Your Guide to the Perfect Elevator Pitch

Your Guide to the Perfect Elevator Pitch

For those who might not be familiar, an elevator pitch is a 30-second rundown of who you are, what you do really well, and what you are interested in doing next. The idea is that if you ran into a potential career connection in an elevator, you would be able to tell them the essentials of you before the elevator doors opened onto the next floor.


As they say, you only have one chance to create a first impression. And, we need to be concise – you have to be ready to summarize who you are and what you are looking for when you have a minute with a key stakeholder.


Elevator pitches provide the structure to be compelling, clear and efficient. Sharing a compelling elevator speech will mobilize others’ to surface career connections and opportunities.


My first time writing and elevator pitch was more difficult than anticipated. How do you distill your career and life story into 30 seconds? What do you say, and what do you leave out?


This conundrum will likely apply to you, as well. There is no one right way to give an elevator pitch. Listening to others’ elevator pitches, I am often struck by how unique each is. Though we may work in the same field, we present ourselves completely differently. We are all unique, so difference is not a bad thing.


Your elevator pitch will be unique to you. And it will change over time as you grow into your career, values, and sense of self.


So, why have an elevator pitch at all? For starters, an elevator pitch can help you—


¬ Uncover your values and career goals.

¬ Know how to talk about yourself and your career.

¬ Have a clear and concise way to pitch yourself.


One of the struggles people run into while crafting an elevator pitch is the question of audience. Who are we talking to? Where are we talking to them?


Often, an elevator pitch is less formal than we think. Outside of an interview setting, most situations you find yourself in will be during a conversation with someone new. There will be a natural back and forth. They might ask you more in-depth questions about what you do. You might modify what you say based on the person or setting.


There is no one right way to give your elevator pitch. What’s important is that you know what’s essential for you to share and say it confidently.


At its core, an elevator pitch only has three elements:


1. Who I am

2. What I do / How I do it

3. What makes me unique (results, accomplishments, goals, aspirations, etc.)


For example:


My name is Katherine Wright, and I am a writer and content creator for XYZ. My background is in news journalism, but I found that my strengths lie in more creative, freeform content creation. I recently won an award for the best media content of 2022 within my company. I love how stories and videos can be both fun and informative, and I love building connections with people from all around the world. My goal is to one day head my own marketing firm to help create fun and meaningful content.



Start with answering those three questions, then begin to refine them. See what feels right to you and how you want to present yourself. This might take more than a few minutes to do, and that’s okay.


All this to say, take time to write down your elevator pitch. Practice saying it with friends and family. Work with a career coach to hone it. And give yourself space to be flexible with the situation.


Happy pitching!