The Thirty-Second Elevator Pitch Technique

Occasionally, the explanation of who you are and what you are looking for requires greater detail. Perhaps you are speaking with someone who is unfamiliar with your background. It may require that you provide more detail than the ten-second sound bite. However, it should still be a tightly structured answer.

Most people are happy to help you in your job search. All you need to do is ask. But you do have to ask.

Imagine getting onto an elevator in an office building after a job interview. As the doors almost close, a person walks onto the elevator. As you both prepare for the silent journey downward, the person turns to you and says, "I noticed you were interviewing with Jane Brown today at our company. What's your background?" The timer has started. You now have thirty seconds or less before the elevator reaches the bottom floor to succinctly state your background. Can you do it?

The Thirty-Second Elevator Pitch is something you should practice and perfect. It is the basic introduction of who you are and what you are seeking. It will form the basis of your introductory message when networking, your opening statement in telephone contacts with employers, and the foundation of your "Tell me about yourself" answer in interviewing.

Don't just assume you will have a great answer when the time comes. As you reach out to network with others, you will be required to cut to the chase quickly. Most contacts are not looking for your life history. They are looking for your bottom line. Use the Summary section of your resume as the starting point. Develop a level of comfort in your personal presentation of who you are and what you are looking for by rehearsing and practicing delivery of your Thirty Second Elevator Pitch. Do it over and over until you get it right. Drive your roommate crazy…