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A personal elevator pitch is a quick summary of yourself. It is named for the amount of time it should take to deliver it—the duration of a short elevator ride (roughly 30 to 60 seconds or 75 words). Elevator pitches are sometimes thought to be specific to an idea or a product, but you can also use it to market yourself as a professional.
A polished elevator pitch is useful at career fairs where your time to interact with employers is often limited to just a few minutes. In this instance, use your pitch to quickly make a good first impression and stand out from other candidates. When you introduce yourself to an employer at a career fair, lead with your elevator pitch but try not to jump into it immediately. First, exchange names and greetings, then the employer will likely reply with, “Tell me about yourself.” If they do not, then you could say, “I would love to tell you about myself—would that be ok?” Then begin your pitch.
As you approach someone to pitch to at an event, interview or anything in between, start off with an introduction. Start your pitch by giving your full name, smile, and add a pleasantry like, “It is nice to meet you!”
This is where you will give a brief summary of your background. Include the most relevant information such as your education, work experience and/or any key specialties or strengths.
If they agree to your request, be sure to thank them for their time and get their contact information. End the conversation with a concise and action-oriented farewell, such as, “Thank you for your time, I will send you a follow-up email tonight. If they do not agree to your request, gracefully end the conversation with a polite, “I understand, thank you for your time! If it is all right, I will send you a follow-up email and see if there might be a better time for us to connect.”