Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Elevator Pitch Practice

Start a conversation

with a confident introduction

Throughout your job search and career, you will find that it's important to be able to succinctly and effectively introduce yourself. This skill is famously referred to as the "elevator pitch," because you should be able to start and end in the time that you typically spend in an elevator (30-60 seconds).

A great elevator pitch is tailored to the situation, well-rehearsed so that it sounds natural, and most importantly, memorable enough to encourage future discussion. Whether you are attending in-person or virtual events, or making a great first impression during an interview, your elevator pitch will set the tone for the rest of your conversation.  Make sure to research the company and find out information about the person you will be talking to (if possible) before making your pitch.  

The best elevator pitches are given in a slow and clear manner.  It is the quality of the content that is most important, not how much you can fit into 30-60 seconds.

Step 1: Intro

  • Remember to make good eye contact and smile.
  • Prepare for your day.  Business Casual dress is usually preferred.  If you are meeting with a recruiter virtually, make sure to be in a quiet space with a clean background.
  • Share your name slowly.  Preferred names are okay to share.
  • Let them know your education credentials (major, degree, etc.)

Step 2: Relate

  • Demonstrate that you've researched the company ahead of time (reference news, specific programs, or personal connections)
  • Earn their attention - This is usually referred to as the "hook."  Share something memorable about yourself (a project or work experience you are proud of, a leadership role, or a personal interest).  Be creative!

Step 3: Skills

  • Pick one of your top, most relevant skills.
  • Use the S.T.A.R. Method (situation, task, action, result) to exemplify your skill.
  • Articulate your value - answer "so what?"  Think about impact!

Step 4: Ask

  • Tell them what you want (e.g., an interview, internship, job, more info, etc.)
  • Ask them about "next steps" (pay special attention to timing).  This should lead into a comfortable conversation for both you and the recruiter to talk about your goals and qualifications.

UMass Students - Try our practice template.

Example: Career Developer Larry Tseng

"Hi, my name is Larry Tseng, and I am a student studying Computer Science and Business Management at UMass Amherst. 

I have multiple years of experience developing full-stack web and mobile applications from internships across the Boston area. For example, this past summer, I worked with Savant Systems' manufacturing team to automate quality control tests, speeding up the production output for a few of their smart-home devices by 500% with a custom-designed application.

In addition, I am a strong team player and have collaborated with others on many of my previous projects.

Next summer, I want to be able to further develop my technical and managerial skills through software engineering or business internships."

See video examples from our Career Developers.

A strong elevator pitch is a useful resource, both for your job search and professional development. Keep working to improve it as you gain additional experience.  You'll also want to consider what comes after a pitch.  The best conversations are usually 50/50 in speaking time between you and the recruiter.  Learn how to make the most of your conversation skills.