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    How to develop an elevator pitch

    May 17, 2016

    An elevator pitch is generally used as a short form of communication when looking for a job at a job fair, talking with an individual when there isn’t much time to have a full conversation, or simply whenever the occasion arises. A good elevator speech will get your point across, sound natural and carry the flow of the conversation and hopefully get you to your goal.

    The whole point of an elevator pitch is to be able to convey an idea or point in the amount of time it takes to have a conversation in an elevator (hence the name). Pitches are brief, keep it brief, usually around 30 seconds or less.

    Here are some common elements to consider when creating an elevator pitch.


    Figure out your strengths and use them - When developing an elevator pitch you are trying to sell yourself, so ask yourself what do I do well? Employers are looking for people who know how to get the job done and have the experience and traits to make them successful.

    Refine your strength(s) and adapt it - Once you are able to identify your strengths, figure out how to adapt your strengths or find a focus that is applicable for the job you want, or what the employer might be looking for. Additionally, you can figure out what weaknesses you can address and what needs you can fill for the person you’re pitching to.

    Have a goal in mind - Elevator speeches are useless unless you have a goal in mind so figure out what you hope to achieve from this elevator speech. The elevator speech sets you up to make “the ask” to achieve what you are hoping for.

    Why do you want this - Focus on why you want this opportunity, without mentioning money – that is one of the quickest ways to lose someone in your elevator speech. Employers, and people in general, want to know your motivation. When talking about this focus on the intrinsic reasons for wanting this opportunity like helping other, improving yourself, making a difference in the community, etc. It is also beneficial to research the company or employer ahead of time to tailor your pitch. For example you might say “The opportunity to _____ really drew me into _______ / inspired me to _______. I can see this helping you by ________ OR As a result of this I see ________ lining up with your ______.”

    “The ask” - Typically speaking you always want to make your elevator speech sound like a solution to a problem. Prior to this you should have shown them why you would be a good fit or why their company should look at you. Let them know you’re interested and want to continue the conversation. By doing this you are more likely to get there contact info or at least a second look when interviewing.


    In the end your elevator speech should look something like this…

    Hi my name is __________ and I’m currently studying Marketing at the University of Wyoming. As a result of my previous volunteer experiences, I’m interested in working in the nonprofit sector once I finish my degree. I feel it’s important for to pay it forward and help promote nonprofits. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to create marketing materials and I’ve done so already (insert most relevant work experience). I’m interested in securing an entry-level role at a nonprofit that allows me to enhance these my skills and I’m wondering if I can set up a time to meet with you about your open marketing positions.

    For help developing and practicing an elevator pitch, visit your school’s career center or communication center. You can make appointments with our Johnson Career Center  as well as our Business Communications Office for feedback before pitching for your dream job.