What is an Elevator Pitch? How to Write One?

Imagine hopping into a lift and bumping into one of the most influential business people you know. You realise this elevator ride will only last a short amount of time but might well change your life! If you could only find the right words to say, this person would think you’re amazing and give you precisely what you need to achieve career success. Under all the pressure, your mouth goes dry, and you just stand there grinning and sweating. To help you avoid this exact situation, we explain an elevator pitch and write one.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Even if you’re pleased with your current job, let’s say you have a fantastic idea you would love to share with the boss. If the company implemented your vision, it would save them time and money and catapult your career to dizzying heights. Everyone’s a winner! However, you know her time is precious, and she might not have time to hear you out.

In any situation, a well-crafted elevator pitch conveys your idea engagingly and memorably. In just 30 seconds, the listener will understand what you’re about and realise they need what you’re selling. What’s more, after you part ways, they will remember you, despite meeting so many other people that day. So how do you do that?

There are many different situations where you can effectively use an elevator pitch to elevate your career. Although the same wouldn’t work in every scenario.

We’re going to show you how to tweak your elevator pitch to three different situations. As we’re all about helping job seekers get to land their perfect jobs, we’re going to focus on how to use an elevator pitch to achieve just that. So without further ado, let’s go!

Lady in shock at meeting the most influential business person she knows

How to Write an Elevator Pitch

  1. Grab your listener’s attention by identifying a pain point
  2. Solve a problem for the listener
  3. Summarise what you do
  4. Open the door to questions

So let’s dive right in and explain how to apply this to some common career-related situations.

In a Job Interview

One of the most common interview questions interview panellists ask first is, “tell us a bit about yourself”. In response, interviewees often launch headlong into a recital of their life story. But that’s not what interviewers want to hear; it’s uninteresting and forgettable.

To make yourself memorable, follow the above four steps to craft an elevator pitch for a job interview. There’s an example below, and then we’ll demonstrate how to adapt it for other situations.

Interviewers engaged in their candidate's elevator pitch

1 — Grab the Interviewers’ Attention

“I’m Gemma, I’ve been writing content for about five years, and I love it! Here’s a strange fact about content writing; around 90% of content on the web never receives any traffic. Did you know that?”

Boom! The interviewers are now hooked and can’t wait to hear what you say next. Whether they knew that fact or not, it clarifies that you know your stuff and sets the stage accordingly.

2 — Solve The Interviewers Problems

3 — Summarise What you do

4 — Open the Door to Questions

“I’m excited to be interviewing with you today, and I can’t wait to find out more about your business and how I can help you.”

At a Networking Event

You should also have a business card handy or, better still, invite people to connect with you on LinkedIn. This way, if the people you meet want to continue your discussion later on, they will know how to contact you.

Short and Snappy

“Hi, I’m Gemma. I’m a content writer! Here’s a strange fact about what I do; around 90% of web content never receives any traffic. Did you know that? Early in my career, I became obsessed with analytics and devised a system that almost always gets my content in the top 10 search results. Right now, I work for a beauty business where I’ve increased their traffic tenfold, but in the past, I’ve written about many other topics. What do you do, is there anything I can help you with?”

The above pitch is a condensed version that delivers the same message only much quicker. It also invites listeners to tell you what they do while clarifying that you’re there to do business.

In an Actual Elevator

Imagine you’re on holiday in New York. You find yourself admiring the view from the top of the Empire State building, look round and who do you see? None other than SEO expert Rand Fishkin.

Compose Yourself!

This pitch is very similar to the last one in that it’s short and snappy while still getting your point across. It also tells Mr Fishkin that you are open to opportunities and would love to work with him.

Mr Fishkin likely meets people like you all the time. So if he says no, don’t be too disappointed, but you should still ask him if you can connect with him on LinkedIn just in case any future opportunities arise. You never know, being the nice guy he is, he might just look you up!

Lady delivering her elevator pitch to a senior manager

Tips for Delivering a Slick Elevator Pitch

It’s better to practice saying your pitch aloud. Better still, record it with your mobile phone to see how it sounds. Don’t speak too fast and try to sound natural.

Always close your pitch with a call to action. Don’t just tell people you’re Gemma, a content writer who achieves excellent results. Adjust your call to action to whatever situation you’re in, just like we did in the last two examples above.

A Few Final Thoughts on Elevator Pitches

If you are looking for your next opportunity, why not check out our latest jobs page? Either way, if you found this post useful, we’d love it if you could share it on social media!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store