Elevator Pitch: How To Network In 30 Secs

New graduates, having come from recent academic studies and eager to start developing their skills in the real world, are often highly regarded for their energy and enthusiasm. However, connecting with those in the know can prove challenging for job seekers.

Enter the ‘Elevator Pitch’

A ‘what pitch’?  An ‘Elevator Pitch’ is a brief but catchy and reflective summary of your professional self, designed to be delivered in the time of an elevator ride – normally 30 seconds to a minute – so, short and sweet!  Along with being a great conversation starter it can be used anytime and is an essential business tool all graduates entering the business world should master.

You may say, “But I don’t have any professional experience in my field yet!”

Not a problem. An Elevator Pitch most certainly can be adapted to any stage in your career.  Think about skills you have gained in previous experiences in your life. While you might not consider your part-time job at Coles or Subway relevant to your long term career goals, you will be surprised how the skills you learnt in those organisations are transferrable.

So what should you include?

When putting your Elevator Pitch together, don’t make it too complicated, and use your resume and LinkedIn profile as a follow up.  Think of it as if you were fishing – to get the ‘fish’ (connections within your field), you need a ‘hook’ them with something tempting (you and your elevator pitch).

Consider the following when forming your pitch:

  • Your qualifications and particular areas of interest and why you’re passionate about those
  • Your skills, what sets you apart and any important accomplishments
  • Attributes – time to show off!
  • A call to action – a business card, meeting or referral

For example:
“I’ve recently graduated from Melbourne Polytechnic with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and I have a real interest in Programming and System Analysis. I am excited about the opportunity to apply my skills within a real-world setting. During my studies I was employed at Coles within a Customer Service role. This enabled me to develop time management, people relations and team work skills. I pride myself on my strong work ethic, adaptability and ability to think outside the box. I would love the opportunity to hear about potential openings within your company or perhaps you could refer me to a colleague whom I could contact?”

When should you use it?

So you’ve got your pitch perfected? Practice, practice, practice. This is incredibly important to ensure that you sound natural and your tone is more conversational than forced. It helps to build confidence, which as a new graduate is important.

Career fairs, networking events and meetups are perfect places to use your pitch as you’ll be meeting lots of people but will be limited in the time you can have with each person. Get out there and start making connections and remember, don’t limit yourself to just elevators!

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