6 tips to come up with a compelling elevator pitch

2 professionals talking outside elevator

An elevator pitch is a concise, carefully planned and well-practised description of yourself that you can use to explain who you are and what you do from a professional perspective.

It needs to be succinct and unique, and convey important information leaving no doubt what you’re looking for and what you can offer. Most importantly, it should take you the time that it takes to ride an elevator.

With signs of an easing in labour demand, where recruitment activity is tapering off, the competition for roles means that it is more important than ever to stand out with a well articulated summary highlighting your track record. To help you with this our recruitment consultants at Six Degrees have offered their favourite tips to help you create and deliver the best elevator pitch.

How to prepare an elevator pitch

1. Define your job target

The first and most important element of your elevator pitch is conveying clearly and concisely your field and the type of job you’re pursuing. Until you can clearly explain the type of position you want, nobody can help you find it or hire you to do it.

2. Answer key questions

A good pitch should answer these questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What are you looking for?
  • What can you offer? (your unique selling proposition)

The first 15 seconds of your pitch should answer the first three questions, the next 15 seconds will then cover the last question, which is your USP (unique selling proposition). How are you different to everyone else being interviewed and how will you add value to the company?

3. Tailor the pitch to them, not you

It’s important to remember that the people listening to your pitch will have their antennas tuned to WIFM (what’s in it for me?) so be sure to focus your message on their needs. Examples of benefit-focused terminology include: strong track record, increased value, increased return on investment, grew profit margins, successful transformation, delivery of project X.

4. Eliminate industry jargon 

You need to make your pitch easy for anyone to understand, so avoid using acronyms and technical speak that a layperson or job interviewer might not understand.

5. Read your pitch out loud

Although planning your elevator pitch by writing it down on paper helps to bring your thoughts together, writing is more formal and structured than speaking. You want your pitch to sound natural and conversational. Reading it aloud then tinkering with the words will help you sound more authentic.

How to deliver your elevator pitch

Present with confidence

The best-worded elevator pitch in the world will fall flat unless it’s presented well. When you give the speech, look the person in the eye, smile and deliver your message in an upbeat, confident manner.

What the interviewer will determine from your pitch:

  • How you have helped previous employers and how you can help their organisation?
  • A well-prepared, well-delivered elevator pitch is a sign that you have done your homework. This is a hallmark of professionalism and career dedication. It’s a good indication that a person who takes the time to ace their interview may also have an excellent work ethic once hired.
  • Beyond all else, an elevator pitch should give the potential employer an idea of your skills and experience and be able to apply it to the current opportunity.

An example elevator pitch

“I am the Marketing Manager of a small FMCG business. I have two direct reports and am passionate about driving brand and category growth whilst partnering closely with retailers. In my current role, I have been able to drive double-digit growth in a declining category through brand repositioning, new product development and an integrated marketing campaign. I would like to continue on this trajectory and become Marketing Manager of XYZ brand in a large FMCG business.”  

If you're looking for more career advice, get in touch with one of our specialist consultants near you for a confidential discussion.

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