The Pitch (Elevator Speech)

This short (approximately 30-60 seconds) 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. For example, you can utilize a pitch when attending research conferences or speaking with a family friend who has a connection to a company you are interested in working for.

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!

Example Elevator Pitch

Hi my name is Jamie Smith. I’m a student majoring in mechanical engineering and I’m seeking a co-op starting in January. I have an interest in design and testing, which aligns well with your Design Engineer Intern position. I have completed several mechanical engineering projects throughout my courses and last summer did an internship with XYZ Company where I designed prototypes, conducted testing, and prepared summary reports. I think ABC produces a lot of great products and I’m very interested in [agricultural equipment]. I would love it if you would review my resume and consider me for an interview.

The Employment Process Menu

Introduction

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