John sees that Zybergene, a hot biotech company, will have a booth at the fair. He reviews the company’s website and learns that it has just received FDA approval for an antihypertensive, Lowrenin, that lowers blood pressure in people with diabetes. Assuming that Zybergene will need to hire a salesforce to promote this product, John crafts an elevator pitch that will capture the interest of the recruiter.
“Hi, Sarah, my name is John Jacobs. I’ve been selling antihypertensives for three years to internists in San Francisco, and I was the top salesperson in the district for two of those years. I’m excited to talk with you about Lowrenin, because it’s sorely needed by diabetic patients who suffer from resistant hypertension. Can we chat briefly about how I can help make Lowrenin a blockbuster for Zybergene?”
What is an elevator pitch?
An elevator pitch is a very brief (20- to 30-second) professional summary that is customized to the situation in which you’re networking, such as a conference, a Meetup, or an informational interview. An elevator pitch includes four parts:
1. Who you are
2. What you’re doing
3. An achievement or example of your work, or what you’re hoping to accomplish in this situation
4. A request for an action step, or a question to learn about the other person
Elevator pitch templates
These templates can help you craft your elevator pitches. Be creative, and write elevator pitches that feel natural to you.
For a conference or professional association meeting
“Hello! I’m ___________. I’m a ___________ at ___________. Dr. Jones, I found your presentation on ___________ fascinating. I’ve also been studying ___________. I know you’re very busy during the conference, but perhaps I can buy you a coffee between sessions and we can chat for a bit?”
For casual settings (like Meetups and Starbucks)
“Hi! My name is ___________. I do ___________ at ___________. I’m ready to move into a management position, so I’m currently exploring my career options. How about you? What do you see yourself doing next?”
For an informational interview
“Hi! Thanks very much for taking time to talk with me about your work and your company. I’ve been doing ___________ for the last ___________ years in the ___________ industry. I’m interested in doing similar work but in your industry. What’s your experience been like doing ___________ at ___________?”
For a career fair
“Hi! My name is ___________. I work for ___________ doing ___________. I recently developed the ___________ (name of product), which ___________ (what it does/benefits). The ___________ position on your website looks like a great fit with my experience and career goals. Can I tell you briefly about how I could contribute to ___________ (company name) as a ___________ (position title)?”
Give your elevator pitches a spin
As you can see, elevator pitches are easy to craft, and once you practice them a few times, you’ll feel confident about introducing yourself to new people in any situation!