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Imagine you're riding an elevator to the top floor of a building. You step through the elevator doors only to discover the CEO of your dream employer is inside with you. They turn to you and say, "So, what do you do?"

If you don't have your elevator pitch ready, you're missing out on a key opportunity to introduce yourself and grab their attention.

What is an elevator pitch?

In short, an elevator pitch is a 30-to-60-second verbal summary of who you are, what you do, and why someone should want to work with you. It's an intro that showcases the value you bring, and it should leave your audience interested and wanting to know more. Ideally, this can lead to a second, more in-depth conversation. In the case of that CEO, it could mean landing an interview for your dream job.

Your elevator pitch is similar to your personal branding statement or a short bio, but it's delivered verbally, so you'll want to use natural, conversational language as you speak. While an elevator pitch is short, it's worth taking the time to draft and then practice it.

Key components of an elevator pitch

  • A brief introduction of yourself and what you do. Keep your statement action-oriented and talk about what you do rather than your job title. Structuring your intro this way helps showcase your value and prevents your audience from pigeon-holing you by your job title alone.

  • An introduction to the value you bring. This is a great place to highlight success stories. Explain how you've added value for your company or your clients. To do this, you'll want to dig deep and understand what sets you apart from your peers. What makes you unique and what are your strengths? Weave these facts into your elevator pitch.

  • A call to action. The call to action will vary depending on the purpose of your pitch, whether it's to land an interview or to book a new client. Consider having a few variations of your elevator pitch, tailored to the type of person you might speak with and your desired outcome.

Elevator pitch examples

"Hi, I'm Jonathan, and I design premium, modern websites to help my clients drive sales for their e-commerce businesses. These sites leverage my ten years of experience in the field, and my expertise with platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce. The websites I design typically bring in 200-400% more business for my clients within the first month after launch, and my designs have won CSS Design Awards. Would you be interested in receiving a free website consultation to see how we can improve your online presence and convert more customers?"

"Hi, I'm Sara, and I sell custom forgings to Business 500 customers in the aerospace and medical industries. I believe in developing quality customer relationships to drive sales, and I currently manage eight out of my company's top ten customer accounts. In the last year, I've brought in over $5 million of new contracts and twelve new customers. I'd love to be introduced to a hiring manager to demonstrate how I can make the same level of impact at your company."

An elevator pitch template to get you started

Ready to work on your elevator pitch? Microsoft's Elevator speech template can help you start.

Want more tips for finding the perfect job for you? See Land your dream job.

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