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How to Write an Elevator Pitch That Hypnotizes

Posted October 2, 2014 & filed under Interviewing, Job Search

How to Write an Elevator Pitch That Hypnotizes

There’s no way to ease into the job interview. Enter the employer’s office and you’re already under the microscope. In those formative minutes, the first words out of your mouth weigh heavily upon the interviewer’s impression of you. Right away they’ll ask: are you still intriguing or has your appeal gone? Write a finely-tuned elevator pitch or elevator speech and you can keep your mystique alive.

Why the Elevator Pitch is Your Ideal Opener

You’re probably familiar with the idea of an elevator pitch. Its brief length (at max, no longer than a minute elevator ride) prevents your interviewer’s attention from waning early.

It delves into your professional story without lingering too long on the sales pitch. It’s conversational and conveys your goals for the future.

It even answers questions that often go unasked.

The Questions Your Pitch Needs to Answer

An elevator speech isn’t a micro autobiography. It’s not even a trim synopsis of your work history. As with all other parts of the interview, it’s a marketing tool with a specific aim: to answer the interviewer’s questions before they are asked. Three specific questions are mulling about the interviewer’s mind:

  • What skills and experiences do you have to offer?
  • What makes your different from your peers?
  • What are your career plans for the future?

Anything that doesn’t answer those three questions doesn’t need to be crammed into this diminutive space.  Leave out irrelevant jobs, outmoded skills, or any achievement you can’t quickly relate to the employer. A toned and sculpted pitch is better than one bursting at the seams.

How to Give Your Elevator Pitch a Voice

An elevator pitch is a precarious balancing act. It needs to sound natural without the sputter and fillers of spontaneous conversation. It needs punch without a slick “salesy” veneer.

To get that equilibrium, write out your elevator speech and then read it aloud. It’s much easier to eliminate erudite wording or bad grammar when your work is given a voice. Most importantly, you want to sound like a human being, not an excerpt from someone’s rambling manifesto.

And if your interviewer isn’t someone who speaks your industry’s parlance, keep the jargon to a minimum. In fact, find out exactly who you will be interviewing with beforehand. That way, you aren’t writing one elevator pitch for laymen and one for those in the know.

How to Write Your Elevator Pitch

Outside of answers to the three above questions, your elevator speech can be broken down into two parts:

  • The hook – At most, one or two sentences that ask a question or make a strong statement.
  • The request – a brief conclusion that asks for the job.

The hook, is most potent when it makes a promise your interview can’t overlook. Often, a good way to start incorporates some research you’ve done on the company or its industry. It shows that you already are striving to prove your value.

The request is straight forward: it’s all about asking for the position. Ask for it early and afterwards, ask often. Want a few examples?

  • “I’m really excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to find out more.”
  • “Those reasons are exactly why I’m serious about the position.”
  • “I look forward to further discussing my background to see how I would be a fit with your company.”

Always point to the proof that you’re a good fit and make a straightforward request.

On a Final Note:

Begin with the elevator pitch and you’ll underscore your worth from the start. It prepares the interviewer for what you’ll say throughout your interview. That way, once the meeting comes to a conclusion, you’ll have repeated your reasons enough times to make them truly and deeply hit home.

by James Walsh