The Elevator Pitch: How to get beyond your résumé and make an emotional connection
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The Elevator Pitch: How to get beyond your résumé and make an emotional connection

By Alice Ain Rich, reacHIRE Expert

People hire people. People don’t hire résumés. When given the opportunity to meet in person with your prospective employer, it is your chance to advocate for yourself. The importance of making a personal connection behind the chronological experience listed on your résumé is paramount. Any invitation for an interview is the employer’s opportunity to connect with you on a personal level, because they already have acknowledged you are qualified on paper. But how well do you fit into the culture of the company?

The entire interview is a performance; you must stay in character and complete your audition from start to finish. In order to offer a memorable first impression, your introduction should be appealing and informative. This is where the “elevator pitch” comes in. An elevator pitch is essentially a 60-90 second description spotlighting your success and potential.

Structuring your pitch effectively can make a huge impact on the first impression you make. Start off with a leading hook, follow it with relevant details, and tie your pitch back to the position you are applying for. Sound familiar? I like to call it the “essay in the air”. You want your initial statement to be a strong, powerful topic sentence that hints at your capabilities. One of the most common mistakes is to begin with a cliché such as, “so I graduated from,” “I have over 20 years of experience.” Rather, you need to grab their attention: “I am an accomplished professional with a long history of successful endeavors”. Elaborate on your passion and appreciation for the opportunities you have previously been given. By steering away from the facts already provided on your résumé, you present your personality, and that will help resonate with the interviewer. Consider your résumé black and white. The interview is your time to add some color.

Following your appealing first sentence, you want the details you share to appropriately portray your story while also predict your future success in the position you are applying for. Share your successes, accomplishments and achievements in a way that mirrors the culture of the company. Remain confident by abstaining from the tendency to use the past tense. Even though you may not have been in the workforce for several years, how have your prior efforts contributed to the accomplished person you are today? Establish a present state of mind and focus on the potential you possess right now.

Finally, conclude your pitch by stating why you would be a good fit for the company. Combine all the information you just shared and explain how it can be successfully attributed to the position at hand. No one is going to hire someone who is not a terrific representative of their product or service, so convince them that you are. Let them know you would love to bring your skills and attributes to this position and thank them for the opportunity to talk further.

Returning to the workforce can be intimidating, but crafting a well-prepared elevator pitch can help ease the nerves. Exude an appealing personality that doesn’t restate your résumé, but rather shares your background in a manner that reflects the culture of the company. Remember to elaborate on how your personal successes will contribute to your promising future success in the company, because you are an accomplished and dynamic professional.