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Elevator Pitch Guide

Learn more about what an elevator pitch is and how to use one.

What is an Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a prepared, 30-second introduction. It is your opportunity to introduce yourself, provide a brief background, spotlight your professional interests and goals, and ultimately connect to other professionals.

Elevator pitches are just as important to your career readiness as a resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn. Like all those materials, a well-tuned elevator pitch can convey professionalism and preparedness for hiring managers.

When to Use an Elevator Pitch

Career Fairs

  • First, greet the employer and shake their hand. Then, introduce yourself, utilizing your 30 second elevator pitch.


  • The most common question asked in interviews is “Tell me about yourself”, which is yet another opportunity to demonstrate your pitch to an employer.
  • In an interview setting, you may be less pressed for time, but still try and keep your elevator pitch to around 60 seconds.

How to Create an Elevator Pitch

You can use the following framework to create a strong elevator pitch:

Who you are:

  • Name
  • Current occupation (or ‘student’, ‘recent grad’, etc.) and company (or school)

What you do and/or what you aspire to do:

  • What are you studying?
  • What is your goal or vision for your career?

What makes you different:

  • What are your skills and qualities that help you stand out as an applicant?
  • What relevant experiences have you had?
  • Have you been recognized for success in some area?


  • Briefly highlight your intentions (i.e. Why did you come to this booth at the career fair? Why did you apply for this job? Etc.)
  • At the end of your conversation, be sure to thank the employer for their time.

Examples of an Elevator Pitch

Hi, my name is Jane Doe and I’m a rising junior studying environmental management at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. I’m interested in the intersection of public policy and environmentalism, and I am passionate about working in the public sector to help communities and governments comply with environmental regulations. Last summer, I worked locally for the City of Fishers as an Environmental Education Program Instructor, but this summer I’m looking for more field experience and would love to get my foot in the door with Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). I’d love to hear more about the IDEM Air Compliance Internship you’re sponsoring this summer!

Hi, my name is John Doe and I am a freshman at Franklin College. I consider myself a driven, detail-oriented, and outgoing person. I am a finance major, and I am looking forward to gaining hands-on experience in the field through an internship. I am interested in all areas of finance, but recently took a class about financial advising and I saw you are hiring Financial Advising Interns at OneAmerica. I am especially interested in working for OneAmerica because of your positive company reputation. I have worked part-time at a local restaurant throughout high school and college, building valuable customer service and communication skills that I can bring to this internship. I’m also a member of the Finance Club on campus. I’d love to learn more about your internship program and learn how I can apply!

Things to Consider

While it may seem that elevator pitches are relatively straightforward, often they take time and consideration to prepare. Consider these tips as you prepare your elevator pitch.

  • Brevity is powerful. A well-prepared elevator pitch can convey a lot of information in just 30-60 seconds.
  • Be creative and authentic. While giving an elevator pitch, feel free to be yourself! We have provided a helpful framework, but you are encouraged to make it your own.
  • No professional experience? Don’t panic! Consider all aspects of your experience including class projects, part-time jobs, and involvement in student organizations.
  • Be flexible. Don’t just run through the pitch like a robot. Be animated, engaged, and go with the flow of the conversation. This will help you and the employer feel more comfortable!

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