Cornell Bowers College of Computing and Information Science
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Elevator Pitch

Learn tips on how to be able to explain what makes you unique in less than one minute

Elevator Pitch Q+A

What is an Elevator Pitch?

A short introduction of  yourself and your skills. It is a way to start a conversation with someone  you might want to connect with regarding your career. It is typically 30 seconds to one minute in length. It is said the name Elevator Pitch is derived from a potential scenario where it is the time it takes to go up an elevator seven floors with someone who has the ability to hire you and you want them to know the most important strengths about you. 

Why do I Need One?

There is usually limited time. You cannot tell someone all of the details and list all of your experiences in a first meeting. An elevator pitch provides enough background information to continue the conversation later, potentially during a follow-up conversation (or interview).  This is a key opportunity (and sometimes your only opportunity) to make a great first and lasting impression.

How Do I Choose What To Say?

Review your skills related to the job you want.

Review the job descriptions for positions you have applied. What skills are the employers looking for in your area of work? 

What skills and strengths do you have that they are also looking for? Can you understand the client’s perspective because you have had experience with clients? Do you have a working understanding of teamwork from all of those team based projects you have been working on?  Tell not that you are a team player but tell how you play on the team.  Rank in order of relevance (list up to the top 10). Write your pitch, revise and perfect it and then practice it. When searching for work tell what you are searching for specifically while interjecting the benefits and skills you will bring to the position. Your resume, cover letter, and interviews should include both the top skills as well as the top 2-3 items of that make you unique (experience, related/unrelated education, value add).  These together are your “brand” and can serve to be the basis for your elevator pitch and also are most likely the reason you may be the best candidate for the job. Know what your goals are: the goal of networking is not necessarily to get the job.

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