Career Resources

How to Write the Perfect Elevator Pitch

December 15, 2014 Career Resources

What is an elevator pitch and how long should it be?

Now that you’re back on the market looking for a job or looking to pitch your small business to a potential client, how best do you sell yourself? An essential tool of your personal brand toolkit is the “elevator pitch,” a 30- to 60-second message that conveys your unique value, including what you do, how you do it and for whom.

Why is an elevator pitch important?

An elevator pitch is a short sales pitch that you can use when you strike up a casual conversation. It’s an effective way to get someone interested in who you are and what you do.

How do I make an elevator pitch?

Whenever you meet potential new contacts — at a networking event, a seminar, in the supermarket – this short introduction is a way to get the most out of a casual encounter.

What do I include in my elevator pitch?

1. Hook Start your elevator pitch with a hook that identifies a problem and captures your audience’s interest immediately. This could be a question or a statement; for example, “Did you know that most organizations don’t deliver a clear message to their customers?” or “Most firms have trouble delivering a clear message to their customers.”

2. Action Phrase Follow up with an action phrase rather than a label. For example, “I help small- to medium-sized companies discover and develop their unique brand identities” rather than, “I’m a senior brand designer/consultant for small- to medium-sized companies.”

3. Unique Value  Explain what makes you unique; for example, “My work focuses on a holistic process that involves the entire organization.”

4. Impact State the impact of your work on your clients/customers; for example, “I’ve seen clients enjoy increased sales when they forge a stronger brand identity.”

For more, please see our elevator pitch examples below:elevatorpitchtips

How do I end an elevator pitch?

You could end your pitch with a call to action that could lead to a job interview or a new client: “I’d like to continue this conversation with you” or “Why don’t I drop you an email tomorrow?” Don’t forget to hand your listener your business card!

Have a creative career related question? You send us a question, we find someone to answer it!


Barbara Morris is a writer and educator with a PhD from the University of Chicago. For the last 13 years, she’s taught writing and research at Parsons School of Design and Barnard College including white papers, design documents, grant-writing, academic research papers. She also writes marketing and web content for various Silicon Valley technology companies.