Actionable Tips for Delivering a Better Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a brief introduction, but it could be your chance to grab the attention of a hiring manager or potential employer. Learn what bullet points you need to hit to deliver your best elevator pitch and communicate what makes you a great candidate for the role.
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An "elevator pitch" is appropriately named for the brief but effective small talk one would make while conversing with others on a quick elevator ride. For job seekers, an elevator pitch is the way to introduce yourself to hiring managers and recruiters in the quickest amount of time.
What Is an Elevator Pitch?
An elevator pitch, or elevator speech, is important because it allows you to make a strong first impression on anyone you meet during your job search. This could be during a job interview, at career fairs or networking events, or even during the first call from a prospective employer. A good elevator pitch is a 30 second-snapshot of your strengths and most relevant skills, and could mean the difference between landing a job or not.
On this page, we will provide you with lots of great elevator pitch examples in addition to tips on how to build your own elevator pitch.
When to Use an Elevator Pitch
An elevator sales pitch should be presented to anyone who has shown an initial interest in your business or career, or with whom you have already struck up a conversation. Most notably, you should use this short but powerful speech when:
- Talking to a potential client
- Pitching your entrepreneur business to an investor
- Talking to a CEO or recruiter at career fairs
- Job interview (“Tell me about yourself”)
In these situations, an effective sales pitch, when combined with the right body language, can make a positive impact on your job search. Just be sure to practice your elevator pitch before you deploy it in real life. To perfect your pitch, go over it with family and friends or even ask co-workers and colleagues for feedback.
5 Tips for Creating Your Elevator Pitch
Though the perfect elevator pitch should be very short, it needs to pack a mighty punch and contain a lot of information. As such, consider these 5 tips as your keys to an effective elevator pitch.
Open with a hook
In your 30 second elevator pitch, you want to grab the attention of the listener. That means, you need an opening line that acts as a hook to gain immediate attention. You could open with your overall goal to quickly catch and hold the attention of whomever you are speaking with.
“Are you wondering how a teacher who was born, raised and taught elementary school for 10 years in the heart of New York City is looking for a job in a small country school in Kentucky?”
Focus on the three Ws: who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve in your career.
By simply wording your elevator pitch to answer who you are, what you do and your career goals will ensure that you hit all the key points of what makes you stand out among other candidates.
“It may be hard to believe but this city girl spent 5 straight summers working at my grandparent’s Kentucky summer camp, nurturing my passion for teaching. As a University of Kentucky graduate, I always planned to return to the area to pursue my career in education.”
Explain your strengths through specific skills or achievements.
Express your best achievements and skills to make a good first impression and help you stick in the mind of the person you’re speaking to.
“With my unique creativity and vision, I devised a “reading is fun” lesson plan for underperforming 4th grade students, yielding a 100% passing grade on New York City standardized reading tests.”
Keep your pitch short and sweet.
30 seconds is not a long time to describe who you are and sell your best career achievements. Write your pitch and set a timer during your mock presentation. That way, you can fine tune the wording to offer the most effective pitch in the shortest amount of time.
Have different versions of your pitch ready for different situations and job opportunities.
Just as a resume and cover letter should be written differently for each job position you apply for, you should create various elevator pitches. Prepare each pitch based on the job posting you are applying for or the career networking event that you are attending.
- Be positive in the wording of your pitch so your audience gets a glimpse of your passion for your chosen industry and job title.
- Practice your delivery and presentation skills in front of a mirror, on video or ask a friend or colleague to evaluate your pitch.
- If you’re on a phone interview, follow our tips for preparing for a phone interview.
More Keys to an Elevator Pitch
What to Avoid in Your Elevator Pitch
While an elevator pitch seems simple, when you are actually presenting your pitch, there are some things you want to remember:
Don’t go on for too long or ramble
An elevator pitch should be short and sweet. A long winded pitch will not keep the listener’s attention. When it comes to an elevator pitch, less can be more powerful.
Don’t speak too fast
A concise pitch doesn’t mean you need to speak fast. Your pitch should be presented in a way that is easily understood by the listener. Slow and steady wins the listener.
Don’t be vague or too general in your answer
Time is of the essence when it comes to an elevator pitch. Pack a powerful and memorable message into your wording including specific career highlights. Make every word count.
Elevator Pitch Examples
Elevator pitches will vary depending on the situation that you are in. Often interviewers will simply say “Tell Me About Yourself“. Consider these elevator pitch examples to help you word your own impressive elevator pitch.
I’m a Senior Copywriter with speed that matches my creativity. In my current position at Smith SEO Marketing Group, I was tasked with writing 50 pages of new SEO content for our main client. I wrote an average of 10 pages per week and completed the job ahead of schedule in one month’s time. We managed to help the client rank on page one of search engine results. I’d like the opportunity to write SEO content for your company and achieve successful results.
This elevator pitch for an interview is good because it includes a good hook, emphasizes direct achievements, project management of completed content and ends with a call to action.
Talking to a potential client
If your medical facility overbooks appointments occasionally, your office could benefit from our highly sought after Premier Medical Office Software. Last month, I was brought in to train your neighbors at the Lake Mary Medical office and within five days, I had the office not only trained but fluent with scheduling appointments, setting up follow-up procedures, writing prescriptions and updating patient records. Like the hundreds of medical offices that are successfully using our software, Lake Mary Medical continues to report increased efficiency and positive customer reviews. Our software can help to improve the efficiency of your medical office, too.
This elevator pitch is good because it gets right to the point, includes the product benefits and mentions that other local businesses are using the software successfully. For more tips on putting together a good resume to go along with your pitch, ResumeHelp provides you with many sales resume examples to help you build your perfect sales resume.
Pitching a business idea or startup to an investor
I am starting a company named After School Fun Zone. It’s an after school childcare program where schools can bus students with working parents. There is a great need for affordable after school programs in our Lakeville area so my company will fill that current vacancy. My company aims to care for up to 200 elementary school students, ages 4 through 12 within the hours of 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm. My team will assist with homework, school projects, reports, craft and sports activities, in addition to providing snacks and dinner. What makes my company unique? We think that after school students need to relax in a home-like environment. As opposed to a school setting, we will provide quiet areas for naps and relaxation so the students feel comfortable at all times.
This elevator pitch is good for an entrepreneur because it quickly shows that the new company will fill a need in the community. It spells out the number of students that can be accommodated and that there is a unique twist to stand out from other after school programs held in a school setting.
Talking to a recruiter at a career fair
Hi, my name is Fred and I’m a marketing manager, specializing in book publishing. Along with my five years of professional publishing experience, I am currently finishing up my MBA studies with an expected December 2022 completion date. I’ve been following the work your marketing team has been doing, including your Fall book catalogs and the exciting new video trailers on your YouTube channel. I’d love the opportunity to put my publishing expertise to work for your company. Would you mind if I emailed you next week to discuss opportunities on your team?
This elevator pitch is good because it gives a glimpse into who Fred is including the fact that he is manager in publishing and soon to complete his MBA. It also shows that he is familiar with the prospective employer’s company and looking for follow-up communication. Distributing a business card is a good way to instigate a follow-up call or email. ResumeHelp can help you prepare for a job fair and build a professional resume in minutes.
My bakery designs personalized alphabet cookies to be used as party desserts and guest party favors. Each cookie is unique in design, flavor and can basically spell out any message in cookies. Our team of bakers recently hand-created 1,200 cookies for a company holiday party. We have taken part in hundreds of marriage proposals with cookies spelling, “Will You Marry Me?” Do you have a need for unique cookie desserts or cookie messages? No job is too big or too small.
This elevator pitch is good because it gives the various benefits of hiring the bakery whether for uniquely presented cookie messages, party desserts or cookies as party favors. It also shows that the bakery handles big orders or simple individual cookie messages. Networking can be an effective way to take your career to the next level. Be sure your social media profile is up to date, especially on LinkedIn.
Experienced job seeker
Considering that my parents owned a florist, it’s no surprise that I found my passion in sales at a very young age. I truly appreciate the satisfaction of selling goods and services to help others. While working in medical sales, I combined my love of sales with selling products that could help people feel better. Not only did I receive the “Top Selling Newcomer” award in my very first year out of college, but I won “Top Salesperson” awards consecutively for the next 5 years. I am currently looking for management opportunities in medical sales.
This elevator pitch is good because it started out with a memorable hook to show passion for the sales field. It quickly mentions the sales awards to highlight success in sales and closes with a call to action providing the reason for a job change at this time; looking for management opportunities. Mentioning the winning of the award for 5 consecutive years shows dedicated years of experience on the job. For more tips on pairing a solid resume and cover letter with your pitch, check out ResumeHelp’s resources to help you with your job search and build a professional cover letter.
First-time job seeker
My name is Jane. I graduated from the University of Florida last week with a degree in communications. My radio show, “Jane’s World” played on WUFL for my junior and senior years. I have 7,500 followers on social media. I’d like to continue my radio show and social media pages while at the same time working for a local radio station to gain additional hands-on experience as a radio producer, host or news anchor.
This elevator pitch for a student or recent graduate is good because it shows that Jane was more than just a student in college. She was a well-known radio personality with social media followers. The pitch concludes with a call to action, explaining that Jane is excited to gain more radio exposure and experience. An effective resume can help a first time job seeker stand out from the competition. The ResumeHelp resume builder can help you build a resume in minutes.
Job seeker changing career field
I’m a culinary graduate currently working as a sous chef at the New City Hotel Restaurant in Orlando. I’ve been working under the head chef for three years and I even worked a summer as a chef apprentice on a local dinner cruise. Watching the bakery experts at my hotel has enhanced my passion for the baking side of the industry. For the past year, I’ve enhanced my passion for baking by attending as many baking seminars as possible. In December 2021, I entered and won first place in the New City Holiday Baking Championship. That’s why I’ve decided to pursue a new career working as the Head Baker for the Orlando Westin Hotel.
This elevator pitch is good because it smoothly explains the career change from sous chef to baker. By mentioning the initiative to attend baking seminars to expand a culinary role, it shows a direct passion for the field, culminating with a baking competition win. A career changing cover letter can help explain your situation to hiring managers and help land you a job interview.
More Interview Tips and Resources
ResumeHelp also has other resources to help you ace a job interview.
Common Interview Questions and How to Handle Them
Preparing for a Phone Interview
How to Answer Situational Interview Questions
Questions to Ask an Interviewer
Behavioral Interview Questions
FAQ: Elevator Pitch
Q: What should an elevator pitch say?
An effective elevator pitch will provide a quick glimpse into your career accomplishments, strengths, work experience and most relevant skill set. It’s a good idea to create a variety of elevator pitch templates to be ready for various career situations like job interviews, networking and career fairs.
Q: What are the 3 things you should focus on when writing an elevator pitch?
To write a powerful and effective elevator pitch, focus on answering the following questions about yourself from a career standpoint:
- Who are you?
- What do you?
- What do you want to achieve in your career?
Q: Why is an elevator pitch important?
An elevator pitch is important because it allows a job seeker to make a good first impression. It can open the doors to a new job opportunity and convince a hiring manager or recruiter to invite you to a job interview. A good elevator pitch, paired with a strong resume and cover letters, may be the difference between getting hired or not. ResumeHelp can help you build a resume and cover letter in minutes.
Q: How long should my elevator pitch be?
Your elevator pitch should be 20 to 30 seconds, ideally. In short, it should take up the time of an average elevator ride. An elevator pitch should contain the bare minimum in terms of details and should, as a sales pitch of sorts, grab the attention of anyone you are talking to.
Q: How many times will I have to use my elevator pitch before it works?
You may have to give your elevator pitch many times before you are successful, especially at career fairs. This is not a sign that you are doing something wrong. It’s simply the way it is. The benefit of an elevator pitch is that it is short, it will be easy for you to perfect it as you use it.
Q: Should I memorize my elevator pitch verbatim?
Memorizing your elevator speech can be helpful at first, but as you gain confidence, you should start to personalize it for the person you are talking to. Different hiring managers and business owners will have different priorities, after all. To make a good elevator pitch great, you should also improve your networking skills.
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