In today’s job search world, everyone is busy and has minimal time to waste. This includes your next employer. People are more likely to rely on gut instincts for hiring decisions and actually make up their minds in 30 seconds or less.

The only way to compete in this type of environment is to adapt to the shorter attention spans by developing an elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch will be your go-to presentation to explain who you are and the value you provide. Here are a few steps to help you develop your job search elevator pitch along with templates and examples.

1. You can use your elevator pitch in many different scenarios:

  • Networking Opportunities
  • During phone calls
  • When leaving voice mails
  • Career Fairs
  • Interview Introductions
  • In actual Elevators
  • Conferences

Have you ever been asked to give a quick summary of who you are and what you do? If you put together an elevator pitch and memorize it, you can have a perfected introduction about yourself whenever you need it. You never know where you might meet someone that could influence your career.

2. The Five Components of an Elevator Pitch – The Template

A. I am (personal introduction)

B. My interests are (relevant to listener’s needs)

C. I know about your organization (I have done my research)

D. My skills/accomplishments are (I can do what needs to be done)

E. I would like an interview/meeting (I feel confident you and your company will benefit from the interview/meeting)

This elevator pitch needs to be short. It’s called an elevator pitch because you should be able to give it during the time an elevator goes from the ground floor to where your new contact gets off.

For example, here’s how to get a conversation going when you are actually in the elevator. Catch someone’s eye and ask, “What type of work do you do on the BLANK floor”, they will respond with an industry or job title most of the time. Then you can ask a follow up open-ended question about their work.

After their answer you will have an appropriate space for you to give your elevator pitch. They will probably ask for your elevator pitch in the form of a question: “So what industry are you in? Or what type of work do you do?”

This exact opener where you reference their floor will obviously only work in an actual elevator, but there is an overall approach that you can use all the time.

1.  Ask what type of work they do.

– Then take an actual interest by asking an open-ended follow up question.

2. If they respond with interest in your work/life.

– Give them a tailored elevator pitch. Try to reference something about them.

3. Example Elevator Pitch

(I am) Hi, I’m John Doe. I graduated from USC in May with Bachelors in Management and I have a real passion for technology.

(Interests) I love creating outside the box strategies for new products, especially technology driven ones.

(I know you) I understand that your company has been spending a lot on R&D for your new product line.

(My skills / accomplishments) After graduation, while interning for a local firm I created an aggressive marketing campaign for a technology product, which improved their sales by 50%.

(I’d like to meet or follow up) I’d love to talk to you about how I might be able to use the skills I’ve learned to help your company. Are you available for a brief meeting today or Wednesday?

Use these samples and replace the info with your own. The PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Remember to personalize it as much as you can to the listener and what he or she cares about.