When you were fresh out of college looking to break into the financial world, you probably heard about developing an elevator pitch — a succinct explanation of who you are, what you do and where you’re headed. The trick is to present yourself within 30 to 60 seconds in such an engaging fashion that your audience is completely sold on you and offers you that dream job.
Having worked successfully in the world of accounting and finance for a while now, you might think that your need for an elevator pitch has come and gone. Think again. As secure as you may feel in your current position, you never know when you might encounter the chance of a lifetime.
What’s more, you’ll never hear about that chance if you don’t have a quick way to let new contacts know about you. Having an updated, engaging elevator pitch at the ready is the perfect way to take advantage of an encounter that could lead to a new and exciting opportunity.
Getting it all in there
Your experience is what makes you more valuable, but it’s hard to boil it all down to an elevator pitch. Updating your resume is great way to start, but you need to condense the information even further. Narrow your experience down to a short, bulleted list of accomplishments. But don’t stop there. Focus on how your experience and skill set benefits your employer now and where you want that experience to take you in the future.
Skip the jargon
Your financial acumen makes you attractive to a wide range of potential employers, so don’t block them out by using industry-specific jargon or buzzwords in your pitch. Because you’re experienced in your field, you might not even notice you’re throwing around these “insider” terms. Test your pitch out on friends from other fields to see if your words trip them up.
If your financial experience has been in the back office, you might need to brush up on your one-to-one conversation skills. The last thing you want is to fumble through your pitch when the 30-second moment of truth comes your way. Practice with friends or even video your pitch. And then get out for some networking!
Keep up with the latest
Once you’ve caught someone’s interest, he or she might want to discuss areas outside of accounting and finance. If you ordinarily just scan industry news sources to the exclusion of other business topics, try broadening your scope. If you know you’ll be in a specific social setting, you might familiarize yourself with appropriate topics beforehand.
Be prepared for the end game
Have a game plan for how you want to exchange contact information if you meet someone you’d like to stay in touch with. Some people prefer business cards, so make sure you have one. Others like to exchange information electronically; be ready for that scenario too. Also, if you have an online portfolio of work, make sure it’s updated and readily accessible on your tablet. It’s another way to keep your elevator pitch fresh.
Ready to try out your elevator pitch in the job market?