first impression

First impressions count: How to nail an elevator pitch

When you meet a prospective employer, you only have a short amount of time to make a positive impression. Therefore, what you say and how you say it is critical. This is where elevator pitches come in.


An elevator pitch summarises the value you would bring to an organisation in 30 to 60 seconds, or the time it would take to ride in an elevator.

It can be used as part of a resume summary, in a job interview or when networking. It is a helpful way to highlight your skills, experience and strengths to a potential employer.

But what should you include in an elevator pitch, and how do you write one?

Seek and Indeed provide tips on how to write an elevator pitch.


How to write an elevator pitch


Introduce yourself

Start by greeting the person you are pitching to and shaking their hand.  Say something like, “It’s a pleasure to meet you”.  State your name and current position. Ensure you maintain positive body language and smile.


Highlight your benefit

State how your skills, education and experience make you the best person for the job. Identify the skills identified in the job description and try to tailor your pitch to these. Does the job require knowledge of computer programs? Highlight your experience using different computer programs.  Make sure to illustrate your strengths. Are there any unique attributes that you can bring to the role?


Include a call to action

Think about what you want from the exchange, and don’t be afraid to ask for it. However, remember you have only just met the person, so try to make your request not too onerous.

If you are in an interview setting, the next steps are obvious. If not, state what you want to happen next. For example, do you want a meeting to discuss potential job opportunities? Or do you want to exchange contact details?


Tips for an effective elevator pitch


Adapt your pitch to your audience

It’s fine to have a general pitch pre-prepared, but you should also try to tailor your pitch to your audience. For example, if you were pitching to a newspaper editor, it would be a good idea to emphasise your writing skills and any achievements in this area.

Inject personality, passion and authenticity

Doing so will help your pitch to stand out.

Highlight your unique selling points and how they help the listener

Your audience wants to know how you can help them.

Practice your pitch on friends or family

By practicing your pitch, you can receive feedback and refine the pitch.

Have open, friendly body language

When delivering an elevator pitch, you should pay close attention to your body language. Poor body language will give your audience a bad impression.

Speak clearly and enthusiastically

You want your message to be clear and the audience to see your enthusiasm.

Be confident

If you lack confidence, your pitch will be less effective. Try to take your time and speak slowly.

Avoid irrelevant personal information

You want to ensure your audience remains focused on your core message.

Use clear language

Keep your pitch simple to ensure your audience remains engaged. You want to avoid using jargon or complicated language. Otherwise, you risk alienating your audience.

Making a good impression isn’t easy.

Do you need help selling yourself? Public Service Resumes can help. We are pleased to offer career development coaching and interview skills coaching