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Creating a Career Changing Elevator Pitch

Constructing and refining an elevator pitch are about as much fun as writing a resume, but the risk of not having and delivering one can keep your career on ice.

I am asked often how to do it by millenials.

I offer the the following are 5 steps anyone can use to create a quality elevator pitch (professional value proposition):

  1. Ask yourself, if my references relative to a job opportunity were called what three things would they all say about me?
  2. Word smith your answers and/or have a valued colleague help you.
  3. Communicate with your top 3 job references. Ask them if they were called about you relative to the next job on your career path (you describe it to them) what three things would they all say about you?
  4. Reconcile their responses with your version of you professional value proposition (elevator pitch).
  5. Send the revised version of your professional value proposition (elevator pitch) to your top references, and then tweak it to create your final version.

What other tips do you have to offer?



Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

1. Practice, practice, practice!
2. Keep it short, preferably in the 60-90 second range. (It is an "elevator' pitch after all)
3. Be sure that you are able to "tweak" it depending on the audience. In the creation phase, be sure to have offramps/options.
4. Be sure to have language that a 15 year old would understand. Don't fill it with jargon and acronyms.
5. Be sure that it communicates UP and as well as DOWN.
6. If possible (time constraints), include snippets of accomplishments. It is not always what you can do, but what you have done.

I have personally chosen to use pop-culture reference....

"Cmdr. Riker (Star Trek The Next Generation) meets Pepper Potts (Iron Man) with a CFO (finance/accounting/audit) and operational background. Someone who can and has taken the helm when needed "

Even my summary (LinkedIn and resume) is stated in plain words and NOT jargon or acronyms.

Granted that not all CEOs are pop-culture literate, I made sure that the references had a good range of time period. (Number 2 of Austin Powers/Dr. Evil was stretching One option example here would be to use an XO reference if the CEO is a former Navy. It communicates it effectively.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Just thought of something else:
7. Don't make it sound like a presentation or a rehearsed spiel. Conversational is best.

ArLyne Diamond
Title: Owner - President
Company: Diamond Associates
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner - President, Diamond Associates) |

Recently, I did a series of workshops on this topic for ProMatch which is a volunteer organization for people out of work. Most of the elevator pitches I heard (from over 60 people) were either too generic or too ridiculous. The ridiculous ones were catchy, but never really taught what the person actually did - and the generic ones were merely job title or skill lists.

The best elevator speeches are natural and informational without being too long and detailed. They should leave the listener wanting more information - but not thinking this guy is nuts I want to move away from him as fast as possible.

They should be in the present - or future and not a string of who you were and what you did last year or last generation.

I am a (job title) with a unique ability to (list your best skill) and enjoy working (here you might say in a team, as an individual contributor, or with a specific kind of patient, etc.)

the end.


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