elevator_pitchAn elevator pitch is essentially used to help you gain the interest of people to talk to you when there is only a window of 20 seconds or less to speak – the amount of time you may be in the elevator with the CEO of the company you’re dying to work for or in another similar scenario. Even if you’ve arranged a meeting using CityHour app and have more time to spend with this person, it’s a good idea to pack your main message in a short pitch.

The mission is to get the contact to respond with “Why don’t you send me your resume?” or something similar like, “Let’s schedule a time to further discuss.”

So, you’re probably wondering, “What makes a good elevator pitch and how can I compose one?”

First off, remember that your mission is simply to get the conversation started. You want to keep it conversational as you point out what value you offer that’s a competitive advantage over other potential candidates and how it may prove to be beneficial experience in helping to solve a problem for the employer.

Here are some steps to help construct a good elevator pitch:

pitching to potential  investors1. Think about your accomplishments.

Pull together your top 10 accomplishments and use the C-A-R process (the Challenge, your Action and the Result of your action) for each accomplishment to help you tell a story.

2. Determine the theme.

Go over what you wrote and look for the theme – essentially, what are you recognized for? Are you the go-to-person for creative ideas, the troubleshooter around crises, or the networker with the ability to make connections and establish important relationships for business?

3. Narrow your story so that it’s brief and conversational.

200487893-001Stick to using the C-A-R process as you narrow your story down to one short paragraph. For instance: “When our new mobile app looked like it was going to miss its deadline by two months, I’m the HTML5 subject matter expert who put it back on track.”

The more time and practice you have with your elevator pitch, the easier it’ll be rolling off your tongue. Just remember to start with your theme and back it up with three supporting points to prove it.

Just like customizing a resume for different jobs, your elevator pitch needs to do the same. You may have more than one elevator pitch under your belt to suit different contacts and scenarios to win your way to more job opportunities.