Resume writing and career advice
job search tips/workplace trends
Featuring career experts, recruiters, hiring managers and decision makers who help you get hired
Imagine this...you are on the elevator heading to your hotel room after dinner. The car stops on the 5th floor and the vice president of a company you want to work at steps into the elevator. The doors close and you have 20 to 30 seconds to grab his interest. Quick! What do you say?
Situations like this will happen again and again throughout your job search. Taking advantage of the short amount of time you have with a prospective employer, hiring manager, networking contact, is crucial. An ‘elevator speech’ – a concise, pre-planned statement about yourself – will allow you to use this time to your best advantage.
This statement should spark interest, be interesting and memorable, and last no longer than 60 seconds. A good elevator speech will succinctly share what makes you unique.
Unsure of how to begin? Follow these 3 tips from IMPACT Group career coaches to start crafting your speech today.
1. Use LinkedIn to get started.
Fabienne Hansoul, a career and transition coach in China and Thailand, recommends utilizing your LinkedIn profile to generate ideas. “LinkedIn lists your experience, expertise, core skills and personality traits. These elements paint a clear picture of your strengths,” says Fabienne. Tie these key points about yourself together by sharing an accomplishment, your career objective and your skill set.
2. Determine which keywords you want to convey.
Your elevator speech will come in handy when you meet a recruiter, introduce yourself during a networking event or attend a workshop, among many other scenarios. It is important to know how you want others to remember you in these situations. “By way of preparation, I give my clients 7 post-it notes and ask them to write down the 7 keywords they want to convey during their speech,” comments Fabienne. “At the end of their speech, I write down the 7 keywords that stood out to me. We then compare post-it notes.” Obtaining feedback from your career coach or a loved one will ensure you properly convey the points you want to share.
3. Address a few basic questions about what you do.
One of our Hong Kong-based career coaches, Iris Kloth, uses the following template to help her clients form their elevator speech. “The answers to these questions should be used to create 1-3 sentences about yourself,” says Iris. Consider these questions:
Who do you work with? (This applies to internal employment as well as an external coaching or consulting position.)
“I work with__________________________________________________________...
Describe the situation or problem these individuals face.
“…who are challenged by ______________________________________________.”
What do you do, or what role do you play?
“What I do is _________________________________________________________...
What result is achieved? (Describe the change or success you bring to this role.)
“…which brings about__________________________________________________.”
All career coaches agree that it is important to clearly communicate what you do, what your strengths are and why you are great at what you do. There is no right or wrong way to create your perfect elevator speech, providing the end result gets YOU the results you need!
Now that you have learned how to perfect your elevator speech, take the next step in advancing your career by updating your resume. Do so by hiring Matt Krumrie to write your resume, combine it with advice like this from Impact Grop Career Coaches, formulate a solid networking plan, and watch your career take off.
About Matt Krumrie
In addition to writing resumes and cover letters, Krumrie has published over 2,000 career and job search articles for the Star Tribune, Flexjobs.com, Ziprecruiter.com and more.