During the school year, many universities hold career fairs where recruiters come to seek talent. As a student, you may feel overwhelmed or even lost by the vast number of students trying to secure the same internship that you want. So, you must impress the recruiters by selling yourself. You need to start conversations where they will be wanting to continue talking with you. But how and where do you even start?
This is where an elevator pitch comes in handy. What is an elevator pitch? It is an about 30-second long, brief introduction of yourself. It is a gateway to open up more meaningful conversations with the recruiters, leading to stronger connections with them (Petrone, 2014). Having a well-prepared elevator pitch will allow you to stand out among other applicants and even result in a follow-up interview for the job.
How to Create an Elevator Pitch
Now you know the importance of an elevator pitch, here are the practical steps to developing your pitch. Download the free template below to start your own!
First, you have to get to know yourself. While this may sound cliché, not many people don’t know what they like to do. Before developing your personal pitch, you must reflect on yourself. Think about the times you volunteered, worked on a project, did both inside and outside of school. Then brainstorm what you liked about those activities. What did you enjoy about them? What made you happy? On the other hand, think about what you dislike. What annoys you? Which activities did you enjoy the least? What are your weaknesses?
If you are having a hard time figuring yourself out, go online, and take self-assessment tests such as MyPlan.com, 16personalities, and Big Five. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn about yourself. These tests will be a great starting point for narrowing down your interests.
Then, write down what you found out about yourself. Try to make some connections between the activities that you liked the most. You will be able to form your passionate statement, an essential part of developing your pitch.
How Important is Language in Networking
Through your pitch, you are trying to sell ‘you.’ To sell yourself, you must be confident and be able to resonate that confidence to recruiters.
Vocabulary. Choose your words carefully. Avoid words like “um” or “like” which make you look unprofessional. Also, phrases like “I think” or “I’m not sure” only make recruiters question your qualifications because you seem doubtful about what you can bring to the company.
Inflection. Emphasize what you want to highlight about yourself to recruiters. Slow down and stress on your key points and accomplishments so that the recruiters also see an eye-to-eye why you would be a great candidate for the job.
Passion. Do you recall when you had a meaningful conversation with someone? That other person probably showed enthusiasm to get to know you more. Likewise, show excitement for the job, company, and recruiter using your tone, words, and body language. This way, the recruiters will begin to learn more about you because you are wanting to know more about them. Remember that you are selling ‘you.’ You are the product. You must be passionate about yourself first before selling it to others.
Follow the I.P.E.N. Method to Develop Your Pitch
To begin developing your pitch, follow the I.P.E.N. method.
Introduction: Greet the recruiters with a firm handshake and eye contact. Say your name.
Passionate Statement: Recall what you learned about yourself. Then write a sentence that begins like this: “I am passionate about….”
Explain your passionate statement: Explain why and how you developed your passion. Give some examples from your previous and/or current experiences from volunteering, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, etc.
Next Step: Call-to-action for further conversations. Ask recruiters, “Would you like to hear more about my experiences?” or “Would you like to meet later this week?” Exchange contact information; ask for their LinkedIn. Finally, show excitement for follow-up meetings.
Be creative in writing your pitch. Here’s a winning elevator pitch to inspire your creativity. You are unique and so should be your pitch. It should draw a good picture of who you are. After writing your pitch, be sure to practice! Delivering your pitch well is as important in selling ‘you’ and differentiating yourself from others. Good luck!
Petrone, P. (2014, February 14). Why You Should Have a Personal Elevator Pitch (And How to Make One). LinkedIn. https://learning.linkedin.com/blog/working-together/why-you-should-have-a-personal-elevator-pitch–and-how-to-do-it-
Scott, E. [Monfort College]. (2020, February 19). Emmy Scott – 1st Place 2020 MCB Pitch Contest [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VinTh6mqMc