Elevator Pitches: Keys to the Perfect 30 Second Resume

Whether you’re meeting a possible employer at a career fair, at a conference, or in simple passing, you always want to have a quick go-to “elevator speech” to help explain, essentially, yourself to any professional or professor. The perfect elevator speech, however, consists of the following essential elements and characteristics:

  • Informative: Whether you’re already in the field, or trying to sell yourself as a Public/Media relations major, you have to hit main points that will resonate with your listener, among them:
    • Name, Major, University
    • Any sort of expertise you may have acquired along the way.
    • Top job experience (internship/part-time job) in the field, if any
    • Your interest in their company/industry
    • Short: An elevator speech is named as such because it’s about the length of the average elevator ride, which is roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute and half. This may seem extremely short, but anything longer than a minute and half might leave your listener bored. You don’t want to give them a chance to tune out, so the shorter, the better.
    •  Concise: It might be tempting to jam whatever you can say into 30 seconds-1.5 minutes, but the important thing to do is put what you should say. You might have had more than one internship or experiences that characterize why you’re perfect for the job, but unless you feel it’s absolutely important, minimize the details , maximize the importance.
    • Personal: The above themes are an outline of details you can include to best promote yourself. Something optional that might make you stand out as an applicant or intern is a specific experience or academic quality (second language, minor, studied abroad, etc.) that you can include to make your elevator speech and, by default, yourself unique among the thousands of other graduates. If you have a life experience that characterizes you as a person, feel free to include that.
    • Practiced, but natural: You don’t want to sound rehearsed, but you might want to have something prepared that might work for the general employer. You might also have various versions to pitch to different industries and companies.

An elevator pitch might just be the key into any company or job opportunity, even internships while you’re still studying, so the faster you get this down, the more likely you are to charm and employer with your 30 second resume.

Categories Careers, Networking, OtherTags ,

1 thought on “Elevator Pitches: Keys to the Perfect 30 Second Resume

  1. Great post! I used to dread elevator speeches, but practicing them has helped me learn how to promote myself eloquently. The main things that I focus on in an elevator speech are making an explicit connection between myself and the company/position and creating a lasting memory for the other person. The goal is that they are intrigued enough to look me up on LinkedIn or check out my blog – that’s the goal!


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