Creating an Elevator Pitch for Networking

Are you ready to share your career elevator pitch at your next networking opportunity? 

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for 30 years.  

With the holidays quickly approaching, there could be many opportunities to network with family, friends and acquaintances. Having your 30 second elevator pitch ready will be important if you are looking to possibly change jobs or are currently unemployed and searching.  

One of the questions you’ll be asked most frequently is “Tell me about yourself” or something along those lines. Whenever you hear this, don’t take this as an opportunity to share your whole life story, but instead use it to share one of your prepared “elevator pitches”.  

We recommend preparing three distinct messages based on your audience. Understanding the other party is a key component to how you respond. If this is a networking meeting where your goal is to learn some specific information, then your message will be different than if this is a casual acquaintance met at a store or in a restaurant. By the same token, if we are talking with a potential employer, our response will be different again. Knowing your audience is the key to each of the messages outlined below.

1. A basic short message that is generic and focuses on your unique selling position. There are several environments where this message is critical. In general, you have a very short space of time to get across your value; you need to be focused on making a great impression. Typically, this message is something you’ll use with people who don’t know you, and used early in the conversation. It can equally be used with people you know, but who may not know exactly what you do. Describe your skill as well as your job title and include the type of industry or companies you’re targeting.  Example: I’m a ____________________ (your job title) and I use my (skills / experience / successes) in ________________ and _____________ to help companies achieve ____________________. I’m targeting companies in the ______________ industry looking to make a difference.   Your immediate words need to give your audience a clear picture of your value and should leave them thinking either that was interesting or how can I learn more?  

2. A longer one to two-minute message that contains a more detailed history and positioning. This is a longer version of the short message (elevator pitch), contains more value statements and talks more about your history and the organizations you have worked for. Think about your resume and how you’ve described your achievements, skills and successes. Make sure you describe yourself accurately and your wording reflects the job and company you’re targeting.   You’ll most likely use this 1-2 minute message after the short message, to expand on your skills and how those skills are used in helping companies with their needs. It’s best to use stories using the Problem, Action and Result(PAR) approach to demonstrate how you’ve delivered value to a previous or current employer. Your aim here is to paint a picture in the other person’s mind of how you make a difference, and why an employer would want to speak with you.  

3. A message is one delivered at an interview where you know their requirements and you can focus on your value proposition. At this stage we have a targeted job description and we have been offered either a telephone or face to face interview. This is talking to the Decision Makers – the person or people that have the authority to offer you the job. This message’s goal is to analyze their requirements and position your message about your skills and capabilities directly against them. Use specific examples of how you meet their needs and how you bring value to the table.  

Since you’ve been networking your way towards this meeting, you should have quite a bit of information about the company, the job and their needs. Adjusting or tweaking your message to speak to that gives you an advantage over all the others. If you find yourself in this position having applied to a job, you at least have the job description to refer to. If you can do some last-minute networking to get more information the better you will come across and substantially improve your chances of getting the job offer. Remember, just like crafting your resume to leave people begging for more, your 2-minute message should leave them saying “wow”.  

Remember that no matter which version, the message is all about what you can bring to the table, not about what you have done.

At Transition Solutions, we have been helping companies and individuals with workforce changes for thirty years. Our strong reputation for consistently delivering exceptional service at value sets us apart. If you would like more information on our services please check out our website at or you can contact us directly at 888-424-0003 or email us at