If you own your own business or work in sales, you’ve probably been encouraged to come up with an “elevator speech,” a short, compelling description of what you have to offer. It’s also a great tool for anyone looking for a new job.
Mashable recently offered solid advice about nailing your elevator speech. Its focus was on helping the heads of start-up companies as they look for funding, but the lessons are equally applicable to anyone pitching themselves to a prospective employer. The key takeaways:
Describe a problem you solve. A common interview question is, “Why do you want to work here?” Answering that question by telling how you can uniquely solve a company or department problem will set you apart.
Get to your point. Don’t ramble. Don’t go off on tangents. And don’t go beyond three verbal bullet points. Create a short answer that clearly conveys your knowledge of the company’s business and how you can contribute to its success.
Keep it interesting. Test your elevator speech on friends and family, watching for any signs of glazing in the eyes. Practice, practice, and practice some more so you can give your elevator speech clearly, passionately, and in a way that doesn’t sound canned.
Swing for the fences. You’re not going for a good batting average here. You’re going for a home run. When an interviewer throws you the “Why do you want to work here?” pitch, be ready to slam it out of the park. Be clear. Be bold. And be confident.
Can you describe what you do in 30 seconds? What other tips do you have for creating a powerful elevator speech?