Use This Formula To Craft A Compelling Elevator Pitch
Published: January 25th, 2018
“I love talking about myself.”
I’m probably one of the few people for whom this statement rings true. For most, talking and writing about themselves is difficult. It can feel like an impossible task.
When I ask professionals to give me their current elevator pitch, a panicked look crosses their face. They look at me as if I just asked them to deliver a commencement address to Harvard’s graduating class.

While I recognize an elevator pitch can be daunting—I mean, it is someone’s first impression of your professional identity—it doesn’t have to be anxiety producing. Employ the following tips when crafting your Elevator Pitch...

salary talent hack recruiting interviewing negotiation compensation offer why salary history is irrelevant talent paradigm lindsay mustain #asklindsay matthew roe matt roe Artist: Roman Trifonov @cosmicrom
Approach your elevator pitch as a storyteller.

We only remember a fraction of what we hear. Facts tend to go in one ear and out the other.

Stories, on the other hand, are often more compelling and thus, more likely to be remembered. This is why great storytellers such as Shonda Rhimes and J.K. Rowling are able to captivate readers, and readers can recall specific facts from their stories years later.

While I am no Rhimes or Rowling, I use storytelling when sharing my elevator pitch. To make it memorable, I employ the following Elevator Pitch Formula to share my own story: P + P + F

P = Past
P = Present
F = Future (and FABULOUS)

Devote 15 to 30 seconds (max) to each portion of your elevator pitch. It’s much easier to remember three separate micro-pitches, rather than a lengthy 90-second pitch (I feel you, I have a horrible memory).

As you share your story, integrate transition words to guide the listener:

“I used to…”
“I’m currently…”
“In the future…” Artist: Roman Kraft @romankraft
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Start with your Past.

Your elevator pitch should tell a story. A story about you. Start with the beginning of your story and how you got into your career. Some questions to consider to start off your elevator pitch:

When did you first pursue your career?
Did you always have this career in mind? Or did you fall into it?
Who or what motivates you?
What education and training do you possess?
Where have you worked?

When I help professionals craft their elevator pitches, I find they have a tendency to provide a summary of their resume. This isn’t compelling. It’s not a story.

Instead, give me the behind-the-scenes of your life. Tell me WHY you got into journalism. Tell me WHO or WHAT motivates you to study medicine. Tell me HOW you got to be a supply chain manager.

Tell me what I can’t see on LinkedIn. Artist: Ian Schneider @goian
Move onto the Present.

After you’ve provided a brief overview of your past, tell me what you’re up to now! Be persuasive and engaging.

This section of your elevator pitch may answer some of the following questions:

Where are you working?
What are you studying?
What skills are you honing?
What are you an expert in?
What are your passions? (My favorite!)

As you provide insight into your current happenings, keep your audience in mind. 

What do they want to know about you and how can you relate your happenings to them and their interests? Artist: Thomas Shellberg @tshellberg
End with your Future (and why you’re FABULOUS)

Don’t forget the closer. You have told me how you have gotten to where you are currently, now tell me where you are going! Focus on your targeted career and tailor this section to fit the job you are pursuing.

Consider answering some of these questions:

What does your dream job look like?
What are your career and life goals?
How can the listener support your goals?
Why are you FABULOUS?
How can the listener contact you in the future?

And please don’t forget to share your contact info! More times than not, I have professionals (typically young professionals) deliver their elevator pitches to me, only to walk away without providing any details on how I can contact them moving forward. Make sure to close the loop and provide info for future connection. 

Now, go get your storytelling on!

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About Kyle Elliot:  Kyle is a well-caffeinated Career Coach with a knack for branding and marketing, a love of resumes and LinkedIn, and a healthy obsession with details. Find him on LinkedIn here.

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Talent Hack was founded by Lindsay Mustain, #asklindsay. I am a recruiter by trade and a humanist by condition. The existential question that drives me is "How can I help you?" Marrying together my expertise in talent acquisition and candidate experience this question becomes "How can I help you find your dream opportunity?"

My vision is to one day help organizations realize the impact of valuing human beings as people and not as pieces of paper. Until that time, I share unapologetic advice and job search strategies that work within the current system. Learn more at:

I help to bridge the gap between job seekers and employers through branding, the candidate experience and journey, along with disruptive talent acquisition strategies. My journey at Amazon led me to becoming their most visible employee by speaking on talent attraction, candidate experience (CandX), and humanizing the talent acquisition process.

I launched Talent Paradigm in 2017 with the goal of leveling the playing field for candidates in the job seeking process. My organization provides coaching, resume writing, branding, and consulting services and products to help improve candidate outcomes.
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