From the time it takes for an elevator to go from the bottom floor to the top floor, are you able to clearly and succinctly summarize your qualifications and win a new connection?

The elevator pitch is key to making a good first impression – think of it as a professional way to introduce yourself and answer that dreaded interview question of, “Tell me a little about yourself.” 

A good elevator pitch is formed by a few different elements, combined to create a seamless, marketable pitch about you, your skills and potential contributions to an organization or company. If you’re new to the career search process, start with the basics and build from there. This can be a simple introduction of who you are, including your major and university and that you are looking for an internship or full time position.

Need an example to get started?

Hello, my name is Jori. I'm a pursuing Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Business. I have functional and technical project experience, both in school projects and work related projects. I am looking for an electrical engineering internship position for summer 2017.

Once you’ve got some experience under your belt, here are the five things to consider when building your elevator pitch:

1. Who you are: Define who you are by using strong, positive, and action oriented adjectives.
2. What do you have to offer:   Describe your field of studies and expertise; the responsibilities you could take on and what you can offer as a professional.
What are your specialties and skills: Think of key words, job titles and specific skills you’ve gained through previous experience. What would you highlight as your greatest skills?
What have you accomplished: Provide 2 major accomplishments that prove your value and back-up your skills.
What are you looking for in a job opportunity: If there is a specific position you are interested in, convey why you are the perfect candidate for it – just make sure to keep it brief.

Be memorable! Here are a few tips as you prepare your own elevator speech:

  • Respect the time limit - the elevator pitch should be between 30-60 seconds.
  • Practice! Record yourself, recite it in the mirror or tell it to a friend.
  • Be silent once you finish and pause along the way (give your audience time to think).
  • Look comfortable and try to relax… be sure to smile and remember to use a firm handshake!

Once you have your elevator pitch down, be sure to use it to give someone a short, yet powerful understanding of who you are at a professional level. That may be at a career fair, networking event or to break the ice in an interview. This pitch will grow with you, so don’t forget to keep it updated as you advance in your career. Good luck!