How to Craft a Killer Elevator Pitch, with Jeff Kleid

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host, and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag, our Managing Director, and Jenna Forstrom, our Community Manager. This week, we’re talking about how to craft a killer elevator pitch. Our show is brought to you by Land Your Dream Job Anywhere, the new book from Mac’s List. It’s coming on February 1st. Land Your Dream Job Anywhereshows you how to find meaningful, well-paying work wherever you live. For more information, visit macslist.org/anywhere.

You’re at a networking event and your colleague introduces you to someone you don’t know; your new acquaintance is a hiring manager at a company where you want to work. You begin a conversation, and it offers a perfect opportunity to give your elevator pitch. Are you ready? Our guest expert this week is Jeff Kleid. He says you can explain who you are and what you do in 60 seconds. Later in the show, Jeff and I talk about how you can do this, too.

No matter how well prepared you may be, however, you don’t want to start a networking conversation with your elevator pitch. But how do you break the ice? Ben Forstag has found a website with 30 ways to start a conversation. He’ll share the list with us in a few minutes. What if you’re ready to change careers? What red flags will employers look for when reviewing your resume? That’s the question of the week. It comes from Jacob Arnold in Portland, Oregon. Jenna Forstrom offers her advice later in the show.

First, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team. Jenna, Ben, I bet you’ve heard a lot of elevator pitches over the years. What’s the best one you’ve heard from a job seeker?

Jenna Forstrom:

I feel like I get elevator pitches at the worst moments, as the Community Manager, because it’ll be like right before an event, and one person, this has happened in two of the last events, one person shows up 20 minutes early and you can tell that they’ve practiced their elevator pitch. They’re so ready to tell you about you, but they’re not aware of their surroundings.

We had an event a couple months ago, and I was setting up chairs. Someone was following me around and telling me his elevator pitch, and it was just like, “Hey, if you wanted to like help me out, like I’m setting up chairs, and then I could …” Then you’re volunteering, in my head, and you’ve got skin in the game and I can talk to you, but when you’re in a moment where I’m like, “I just have to set up 20 chairs in 10 minutes. I don’t have enough time,” it’s kind of hard for me to stop and give attention.

It’s more natural, so I think it’s a little different than what you’re asking, but I just think that that’s always very crucial. It’s like some people jump into the elevator pitch before you’re like, “Hey, how is it going,” and they’re like, “My name’s Scott, [fictional elevator pitch].” I’m like, “Alright. My question was, how are you doing?” It’s great that you have an elevator pitch, but yeah, that’s my feedback. Ben, how about you?

Ben Forstag: 

I’ve gotten an unconventional one that I actually don’t suggest people emulate, but I tried it once with medium success. I saw this on someone’s resume. It was at the very top. It said, “I will clean toilets.”

Jenna Forstrom:   

On their resume?

Ben Forstag:  

Yeah, on their resume. The point they were trying to make was that they were really open to anything and that they were willing to get their hands dirty and do what it takes to get the job. Now the reason I thought this worked particularly well was because the job they were applying for was in outdoor education, which is a very dirty, demanding job in which everyone’s kind of doing everything, including cleaning toilets sometimes. I loved the sentiment behind that.

Now, I would not recommend to anyone that you put this on the top of your resume, because you’re probably going to get questions like, “are you interested in janitorial work,” but also I think outside of a very narrow context, it sends the wrong message, right? That I’m willing to do anything. Most people don’t want to do anything. They want to do something very specific with their working lives. I think the best elevator pitches are the ones that are focused around very specific interests and skills and needs.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, Ben, so I have to ask for the benefit of our listeners who I know are wondering, because you said you used this pitch yourself with medium success. What’s the story behind that?

Ben Forstag: 

I was living in Spain, and I made the decision to move back to the United States. I was looking for a job remotely from the other side of the world. At the time, I didn’t have a whole lot of sense of how to do a job search right, so one of the things I did was I went on Craigslist and used their job search feature. That was the headline I used: I will clean toilets. I got a lot of interesting responses from people. Several people wrote me and said like, “If you’re really interested in doing anything, like have you thought about being a line chef?” Or, “Would you be interested in working in this kind of organization?” I didn’t take or even really pursue any of those options because it wasn’t what I wanted to do, and I realized pretty quickly that this kind of throw-it-on-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach didn’t work for me; I had to be much more targeted about saying what I wanted to be doing.

Mac Prichard:

We’ll talk more with Jeff about this later in the show, but I know one of the points he’ll make is what you just said about the importance of focus. Jenna, I think you’re sharing some valuable lessons there about just being in the moment. Coming early to an event, as you described, actually offers an opportunity to build a relationship with someone in a different way.

Jenna Forstrom:

Yeah, I actually have a good elevator pitch. Well, I thought of one now that we’re talking about it more.

Sean Ogle, who has been on this podcast, lists on his website, which his whole business is about teaching people how to work from anywhere in the world, the phrase, “I’m doing things that you daydream about doing.” I think that’s a good way of elevator-pitching a location-independent career, because most people are in a cubicle daydreaming about going to Hawaii. He’s like, “Hey, I’m working in Hawaii, like for four hours a week, and then I’m traveling.”

Mac Prichard:

That is a good one. The one I want to share is from our new Administrative Assistant, Jessica Black. If you go to her LinkedIn page, you’ll see her line, her headline, rather, is, “I streamline chaos so others can shine.”

Ben Forstag:  

Yeah. I was the first person to see Jessica’s application when it came through, and that immediately caught my attention and made me want to read more about her. That’s fantastic, that line.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s a good one. We’ll talk more about the elements of an elevator pitch and how people can build their own and how to use it and when, but first, let’s turn to you, Ben, because every week you’re out there poking around the nooks and crannies of the internet. You’re looking for websites, books, tools, and other useful resources that our listeners can use in their job search and careers. What have you uncovered for us this week?

Ben Forstag:

This week, I want to talk about a cool blog post I found on TheMuse.com called ‘30 Brilliant Networking Conversation Starters.’ As Jenna pointed out earlier, sometimes it’s difficult to just kick-start that conversation with someone at a networking event, and I, too, have seen people who just go directly into their elevator pitch. It’s like, “Whoa, I didn’t even know we were talking, and now you’re pitching me on your professional skills and abilities.”

While I totally respect folks for going through the work of developing that elevator pitch and certainly having the confidence to come up and talk about it, that’s not how conversations start, generally. This is a blog post that has 30 different suggestions for how you can kick-start a conversation, particularly if you’re someone who’s nervous at networking events. Outside of Mac Prichard, and a handful of other folks, that’s most people.

Mac Prichard:

Let the record show that in my early 20s and teens, I was terrified of networking events. It’s like any skill that with practice, you can get good at it. Now I actually enjoy going to networking events.

Ben Forstag: 

Yeah, it’s very evident when we go to events together how much you enjoy that. There are 30 different starters there and some prompts you can use. I just pulled out three of my favorites. I’m going to try these out, Jenna and Mac, and you tell me if they would work.

Okay, here’s the first one: “I’ll be honest. The only person I know here is the bartender, and I just met him two minutes ago. Do you mind if I introduce myself?”

Jenna Forstrom:  

I love this one. As the “includer” of the group, I think it’s a great way just to kind of make fun of yourself and be friendly, and everyone loves to know the bartender, so that kind of sets you up to be well-established too, like, “Oh, my friend Clyde, let me introduce you to him.”

Mac Prichard:

The other thing I love about this question is that it acknowledges that you’re kind of a little nervous too, and I think people appreciate that vulnerability.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, I think the social butterflies at networking events, they could almost be intimidating sometimes because they seem so much at ease and you’re feeling nervous. It feels like there’s this giant barrier between you.

Here’s the second one: “I’m trying to make myself meet new people here instead of just talking to the usual suspects. Do you mind me saying hello and introducing myself?”

Jenna Forstrom:

This is also a good one. I was at a conference a couple years ago, and a lady had made a goal to meet 100 new people at the conference. She started with that, like, “I’m an introvert, and I’m pushing myself to meet 100 people. Would you mind if I introduced myself?” We had, like, a five-minute chat. I asked, “Well, what number am I?” She had a list going. I was like 86. So I said, “Well, I want to help you hit your goal,” and then again, as the includer, I was like, “Come meet my friend, Sarah,” and so it was kind of like this pass off to other people. It was like being part of the team that way. I like that question.

Mac Prichard:

It’s a good question too. As a political strategist, when I hear “usual suspects,” I think, “Oh, there’s an insider crowd. I want to know who these people are.”

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, that’s a good point. The likelihood that someone’s going to say no to this is, like, zero, so you can’t lose with that question.

Here’s the third one, and this one is predicated on the idea that there’s certain types of food being served at this event.

Here it is: “I can’t stop eating these meatballs. Have you tried them?”

Jenna Forstrom:

Yup, This is a good “Ben question.”

Mac Prichard:

Tell us more about that.

Jenna Forstrom:   

I don’t know. Between Ben and Anneka, who’s our Finance Manager… Anneka’s always… At any networking event, she’ll be like, “Oh, they have soft cheese; I love soft cheese.” Then she goes off and makes friends by the cheese. It’s kind of a thing.

Ben Forstag:

I believe at the last networking event we hosted, the line I used was, “Networking is made so much easier by bacon-wrapped figs.”

Jenna Forstrom: 

It’s true.

Ben Forstag: 

Yes.

Jenna Forstrom: 

There was salmon. That’s what I liked at the last event.

Mac Prichard:

That could almost be a T-shirt. Okay, well, these are great questions. How can people learn more about them, Ben?

Ben Forstag:

This is a blog post on TheMuse.com. Again, it’s called ‘30 Brilliant Networking Conversation Starters,’ and we will have the link in the show notes.

Mac Prichard:

Great. Thank you, Ben. If you have a suggestion for Ben, please write him. His email is easy to remember. It’s ben@macslist.org. Now let’s turn to you, our listeners, and Jenna Forstrom, our Community Manager, to answer one of your questions.

Jenna, what’s in the Mac’s List mailbag this week?

Jenna Forstrom:

This week’s question comes from Jacob Arnold who, speaking of our last networking event, was there:

Jacob Arnold:

My name is Jacob Arnold. I’m here in Portland. My question is, for someone who is changing careers, is there any red flags you see on resumes or when you’re interviewing a candidate?

Jenna Forstrom:

Thank you so much, Jacob, for coming to our event. We hope you liked, even more than the bacon-wrapped figs, the content and the networking that we provided.

I think the two big red obvious flags when it comes to transitioning work are gaps in employment and then no direct connection, like natural connection between what you are doing or were doing and what you want to be doing.

This is where informational interviews, networking, a solid cover letter can fill in those gaps that you could talk about, gaps in unemployment. Oh, I went back and got a degree. I raised a family. I took time off and traveled to Southeast Asia to find myself. Anything that’s, like, humanizing, that can give a hiring manager or the person you’re meeting with information about you and who you are and why there is that gap, as it’s not like, “Oh, I got laid off and I spent my unemployment checks like hanging out in my basement catching up on Gilmore Girls, or something like that, but just give, like, “Oh, I used my unemployment time productively.”

Secondly, if there’s no connection between … If you’re switching industries or if you’re going from being an engineer to a psychologist or something radically different, but you could talk about, maybe you’ve done some soul-searching while you spent three months in Asia and you decided that you wanted to change roles, or you became really unhappy, or you watched a friend make that kind of transition and they seemed to really enjoy their new job, or just whatever that reason is, but talking about that in an informational interview, in your elevator pitch, in your cover letter.

Mac and Ben, what are some other red flags that you’ve seen?

Ben Forstag:

I think the big one you’ve addressed which is you need to answer the question, why this? Why this job? Why this career? Why this profession? Especially if you’re applying for the job without having a whole lot of background in that sector. I know this from my own experience recently of reviewing resumes for a job we were hiring for here at Mac’s List. I got a lot of resumes where, reading through the cover letter and reading the resume, it was fine. These were qualified people, but they didn’t answer the question of why they were looking for this job or why they were interested. It’s really easy to say no to those people and just kind of put them aside and only look at people who are actually addressing that challenge of why this job.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I think the key point here is ‘why’ and whether you’re making a career change, or because we’re in Portland, Oregon, we often, the three of us, meet people who want to relocate here from other states. The people who I think are successful in doing that address that question upfront. Well, why Portland? Do you have family ties here? Is there some local industry, like the sportswear clothes business, that is attracting you? Why do you want to come? The important thing is that you have a story and that you share it. As you said, Jenna, cover letters are a great way of doing that or in one or more conversations and through elevator pitches, which we’re going to be talking about in a moment.

Good. Thank you both, and thank you, Jacob, for the question.

If you have a question of your own, please email us. You can reach Jenna and her at jenna@macslist.org, or call our listener line. That number is area code 716-562-8225. That’s 716-JOB-TALK. If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhereor a Mac’s List coffee mug. It’s your choice. These segments by Ben and Jenna are brought to you by Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. It’s the new book from Mac’s List and it’s coming on February 1st.

For 15 years at Mac’s List, we’ve helped people in Portland, Oregon find meaningful, well-paying, and rewarding jobs that they love. Now we’ve put all of our best job hunting advice in one new book that can help you no matter where you live. Just like this podcast, our new book offers practical, actionable, and proven tools you can use right away. You’ll learn how to get clear about your career goals, find hidden jobs that never get posted, ace your next job interview, negotiate the salary and benefits you’ve earned, and take charge of your career for the long run.

Our new book contains advice from many of the most popular guests who’ve appeared on this podcast. Get extra insights from more than a dozen national career experts, people like Farai Chideya, Kerry Hannon, and more. Land Your Dream Job Anywhere arrives on February 1st, but don’t wait. Join our pre-launch mailing list now, and we’ll send you the very first chapter. Visit macslist.org/anywhere.

Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Jeff Kleid.

Jeff Kleid is a motivational speaker who delivers workshops and online training classes that teach businesses how to engage, connect, and grow. He’s also the author of the book, Networking With The Cards You Are Dealt. Jeff joins us today from Newport, California.

Jeff, thanks for being on the show.

Jeff Kleid:  

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it, Mac. Thank you.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you. Now, Jeff, we’re talking about elevator pitches and how you can craft a killer elevator pitch. Let’s start with some of the basics. Why is it important for a job seeker to have an elevator pitch?

Jeff Kleid:

It’s important for a job seeker to have an elevator pitch because you want to be able to leave the best impression of yourself in the shortest amount of time, and understand that somebody you’re sitting across from may have heard a bunch of people tell them a bunch of things that they just really don’t want to hear about. If you craft the right elevator pitch, you craft the right opportunity within 30- to 60-seconds to leave that impression about why you or why that, why that something special about you leaves them remembering, you have a better shot at positioning yourself for that job.

Mac Prichard:

What can you do to make your elevator pitch special, or why don’t we just begin with the elements of an elevator pitch, Jeff? What are the parts of a good pitch?

Jeff Kleid:   

The best part is, who are you, who you are. It’s as simple as, “I am Jeff Kleid,” you know? Then it’s, what do you do? It becomes what do you do, and depending on what type of job you’re looking for, and depending on that interaction with that person interviewing you, you want to know, what do you do that’s going to benefit them as it relates to the specific job or task that they’re looking for, to hire you for?

Mac Prichard:

You need to think about what you offer the person or the employer that you’re approaching with your pitch, and be clear about who you are and what your skills are. What’s going to make that pitch memorable, Jeff? What do you see people do to stand out?

Jeff Kleid:

The way people stand out is if they really have a connection with the job they’re trying to get. If they have a story, they have an anecdote, they have something that rings true, not fictitious, it’s not a made-up story. It’s not, hey, you know, I walked on these pipes for the last 20 years so I’m perfect for it. It’s if they have a true story about something they did, even if it wasn’t specific to that industry, but it showed to the type of person you are. That is how you would position yourself.

If you are a giver by nature and you want to serve clients as a salesperson, for example, and you’re trying to get a job in sales, you want the person interviewing you to understand truly what you’re able to accomplish for them and who you are as that person as it relates to how you’re going to make an impression for either the company you work for or to go out and obtain clients. It depends on what you’re trying to do, and by the way, I know not everyone’s in sales so it just happens to be a sales example.

Mac Prichard:

Those are the parts of an elevator pitch, Jeff. What about length? How long do you think an ideal elevator pitch should be?

Jeff Kleid: 

It should be at least 30 seconds and no more than 60 seconds.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, so I can imagine our listeners thinking, all right, you want me to say what I do, what I’m able to accomplish for someone, and who I am, and oh by the way, make it memorable. Bring in a story or some example to illustrate all of those elements. Gosh, Jeff, how am I going to do that in 60 seconds or less? What advice do you have for listeners who may be having those thoughts right now?

Jeff Kleid: 

It really is practice. Practice, practice, practice, and it really is just look at those … because they’re simple things. To say who you are is “I’m Jeff Kleid.” It’s done. It’s a second. You’re done. To say what you do or what you’re able to do, it takes a little bit more time but it’s pretty simple. “I have been in this space for 10 years.” “I am just fresh out of college.” “I actively like working in the aerospace industry.” That’s the second part.

Then when you get to your story, whether it’s an anecdote or whether it’s a trait about yourself you think adds well to that opportunity, you really can narrow it down. If you practice enough to what you’re trying to do, you can do it in less than a minute. Probably the biggest component of this is, when you’re a job seeker, sometimes you rapid-fire five, 10, 15, 20 resumes in multiple directions. You have to almost prepare an elevator pitch or prepare to be able to tell that story differently 15 to 20 different times.

Again, it doesn’t make you less genuine. It doesn’t take away your credibility. It doesn’t make you dishonest. It actually allows you to give the person on the other side of the conversation a chance to just hear what you’re saying rather than hear all of the other stuff you bog them down with and try to pull out the parts of what’s important to them.

Mac Prichard:

What are some effective ways to practice? Jeff, do you recommend people stand in front of a mirror? Should they work with colleagues or family or friends? How much practice should people expect to put into developing an elevator pitch?

Jeff Kleid: 

I would do all of the above. I would absolutely practice in front of a mirror. I would absolutely practice with other people. Where I would probably put more concern is I would try to find somebody who’s objective, who’s not a friend, but someone who you can have their ear to just practice your elevator pitch with, to just practice your ability to get a job. I know that’s more difficult when you may not have a robust network or set of relationships, but you can find a lot of directions, even if it’s a … If you’re at the college level and it’s a college, and you’re leaving college, there’s a lot of resources at the college.

If it’s a job resource group, which there’s plenty of recruiting firms that have actually job resource services and things like that, kind of like online bulletin boards, you can bounce it off of someone like that. Before you tell them what you were doing, as you say, “Hey, can I do this,” you don’t tell them what you’re trying to accomplish. You tell them what that 30 to 60 seconds looks like, and then depending on what their response is, you’ll know if you did it right. Then you can ask them for feedback and questions. That’s how you can do it.

Mac Prichard:

Right. Now, you mentioned a moment ago about the value of constructing different pitches for different audiences. What are some questions that job seekers might ask themselves when they set out to build those different elevator pitches for different employers?

Jeff Kleid:  

They might ask themselves what they are trying to accomplish in getting the job. What are the hot buttons that excite them when they’re looking for a job? Are they trying to get a career? Are they trying for a place-filler? Is there something about the specific job that they’re trying to, that makes them want to attract, that’s attracting them to the job? It’s really, why am I getting the job, is one big question. Why do I want this job? Why am I applying for this job versus another job, and what do I want to get out of it? Quite frankly, it could be as simple as: I’m going to rapid-fire 15 to 20 different resumes out, like I said, and I just got to figure it out, but really you have to figure out what are you going to do beyond … Once you get the job, what are you going to do with it? That’s how you want to position yourself.

Mac Prichard:

Good. Let’s also talk about authenticity. Jeff, why is that important in making an elevator pitch?

Jeff Kleid:

It’s important because you want the back of the house to match the front of the house. When you go tell somebody that you’re going to be this committed employee, this is your passion, this is what excites you, this is why you’re doing it, and then all of a sudden, you get hired and you’re like, “Why did I apply for that? Why did I do it? Why do I want to be there?” You need to really wear your transparency in the beginning so that, if and when you do get that job, you got it because everything about what you said was really why you want to be there.

To take it a step further, if you only want the job because you need a job, I’ve had people tell me, “I saw this [position] and I wanted to apply for a job.” You know what? That’s a pretty great answer, because it’s truthful. It doesn’t mean they’re going to or not going to get the job. It just means that someone’s going to weigh that versus the next person who comes in with a different passion, but if they say, “That’s a great answer. That’s an honest answer, and you know what, what do you think about it now that I’ve told you about the job,” and then you get the feedback from the person interviewing and you realize, “Wow, they’re going to do a great job at this even though they only came here because they saw a sign on the door.” That’s pretty cool.

Mac Prichard:

That is pretty cool. Tell us what’s next for you, Jeff.

Jeff Kleid:     

You know, I actually do a lot of stuff. I’m a consultant; I have a consulting practice. One of the things I spend a lot of my time on, actually, is between my book and I also developed a deck of cards. Between those two things, they’re really hitting what they call soft skills. There’s an area where communication is not getting what it needs. I’m actually focused … A lot of my time is focused on getting my book and cards and some other things I’m working on getting into the college system, so that I can help people engage differently and figure out how to come out on the other side with the right positioning, the right jobs, and the right type of energy to help them communicate better. I spend a lot of time on that right now.

Mac Prichard:

Good. We’ll be sure to include links to both your book and your website where people can learn more about that. I know they can find you at the website CardsYouAreDealt.com.

Jeff Kleid: 

Right.

Mac Prichard:

Jeff, thanks for being on the show.

Jeff Kleid:  

Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. It was great. Thank you Mac.

Mac Prichard:

It’s our pleasure.

We’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Jenna and Ben. We’ve been talking about elevator pitches with Jeff Kleid. What are some key takeaways the two of you have? Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

I really liked his point about practicing your elevator pitch with anyone and everyone. It made me flash back to when I was in college. I graduated in 2008 when YouTube had just … not just come out, but was bigger than it was. Everyone was like, “You need to have a video resume and talk about yourself.” I’m sure it’s still out there somewhere on the Internet…. I just remember, just as the night progressed, my roommate was taping me. We just got so loopy; I kept messing up. I’d be like, “I’m Jenna Forstrom. Uh, you know, graduate, candidate for “graduacy” in,” and then I’d just space and be like, “I don’t even know when I’m graduating.” My face just got redder and redder because I was laughing so hard with my roommates who also had to make video resumes.

Ben Forstag:

This is me frantically looking for this video on YouTube…. [It’ll be a] new future bonus podcast.

Mac Prichard:

As my friend Kari Chisholm who runs a political website says about the Internet and posting on the Internet: it’s fast, easy, and it’s forever.

Jenna Forstrom:

Oh yeah.

Mac Prichard:

So beware Jenna.

Jenna Forstrom: 

I’m sure it’s still out there. Yeah, but I just think that was a great way to work on an elevator pitch because it was with people who were my age who were dealing with the same things, who were in the same program as me, but also people I lived with and loved, and they loved me, so they were really encouraging because we were all in this freak-out mode of we’re graduating, we’re going to be adults, and we don’t have jobs. They could talk about all the great things you space on, but just help you perfect your elevator pitch while laughing hysterically. I definitely suggest people practice their elevator pitch with their spouses or their roommates or their friends. Go out for coffee. Go out for drinks. Just do it a couple of times and get the feedback, and then try again. Ben, what are your thoughts?

Ben Forstag:

I thought this was an interesting topic, because right now, we’re actually working with students in our ‘Hack the Hidden Job Market’ online course. We talk about elevator pitches and we encourage folks to share their elevator pitch in our closed, private community on Facebook. I’ve been working with a lot of folks on that recently. One of the things I consistently see when people submit their elevator pitches is they’re long. They’re more than the 60 seconds that Jeff suggested.

I think one of the problems is people tend to use too many adjectives and adverbs. They get little phrases that are very clever and nice, but you need to get rid of frankly. One of the lessons that’s true for elevator pitches or really any piece of writing is “kill your darlings.” Simpler is almost always better. Get rid of the fancy words. Get rid of the cute clichés or expressions. Get direct and to the point as soon as possible. I say this being one of the most loquacious people I know.

Mac Prichard:

I think all three of us help each other on that. We regularly support each other by editing each other’s work. I know I’m going in there whacking out the adverbs in your text, but you’ve got a flair that you bring to my writing as well, Ben, that I appreciate. I’m a big fan of practice, Jenna, and when practice brings laughter, it sounds like a good combination, particularly for something that can be very serious like job hunting.

I liked Jeff’s point about the parts of an elevator speech. There are different formulas out there, but I think that he nailed the basics. When you have a formula that you can follow, it can help you construct your own message and make it unique, make it your own.

Ben Forstag:  

Mac, I did want to ask one question though.

Mac Prichard:

Sure, fire away.

Ben Forstag: 

Jeff talked about submitting 20 or 30 applications at once for jobs.

Jenna Forstrom:

I believe it was 15 to 20.

Ben Forstag: 

Okay, 15 to 20.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I respectfully disagree with Jeff on that as a strategy. I think you need to be focused. It’s good that you want the job, and you should pursue different opportunities but you’ll wear yourself out pretty fast if you’re applying for that large number of jobs. I think we talk a lot about this on the show about the value of not only getting clear about your goals, but looking, spending time talking to people about opportunities that may never pop up on job boards.

Ben Forstag:  

Yeah, “spray and pray” rarely works.

Mac Prichard:

I agree. Thank you both, and thank you, our listeners, for joining us for today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.

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Join us next Wednesday when our special guest will be Allison Esposito. She’ll talk to us about how women can get great jobs in the technology sector. Until then, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

A focused elevator pitch is essential for a job seeker who wants to leave the best impression of themselves in the shortest amount of time. This week’s guest expert, Jeff Kleid, argues that a good elevator pitch gives you have the best shot at positioning yourself for a job.

The basic elements of good elevator pitch are:

  • Telling the other person who you are.
  • Telling the other person what you do.
  • Telling the other person what you have to offer.

People stand out if they have a connection with the job they are seeking. And, leading with an anecdote or a true story about the type of person you are helps to position you for the job you want.

In less than 60 seconds you should relay:

  • What you do — “I’m a …”
  • Who you are — “My name is …”
  • What you are able to accomplish — “I like working …”
  • Make it memorable — “Like the time I …”

To feel confident when delivering your elevator pitch, Jeff recommends three things, Practice, practice, and practice.

This Week’s Guest

Jeff Kleid is a motivational speaker who delivers workshops and online training classes that teach businesses how to engage, connect, and grow. He is also the author of the book, Networking with the Cards You Are Dealt.

Resources from this Episode