Developing Your Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is your short (30-60 second) professional introduction. A prepared elevator pitch will help you start a conversation with potential employers, faculty members, alumni and others. 

Why you need an elevator pitch

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. By building authentic relationships with professionals, over time you can uncover job opportunities that might not be posted, or possibly create an opportunity that did not previously exist.

By engaging in networking activities, it allows you to raise awareness of “your personal brand” by meeting other professionals and sharing your abilities, skills and background. In turn when people in your network hear about potential opportunities, they may immediately think of you.

Your elevator pitch should:

  • Communicate your personal brand and what you want to be known for
  • Convey your unique selling points
  • Answer the questions “Tell me about yourself’ “What do you do?” and “What are you interested in doing next?

Before you create your pitch, first think about:

  • What makes you unique?
  • What are you seeking?
  • What can you offer?
  • What do you want a person to remember about you?

Create your pitch in five steps

  1. Spend some time thinking about and writing down your top work and school experiences using the STAR Method (Situation, Task, Action and Result). Choose one one-to-two experiences you want to pitch.
  2. Shorten each story to a sentence or two focusing on your actions and the results of those actions.
  3. Analyze the common themes:
    1. What are you good at?
    2. What do you like doing?
    3. Are you a problem solver, analytical thinker, effective communicator, innovator, etc?
  4. Tailoring your pitch for the audience/person you are speaking to and the setting you are in
  5. Put it together and make it conversational. Add a question to the end of your description or offer to help someone with something they are working on. 

Sample Pitch Format

“Hi____, my name is___. I am studying___and will graduate in___. I am looking to/I am interested in____. I recently worked on a project that___. I am interested in learning about___. Can you tell me more about___.”

Sample Pitch

“Hi, my name is Theo Tiger and I am a junior studying computer science at Princeton. 

I am interested in cybersecurity and web development because they challenge me to use my analytical skills to keep information secure. Last semester, I worked with a professor to develop a program that analyzed the psychological effects of social media on Twitter users. Right now I am looking for summer internship opportunities and I am interested in learning more about your company. 

Can you tell me about the internship opportunities your company provides?”

    Build your pitch 

    Use our elevator pitch worksheet to create a pitch that represents who you are and what you can offer.

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