Develop your elevator pitch

How do you convince an employer that they want to know more about you and consider you as a candidate for internships/jobs? Introduce yourself with a short elevator pitch that highlights your background, experience, accomplishments and interests.

  • Perfect your 30-60 second introduction, including your name, course, graduation date, area of interest, and relevant experiences.
  • Think through the goal of your pitch and what you want to convey.
  • Describe what you do, focusing on strengths, interests, and recent accomplishments.
  • Credit team members and mentors.
  • Engage the listener with question and give them an opporunity to respond. Avoid basic questions you could have googled in advance, such as “What does your company do?”

Image - Steps for identifying elevator pitch

Tips for a great elevator pitch:

Do your research

Developing a meaningful elevator pitch requires research on the person, company, organization, or program that you are making a connection with. You should pinpoint qualifications, skills, and experiences that best align with the opportunity and reiterate interest in learning more.

Be mindful of body language

Be mindful of body language and use hand motions moderately. Maintaining enthusiasm and energy is significant. If you jitter in nervousness, consider grounding your feet to the floor and lean in when appropriate. And most importantly, don’t underestimate the power of a smile.

Manage anxiety and self-doubt

Engaging in persuasive speech and talking about yourself can be a daunting experience that stirs up anxiety and self-doubt. Manage your angst with breathing techniques, power poses, inspirational quotes, positive attitude, and humor.

Practice, practice, practice

Assess the content you might add to your elevator pitch, acknowledge your successes with confidence, examine your body language, and identify growth areas to continue strengthening your pitch. You can practice your elevator pitch on your own, with a friend or mentor, or with a counselor at CAPD. Even while you practice, don’t forget to dress the part, sometimes a blazer goes a long way. Be sure to focus on the message and being true to yourself—authenticity is impressive!

Outline of an elevator pitch

Greeting: Hello, my name is…

Year in School: I am a (sophomore, junior, etc.)…

Major:  majoring in…

Experience: I have done (research, projects, etc.) on…

Accomplishments: I have (produced, presented, written)…

Seeking: I am seeking a(n)…(internship, full-time job, etc.)

Question: I know your company has a program on (X, Y, Z), can you tell me a little bit about the ongoing projects in which interns could participate?

Examples student elevator pitches:

Hi, my name is Zoey Ali and I am a junior studying Material Science and Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. Last summer I interned at 3M working on a project with a team assessing the heat resistance of a new plastics product. I was able to use my skills in software engineering to analyze past product failures and predict upcoming product failures. While I am knowledgeable in statistical applications, I also have a strong background and interest in metals, energy, and manufacturing. It’s definitely been reassuring to see Boeing’s commitment to those areas in the last few years. What are the most collaborative projects that interns typically work on at Boeing?

Hi, my name is Jin Xia and I am a sophomore majoring in Biological Engineering. I am currently working in the laboratory of Dr. Lin, where our research is focused on correcting mutations that cause organ diseases. While my research is in the early stage, I have successfully demonstrated that the CRISPR technology method works in my hands. I plan to combine this experience working with DNA sequences with the knowledge that I have gained in my computer science courses, to contribute to the field of computational biology. I understand that your company has a significant program in this area. Can you please tell me more about the ongoing projects in computational biology and the opportunities you have?