Elevator Speech: A Key Tool
No doubt, job hunting is a daunting task. But, with this simple tool, you can make your own luck. Also, the “elevator speech” is a secret weapon that will have you prepared for any situation. Of course, crafting this speech is critical in your success.
What is an Elevator Speech?
As part of your job search, start by writing a summary of yourself. Certainly, it should have a focus on your top skills. Most importantly, you want to keep it short (30-60 seconds) and to the point. Therefore, simply include who you are, what you can do, the fact that you are looking for information or a job. And, you must make a request – ask for a few minutes of their time. This could be to help further your career research, or you could ask for a referral to a company who is looking to hire.
We call this your infomercial, your pitch, or your 30-second spiel. However, it is often called an “Elevator Speech”. The term comes from the fact that you need to deliver this speech within the time it takes to ride an elevator ride with someone. In addition, if you find yourself somewhere where a key person happens to be you may only have 30 seconds to impress them. Obviously, this can prove to be a challenge. However, if you’re ready to pitch – you may just catch their attention.
What Should You Include?
“Good morning. I recognize you from that article in last week’s paper. Aren’t you Grant Storey, head of ABC company? My name is Sarah Malloy.”
“I understand your company does consulting in structural engineering and has hired co-op students and interns in the past. I am interested in your field and looking to gain more experience.”
Reason for the approach
“I am currently a co-op student, taking Civil Engineering at the University. My experience lies in construction and project management. I also have exceptional interpersonal skills, am ambitious and eager to learn! Right now, I am looking for a 4-month long work term to complete my program.”
“Could your firm use someone like me?”
If the response you get is positive, ask to whom and how you should send your resume.
Often, you will get a negative response. Generally speaking, it is “We’re not hiring right now.” Therefore, your next step should be to ask another question. For example: “I understand. But would you happen to know of anyone else who may be hiring?” Regardless, be sure to ask the person if you can keep in touch. That way, if future opportunities arise, you have a contact person.
Example of an Elevator Speech
Good afternoon Ms. Moore, my name is Peter Smith. I was speaking with Beverly, your receptionist, and she thought you would be the best person to help me. You run many events throughout the year, and I was particularly impressed with your marketing campaign for the recent Fall Festival. With extensive project management and event planning experience myself, I would love to contribute my skills to a community-focused organization like yours. It would also be great to increase my knowledge of marketing and promotions. Although there are no openings currently listed on your website, I would like to forward you my resume. Therefore, if a position becomes available, you can keep me in mind. What is your email address?
While on the phone with potential employers, keep your resume and any company research handy. As a result, you will have all the information you need to succeed. Just ensure the employer cannot hear you rustling papers, as that will sound unprofessional.
Essentially, the elevator speech is like a commercial about you. Conveying who you are and what you’re looking for. Most importantly, it shows what you bring to the table. If the person wants more details or has questions, they will ask. No matter what happens, remain optimistic and professional. Equally important is to always thank the person that took the time to speak to you. Additionally, try to get their email address so you can send a timely thank you note.
Elevator speeches are commonly used when attending structured networking events. Consequently, it is handy to be prepared with at least one solid pitch. Be sure to rehearse ahead of time. As a result, you will be ready if someone asks “What do you do?” or “What brings you to this event?”
You always want to make a great first impression. Therefore, it is important to structure what you say to be appealing to employers. For instance, if you are currently out of work, avoid the word “unemployed.” Instead, focus on your strengths and say “I am currently seeking new opportunities.” Doesn’t that sound better? If you are exploring your options and researching careers, let them know that you are looking for more information. Ask if they know anyone who would maybe be able to give you some insights or guidance. Be specific in regards to the field(s) you are considering.
So, where might you use your elevator speech? Here are a few common places that your elevator speech may be needed:
• Job Fairs
• Trade Shows/Conventions
• Job Search Workshops
• Employment Centres
• Company Open houses
• Networking Events
Always Be Ready
Social events, daily activities, and even social media platforms are also networking opportunities. You always want to be seeking information, interviews, or referrals. Therefore, go out of your way to new people. Think of the last time you met someone new. You probably asked each other the common questions – Who are you, and what do you do? That is networking. You are creating social connections that could potentially lead you to an opportunity. So, always be ready!
Have you heard of LinkedIn? This is a great place to find people and make connections online. Within the platform, you can see a variety of information, making it a helpful research tool. Individuals use LinkedIn for networking, connecting and job searching. Alternatively, employers use it for recruiting and sharing of company information/updates. Therefore, your LinkedIn summary is a great place to use your elevator speech. You never know who might see it.
However, the elevator speech can prove to be successful in written form, ultimately, it is best-used in person. While delivering face-to-face, you can add emphasis and confidence that cannot be achieved through text alone. In addition, you can ask questions and provide clarification. Possibly, you might even get an interview on the spot!
So, what are you waiting for? Now is the time to perfect your elevator speech! Know however, that it can take a few tries to get it just right. And, keep in mind, you want it to be compelling, but natural. If after a few tries you are still struggling, or if you want a second opinion – Contact us. You never know who you may bump into the next time you’re in an elevator so you want to be prepared. As a result, the link to your dream job could be right around the corner!