Making an Elevator Pitch (With Examples)
An elevator pitch is your chance to shine in a job interview. Here are some tips, tricks, and examples for making them.
Ready to start your journey?
- An elevator pitch is a quick explanation of your background and experience.
- A strong elevator pitch summarizes who you are, your skills, and your goals.
- A career expert shares tips for how different job hunters can make an elevator pitch.
If you're job hunting, and someone asks you to tell them about yourself or what your goals are, the last thing you want to do is wing it. That's when your elevator pitch comes in.
What is an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a very quick explanation of your background and experience.
The challenge is making this short speech compelling to your audience — especially while networking or interviewing for a job. Rather than simply summarizing the skills listed on your resume, a good elevator pitch should combine storytelling, facts, and goals.
In 60 seconds or less, your audience should have a feel for three important things:
- Who you are
- Why your skills matter
- What you want to accomplish
But no one pitch is ideal for everyone. While every elevator pitch should explain who you are and what you're about, the exact wording will change depending on your goals and experiences.
Nguyen shared specific advice for three types of job hunters:
- The College Grad: Someone who just graduated college and lacks work experience
- The Job Seeker: Someone who has work experience but is seeking a new job
- The Career Switcher: Someone who is changing industries but has relevant experience
The College Grad
- Example: "My name is Hannah Brooks, and I'm a recent business management graduate. I'm really interested in landing a position in finance. That's why I took several economics classes and acted as the treasurer of the student government while in college. When we put on Winter Carnival, our biggest social event of the season, I really dug into all the numbers to make sure we wouldn't have a cost overrun, but I also kept my eye on the big picture, making sure we had a great community event."
- Why it works: "The pitch makes it clear that the college grad knows what's required to succeed in finance — digging in to make sure that the numbers are right — but also understands how the numbers support the big picture," Nguyen says. "She's providing an example of when she's done exactly that so the hiring manager can feel confident that she can handle the job."
- What you shouldn't do: "Go on and on about every part-time job and internship you've ever had, hoping one will appeal to the hiring manager," Nguyen says.
The Job Seeker
- Example: "I'm Charlie Baxter, and I specialize in customer service. At XYZ company, I've learned to identify customer problems, help them find the solutions they need, and get the right people involved if there isn't a readily-available solution. I'd love to use these skills to tackle more complex problems, but there are no positions open at XYZ company. That's why I'd like to explore options to grow my customer service skills at your company."
- Why it works: "By showing what you've learned, that you're ready to solve bigger problems, and that you need to change firms to do that, you look like a great candidate for the new company," Nguyen says.
- What you shouldn't do: "Anything that bad mouths the company you currently work for," Nguyen says.
The Career Switcher
- Example: "My name is Jackson Wright, and I'm a jack-of-all-trades writer. My background may be in journalism, but working in this field has taught me to do my research, write clean text, and meet deadlines. In fact, I was promoted after just a year on the job because of my quality writing and reliability. Based on what I've learned from talking to tech writers, I understand these same skills are important, so I know I can do the job."
- Why it works: "Many skills are applicable across industries: writing, communication, problem-solving, attention to detail, customer-focus, etc.," Nguyen says. "Research the new industry so you know what skills it requires, and show you have them. Provide examples of these skills from your prior position."
- What you shouldn't do: "Anything that starts with 'I don't know that much about this industry, but…," Nguyen says.
With Advice From:
Davis Nguyen is the founder of My Consulting Offer, a program that helps people land their dream jobs in management consulting. My Consulting Offer's coaches share invaluable case interview tips and much more. Davis was raised by a single mother who didn't finish elementary school in one of the most impoverished communities in the United States before graduating from Yale University and starting a career at Bain & Company.
Davis started My Consulting Offer as a weekend side-business in 2017 and, within a year, grew it into a six-figure side business without spending money on marketing. After becoming a full-time entrepreneur in 2018, Davis has helped over 500 people launch careers in consulting, grown his business to seven figures, and was featured at TEDx.
Feature Image: Ariel Skelley / DigtialVision / Getty Images
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.