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How to Perfect Your Elevator Pitch

Introducing yourself to company representatives for the first time can be scary, especially if you’ve never been to an event like Business Horizons before. A key thing that you should bring with you to professional events like these is an elevator pitch. If you take the time to prepare and practice one, you will feel much more confident in making those first introductions!

What is it?

If you haven’t heard of an elevator pitch before, it is basically a sales pitch for yourself that would last about the same amount of time as going up an elevator. It is a great way for a company representative or recruiter to gain insight into your experience and determine why they should hire you. Using an elevator pitch is an important tool to have at the career fair because it allows you to showcase your strengths and abilities. Remember that it won’t make or break your conversation with the representative, but it can help things run more smoothly.

How to prepare for it

The first step you should take to create an elevator pitch is to make a list of your experiences that you would want to tell a company employee or recruiter about. Try to narrow it down to a few of your favorite ones that are relevant to the work that the company you are interested in does. The goal is to share the experiences that would show that you are qualified to work for them.

Don’t forget to tie in your interests. Doing so will prove to the recruiter that you would be passionate in that role you are after. For example, if you’re talking to a technology company, you can talk about your appreciation for project management, familiarity with certain coding languages, or support for future innovative technology tools that are being implemented in that industry. Plus, when you talk about things that bring excitement to you, you will give off great energy, which is what you want to have during this first impression!

Next, make sure to do your research. If there are specific companies you want to talk to at Business Horizons, it’s a good idea to do some research about them so you can include aspects about you that best align with their mission. Recruiters will be impressed that you took the time to learn more about them because it showcases your interest in them. Also, it leads to better flow in conversation. It’ll be easier for you to ask meaningful questions and give exceptional answers.

Once you have finished compiling and organizing the important details of your pitch, start piecing it all together. Tell them your name, year and major at the beginning. Then, transition to the meat of the pitch. Whether you decide to talk about your experiences or interests first does not really matter as long as you touch on both and connect them appropriately. Lastly, end with expressing your interest in the positions that are open at that company.

Remember to keep it clear and concise. Since it’s supposed to be an introduction, there’s no need to go into details or explanations unless a recruiter wants to expand on something you’ve said. According to Deloitte’s Elevator Speech 101 Article, “the clearer and more articulate you are in delivering who you are and why you want a certain position, may result in your name being placed at the top of the call back list for a second or third interview.”

Once you have everything you want in your elevator pitch, practice in front of a mirror or a friend. Practicing will help you be more confident when the time comes to deliver! The way you deliver your pitch is just as important as the content discussed previously.

First, make sure you talk at a steady speed. Quickly reciting your pitch may make it hard to hear or understand certain things you say. Taking a deep breath before starting will calm your nerves and prepare you to deliver a great pitch. Second, make eye contact with the person you are speaking with because it allows he/she to stay focused on you. Plus, it is just professional. Lastly, avoid fidgeting with your hands or hair. Besides from being distracting, it also shows the recruiter that you are nervous. Practicing your pitch several times will allow you to build the confidence needed to say that pitch at the career fair!

Engage the recruiters with your elevator pitch tomorrow! Photo source: VT Career and Professional Development

There you have it! An elevator pitch shouldn’t be something to stress about as long as you take the time to think about and practice what you want to portray to the representative or recruiter. It’s important to keep in mind that this is most likely going to be the given company’s first impression of you. Present yourself professionally, recite your pitch with confidence and energy, and emphasize that you are a perfect candidate for the job. You have a short time frame, so fill it wisely!

Good luck tomorrow at Business Horizon, everyone!

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