Elevator Pitch: Engaging an Employer in Less Than a Minute

Career fair season is in full-swing, and there is nothing more important at a fair than to standout amongst the crowd and win employers over. One of the central aspects to presenting yourself at a career event is having a quick elevator speech to present to employers. An elevator speech is a brief introduction that you give about yourself that seeks to highlight your best qualities and show a recruiter or employer why you would be a good candidate.

Here are some tips and tricks to knockout your one-minute conversation:

Start with a note card

It sounds simple, but writing out what you want to say on a small index card helps to condense your pitch to the basics. Since you only have about a minute to give the run-down on who you are, it’s important to use specific and targeted language. By having to fit everything on a note card, you will better be able to focus on what really matters.

What does matter?

Start with your name. It might be obvious, but don’t forget about introducing yourself, what you’re studying, and where you go to school. Once you’ve covered the simple basics, grab the attention of your audience. Don’t just give a rundown of all of the things that you’ve done, but make yourself an attractive candidate by exemplifying your qualities and expressing how you specifically fit the job or place of employment.

Do Your Research

Especially in the case of career fairs, know who you want to talk to and why. If you know a company or the recruiters you can cater your speech to that specific employer. This shows initiative and a desire to work for their company. It also helps you to better exemplify your qualities and experience because it is catered toward the job.

practice, practice, practice

You might feel silly looking in the mirror or asking your friend to practice, but doing this step can help you feel more comfortable and confident. Additionally, looking in the mirror and seeing yourself talk can show you how you may talk too fast or say “umm” a little too much. Elevator speeches always feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it can be weird to talk about yourself, but know that this is normal. Practice so that you can be confident when it’s game time.

post-pitch prep

It is not a bad idea to pose a question at the end of your pitch and be prepared for any follow-up questions. Ask the employer about a project you saw in the works on their website, ask about work environment, or think of something you want to know about the company. Be creative and be direct. Know how to answer questions an employer may pose in reference to your pitch.

Ultimately, it’s important to feel good about what you say. Be intentional about taking the time to craft a pitch and know what you want to showcase about yourself. Dress the part and carry confidence as you present your unique qualities and goals.

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