Job Advice

The Elevator Pitch

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July 22, 2010
There is always a lot of hype around the "elevator pitch" that candidates are supposed to have prepared when they are in their job search.  A lot of heandhunters and advisors will tell you that you need to have a 30 or 60 second impactful "story" nailed down that you can share with anyone you may be networking with at any given moment.  While I agree with that concept to an extent, I think that there are a couple of ways that this generalized approach of having an elevator speech can be flawed and not be of any assistance in your Indianapolis job search at all. 

My first thought is how do you define "impactful"?  Wouldn’t that definition be different for every person you are talking to?  The answer is, yes, the impact that you would have is going to be different for every person on the receiving end of your 60 second spiel.  For example, most people in roles like mine (recruiter, hiring manager, etc.) want to hear about your current situation, your interests, and where you’re looking to take your career.  However, somebody else that may not be in a position to actually make a hiring decision will want to hear something completely different.  We both want to learn more about you so that we can effectively reach out to our network to help you.  If you provide information that is not tailored to each situation, you will be greatly missing the mark. 

My second thought on the elevator pitch is that if you rattle off your experience and career goals in 60 seconds, you  may be providing nothing more to the other person than proof that you can memorize a paragraph’s worth of information.  Yes, you need to be totally prepared with what you want people to know about your situation, but the way that you present that information should receive just as much preparation as the actual information you are delivering.  Nobody wants to hear a boring "story" that simply sounds rehearsed and isn’t tailored towards anything that we could potentially assist you with through our network. 

I think that the solution to both of these thoughts is to be prepared, but flexible.  You need to have a few different versions of your pitch prepared so that you can appeal to different types of people that you may be speaking to.  You also need to make sure that you aren’t so stuck on one pitch that you can’t make adjustments.  Since hiring trends and studies consistently show that 70% – 80% of Indianapolis job openings are acquired through one’s network, you don’t want take any interaction lightly. 

Want to practice your elevator speech on someone?  Just give us a call at That’s Good HR!