The elevator pitch — a succinct summary of your skill set, your achievements and what you’re looking to do — is a tried-and-true way to grab an employer’s attention.
A successful, convincing pitch — delivered matter-of-factly and with confidence — articulates why you should be a company’s next hire. It should last about as long as a short elevator ride (hence the name). If a pitch exceeds 30 seconds, it’s too long.
Above all else, keep it simple. Avoid jargon and acronyms, and make sure you don’t sound rehearsed — think bullet points rather than memorized sentences.
Take it from me, a former corporate recruiter: Here are five examples of effective elevator pitches.
“I served in the Army for five years and rose to the rank of sergeant, managing a pay office. I’m an excellent leader and motivator. I’m meticulous with details. I’m interested in this accounting director position because it’s based on budgets and managing people — things I excelled at in uniform.”
Why it works: This statement immediately tells the listener you’re a veteran — companies are proactively hiring veterans and value your integrity, grit, experience and service to our country. It also stresses that your top traits are connected to the position available.
“I’m looking for a full-time office job in media relations — I’m based in Atlanta — where I can leverage my strong skills of perseverance and relationship building with the press that I honed in communications offices in the Navy.”
Why it works: You’re telling the employer where you want to work and explaining that you can ace this civilian job because you’ve already mastered a similar role in the Navy.
“Time management. Empathy. Compassion. This is who I am. I’m in alignment with your company culture of leading with kindness. My outstanding service and commitment to the Air Force prepared me for your management team.”
Why it works: This pitch mixes up the format and stands out because you’re starting with strengths that aren’t so much technical — instead, they’re human skills that are highly valued by employers. Rather than connecting those strengths to the specific role, you’re connecting them to the company culture. Hiring managers often extend job offers to candidates they feel are the right fit for the company as a whole.