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Give Your Elevator Pitch to Top Employers

More detail for you on how it works from Montel Williams
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If you’re looking for a job, one of the first tasks on your to-do list should be crafting an ideal "elevator pitch." It’s the 30-second speech that summarizes who you are, what you do and why you’d be a perfect candidate.

Sounds simple enough, right? But condensing the work experience and years of your life accomplishments into a 30-second statement that packs a punch can feel as challenging as trying to stuff an elephant into a Volkswagen Beetle.
HR Managers and Headhunters understand that. So to help you develop a knockout elevator pitch, DVNF outlined the process down into nine steps:

Nine steps to help you develop a knockout elevator pitch

1. Clarify your job target

As Yogi Berra famously said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
So when you begin putting an elevator pitch together, nail down the best way to describe 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. Put it on paper

Write down everything you’d want a prospective employer to know about your skills, accomplishments and work experiences that are relevant to your target position. Then grab a red pen and mercilessly delete everything that’s not critical to your pitch.
Keep editing until you’ve got the speech down to a few key bullet points or sentences. Your goal is to interest the listener in learning more, not to tell your whole life story. So remove extraneous details that detract from your core message.

3. Format it

A good pitch should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you looking for?
Here’s an example of how to begin a pitch that includes the essentials: “Hi. I am Jessica Hill. I am an accountant with 10 years experience in the insurance industry and I'm looking for opportunities in the Dallas area with both insurance and finance companies.”
That speech would take about 15 seconds. Jessica would then want to use her next 15 seconds to add details about her unique selling proposition, special skills and specific ways she could help a potential employer.

4. Tailor the pitch to them, not you

It’s important to remember that the people listening to your speech will have their antennas tuned to WIFM (What’s in It for Me?) So be sure to focus your message on their needs.  For example, this introduction: “I am a human resources professional with 10 years experience working for consumer products companies.” The pitch would be more powerful if you said, “I am a human resources professional with a strong track record in helping to identify and recruit top-level talent into management.”  Using benefit-focused terminology will help convince an interviewer that you have the experience, savvy and skills to get the job done at his or her business.

5. Eliminate industry jargon

You need to make your pitch easy for anyone to understand, so avoid using acronyms and tech-speak that the average person or job interviewer might not understand.  The last thing you want to do is make your listener feel stupid or uninformed.

6. Read your pitch out loud

Note: Writing is more formal and structured than speaking. If you’re not careful, your elevator pitch can come off sounding more like an infomercial than a conversation.  Reading it aloud then tinkering with the words will help you sound more authentic.

7. Practice, practice, practice (then solicit feedback)

Rehearse your pitch in front of a mirror or use the recording capabilities of your computer, so you can see and hear how you sound.
This might feel awkward at first, but the more you practice, the smoother your delivery will be.
Keep tweaking your pitch until it no longer sounds rehearsed. When your presentation is polished to your satisfaction, try it out on a few friends and ask them what they thought your key points were. If their response doesn’t square with your objective, the speech still needs work.

8. Prepare a few variations

You might want to say things slightly differently to an interviewer than to a former colleague. Also, sometimes you'll just have 15 seconds for a pitch (kind of a short elevator ride), other times you may have a minute or two.  So focus on mastering a few key talking points then work up ways to customize your speech for particular situations.  Note: Use the word count feature on your computer to create shorter and longer pitches; a good rule of thumb is that you can say about 150 words in one minute.

9. Nail it with confidence

The best-worded elevator pitch in the world will fall flat unless it’s conveyed well.
When you give the speech, look the person in the eye, smile and deliver your message with a confident, upbeat delivery.
Get your pitch right and you might soon find yourself riding an actual elevator at your new job.

elevator pitch examples

Please use these examples as guidelines in crafting your own elevator pitch. Make sure your speech includes details on your background, as well as what you'd provide an employer with:


EXAMPLE:  Hello, my name is Greg Smith and I recently graduated from college with a degree in communications. I worked on the college newspaper as a reporter, and eventually, as the editor of the arts section. I'm looking for a job that will put my skills as a journalist to work.  If you are interested in connecting please contact me at the below e-mail address.  Thank you..

EXAMPLE:  Hello, my name is Mildred Waters and I have a decade's worth of experience in accounting, working primarily with small and midsize firms. If your company is ever in need of an extra set of hands, I'd be thrilled to consult.  If you are interested in connecting please contact me at the below e-mail address.  Thank you..

EXAMPLE:  Hello, my name is Bob Stewert, and after years of working at other dentists' offices, I'm taking the plunge and opening my own office. If you know anyone who's looking for a new dentist, I hope you'll send them my way!  If you are interested in connecting please contact me at the below e-mail address.  Thank you..

EXAMPLE:  Hello, my name is Bob Stewert, and I create illustrations for websites and brands. My passion is coming up with creative ways to express a message, and drawing illustrations that people share on social media.  If you are interested in connecting please contact me at the below e-mail address.  Thank you..

EXAMPLE:  Hello, my name is Bob Stewert, and I'm a lawyer with the government, based out of D.C. I grew up in Ohio, though, and I'm looking to relocate closer to my roots, and join a family-friendly firm. I specialize in labor law and worked for ABC firm before joining the government.  If you are interested in connecting please contact me at the below e-mail address.  Thank you..

EXAMPLE:  Hello, my name is Sara Tremble, and I run a trucking company. It's a family-owned business, and we think the personal touch makes a big difference to our customers. Not only do we guarantee on-time delivery, but my father and I personally answer the phones, not an automated system.  If you are interested in connecting please contact me at the below e-mail address.  Thank you..

THE VALUE OF A VETERAN

In a competitive business environment

VETERANS ARE ENTREPRENEURIAL

According to multiple studies commissioned by the U.S. Small Business Administration and others, military veterans are twice more likely than non-veterans to pursue business ownership after leaving service, and the five-year success rate of ventures owned by veterans is significantly higher than the national average.

VETERANS ASSUME HIGH LEVELS OF TRUST

Research studies focused on both military personnel and veterans indicate that the military service experience engenders a strong propensity toward an inherent trust and faith in co-workers, and also a strong propensity toward trust in organizational leadership. In turn, the academic literature broadly supports the finding that organizations where trust between co-workers–and between employees and leadership–is strong, organizational performance is enhanced.

VETERANS ARE ADEPT AT SKILLS TRANSFER ACROSS CONTEXTS/TASKS

Several studies focused on skills transfer have highlighted that military service members and veterans are particularly skilled in this ability. Research has attributed this finding to the fact that military training most often includes contingency and
scenario-based pedagogy, and as a result service members and veterans develop cognitive heuristics that readily facilitate
knowledge/skills transfer between disparate tasks and situations.

VETERANS HAVE [AND LEVERAGE] ADVANCED TECHNICAL TRAINING

Military experience, on average, exposes individuals to
highly advanced technology and technology training at a rate that is accelerated relative to non-military, age group peers.
Research validates the suggestion that this accelerated exposure to high-technology contributes to an enhanced ability to link technology-based solutions to organizational challenges, and also the transfer of technological skills to disparate work-tasks.

VETERANS ARE COMFORTABLE/ADEPT IN DISCONTINUOUS ENVIRONMENTS

Cognitive and decision-making research has demonstrated that the military experience is positively correlated to the ability to accurately evaluate a dynamic decision environment, and subsequently act in the face of uncertainty. Several studies highlight that this ability is further enhanced and developed in individuals whose military experience has included service in a combat environment.

VETERANS EXHIBIT HIGH-LEVELS OF RESILIENCY

According to multiple studies commissioned by the U.S. Small Business Administration and others, military veterans are twice more likely than non-veterans to pursue business ownership after leaving service, and the five-year success rate of ventures owned by veterans is significantly higher than the national average.

VETERANS EXHIBIT ADVANCED TEAM-BUILDING SKILLS

Research studies focused on both military personnel and veterans indicate that the military service experience engenders a strong propensity toward an inherent trust and faith in co-workers, and also a strong propensity toward trust in organizational leadership. In turn, the academic literature broadly supports the finding that organizations where trust between co-workers–and between employees and leadership–is strong, organizational performance is enhanced.

VETERANS EXHIBIT STRONG ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT

Several studies focused on skills transfer have highlighted that military service members and veterans are particularly skilled in this ability. Research has attributed this finding to the fact that military training most often includes contingency and
scenario-based pedagogy, and as a result service members and veterans develop cognitive heuristics that readily facilitate
knowledge/skills transfer between disparate tasks and situations.

VETERANS HAVE [AND LEVERAGE] CROSS-CULTURAL EXPERIENCES

Military experience, on average, exposes individuals to
highly advanced technology and technology training at a rate that is accelerated relative to non-military, age group peers.
Research validates the suggestion that this accelerated exposure to high-technology contributes to an enhanced ability to link technology-based solutions to organizational challenges, and also the transfer of technological skills to disparate work-tasks.

VETERANS HAVE EXPERIENCE/SKILL IN DIVERSE WORK-SETTINGS

Cognitive and decision-making research has demonstrated that the military experience is positively correlated to the ability to accurately evaluate a dynamic decision environment, and subsequently act in the face of uncertainty. Several studies highlight that this ability is further enhanced and developed in individuals whose military experience has included service in a combat environment.

Partners

See how other organizations like yours are having a direct impact on veteran’s lives. 
Get information on unique ways to partner with DVNF.

Getting Started

Get Information On Unique Ways To Partner With DVNF.

Game Changer $25,000

Key Takeaways

KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET:
Your elevator speech is a sales pitch. Be sure you can deliver your message in 30-45 seconds or less.

FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIALS:
Say who you are, what you do, and what you want to achieve.

BE POSITIVE AND PERSUASIVE:
Your time is limited. Focus on what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do. Be upbeat and flexible.

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE:
Deliver your speech to a friend before you record it, so that you can be sure that your message is clear.

ELEVATOR PITCH EXAMPLES FOR YOU FROM OUR DVNF TEAM MEMBERS

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