Have you ever asked someone what they do for a living and they offer a long-winded dissertation that you cannot comprehend? You politely nod and say, “Wow, that’s great,” but secretly feel that something is wrong with this guy.
There are very few, if any, jobs—no matter how important— that can’t be easily described in a couple of sentences. It’s shocking how many people are incapable of clearly, concisely and interestingly conveying what they do for a living.
If you are interviewing or conversing with recruiters, human resources and other professionals at networking events, it is imperative to have a captivating elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a term used to describe yourself, your business, gig or current project. Visualize yourself in an elevator ride with an executive at a company you’d like to work for. You need to seize the opportunity and quickly sell yourself before she exits the elevator to her floor.
When I mention “selling” to candidates, they tend to cringe. Many job seekers feel it is uncouth or demeaning. Indignant, they’ll respond that their background speaks for itself. The reality is, while you may be the best at what you do, a hiring manager won’t know this until you effectively sell her on it. Interviewers don’t have the time or patience to decipher your convoluted story nor will they accept that you’re great at face value just because you say so. You have to offer real tangible reasons why your skills are the right fit for the job, as well as compelling rationale for hiring you instead of the other candidates.
The elevator pitch is similar to a brief television or YouTube commercial. A luxury car brand or fast food burger chain needs to effectively communicate their message and sell you on their product in one minute or less.They need to capture your rapt attention, as you are simultaneously preoccupied with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and fielding questions and complaints from your spouse and kids.