How to create an Elevator Pitch

To help you create an elevator pitch, we present you a small guide which you can use during this process. If you want to have your elevator pitch checked, you can mail it to studentcareerservices@wur.nl.

 Guide: how to write an elevator pitch

Introduction
It happens in every interview. It happens at every networking event. It could even happen when you’re out walking your dog, attending a wedding, or at a family gathering. Eventually, someone is going to ask you the dreaded question, “So tell me about yourself. What do you do?”

Your answer to this question is important. Depending on the situation, it could lead you to job opportunities, mentors, and contacts. It can sell people on you and your skills. It can show potential employers exactly what you can do for them. In 30 seconds – 2 minutes it can open doors for you and help grow your network and brand.

It’s your elevator pitch, and it’s super important that you have one so that when the inevitable question is asked, you’ll have a stellar answer.

1.    Answer key questions first.
The goal of an elevator pitch is to sell yourself and your abilities in 30 seconds. As soon as someone asks what you do, you want to give them a quick overview that intrigues and interests them. That means quickly giving them some key information:
- Your name / who you are
- What you’re studying / your expertise
- What you’re looking for

Depending on your situation, this can all fit into a single sentence. Something like:
“My name is Jane Smith. I’m a Consumer Studies student at Wageningen University and Research. I’m currently looking for a intern position in Amsterdam.’’

2.    Elaborate on your expertise/skills
Great, you’ve given them the facts. But there’s nothing there to hook your listener. It needs more.

You need to tell your listener why you’re awesome. What’s in it for them? What do you do that makes you suited to meet your goal—in this case, to find an internship or job? Try to be precise and to the point.

Think about your transferable skills: what are your superpowers? By adding those in, your pitch could start to take shape:

“My name is Jane Smith. I’m a Consumer studies student at Wageningen University and Research. Through my program, I have hands-on experience with supply chain management, and I lead my colleagues as class representative. I’m looking for a internship where I can put my skills to work for an organization in Amsterdam.”

Now you have a pitch that’s really shaping up. You have your name and program, an industry-related skill (supply chain management), a transferable skill (leadership), and what you’re looking for.

3.    End with a call of action
Like all sales pitches, your elevator pitch should end with a call to action for the listener. Often, this will take the shape of a question you ask. This gives the listener the opportunity to respond to you and drive the conversation along.

The question you end on should further your goal—in this case, finding a position. Some possibilities are:
- “Are there current opportunities in your organization?”
- “Do you know of anyone looking for interns?”

So now, your pitch becomes:
My name is Jane Smith. I’m a Consumer Studies student at Wageningen University and Research. Through my program, I have hands-on experience with supply chain management, and I lead my colleagues as class representative. I’m looking for an internship where I can put my skills to work for an organization in Amsterdam. Has your company ever brought on interns?”

This ending allows the conversation to carry on. It can encourage the listener to ask you more questions, opens the door for you to talk about the benefits of co-op and your program, and may give you the chance to talk about why you’d be the perfect hire at their organization.

4.    Practice!
Now that you’re armed with an elevator pitch, it’s time to use it.

First, practice, practice, practice so that you’re comfortable with it. Depending on the situation, you’ll usually have to modify it on the spot. If you have it committed to memory, that becomes much easier to do. You may want to record yourself while you practice your pitch. This helps you to reflect on your pitch.

Remember: your elevator pitch is a key component of your presentation about yourself. Because of this, it can find a home in all parts of your professional toolkit. From your LinkedIn summary to your personal profile on your CV, you want to reflect those same skills and abilities that you have in your pitch.

Like any other part of your job hunting kit, your pitch will change and update as you learn more skills and get more comfortable in your industry. Don’t be afraid to revisit it every so often, so you know it’s the best it can be. It’s yours, and will help you find all kinds of cool people and opportunities.

Inspired by: https://www.algonquincollege.com/coop/2017/07/18/writing-elevator-pitch-student-step-step-guide/