Cracking Open the Elevator Pitch

Businesswoman shaking hand to partner.jpegHow many times have you walked away from a conversation and wish you had taken the opportunity during the interaction to expand your professional network? These opportunities happen often in corporate settings or even just during a trip to the grocery store -- they can all be perfect situations to use the famed elevator pitch.

The perfect elevator pitch is one of the key essentials talked about amongst individuals that are in the job search. For most people, the hypothetical situation of finding yourself in an elevator with only thirty seconds to impress someone may never take place. However, it is applicable to anyone that wants to leave a conversation feeling they left a polished and professional impression. The elevator pitch can be the key to opening doors when networking and answering the on-the-spot question: tell me about yourself.

 A good elevator pitch is short, memorable, and effectively communicates your message. So, whether you are at an event, an interview, or you encounter someone during your day-to-day, here is how you should craft your perfect elevator pitch to leave these conversations with a lasting and polished impression.'


Before you start crafting your pitch, or begin the conversation, you need to have your end goal in mind. An elevator pitch can change depending on the type of conversation you are having, whether it’s with a recruiter or an addition to your professional network, so it’s important to address what you want to accomplish.


The first step in the conversation is to introduce yourself and tell them about your interests. If this is a possible interview situation then you should try to state your interests within the context of the job description.


Next you must demonstrate that you are a capable person. If this is an interview situation you should show how you’re qualified for the job. This can be shown through possible course work you’ve taken, volunteer experiences, internships or past jobs. It is important to pre-identify a couple of succinct explanations of your qualifications. Be confident and articulate how you are qualified through the specific situations you’ve experienced.


This is where you need to come back to why you are having the conversation. If you are applying for a specific job or hoping to land an interview then display how they fit your goals. If you were speaking to a recruiter you could say, “I know this is one of the best firms around and somewhere I could contribute immediately.” This makes them aware of why you initiated the conversation which is an important step in gaining something from your pitch.


If you’re speaking with a recruiter or you are in an interview, this is a good time to display that you’re finished telling them about yourself. Saying something like, “Do my skills match up with the type of person you’re looking for?” which can send the conversation back to them and ask them to think about everything you’ve shared.


This final step is probably the most important because a strong elevator pitch can make an outstanding impression, but a sloppy one can do the opposite. Even the best pitches can go wrong if the delivery doesn’t match the message. So, practice your pitch until you feel confident, and give yourself the best chance at achieving your goal.

Regardless if you’re unemployed and seeking a job or employed and trying to move up in the ranks, developing your elevator pitch keeps you prepared at all times, because you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to elevate your career.


Sarah Benz

Sarah Benz

Sarah Benz is a director of recruiting for the Messina Group. With nearly a decade of experience in enterprise staffing, Sarah is dedicated to partnering with Messina’s clients to locate the ideal candidates for each company’s customized needs. Sarah has worked extensively with the engineering and scientific industries and intimately understands the technical and interpersonal skills those companies are looking for. Before beginning her recruiting career, Sarah served as the marketing coordinator for Messina. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends, volunteering and playing and coaching sports.

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