Elevator Pitch

“So, what can you tell me about yourself?”

Your answer to that question should be prepared in advance, ready to deliver in no more than 90 seconds from start to finish, roughly the time it takes an elevator to rise from the lobby to the executive floor. It is a must for formal interviewing, when you can expect 85% of your interviewers to be late, unprepared, or unfamiliar with your resume.

Writing Your Pitch

Write a concise statement that emphasizes the qualities that make you unique and relevant to the listener and his or her company.

What It Should Say

Think about your underlying message as you address these points:

  • This is who I am. (Message: You will like working with me.)
  • This is what I care deeply about. (Message: Our values are aligned.)
  • This is what I have accomplished that is relevant to you. (Message: I can help you and your company succeed.)

Refining Your Pitch

Read and reread your statement, silently and aloud, and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is my statement authentic? Does it sound authentic? Does it sound spontaneous?
  • Will it resonate with people I’ve worked with and others who know me well?
  • Will my references reinforce my statement by paraphrasing it?
  • Can I bring it to life with more examples?

Books

Developing an elevator pitch is a first step in establishing your personal brand. Two books will help you dig deeper into personal positioning and branding.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

By Al Ries and Jack Trout

A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century

By Scott Bedbury and Stephen Fenichell