The Pitch (Elevator Speech)

Present Yourself. Make an impression in 20-30 seconds. Image is of a woman talking in an elevator.

This short (approximately 1 minute) speech is used to initiate a conversation about your career interests in a networking situation. It is aptly named because it should be possible to work it into conversation during a short elevator ride.  The goal is to introduce yourself, give the person a quick sense of who you are, indicate that you are seeking employment, and highlight interests and a few strengths that you have to offer.  The focus here is on a pitch specifically tailored for career networking events such as career fairs and employer information sessions, but a version of your pitch could be worked into any conversation held with an individual that may be able to help you with your job search.

At a career fair, you are expected to initiate the conversation by introducing yourself with your elevator speech, which should include:

  • your name
  • major
  • year in school or expected graduation date
  • reason for attending (full-time, internship/co-op, networking for future possibilities)
  • when you are available to start and/or the time frame that you are looking to work
  • why you would like to work for the employer and/or why their position appeals to you
  • a request for them to review your resume

Additional items to include when possible:

  • any connection to the employer.  Perhaps you went to their information session or talked to them at a previous fair.   Even mentioning that a relative/friend works for the employer can help make a connection.  If you have a connection to the employer, highlight it!
  • special qualifications that you want to highlight.  Sometimes your classes, skills, and interest areas highly align with the company.  For example, if you are talking to a chemical processor and you are in a class focused on fluid flow problems, you might mention that you are very excited about what you are learning in that class and how it would apply to their systems.  Perhaps you are a member of an engineering club and you have done project management or technical work that aligns with their job descriptions.  If you have a connection that you can make between the employer/position and your experiences, mention it!


The Employment Process Menu


Step 1: Understanding Employers and the College Recruiting Process

    -Maintain a Positive Attitude

Step 2: Determine Career Goals and Skillset

Step 3: Identify Preliminary Target Employers and Industries

Step 4: Develop Effective Marketing Materials

Step 5: Search for Specific Employment and Research Target Companies