepared to help you sell yourself?

If you're searching for a job, you should be able to deliver an elevator pitch that will help you explain to others who you are and what you do. Just as important as it is to have a pitch prepared when you are employed to help promote your company, when you're trying to get hired, you need to be prepared to sell yourself.

Networking is a valuable tool- if not the most valuable tool- during a job search. Through different types of networking you may be exposed to professionals you already know, as well as those you don't know. Whether you find yourself having a casual weekend lunch with an old friend, or dressed in a suit attending a formal networking event, you need to be prepared to tell people exactly who you are, what you do, and what you're looking for professionally.

The elevator pitch should grab people's attention and get them interested enough to want to hear more. When developing your pitch, make sure you are prepared and have practiced it so it comes across smoothly and confidently every time. It should be memorable and it should be clear enough to let people know what your set goals are. They should walk away from you knowing exactly what your qualifications are and what you are looking for in a job.

The elevator pitch sounds easy but it really is an element in your job search that you should spend some time working on and practicing. And as your search goes on, you may need to redevelop your pitch and change it to reflect your evolving goals. You never know who you will run into, or when you will run into them, so having your pitch ready is one way to always be prepared to sell yourself. You may one day find yourself with only a few moments in front of someone who could have a huge impact on the future of your career, so be ready to make the most of the moment.