What Is An Elevator Pitch?

“Tell me about yourself?”

This is the dreadful question that gets many of us tongue-tied as we try to figure out what to say.

When I interviewed potential student career coaches at Dickinson College Career Center, I noticed that many people struggled with answering the “Tell me about yourself” question.  They would ramble on and on about their family, college experience, major, dog, boyfriend/girlfriend… you name it!

Although that information is great, you want to strategically answer this question in a way that impresses the job recruiter without giving them T.M.I about your personal life.

The best way to answer this question is to hit them with your *ELEVATOR PITCH!*

An elevator pitch is a 30-60 second speal about who you are. The trick though is that your elevator pitch should follow a clear thread that relates to one overall theme. In other words, if you’re at an interview for an education position, then your elevator pitch should include different events in your life that has caused you to have a passion for education.

Specifically, your elevator pitch should touch on 3 things:

  1. *Your Past– This is where you explain your background. Where do you come from? When and how did you learn that you were interested in a specific field?
  2. *Your Present- This is where you explain what you are currently doing. Are you in the field you want to be in? How is the current work you are doing preparing you for the position you’re interested in? What are you passionate about? You can also mention any qualifications or skills you have.
  3. *Your Future– What are your future goals? How has your past and present experiences shaped what you see yourself doing in the future?

Now, you might be wondering, how am I supposed to do all of this in 30-60 seconds?  

Well, practice makes perfect!

The more you practice what you want to say, the easier it will be. I’d suggest timing yourself when you practice, so you know if you need to add more information or shorten it. Practicing your elevator pitch will help you perfect your answer to the dreadful question, so you’ll always have a clear and concise response.

Now, can you tell me about yourself? You have 60 seconds… GO!

*Feel free to add information where you see fit, such as your education/certification.*