FIT for a Job — 12 November 2013
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The Elevator Pitch: 30 Seconds to Raise Your Profile

The Elevator Pitch

By Jessica Prior

It has been a long day at the office.  You are meeting friends for dinner at a restaurant in town.  You step into the elevator to go to the rooftop restaurant three floors up.  All of a sudden, you realize that the CEO of an organization you would love to work for is in the elevator with you!  You have been working at your job for four years and are ready for a new challenge.  This moment could change your job and life.  This is the opportunity to introduce yourself.  Ready, set, go!

But what do you say?  You only have a minute to introduce yourself to the CEO.  It is time to employ your personal elevator pitch which you have prepared ahead of time for situations like this.

According to the Harvard Business School, the elevator pitch is a one minute-long opportunity that you have to explain yourself, your business, and your purpose.  The pitch can be used for networking or for gaining clients by telling them about your business.  The pitch can be formed by being broken down into four main parts.  The parts are to promote who you are as a professional at any and every career level.  In your elevator pitch, you should include the following information:

Who

-Briefly describe who you are

-Think about what you would most want the other individual to remember about you

Example:  I am a Software Developer and my current team focuses on customizing software for financial institutions nationwide.  I have three years of experience developing software using C#, MSSQL, and web technologies such as HTML, Javascript, and CSS.

What

-This phrase is your value statement

-Discuss what additional value you would add to the company if you were hired

Example: I have had experience in both the development side and sales side of software.  I understand how to deal with clients and to deliver high quality products on a timely schedule.  I also have experience in all phases of product development from planning and requirement gathering, to implementing and testing. 

Why

-Why are you unique?

-Point out the benefits that you would bring to the business

-Be sure to point out anything that you do differently or better than other individuals

Example: I have knowledge of the processes behind deploying enterprise class software using the SaaS Model.  For personal projects, I have created several apps for mobile platforms such as Android and iOS which focused on intuitive user interfaces and rich user experience. 

Goal

-Describe your immediate goals

-Make your goals concrete, defined, and realistic

-The listener should understand what you are asking of him or her

Example: I am currently looking for a position that would allow me to create new software and apps with my innovative ideas.  I would like to use my experience to produce creative software that is competitive in the market and would benefit the organization. 

The Harvard Business School has an online elevator pitch builder that walks you through making your own elevator pitch.  It even has an analysis function that will evaluate how good your elevator pitch is so you can keep working on it until you have it right.

To create your own elevator pitch, visit: http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/.

The elevator pitch is a helpful tool when it comes to networking and introducing yourself.  Having an elevator pitch ready will ensure you are always prepared no matter what.

Remember, you never know who will be riding in the elevator with you!

NOVEMBER IS NETWORKING MONTH

As the semester is starting to wind down, don’t forget to keep preparing to find a job.  One important part in the process of professional development is networking.  For this month, Career Management Services will be posting blogs about the importance of networking as well as tips to network successfully.  If you would like any assistance with your networking skills, stop by Career Management Services, Room 305 in Florida Tech Commons.  For more information and networking resources visit the Career Management Services website: http://www.fit.edu/career/jobs/networking.php

Photo credit: under30ceo.com

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