Develop a 30-Second Elevator Pitch (2024)

One of the keys to successful networking and interviewing is to make a really strong first impression, and one of the first opportunities to make this impression is very often the result of responding to the question “Tell me about yourself.” The answer: your personal pitch.It is essentially an overview of your experience, skills, strengths, accomplishments, and goals—all in 30 seconds You will use your 30-second pitch throughout your professional life. Some of the situations where you are able to use it now are:

  • At an interview
  • In a cover letter—to highlight your background and key abilities
  • At professional networking events—when you are asked to introduce yourself
  • In cold-calling employers for an internshipor future job.
  • When introducing yourself to a potential employer at a career fair

The structure of a 30-second pitch generally follows this pattern:

  1. Introduce yourself, as appropriate.
  2. Discuss your experience.As a student, this would include your major field of study. If you have practical experience in the field you could include that as well.
  3. State a strength or skill the employer would be interested in.
  4. Follow that with an accomplishment (or two) that proves you have that skill. It can be related to school, work, a volunteer experience, an activity (like Eagle Scout), etc.
  5. Describe your employment goal—what are you looking for now and/or in the future?
  6. Most importantly, tell how you can immediately benefit the company.

Practice, practice, practice!!!

Your 30-second pitch should be conversational and natural. Although prepared in advance, it should never sound memorized. You want to appear confident, enthusiastic, poised, and professional. Make it memorable but not outrageous. You are competing with many other qualified candidates and your pitch should allow you to stand out a bit from the crowd. Whether it is the vocabulary you choose or a specific achievement you mention, you want to engage the listener and give them an opportunity to see your personality. Be prepared for follow-up questions, especially in an interview. You may be asked for more information or to elaborate on something you said, which will keep the conversation going. Part of your strategy is to develop a rapport with the interviewer/employer and a good pitch and follow-up will help to set a positive tone. Vary your closing to fit the circ*mstances. For an interview, focus on how you can benefit the company or how you fit the particular position. At a networking event or career fair, you want to be proactive and may want to consider an action question

  • May I send you a resume?
  • May I have your business card and contact you …”

Questions to Think about in Developing your 30-Second Elevator Pitch

  • What is your career goal? (usually in the form of doing something for someone)
  • What skill or strength do you have that would help you realize that goal?
  • What accomplishment proves you have that skill or strength?
  • What are you searching for in a job?
  • How can you immediately benefit the company/organization?

Here’s ONE example framework to get you started on your 30-second Elevator Pitch
Note: This is not the only way to frame your pitch!

Hello, [________], my name is [__________]. I am a [class year] here at Duke majoring in __________. I am [strength, experience, etc.], which I demonstrated when I [accomplishment] and I think my experience in [what?] has equipped me to succeed as a [what position?] at [company or organization]. Could you please tell me about the characteristics of a successful entry-level [position] at your company? Now, write a draft of your 30-second elevator pitch.

Develop a 30-Second Elevator Pitch (2024)


Develop a 30-Second Elevator Pitch? ›

General elevator pitch template

Introduction: “Hi I'm [name], a [position title] at [company name]. It's great to meet you!” Problem: “Since you work with [company name or industry] I figured you'd be interested to know that [problem + interesting statistic].”

What is a good example of an elevator pitch? ›

General elevator pitch template

Introduction: “Hi I'm [name], a [position title] at [company name]. It's great to meet you!” Problem: “Since you work with [company name or industry] I figured you'd be interested to know that [problem + interesting statistic].”

How many words for a 30-second elevator pitch? ›

Most experts recommend keeping your elevator pitch under 30 seconds. This translates to between 80 and 120 words. Be sure to include the five key parts: introduction, background, goals, solution, and plan.

What are the three C's for an elevator pitch? ›

Credible – spell out what makes you qualified to do what you do. Using credibility- driven words like "certified" will help sell you. Conceptual – the pitch should stay at a high level and not go into too many details. Concrete – while high level, the pitch should also be tangible and easily grasped.

How do you write a simple elevator pitch? ›

My top tips for crafting a compelling elevator pitch are-- create your present statement, create your past statement, create a future statement, keep it concise, keep it relevant, and keep it natural. For more tips on how to create the perfect elevator pitch, be sure to check out this career guide article.

What not to say in an elevator pitch? ›

Refrain from using jargon or unfamiliar language. Don't bore people with useless information that is of no significance to them. Ideally, an elevator pitch should be structured for each target audience. Don't ramble on and make the pitch longer than 30 seconds.

What is a good hook for an elevator pitch? ›

Make it simple and get straight to the point. For example, if you're pitching a time management tool, your hook can be a personal story like: "When I first started my business, it felt like there was too much to do and not enough time to do it." It can also be a statistic.

What should a 30 second pitch say? ›

An elevator pitch, also known as a 30-second pitch, is a short, persuasive speech that you can use to introduce yourself and your business. It should be clear, concise, and most importantly, engaging. In just 30 seconds, you need to be able to explain what your business does, who you are, and why someone should care.

What is the 30 second elevator rule? ›

It's typically about 30 seconds, the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator. (The idea behind having an elevator speech is that you are prepared to share this information with anyone, at anytime, even in an elevator.)

Why is a 30 second elevator pitch important? ›

An elevator pitch, sometimes called a “15 or 30 second pitch or commercial”, enables the listener to become aware—relatively quickly—of specific, unique, and impressive attributes you can bring to a position. It is essentially a brief monologue describing the benefits of buying a particular product or service—YOU!

What is a good 30-second introduction? ›

A 30-second introduction shares highlights about your interests, experience, strengths, accomplishments, and goals! Be sure to tailor your introduction to the industry or person you are speaking with. A well crafted introduction will make a strong first impression.

What is an example of me in 30 seconds statement? ›

"Me in 30 Seconds" Example - Job Seeker

I have two years of experience and carry several technical certifications. With my last company, I was named the top service technician last year because of my efficiency. I love organizing projects, and I make it a point to complete each on time, if not early.

What is an example of an elevator pitch for a job? ›

30-Second Elevator Pitch Examples:

I'm a skilled project manager with a proven track record of delivering complex initiatives on time and within budget. In my last role at [Previous Company], I led a team that successfully implemented a streamlined workflow, resulting in a 25% increase in project efficiency.

What is the perfect elevator pitch? ›

Your elevator pitch should: Communicate your personal brand and what you want to be known for. Convey your unique selling points. Answer the questions “Tell me about yourself' “What do you do?” and “What are you interested in doing next?

What is an effective elevator pitch? ›

An elevator pitch is basically a sales pitch. It's succinct and persuasive. Unlike crafting an entire speech, you're condensing who you are, what you do, and what your company offers into a few short sentences, just enough to explain but not enough to bore or overwhelm.

What is a one sentence elevator pitch? ›

People call it by different names like a branding statement, elevator pitch, or actor logline, but ultimately it serves one important purpose—to immediately tell someone who you are and what you do.


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