Crafting a compelling pitch
JULIE CHASE | JANUARY 21, 2020
What’s your elevator pitch? You know, that punchy story about you that’s going to grab people’s attention and capture who you are — all within 30 seconds.
When it comes to the job search, your elevator pitch needs a balance of high level information to get a sense for who you are and proof points to demonstrate your impact and give you credibility.
Similar to a resume, crafting a concise and compelling pitch can be an overwhelming task. After all, how can you pack an entire career and breadth of experience into a neat package? Instead of thinking about encompassing all aspects, focus on the specific strengths and achievements where you shine the brightest.
Here are simple guidelines to help you easily create and deliver a perfect pitch.
Do a braindump
Answer these questions as a freeflow writing exercise — whatever comes to mind.
- Who am I? (not in a philosophical sense, in a very concrete professional sense)
- What work do I do?
- What impact do I make? (personally and as part of a team)
- How am I unique? (not in a profound way, the things that help you excel — is it your business acumen, analytical mind or your skills in execution)
- What do I love doing? Am passionate about?
- What am I looking for next?
Then review your resume and make sure you’re including some of the key points. You may even want to pull out a few performance reviews to remember what your manager and colleagues have said about you.
Follow a structure
Mapping out your pitch in a structured way will help the listener quickly grasp your key points. Here’s what I suggest: intro, career at-a-glance, strengths/passions and what you’re looking for.
Introduction: start with “I am…” Most people don’t know who you are or assume they do based on your LinkedIn profile or resume. Get straight to the point so people can wrap their minds around who you are. Also give them an idea of the impact you make.
Example: I am a seasoned leader with a successful track record of running strategy and operations that help fintech companies scale growth.
Career at-a-glance: start with a sweeping statement about your earlier career. Then talk through a few career highlights, mentioning specific company names and results and/or impact you made. This shouldn’t be comprehensive — showcase achievements that are the most significant and/or relevant to the role you’re pursuing.
Your strengths and passions: share what you’re passionate about, known for (the unique stuff). Don’t clutter with stats or proof points — keep it simple and concise.
Ending: include an “I’m looking for statement.” Tailor it based on the type of company and/or products you’re talking to. For example, you can say “I’m looking for a finance leadership role at a high growth security tech company with a people-centric and inclusive culture.”
Do this, not that
- Capture your biggest strengths, what makes you unique, what you’re most passionate about and the impact you make.
- Keep it high level: less than 1.5 minutes.
- Make it conversational: say it aloud and record yourself. Identify what you need to change in terms of content and delivery, practice and record again.
- Practice often with your friends, family, pets — whoever will listen. The more comfortable you feel about it, the more confident and natural you’ll be.
- Use jargon, acronyms and abbreviations (unless they’re universal).
- Memorize: writing it helps organize thoughts and highlight key points, but never read it. Expect it to be different each time and practice kindness and compassion when you forget the “most important thing.”
- Include negative or irrelevant information about your colleagues, companies and/or your choices. Instead of saying something like “I’m looking for non-toxic culture,” go with “I’m looking for a positive and collaborative culture.”
Elevator pitch example
I’m a marketing leader with extensive experience in creating strategies and plans that drive awareness and revenue growth at B2B tech companies.
I started my career in PR at Intel and then transitioned to marketing which became my true love. I liked owning a larger scope of programs and having the ability to create integrated campaigns that drove customer engagement.
Since then I’ve worked at startups and high growth companies where I partnered with sales leaders to develop programs that generated high quality leads and grew revenue. At DocuSign I started their first vertical marketing campaigns that doubled sales qualified leads and contributed to 110% YOY revenue growth. At Concur my team scaled a roadshow event program to over 75 cities that accelerated deals and directly increased revenue by 30%.
Throughout my career, I’ve built and led high performing teams and I’m deeply passionate about helping people develop their skills and careers. One of my greatest joys has been promoting my team members and seeing them move on to become successful and thriving leaders.
As I look for my next opportunity, I’m focusing on high growth tech companies that solve meaningful problems for businesses. I’d love to leverage my success in creating strong marketing teams and lead gen programs to significantly increase sales opportunities and revenue.
Here’s a link to our elevator pitch worksheet, which includes the guidelines and more examples.
Are you looking to uplevel your pitch and get a job where you’ll feel fulfilled, realize your potential and get the salary you deserve?
If so, then watch our video and book a session with one of our job strategists. We’re excited to talk to you!