Properly introducing yourself online or in-person allows you to initiate a professional conversation anywhere., whether at a networking event, with a colleague or as a pitch in the Northern Connector Program. Let’s talk about several pitch fundamentals, and we’ll share our top tips to help create, craft and deliver your message.
What is a pitch?
A pitch is a quick summary of you, also commonly called an elevator pitch. It was named after the time it takes to ride an elevator from the bottom to the top of a building— roughly 30-60 seconds or 75-150 words. Elevator pitches are sometimes thought to be only for selling an idea or a product, but having a pitch to sell yourself is vital in today’s competitive job market.
Why is a pitch important?
A well-crafted pitch will enable you to kick start any conversation. If you’re interviewing through Zoom or in person, the interviewer will probably ask you to describe who you are, your background and what you expect from your next job. Your pitch may also be a valuable framework for responding to typical interview questions or deciding what to include in a cover letter.
Another benefit of a personal elevator pitch is that it prepares you to introduce yourself when new opportunities present themselves in everyday life. It also quickly helps new contacts understand why they should connect with you or consider you when an employment opportunity arises.
- Start by introducing yourself. As you approach someone to pitch to, whether at an event, interview or networking function, start with an introduction. Give your full name, offer a firm handshake and ask the other person about themselves. This is an excellent way to make a positive first impression.
- Provide a summary of what you do. Provide a brief explanation of your background. You should include the most relevant information such as your education, work experience and any of your key specialties or strengths. If you’re not sure what to include, try writing everything that comes to mind on a piece of paper. After that, review what you’ve written and remove everything that’s not critical to explaining your background. Instead, focus on why you have what they may be looking for. Consider the essential items on your resume. Once you’ve got it down to just a few points, organize them in a way that makes sense in your story.
- Explain what’s special about you. This is an excellent opportunity to explain the value you bring, why you’re a good fit for a job or what an audience has to gain from your interaction and what you have to offer other than simply meeting the minimum requirements.
- Finish with a call to action. You should end your elevator pitch by asking what you want to happen next. Examples include asking for a meeting, expressing interest in a job, confirming you’ve fully answered an interview question or asking someone to be your mentor.
One of the most significant advantages of using an elevator pitch when speaking about your career is taking the initiative. Instead of waiting on the other party to direct the conversation, you can confidently explain what you have to offer.
Most, importantly have fun!