Three parts to a fantastic elevator speech that will get rave reviews at the career fair

How you come across to others is too important to be left to chance. –Phil Geldart

If you’re attending the CPCC Career Fair, employers should know you’re excited about job opportunities they have, and see your enthusiasm for wanting to work for them.

Most importantly, they should know you: Your personality, skills and background that’s going to make them write “call for an interview” on the resume you hand them.

You accomplish this task – in less than one minute-by preparing and practicing your elevator speech. What do you want someone to know about your professional background in the time it takes for an average elevator ride?

There are three parts to a great elevator speech.

1. Content

  • Discuss your background as it relates to the company, industry or job. Examples could come from your education or related work experience.
  • Focus on your skills and accomplishments that relate to the job.
  • Convey why you believe you’re a qualified candidate for an interview.
  • Include a “hook,” or a way to get the employer to take action. Examples include asking for a business card, inquiring about the interview process or mentioning a unique related experience that encourages the employer to ask questions.

2. Delivery

  • Start with a confident handshake.
  • Smile.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Avoid talking too fast.
  • Be conversational.
  • Don’t let your speech sound unnatural.
  • Use descriptive words and phrases.

3. Practice

  • Write a draft of your speech.
  • Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror.
  • Time it, keeping between 30-60 seconds.
  • Give the speech to friends or family and seek their feedback.
  • Practice numerous times.
  • Avoid memorizing to the point where the speech sounds unemotional.

 Elevator speech example:

Let’s put together an elevator speech you might use for an employer attending the job fair.

Employer: Level One, LLC

Positions available: Marketing Associate

Recruiter’s name: Carla Rose

Step 1: Write down your relevant background (what’s important?)

  • Earning A.A.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Retailing
  • Coursework in selling techniques and management
  • Work experience: Sales Associate (Belk), Customer Service Representative (Time Warner Cable)
  • Skills: Communication (interpersonal, public speaking); customer service; attention to detail; responding to customer concerns over the phone; administrative skills (computer, office equipment, etc.); working on tasks independently and in teams

Step 2: Research Level One, LLC (what do they do?)

  • Contact solutions for multi-family apartment complexes.
  • Helps lease apartment homes by answering emails and phone calls generated through advertising;
  • Offer employee training

Step 3: Write down your opening greeting and elevator speech.

“Hello, Ms. Rose, my name is Danica Jones, it’s nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Danica. Can you tell me a little about yourself?”

“Yes, I’m excited to talk with you today about the marketing associate positions Level One is recruiting for. Having researched your company and learning about the customer service you provide to multi-family apartment complexes, I believe my background fits your needs. With over five years of experience in both sales and call center environments, I’ve developed strong interpersonal and customer service skills to successfully build and maintain strong client relationships.

Through my coursework in the Business Administration program here at CPCC, where I concentrated in marketing and retail, I’ve had the opportunity to take relevant courses such as selling and management as well as develop computer and team work skills. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you about my qualifications. What questions do you have for me?”

Step 4: Practice!

Your job fair goal is to be considered for a follow-up interview. A well-developed and rehearsed elevator speech helps get you to that next step.