Have you ever heard of the term “elevator pitch”?
It’s essentially a personal summary that people use as a quick introduction that also sells their strengths.
The term “elevator pitch” refers to the idea of a summary that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator, which is roughly thirty seconds to two minutes
Why do I need a personal summary? Isn’t my resume already a summary of all of my experiences?
Employers receive hundreds of resumes in a day, so it’s just not feasible for them to read each and every one of them word for word. Just like how we can’t watch every movie or read every book, we use trailers or synopsis to decide whether the movie or book is interesting enough to be worth investing time in. Plus, it’s a great way to make a good first impression even before that job interview.
Every job seeker should have a personal summary ready to go because it is one of the simplest and quickest ways to communicate to a potential employer the value you can offer. A successful personal summary will be able to pique the interest of hiring managers and make them think “this person is interesting, I would like to get to know them better.”
Stick to the following structure for a simple introduction that covers all bases:
- Start with the most significant fact about yourself that you want them to know.
This significant fact should relate to the role you are applying for. For example, if you’re searching for a job in digital marketing, list any credentials you have that are relevant to the role. In this case, you could mention your Google AdWords certification.
- Stand out from other similar applicants by mentioning any distinctive accomplishments.
If you have any unique achievements that distinguish you from your peers, now’s the time to make a mention of it. For instance, you could mention important posts you’ve held while studying, being on the dean’s list, or interesting involvement in projects you’ve worked on with a previous employer.
- Finish it off with your current career objective by emphasising the role or industry you’d like to work in.
With this structure in mind, we can now apply it to an example of an elevator pitch:
“A Google Adwords-certified student pursuing a marketing degree at MMU and the vice president of the student council. Graduating in July of next year and planning to work in a marketing department of a technology company. Fascinated by technology companies and wish to work in a fast-paced setting. Previously interned at ABC Tech Company as a digital marketing intern and aim to build on that experience.”
That’s a rather good personal summary; it covers who the job seeker is, their experience, and their interests and goals. This should work perfectly well as a personal summary in your resume where an employer can take a glance and decide if they want to know more about you.
While the preceding personal summary is great for a written resume, it may not be appropriate when actually speaking to an employer at a career fair, recording a Video Cover Letter, or during an interview with a hiring manager.
You can build upon your existing personal summary by making it sound more natural when spoken out loud. No one enjoys listening to a sales pitch that sounds scripted, so let’s take it a step further.
Use stories to your advantage:
Try incorporating storytelling into your elevator pitch. It makes your self-introduction sound more personable and engaging to listen to. Besides, people are naturally drawn to stories.
If you are recording an elevator pitch for a video cover letter or you are meeting someone who works at a company you want to join, be prepared with a statement like this.
“Hi, my name is John. I’m a student at MMU, and I’m expecting to graduate with a degree in Marketing this July.
If everything goes as expected I hope to graduate with a CGPA of over 3.5. I read an article the other day that your company is considered one of the most innovative businesses in Malaysia right now.
I’ve just finished an internship with ABC tech company a couple of months ago, and they told me to consider joining them full time after I graduate. But I’m also very curious to see if your company would consider looking at Marketing graduates.”
This introduction sounds more organic and natural. Keep in mind not to sound robotic when crafting your elevator pitch, and have fun with it!
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