Utah Career News


How to succeed in networking and interviews

What is an elevator speech?

An Elevator Speech is a short and sweet way to present to someone else a balanced understanding of who you are and what you want to do. It arouses the interest of a listener who invites you to “Tell me a little about yourself,” and it provides a compelling but brief answer to the compelling question “Why should I hire you?”

What should be in your elevator speech?

A well-crafted “Elevator Speech” will include:
  • A brief personal introduction that includes your career objector and/or the type of position you want.
  • Three or four specific accomplishments that prove you meet or exceed the requirements for that position.
  • A few character traits or adaptive skills that set you apart from typical applicants.

When networking, finish your “Elevator Speech” statement with probing questions that cannot be answered with a “yes or “no" to start a conversation that may lead to referrals or job opportunities. They're called "open ended" questions and for the most part they start with who, what when, where, why and how. They are great tools for job seekers.

For example:
WHO do you know who works in _________________________________?
WHAT businesses are in the area that __________________?
WHO do you know who knows a lot of people?

Other points to consider

  • Keep you “Elevator Speech” statement brief. People generally listen effectively only 30 to 60 seconds and they appreciate concise responses to questions. This indicates that you are clearly focused and waste no time getting to the point.
  • Speak in the present tense to show that your skills are current and applicable in today’s market.
  • Remember your audience. Adjust the level of detail and industry jargon you use according to the interest and experience of the person you are address.
  • Avoid “boy scout” claims such as: “I’m trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind, “ and so one. Not only are these claims made by most job seekers, but without detailed example, they don’t convey your value to a potential employer.
  • Make your “Elevator Speech statement natural. It is a genuine form of communication that will help you organize everything you are into brief, coherent thoughts.

Sample elevator speeches

You need two versions of your elevator speech: One for networking and one for interviews:

Sample Elevator Speeches for networking:

1.“My name is Bob Smith, and I’m currently looking for a job in youth services. I have 10 years of experience working with youth agencies. I have a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education. I raise money, train leaders and organize units. I have raised over $100,000 each of the last six years. I consider myself a good public speaker, and I have a good sense of humor.
“Who do you know who works with youth?”

2. “My name is Sam Jones, and I enjoy meeting new people and find ways to help them have an uplifting experience. I have had a variety of customer service opportunities, through which I was able to have fewer returned products and increased repeat customers, when compared with co-workers. I am dedicated, outgoing and a team player. Who could I speak with in your customer service department about your organization’s customer service needs?”

Sample Elevator Speech for an interview:

1. “People find me to be an upbeat, self-motivated team player with excellent communication skills. For the past several years I have worked in lead qualification, telemarketing and customer service in the technology industry. My experience includes successfully call people in director—level positions of technology departments and developing viable leads. I have a track record of maintaining a consistent call and activity volume and consistently achieving the top 10 percent in sales, and I can do the same thing for your company.”

2, “I am a dedicated person with a family of four. I enjoy reading, and the knowledge and perspective that my reading gives me has strengthen my teaching skills and presentation abilities. I have been successful at raising a family and I attribute this success to my ability to plan, schedule and handle many different tasks at once. This flexibility will help me in the classroom, where there are many different personalities and learning styles.”

Make sure you practice you elevator speech until it sounds very natural. One bonus effect is that it will add to your confidence as a job seeker and help avoid ever being tongue-tied during awkward moments in a conversation.

Good Job Hunting from your friends at UtahCareerGuide.com