Being able to introduce yourself with impact and in less than 40 seconds can definitively propel your career. Are you ready to create your powerful elevator pitch?
A personal elevator pitch is a clear, quick message from and about you for an employer. It is aimed a briefly describing who you are, what you’re looking for, and how valuable you could be for an employer organization. An elevator pitch is typically about 30 to 40 seconds – the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator.
Done right, your elevator pitch is an extremely performing tool to describe your personality, expertise, credentials and expectations, and create immediate attention and interest from an employer.
There are 2 different ways to create your elevator pitch: in a written format, or in a video format. If possible, choose the video one as it is more appealing and more dynamic. It also shows you have significant self-confidence and are comfortable in talking face to face with people. Moreover, it gives a first idea of your personality, eloquence and style.
An elevator pitch is easy to create, although it must imperatively meet some important criteria:
Your pitch must be brief. Restrict the speech to 30-40 seconds max. Don’t confuse your elevator pitch with your resume. The pitch is much different than a list of jobs and duties you’ve held.
Follow a professional structure. Don’t try to build a creative pitch to catch more attention. A recruiter is more interested by the content of you pitch and your personality than by sounds, music, lights or other disturbing elements. An elevator pitch traditionally consists of: 1. Creating attention with an appealing sentence or question; 2. Telling who you are; 3. Explaining what you have done. 4. Sharing your objectives; 5. Telling what unique value you can deliver.
Be persuasive. Although it is a brief exercise, your pitch must be compelling enough to spark the recruiter’s interest in your profile, experience, and potential value for its organization.
Tailor the pitch to recruiter, not to you. It’s important to remember that the people looking at your video pitch will have their antennas tuned to WIFM (What’s in It for Me?). So be sure to focus your message on what you can bring to a company, not what you expect from them. For instance, this introduction: “I am a field engineer with 5 years experience working for a telco company.” could be more powerful by saying “I am a field engineer with a strong track record in helping to identify and solve client problems and developing appropriate processes to increase tangible customer satisfaction and engagement”.
Mention your goals. Don’t forget to mention what you’re looking for. For instance, you might say, “a first job in a fintech” or “an opportunity to apply my deep aerospace expertise in a multinational company” or “to turn my international and multi-disciplinary management experience into a C-level role”.
Don’t speak too fast. Even if you only have 30 to 40 seconds to convey a lot of information, be as structured as possible and avoid to speak too quickly – this will only make it hard for recruiters to absorb your message.
Be dynamic and authentic. You are not applying for a role in a future movie, so be as authentic as possible. Keep your energy level high, confident, and enthusiastic. It is also very important to be comfortable and wear what makes you feel great and professional as well. And never forget your most important asset: smile!
Practice, practice, practice. Practice your pitch again and again before recording it. Your pitch must come naturally, by playing on the tone, by smiling at the right moment, and without sounding robotic.
Record your pitch. Recording your pitch has never been so easy! Most smartphones and webcams today offer high definition video and sound possibilities. Find a well-lit and quite space. Avoid sitting in front of a window or directly under a ceiling light. Make sure your camera is raised to your eye-line, position yourself about an arm’s length away from the screen, and keep your background clear of clutter so that you can keep the focus on what’s important — you!
Good luck !
By Alain Vande Kerkhove, CEO at The ARC Group and serial entrepreneur