Question: What is an elevator pitch and how do you present one?
Answer: An elevator pitch is a concise, persuasive introduction that describes a job seeker’s authenticity, purpose, and value. The idea is that this “personal sales pitch” could be delivered to a networking contact or prospective employer in the span of a 30–60 second elevator ride.
Job seeker, your task is to develop three short sentences to express who you are, what you do, and what value you bring to a prospective employer.
Click on how to develop a networking pitch to view a short video of Dr. Sean Harry, a career coach, speaking at a Career Enlightenment job search workshop.(Special thanks to Joshua Waldman for allowing us to link to this presentation.) Dr. Henry is teaching sales pitch development methods of an Oregon sales training specialist named Jim Nudleman.
Job seeker, like it or not, you must “sell” your knowledge, skills, and abilities to a future employer to land the job.
Watch the first 4 1/2 minutes of Dr. Sean Harry’s video for the explanation of the 4 steps to developing an elevator pitch. Take notes. Then write your 4-step networking pitch that contains:
1. An Action phrase.
2. A one-sentence statement of who you are and what you do.
3. A personal impact statement describing specific results.
4. A call to action or request for referral to an inside contact
or hiring manager at your target company.
Consider your professional role, the people you help, and your competitive differentiation. To paraphrase the example given by Dr. Sean Harry:
“As a _____ (job title), I help __________ (type of business) to _____ (solve a specific problem). Companies I work for have found _____ (results/impact statement). Who do you know within the _____ industry or at _____ company who could help me in my career objective?”
A more specific example of the call to action line is, “Do you know Chief Technology Officer at ABC Company who is looking for a Software Applications Developer? What you do not want to say is, “Do you know a hiring manager at ABC company that is looking for someone like me? This question is set up to elicit a yes-or-no response.
Ask an open-ended question to elicit a direct response. You want your networking contact to reveal an insider’s name, who works at your target company or in your target industry— ideally, someone in a position of power who could offer you a job. If your networking contact does not know a person with hiring capacity, he or she may know someone who works for a hiring manager at your target company.
Australian author and motivational speaker Sam Cawthorn and American author and life success coach Tony Robbins teach, “Proximity is power.” Even the ruthless TV character Frank Underwood in Netflix’s Emmy-award winning show House of Cards said, “Power is a lot like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value.”
When you gain the positive attention of a gatekeeper or an influencer, you are likely to gain access to the decision maker. Who are the gatekeepers? An executive assistant or someone who reports directly to the executive. Who are the influencers? Human resources manager, recruiters, an employee who works for executive with whom you like to speak. Who are the decision makers? Company owners, executives, and you! That’s right. You decide whether this is the right job opportunity at this point in your life. You have the ultimate decision-making power.
Job seeker, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to connect with 10 people face-to-face in separate networking moments and deliver your elevator pitch in a way that invites further conversation. More than half the battle of networking is getting over the fear of doing it.
Remember, the goal of networking is not only to find a job but also to surround yourself with people who can help you grow both personally and professionally. It’s the concept of seeking wise counsel. Actively listen to the others. Take interest. Respectfully respond.
Build relationships with other job seekers. Set aside personal gain. When someone pitches you, give them courtesy of actively listening. You may know someone who can help that person land his-or-her dream job. In turn, that person may know someone who knows someone in a hiring capacity in your industry who just happens to be a neighbor or family friend.
In the spirit of reciprocity, take time to encourage others in their pursuit of happiness. In doing so, you will find that the right doors will open for you in your career journey.
Are you spending hours of your time sleuthing out job postings and applying online, only to get little or no response for your efforts? Did you know that companies receive hundreds of applications for each online job posting? Not to state the obvious, but competition is fierce.
Would it surprise you to learn that only 25-30% of available jobs are posted online? The vast majority of jobs are unadvertised. Some jobs "are hidden" when a company is conducting a confidential search to replace an underperforming employee. Other positions "are hidden from public view" because they are filled from within the company, through employee referrals, through word-of-mouth publicity, or through recruiters. That means you are missing about 70-75% of available positions by strictly limiting yourself to applying to job boards. Higher paying jobs are less likely to be advertised. In fact, applying online is the least effective way to land a job. The conversion rate of application-to-job-offers is low (only around 1-3%). So, what can you do?
Don’t rule out online job postings completely, but spend no more than 30 minutes per day searching for and applying to online job board postings. Job postings listed on a company’s website have a better application-to-interview conversion rate, because applications are sent directly to the company’s HR department or hiring manager.
To maximize your search results, use a job board aggregator like www.Indeed.com instead of surfing a bazillion websites. Automate your job search. Set up job alerts on Indeed.com so that job postings in your field and geographic location come to you. You will be surprised at how much time this will save you! Also, set up job alerts in LinkedIn to receive email messages about employment opportunities based upon your custom search criteria.
Are you wondering how to take control of your job search? Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”
Start by defining your “must haves” for your new job. Is it a pay increase, a certain geographic location, or a preference for a certain industry? Change your job search strategy to attract the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. We'll show you how. We highly recommend you sign up to attend a free webinar on "How to Get a Job in 6 Weeks, Guaranteed."
The following online tools will put you in the driver’s seat and rev up your job search: Hoovers, ZoomInfo, Google news alerts, JibberJobber, Google Maps, and LinkedIn.
Hoovers (www.hoovers.com) is a Dun & Bradstreet company. It’s a subscriber service with a monthly rate starting at $50, which you can cancel at any time. It is well worth the investment and could speed up your company research. Recent customer feedback indicates that job seekers can use the advanced search features of a paid LinkedIn account to accomplish the same goal and found a company's LinkedIn page more beneficial in finding updated information about the company and the people who work there. The careers center of your local library may allow you to access Hoovers for free.
ZoomInfo (www.zoominfo.com) is a research tool to use after you've identified your target companies. It uses similar advance search functionality to LinkedIn. You zoom in on target companies, positions, locations, and people to generate insider contacts.
Google News Alerts
Set up weekly Google News Alerts to track industry trends as well as corporate expansions and moves. Conduct keyword searches using search criteria such as “corporate growth + [your city and state]” or “mergers and acquisitions + [your industry]”and see what results turn up. Create a top 10 list of target companies.
Organize your research. Record the names and contact information of hiring managers. www.JibberJobber.com is a great contact management tool designed especially for job seekers. The basic level is free and you can handle the majority of tasks at this level. At the paid subscription rate, you can ask a job search strategist or career coach to help you accelerate your job search.
If a short commute is a high priority for you, draw a radius of 30 miles from your home. Use Google Maps to find companies in your industry that are located in your area. If you would like to relocate, use Google maps to find companies in the geographic region where you would like to move.
1. Take care of the basics.
2. Follow target companies and their leaders on LinkedIn. Learn everything you can about the company’s products/services and industry challenges/opportunities. In addition, there is a cool way to conduct research on LinkedIn to see the educational background and skills of the employees who hold similar jobs to you.
3. Make new friends and communicate with the people you meet on LinkedIn.
No matter how great computers are, there is no substitute for human interaction.
1. Go to conferences, industry meetings, and local civic club meetings. Most organizations will allow you attend their meeting as a visitor once or twice without joining.
2. Build your contacts. Never underestimate the power of friends, neighbors, hair stylists, church members, realtors, civic club associations, college alumni, and professional association members.
3. Join a job search support team. If you are a college student, take advantage of your university career services department.
4. If networking is your weakest job search skill, I highly recommend that you read Network for a Job: The PeopleHirePeople® process to build a job-specific network available as an e-book at Amazon.com for $4.99. This book by Kathleen Conners contains smart, actionable advice. It takes the fear out of networking and helps you learn the most effective ways to contact people on the inside track who can lead you to hiring managers.
Job Seeker, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take control of your job search, use job search tools to your advantage, and lure recruiters and hiring managers to you.
Questions? Ask us anything. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on the website at https://www.writtenbyapro.com/contact-us.html
Sharla Taylor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), Certified Career Enlightenment LinkedIn Writer (CCELW), experienced job search strategist, and published author. Sharla is the owner of Written by a Pro, a freelance writing and editing service. She approaches her business from a Christian perspective. Her favorite Scripture is Matthew 19:26 "with God all things are possible."
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Austin Farmer, graphic artist, is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design where he majored in Industrial Design and minored in Architecture. Austin creates marketing materials for businesses and uses his artistic and musical talents to enhance the worship service at Savannah Christian Church. His favorite Scripture passage is Isaiah 12:2.