Imagine you’re in an elevator heading up to the 30th floor for a job interview. Standing next to you is one of the senior executives at the organisation.

“Why would you be a good fit for the role?” she asks you.

Miss a beat and you’ve missed your chance. Instead, make the most of the 30-second elevator ride to wow her with a short, snappy speech.

Every jobseeker needs an elevator pitch. It will help you answer that classic interview question: “Tell me about yourself.” You might also find it handy at careers fairs or employer speed-dating events. And, written down, it makes a neat LinkedIn summary or professional profile on a resume. It’s unlikely you’ll ever use it in an elevator – but why not prepare for that too!

Here are 10 tips for perfecting your elevator pitch.

1. Keep it brief

As a general rule, an elevator pitch should be around 30 seconds, and less than a minute at most. Keep it brief and keep it simple. Hefty words, long-winded sentences and industry jargon are best avoided.

2. Say who you are

Start by introducing yourself. If you put a unique spin on your words, you’ll spark your listener’s interest.

E.g., “I’m a Marketing Manager who uses creativity to solve problems and generate results.”

3. Have a hook

Lure your listener in further with a statement that captures their attention. Focusing on a specific industry pain point can be compelling. Our Marketing Manager above might say: “Launching a petfood brand in a competitive market can be challenging. I have demonstrated experience of running successful marketing campaigns for new products.”

4. Show how you can solve the problem

The trick here is to apply your skills and experience to the specific requirements of the role.

“I suggest we run a campaign with the local animal shelter. This idea would not only showcase the product but help to rehome rescue dogs. It underlines [the organisation’s] commitment to animal health and welfare.”

5. End with a call to action

After your elevator pitch, ask to connect with the senior executive, even if she isn’t on your interview panel. The reply might be negative, but you’ve got nothing to lose.

“I’d appreciate the chance to speak with you in more detail about my ideas for the role. Can I contact you by email to arrange a meeting?”

6. Type it out

Polish your elevator pitch by typing it out. Then edit out any unnecessary content until you have a summary where every word counts.

7. Practise!

Practise really does make perfect. Read your pitch aloud a few times. You might also find it useful to record yourself or rehearse with a trusted friend.

8. Keep it natural

The perfect elevator pitch should sound natural (despite all the practice). Check your speed and include a few carefully placed pauses so your delivery is not too slick. You could also try to inject warmth and humour into your words.

9. Be aware of body language

Remember to engage! Your elevator pitch is directed at your listener. Gaining and maintaining eye contact will help draw them into your story. Stand tall and smile! You’ll project confidence and authenticity.

10. Ride an elevator

Bonus (totally optional) tip: now why not head to a snazzy urban elevator in a local high-rise building? Here you can put your pitch into practice. If permitted, you could even film yourself in action. Video elevator pitches could be the next video resumes!

To pitch for a role, please contact the friendly Optimal Recruitment team today on info@optimalrecruitment.com.au or 02 8416 4181.