Imagine this. You are almost a month into your summer internship. You have adjusted to corporate life, have a great relationship with your supervisor, and are beginning to really dig into your assigned projects. You’re on the top of the world and are pretty sure you will be offered a full-time position at the end of the summer.
One day you cross paths with a potential hiring manager in the break room. After introductions, they ask, “tell me a little about yourself.” You initially freeze, eventually going on about every tiny detail of your life.
Have you blown your chances of full-time employment? No, but you may have left a poor impression on someone who could have the power to hire you one day. What could have helped you in this situation? An elevator pitch. Here are my top five tips to consider when creating your elevator pitch in order to introduce, promote, and position your personal brand:
- Know your brand. Start thinking of yourself as a product. Who are you? What are your strengths, experiences, and accomplishments? How can you add value?
- Know your audience. Why do you want to work for this company? Tailor your pitch to the person you are speaking with.
- Be engaging. You do not want to put your audience to sleep! Be interesting and compelling. Make sure your delivery is not only conversational, but also clear and concise. Show your authentic self.
- Close the deal/open the door. Reinforce your interest. Ask for their business card (when applicable) and follow-up.
- Practice makes perfect. Different situations calls for different lengths of elevator pitches, so be prepared for anything. Receive feedback from your college career center and/or peers.
Being able to articulate who you are and how you can add value are important skills to have. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so take the time to craft your elevator pitch today!
Heather currently serves as the Associate Director of Student Services for the Undergraduate Career Services Office in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. In her role, Heather guides students throughout their career development, lectures on career-related topics and personal branding, presents career workshops for students, supervises a team of career coaches, and develops/manages the social media efforts for her office. Before making the switch to Student Affairs, Heather worked in Marketing, Sales, and Promotion within the Music & Entertainment industry. Originally from New Jersey, Heather attended Indiana University for her undergraduate degree and The Ohio State University for her graduate studies. You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.