During the school year, many universities hold career fairs where recruiters come to seek talent. As a student, you may feel lost or overwhelmed by the vast number of students trying to secure the same internship as you. So, you must impress the recruiters by selling yourself. You need to start a meaningful conversation 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 and why is it important? It is a 30-second long, brief introduction of yourself. It is a gateway to open up a meaningful conversation with the recruiters, leading to stronger connections with them. 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.
Now that you know the importance of an elevator pitch, here are the practical steps to creating your elevator pitch.
First, you have to get to know yourself. While this may sound cliché, many people don’t know what they like to do. Before creating your elevator pitch, you must reflect on yourself. Think about the times you volunteered or worked on a project. 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, the get to know yourself quizzes are very helpful. 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. When you know yourself, you will be able to form your passionate statement. This is an essential part of creating your elevator 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.
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.
Emphasize what you want to highlight about yourself to recruiters. Slow down and stress on your key points and accomplishments so that the recruiters see why you would be a great candidate for the job.
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 creating your elevator pitch, follow the I.P.E.N. method.
Greet the recruiters with a firm handshake and eye contact. Say your name.
#2 Passionate Statement
Recall what you learned about yourself. Then write a sentence that begins like this: “I am passionate about…”
#3 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.
#4 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 your pitch be. 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!