The job market is competitive. Most of the time, there are going to be several people vying for the same positions. Career fairs are a great way for high school or college students to explore different career paths and begin networking with various professionals. Recruiters, hiring managers, and/or employees from companies are usually present. It is difficult for them to remember and keep track of each prospective individual they speak to, which is why it is so important to make both a good and lasting impression. This is where an elevator pitch can come in and help set you apart from everyone else.
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a brief introduction about yourself that you would either present to potential employers at an interview or recruiters at a career fair. Its namesake comes from the idea that it should be short enough to be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator. The length of an elevator ride can vary, but you should shoot for keeping your pitch in between 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
What is the purpose of an elevator pitch?
A solid elevator pitch will help communicate your value as a potential employee by allowing you to introduce yourself and your background in a concise and memorable fashion. It will also successfully relay your skills and experiences and how they all tie back to the position at hand. If delivered well, the elevator pitch can highlight your communication skills and ability to present information concisely.
What makes a strong elevator pitch?
- Helps you stand out: Recruiters have a considerable amount of conversations with interested candidates. Someone who is prepared and can effectively impart their value proposition, while also alluding back to how they could benefit the company will stand out more than someone who simply asks questions.
- Demonstrates your value: In business, pitches are used to sell an investor on an idea. In this case, the product you are selling is yourself. Thus, your elevator pitch should also include what your skills are and how they would contribute to the company.
- Defines your goals: Whether you want to secure a job interview or want to simply connect with the recruiter, your intentions should be made clear with the pitch. This would usually come towards the end.
- Shows that you would be a great addition: You want the company to see the value that you can add. A company is only as successful as its management and employees, so companies want to attract top talent. Role-specific skills are important to highlight in your pitch, but also your enthusiasm and motivation. Finding employees that match the company’s culture is growing more and more important for recruiters.
What are some tips when crafting an elevator pitch?
- Research the company: Researching the company allows you to learn more about the roles and opportunities they offer. From there, you can tailor your pitch to include specific aspects of the organization, showing recruiters and employers your understanding and interest in their company.
- Introduce yourself: The purpose of the pitch is to sell your value proposition, which cannot be done without providing an introduction of yourself. Job fairs provide you with an opportunity to network, so treat each new meeting like a conversation—not an interview.
- Keep it concise: The point of an elevator pitch is to be short and impactful. In job fair settings, there is not much 1-on-1 time for you to speak to a recruiter. Thus, it is important to be intentional with what you want to ask and/or impart on the recruiter.
- Practice and rehearse: Your pitch should be well-prepared, but not so much that it seems as if you are reading from a script. The trick is not to memorize your pitch, per se, but rather know which points you want to cover. View the elevator pitch as more of an introduction you are giving in conversation, rather than one given during a presentation.
What are examples of an elevator pitch?
- Hi, my name is John Smith and I’m currently a senior at San Bernardino High School. I’m excited to explore career options in the tech industry after graduation. I have been interested in the mechanics behind various software programs and expanded my interest by taking Computer Science courses and creating my own coding projects outside of school. I taught myself different programming languages like C++ and Python, but would love to gain more hands-on experience in the field. I know Google offers many opportunities for students pursuing engineering, like the BOLD program, so it would be great to learn more about what other programs are available and how I could best position myself for them. Thank you so much!
- Hi, my name is Jane Doe and I’m a senior at UCLA majoring in Business Economics. During the past 4 years, I’ve honed in on my analytical and problem-solving skills as a project lead in Bruin Consulting and Strategic Director of BruinCares, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing consulting services for local businesses affected by the pandemic. This past summer, I interned at McKinsey in their New York City office and worked in the TMT sector. I am passionate about helping businesses improve their operations through dedicated research and strategy—especially through seamless client partnerships. I admire Bain’s emphasis on a team-based, collaborative culture, and would welcome the chance to interview for an entry-level role upon graduation. Thank you for your time!
What template can I use for my elevator pitch?
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a [GRADE LEVEL] at [SCHOOL] interested in [INDUSTRY]. I have [INVOLVEMENTS RELATED TO SAID INDUSTRY]. From those experiences, I learned [SKILLS AND TAKEAWAYS]. I know that [COMPANY] [INFORMATION ABOUT COMPANY]. I would love to [GOAL OF PITCH]. Thank you so much!
How Student Hires Can Help
Student Hires aims to educate students in areas related to career development. We provide one-of-a-kind programs for students to explore different careers and gain relevant experience before transitioning into entry-level roles. Our workforce development programs prepare students for future careers in a variety of Career Technical Education sectors.
Job Fair Blog Series
Student Hires will be holding a resume review booth at the Riverside Job Fair on Tuesday, January 31. The fair will be from 4:30 – 7:30pm at the Galleria at Tyler. Come join us there!
Leading up to the job fair, we will be publishing a new article each week in our Job Fair Blog Series. Below are the articles:
- 5 Tips for Crafting the Perfect Resume
- Elevator Pitches: Everything Students Should Know
- Dress for Success: 4 Tips On How to Dress for a Job Interview
- Networking 101: Tips on How to Build Your Professional Network
- The Power of LinkedIn: 6 Tips on Building a Good LinkedIn Profile
- Ace Any Job Interview With These 6 Tips
- 5 Important Things To Do After a Job Fair
Being able to articulate your value as a potential employee is an indispensable tool in your toolbox of marketable skills. It will help you remain competitive in the job market and hopefully land your dream position. It is one of the first steps to persuade employers that you will be the right fit for the job, so keep practicing those elevator pitches. And remember—keep them compelling and concise!