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The Getting Hired Elevator Speech

When is the last time you took an elevator?

optimistic young businesspeople on a white background

Some of you are rocking the views from your elevator ride! Some folks are taking the stairs wearing their activity tracker. Some folks have made successful careers in places where elevators are hard to find (yippee!), or where they stay in their fuzzy bunny slippers all day (ahhh). Whatever your case, do you have an elevator speech?


Yeah, yeah, we all know what an elevator speech is…


That said, have you heard a really good one lately? Were you compelling to action? Did the person stay in your memory? Can you retell it yourself? If yes, then indeed it was a good one. Your elevator speech needs to be clear and compelling, and make a lasting impression.


What is your intention?


Keep your intention in mind. You often hear that this elevator pitch should be memorized and rehearsed, and having it come to mind quickly without searching for your words may be handy but every situation is different.


If your intention is to get the recruiters attention and be top of mind for your ideal opportunity, tailor you discussion to creating a relationship and communication. If your intention is to get an interview, focus on making a connection that gets your foot in the door. If your goal is an internal promotion, focus on gaining an invitation to dialogue further and showcase your objectives.


How do you manifest this?


You want to grab the listener’s attention, and concisely express who you are, what you are about, what you love to do and can do for them (their department), and what makes you different. This is hard to do, and to be most effective it can’t just be a one-size-fits-all sales pitch. You need to know your audience/listener and what you tell them needs to tell them why they should care. It’s about you but it’s not: It’s a compelling story about how you can solve their problem, ease their pain, lift their burden, or achieve their goals.


And despite all the talk about personal branding, you are not a product or service, you are a person. Speak authentically to real people. Tell your story, tailored to what you know about your audience’s personality or life experience. Don’t know anything about them? Ruh-roh, that makes it harder. But you know all about you, so use your real voice, and communicate your real passions and goals.


Ok, so how long is this elevator ride?


The length of your elevator speech really depends, but it should be short and impactful, not a dissertation or a verbal assault. Think of getting the most important parts up front in case the elevator doors open before you’re done, you don’t want have your golden punchline that you’ve been working up to cut off. But stay agile, the length of your pitch opportunity may have many variables associated with it.


What if you don’t have an elevator?


You may find yourself in an elevator with the right person at the right time. But for the rest of the minutes of the year, you’ll want to diffuse your elevator speech a few more places. The obvious places include: in the summary of your resume, in your LinkedIn summary, in your Twitter profile. You may even make your own elevator pitch video and post it to YouTube! And while consistency is a desirable, this doesn’t mean copy and paste – each medium is different, as is each person, so exercise some creativity and thoughtfulness in each venue and at each meeting.


Additional reading


If you are really stumped on getting started, there are some good steps to walk through in this Forbes article: Perfect Pitch: How to Nail Your Elevator Speech.



More articles from Redfish Technology:

10 Things You Need to Do In Your Job Search

5 Reasons Why You Need More Than a Good Resume to Stand Out from the Crowd



About the Author:

Anna Mathieu, Marketing Communications Manager, brings together in-the-trenches recruiting experience as well as years of marketing and sales success in a variety of industries from software to real estate development. She thrives on evangelizing the Redfish brand and communicating Redfish’s expert recruiting services, to drive bottom line results.

Redfish Technology –
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Founded in Silicon Valley in 1996, Redfish Technology is a leading provider of high tech professional and executive talent. Partnering with growth mode companies, small and large, Redfish staffs executive functions and builds out the teams below. Redfish experts provide advice and perspective on hiring, career building, and job search – check us out on the web.