Benjamin Franklin said the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. At Computer Systems Institute (CSI), we’d like to add a third: the need for a kick-butt elevator pitch. Whether you are at a networking event, interviewing for your dream job, or just meeting a potential new friend, you can be sure the following request will come your way:
“Tell me about yourself.”
These four words can turn a simple conversation into a meaningful moment in your life…if you are prepared. That’s why we’ve outlined what you need to know to craft a statement that will wow potential employers and acquaintances alike.
The Art of the Elevator Pitch
As its name suggests, your elevator pitch should be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator (usually around 30 to 45 seconds). So, how do you sell yourself in less than a minute? Start with the basics, including:
- Who you are: Begin with your first and last name – it’s as easy as that!
- What you do: Are you a CSI student? Recent graduate? Discuss your program and the skills you gained. This is also a great time to highlight your achievements and experience. Consider any and all relevant experience you might have, including internships, externships, volunteer work, etc. Ensure you sprinkle in the specific results/outcomes you reached, and discuss what sets you apart from others with similar qualifications.
- What you want to achieve: Speaking of professional goals…make sure you share them! Use your elevator pitch as an opportunity to reiterate what you want.
“My name is Bob Smith. In 2019, I completed the Business Career Program – Digital Multimedia Concentration at Computer Systems Institute. During my program, I mastered best practices in graphic design, webpage design, search engine optimization, social media optimization, and more. Following my studies, I worked at a local marketing agency where I was able to gain first-hand experience building and promoting three different websites. Today, I am looking to use my skillset to help your company achieve your digital marketing goals, and would love to learn more about this position.”
Tips for Success
As your work on your elevator pitch, keep these tips and tricks top of mind:
Speak Slowly and Clearly
You might feel pressured to speak quickly to fit as much information into your elevator pitch as possible. It’s key to resist this urge. It doesn’t matter if you have an excellent elevator pitch if your audience doesn’t understand or can’t retain what you are saying. Remember, less is more!
Use Simple Language
Assume the person you’re talking to isn’t familiar with the abbreviations and acronyms that might feel second nature to you. The last thing you want it for your message to get lost in translation.
Don’t be so worried about reciting your elevator speech perfectly that you appear robotic. Fluctuate your tone, pause for emphasis, and remain upbeat and positive.
Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to ensure your elevator pitch is up to snuff is by practicing. Recite it in front of your mirror, to friends, mentors, or anyone else who can provide feedback.Take Advantage of CSI’s Career Services
When it comes to feedback, don’t forget to utilize CSI’s career services! In addition to working with you on your elevator pitch, our team can:
- Help you define your career objectives
- Share resume best practices, such as:
- Tell a story about you AND the prospective role
- Have clearly defined sections
- Incorporate keywords and phrases
- Use a design that correlates with the job you want
- Provide cover letter assistance
- Offer tips and tricks for nailing interviews