Write your career elevator pitch

Write your career elevator pitch

The elevator pitch. Named because you've got 20-30 seconds (an elevator ride) to convince someone of the thing you need to convince them of. Usually focused on business ideas, the elevator pitch can come in handy when it comes to finding opportunities for your career.

What to include in your elevator pitch

There's no real trick when it comes to the general areas to include in your elevator pitch, as the high level contents are who you are, what you do, and what you want to do.

The real trick is fine tuning it so that it is short, succinct, and effective at moving you towards your goal - gaining the interest of someone who could support your career development.

Keep it brief - remember you need to manage to say what you need to say in 20 seconds or so.  If you're still talking when your audience needs to get out of the elevator then you've failed.

You don't need your full work history, you just need a short summary to get across what you've been up to.

e.g. Hi, I'm Rob.  I'm a product owner with twenty years product management experience in startups and small businesses.

Keep to your relevant skills - You've no doubt got lots of skills after years of study and work, but they aren't always relevant for the job at hand.  If you want to join a startup then don't share your skills of managing large teams.

e.g. I've focused a lot on introducing product processes in the businesses I've helped

Keep it persuasive - your pitch needs to be compelling enough to spark the listener's interest in your idea, organization, or background.  What is unique about you? If you can't do this then you're just another person telling them their life story.

e.g. and through this I've set up multiple product teams to deliver award winning products

Keep it focused on your goal - what do you hope to get out of the situation?  If so, you need to let the other person know what the goal is and what you need from them.  

e.g. I'm looking for a new business to bring these skills to, so if you know of someone in need of developing their product processes, do let me know.

Is that it?

Pretty much.

You should have your contact details easily available so you can hand them over to your audience if they show any interest.

You should practice it so that it flows and you don't get tongue tied.

When to use your elevator pitch

That depends on what you are looking to achieve, but it can come in handy at:

  • Networking events
  • Meetups
  • Trade conferences
  • Career fairs
  • Internal meetings
  • Online profile

Some example elevator pitches

I recently graduated from college with a degree in computer science. I worked helped setup a student discounts app at college and I'm looking for a job that will put my product skills to work.

I have a decade's worth of experience in data products, working with large data sets and working out how these can be easily used by non-data people. If your company is ever in need of an extra set of hands, I'd be thrilled to consult.

My name is Asif, and after years of working as a software developer, I'm taking the plunge and moving over to product management. If you know anyone who's looking for a product manager with good technical skills do let me know.

“Hello! My name is Angie, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I have a background in Business Analytics with just over 3 years of experience creating retail applications. Specifically, I love optimising supply chain flows. It sounds like you do similar work—I would love to keep in touch to learn more about what you and your company do.”