Dear DFS: How Do I Craft an Elevator Speech?

Dear DFS:

I’ve been unemployed for two years now, so I’ve recently decided to try career counseling in hopes of revamping my job search. Everyone I’ve talked to keeps telling me that I need a great elevator pitch to step up my networking skills, but no one’s given me the tools to get started. Do you think having an elevator pitch is important?  If so, do you have any tips on how to create one that’s right for me?

Ready to elevate my career!

Michelle, Houston

 

Dear Michelle,

First, let me start by saying that I understand how difficult it is to be job searching.  It is a competitive market, so kudos to you for keeping your head up and giving it your best!  I think it is very important for everyone to have an elevator pitch, whether they are job searching or not.  Networking is one of the best ways to make connections that could lead to opportunities, so it is good practice to know how to talk about yourself in a way that is interesting, memorable, and, most importantly, brief!

The best thing about an elevator speech is that there’s not a lot to remember!  You’re taking all of the best qualities of yourself and condensing it into just a few minutes to provide a powerful punch of information that should leave a long-lasting impression on your listener.  No one knows you better than yourself, right?  You should talk about what you do and why.  Speak from the heart, so your words are authentic, not memorized—even though you have spent a long time perfecting it.

So, here are some tips and a few questions to for you to ask yourself that I hope will be helpful to you in crafting your personal pitch:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do, and why?
  • What do you want to do, and why?
  • What skills or experience do you have that make you the right person for the job?
  • Take a look at your resume, and think about the accomplishments you made in each job you’ve had.  If you have not worked before, think about accomplishments you have made in school, or in your personal life that would transfer to a job situation.

Focus on all of the positive things about yourself, and you can’t go wrong! Remember that great opportunity is out there just waiting for you to find it. And the only way to find it is by continuing your search.  Please do not give up.

I wish you all the best in your job search and beyond!

Sincerely,

 Kim Todd

Executive Director

Dress for Success Boston

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