Whether you’re casually networking at a coffee shop or interviewing at your dream job, having a concise and effective elevator pitch is crucial. What do you say when someone asks, "Tell me about yourself...". Read on for our tips on crafting the perfect elevator pitch.

Can you tell me about yourself? graphic

Start by answering these questions:

What did you do and why? What past achievements got you to where you are today? Did your education play a part? Why did you choose this path to get to where you are today?

What are you doing and why? What do you love about what you do? What challenges you? What is your day-to-day like? Why did you choose your current occupation?

What do you want to do and why? Are you looking to switch it up, whether it be job function, company size, location, or industry? If so, how has your prior experience prepared you to succeed? If not, where do you envision yourself in the future?

Use your answers to the above questions to craft your elevator pitch. You want to combine your past, present, and future into a brief, cohesive narrative.

Here's an example:

What did you do and why? “I went to Carnegie Mellon and got a degree in Design Management because I was interested in FinTech from a product management standpoint.”

What are you doing and why? “I am a Product Manager at [Company X] and I manage a team of five developers. I am also getting UI/UX certified through an online General Assembly course because I’m interested in a more hands on role in the future.”

What do you want to do and why? “Leveraging my UI/UX certification and product management experience, I’m excited to transition into a Product Design role. I’m focusing my search on companies in the Bay Area because my spouse recently got a job there.”

Two men having a conversation at a table

Nail the delivery

Practice, practice, practice! It’s easy to get thrown off guard when asked to tell your story. Rehearse your elevator pitch enough so it comes out naturally, without sounding too robotic. Try recording yourself and check for the following as you listen to it:

  • Kept it under two minutes
  • Tailored it to a specific role, company, and interviewer
  • Related your past to your furute
  • Spoke positively about past experiences
  • Highlighted your skill set and capabilities

The elevator pitch is something you’ll repeat over and over during your career, especially when on the job hunt. You’ll use it during phone screens, in-person interviews, and even your first few weeks at a new job as you get introduced to new colleagues. Keep it concise, positive, and relevant to your audience, and you'll be sure to deliver a stellar elevator pitch every time.