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Have you ever felt inspired by a specific song or painting? An elevator pitch can evoke the same feeling if done correctly. While an elevator pitch isn’t always easy to write, getting your point across clearly and concisely is essential.
An elevator pitch is a quick and personal way to sell yourself. It can be used at a job fair, when meeting with someone higher in the elevator, or as the basis for cover letters for job applications.
What should be included in your Elevator Pitch?
Although you want a unique pitch that helps you stand out, there’s no harm in using a template to develop your pitch. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and ramble on about your rewards or dreams for your future career, but not everyone will have the time or patience to listen to a lengthy personal story. Essentially, an elevator pitch helps you cut to the chase.
When crafting your 30-second pitch, keep the following in mind.
Who you are and what sets you apart from your peers. Maybe you volunteer on campus or are part of ROTC. You can also build a relationship with the person you are promoting to if you know a little about them beforehand. Are you from the same hometown? Root for the same NFL team? Do you frequent the same local cafe?
Your interest or specific career goals. If the person you’re talking to can’t help you achieve those goals, they may be able to put you in touch with someone who can. (If they like your pitch enough!)
How you are already working to achieve your goals. If you want to be a photographer, saying “I spend 3 hours every day after class taking pictures” doesn’t carry as much weight as “My pictures appeared in art exhibits on campus.” Even though this is a small example in your larger career trajectory, it is worth mentioning.
Why you are qualified. This is where you can mention your accomplishments, leadership work, skills and strengths. If you’re an engineering student, maybe you led a group on a really exciting project that won a tech competition, or maybe you learned to code last year.
Ultimately, a question or an additional request. You didn’t show up perfectly for nothing, so don’t let the conversation end here. At the end of your presentation, you can ask the person questions about internships with the company, open positions or related programs.
Instead of asking “Does your company offer internships?” you can ask: “If your company offers internships, could you put me in touch with the person in charge of this program? Or you might say, “Would it be possible to put time on the calendar to meet again to discuss available opportunities for students?” »
Always give them your business card and ask for theirs so you can follow up with them!
Don’t forget to practice. When you finally have a pitch that you nailed down to a minute max, practice again. While you don’t want to sound robotic, you need to have enough tone to be able to pivot as needed and connect with the person you’re talking to. But don’t give them too much, you want them to be interested in knowing even more about you once you’re done.
Sample elevator pitches for students
It’s time to put all this information into action and really develop your pitch. Remember, you want to be a priority when an engineering executive is looking for a new intern or candidate.
While your elevator pitch may change slightly depending on whether you’re pitching it to one person or a group, over email, or to a former professor, the template can stay pretty much the same.
1. Example of Elevator Pitch for a student with relevant experience
For a student with more experience in their field, an elevator pitch might look like this:
“My name is Jenn Lee and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Kansas studying aerospace engineering. I am currently an intern at United Airlines, where I work with the airport operations team to study organizational changes, manage communications and integrate production methods. On campus, I’m the captain of the robotics team, where I used my technical skills to build a flying, configurable robot. If you have free time on your calendar this week, I’d like to meet with you about vacancies (or internships) at your company. »
Jenn Lee seems to be involved in many activities on and off campus. But what if you don’t have that much related experience under your belt? Elevator pitches are about marketing your skills and strengths, so showcase them.
2. Sample Elevator Pitch for a Student Seeking Experience
Here is an example elevator pitch for a younger student with limited experience:
“Hi, my name is Tom Ross. I’m a sophomore at Lasa High School and have an interest in technical writing. I’ve freelanced for a handful of journals and covered topics ranging from the last election to a rooftop garden that nurtures the community. With knowledge of copy editing and interview experience under my belt, my interests lie in gaining tangible reporting experience and expanding my my writing and editing skills Who would be the best person to contact for internship opportunities?”
To further hone your pitch, try to make it 20 words or less. If it’s helpful, create a long list of everything you think someone should know about you, then cross out anything that isn’t absolutely essential. Although you can have a longer version hidden away, this will optimize your short intro for online communication channels.
Image Credit: mentatdgt / Shutterstock.com