Everyone understands the concept: pitch yourself and your skills in less than a minute (the time to ride the elevator to the top floor.) Here is career coach Tim Tyrell-Smith’s template, designed to work for a networking meeting introduction.
- My name is… (if you need help here, that’s another problem altogether.)
- I am… This is where you insert your positioning statement – what makes you unique – or at least worth noticing – in the market. Yours might sound like this: “I’m a social media expert that helped build my company’s following from 100 to 10,000 fans in six months.” Or this: “I’m a former nonprofit project manager with experience in creating effective programs from the ground up.” Tyrell-Smith recommends just four to six words for this statement, but I think it’s OK to start with a longer one that really describes what you do. You can work on honing it down later.
- My last position was… Here, you summarize your last title, company or an accomplishment statement or two. Just two or three sentences that put your experience in context.
- Tell them your philosophy on how you work. This one is not as common – it’s worth spending some time on if you’ve never thought about it before. Your statement might sound something like this: “I believe in educating end users so they feel confident using technology. That makes them more self-reliant and saves our tech support staff time and energy they would otherwise spend on minor fixes.” Or this: “My marketing philosophy is ‘When in doubt, ask the customer.’ Asking before we launch makes the customer feel important and helps us design a better product.”
- Tell people what your specific job targets are. “I’m looking for an internal audit position in a small to mid-size firm. I’m open to relocation.” Or “I’m looking for a purchasing position in a firm could use my government contracting experience.”
- Tyrell-Smith’s last step is a wonderful addition – close with how you can help others in the group. In my experience, many jobseekers are so focused on what they want that they fail to consider how they may be able to help others. What do you have or know that others may need? “I’d be happy to help anyone who’s working on installing a home network or concerned with network security.” “As a former mortgage processor, I have been volunteering to help people assemble documents for their loan workout or purchase of a home. If anyone’s baffled by mortgage paperwork, feel free to connect with me after the meeting.”
That’s it – 30 to 60 seconds to connect you to the group. This template positions your skills, tells people what you’re looking for, and offers to help others in a very short time. It’s a powerful formula for success in a group. Try it for yourself. To see Tyrell-Smith’s personal take on it, visit his blog and read the post: http://timsstrategy.com/6-easy-steps-to-a-great-elevator-pitch/