Whether you call if an elevator pitch, a personal value statement or just an introduction, it is how you introduce yourself in a professional setting and how you respond to the request, “Tell me about yourself.” These are called elevator pitches because you should be able to deliver it in the time it takes for a typical elevator trip. If you are wondering what building is tall enough to support your introduction, it is too long.
Here are some suggestions to enhance your elevator pitch.
Less is More – When someone asks this question they are not asking for your life history or even a summary of your resume. They want a brief statement about what is unique about you. The longer you ramble on, the less they will remember. Be concise and confident. For an interview, think about which aspects of your skills and experience are most relevant to the employer and focus on those. They can always ask follow-up questions if they want to hear about something else in your background. Keep your response relevant to the person you are addressing.
Be Unique and Memorable – Be authentic and genuine in your response. It shows. Don’t try to memorize a response but know the key components you want to emphasize. If you have a unique angle, use it. “Since I was a child, I’ve dreamed of working in this industry because….” “The two accomplishments I am most proud of are…” “My manager/colleagues would describe me as…” “The three words that best describe me are….” Be sure to use key words that are important to them so they will remember you.
Deliver it with Confidence and Enthusiasm – Don’t hesitate, this is not a trick question. If you aren’t able to talk about yourself it implies a lack of confidence and preparation. Be prepared with an answer and deliver it with confidence.
Be Prepared – In the course of your round of interviews, it is likely that someone will ask you this so be prepared. Think in advance about what is important to them and how you want to respond. This will also help you identify key points for your closing statements in your interview.
Interviewers are monitoring all your communication and non-verbal communication during your interview. Responding to the “Tell me about yourself” request gives you an opportunity to shape their perceptions. Be prepared to do this successfully.