Why Elevator Pitches are Essential for Landing Your Dream Job
An elevator pitch will help you understand what your career goals and values are.
As a society, we’re taught to be humble—after all, we want to avoid coming across as arrogant and self-absorbed. While having a healthy dose of humility is key to living a good life, it’s not so helpful when you’re trying to prove why you deserve a job. This is why elevator pitches are essential.
Many people don’t feel comfortable talking about what they’re good at, and they’re much more likely to bring up their shortcomings than their skills. This is deadly in the job hunt.
If this describes you, don’t feel bad. It’s very common to downplay your hirable traits. The key is recognizing that what you’re doing is holding you back and then making changes. If you’re actively seeking out your dream job in 2018, then you’re going to need to master the art of self-promotion in order to land it. That doesn’t mean you should be pushy or change your personality—but it does mean you’ll need to master the elevator pitch.
What is an Elevator Pitch?
You’ve probably heard of an elevator pitch before—it’s a short speech that explains who you are, what you do, and what you bring to the table. It should be short enough that it can be finished by the time an elevator ride is over, but interesting enough to grab attention and communicate your value. When most people think of elevator pitches, entrepreneurs and salespeople normally come to mind, but the truth is that an elevator pitch is essential for job-seekers as well. Here are 4 reasons why:
An elevator pitch will help YOU understand what your career goals and values are
Sure, you may have a dream job in mind already, but do you know exactly what you’re looking for in a company? In a job? The process of writing your elevator pitch will help you clarify these career goals, interests, and values since you’ll need to distill them down into one short pitch. Employers want people they hire to be happy—it makes them more productive and enjoyable to work with. Unfortunately, it’s more common for employees to be disengaged, making employers leery of candidates only seeking a paycheck. Only 33% of Americans are engaged at work, and you want to show you’re excited to take on a role you can find fulfilling.
Your pitch will concisely communicate your skills and the benefits of working with you
A prospective employer doesn’t need your life story, but they do need to know what you can do and why it benefits their company. An elevator pitch will help you get straight to the point and show off your unique skills, without allowing you to fall into the trap of self-deprecation. Brevity is king in the business world, and an elevator pitch will help you from nervous rambling.
You’ll appear confident and polished
There’s a little secret that nearly everyone keeps—they’re terrified to put themselves out there. Take public speaking, for instance. About 90% of people are at least mildly anxious before they have to speak in front of a group. Yet some of them seem so confident and polished that you’d think they love it up there. The good news? You don’t have to BE confident to appear confident. You could have sweaty palms and be looking for the nearest window to jump out of, but if you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, you’ll come off as confident and polished every time. That’s sure to impress because guess what? Chances are good that the person you’re talking to isn’t as confident as they seem either.
It can be used in all kinds of networking situations
If you’re one of those people who gets nervous about meeting new people, the elevator pitch is a great tool. It can be used in nearly any in-person networking situation, of course, helping you to start conversations and feel at ease. Your elevator pitch doesn’t have to stop there, however. You can use it in online networking, your LinkedIn profile, or in a cover letter. Elevator pitches are endlessly versatile, yours will save you an enormous amount of time and anxiety.
Take your time to write a better pitch
The beauty of an elevator pitch is that you don’t have to do it on the fly. You have a chance to tweak and refine your pitch before you put it out into the world. Don’t just jot something down and go with it—take your time on your pitch, and try to channel proven psychological techniques that will impress your audience.
Examples can be helpful to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t, but remember to highlight your unique selling position. You don’t want to sound like everyone else. Find what you offer to your dream employer—and then go find the elevator they’re riding.
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