Career / Career Progression

Crafting the Perfect IT Elevator Pitch

by Josh Adams
Crafting the Perfect IT Elevator Pitch picture: A
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Published on March 23, 2017

You may have heard the term "elevator pitch" being thrown around in the professional scene, and you might be wondering exactly what that is. An elevator pitch is a 30-second speech which sums up who you are, what you do, and why you'd be a perfect candidate for whatever position you are trying to get.

The name 'elevator pitch' reflects the idea of you being able to deliver this summary of your professional goals in the time span of an elevator ride, or just around thirty seconds.

Would an elevator pitch be beneficial to the IT pros out there looking for either new or promoted employment? We're confident the answer to this question is yes, and we can help you craft a unique proposal to talk yourself up.

Why an Elevator Pitch?

When promoting yourself in any capacity, building confidence is key. You only get one first impression, so whether you're applying for a brand-new job or you're asking your boss for a raise or promotion, you want to make the most of your first interaction.

Having an elevator pitch that emphasizes your strongest attributes and what you can do will help you to make the most of every introduction.

Building a memorized spiel will make your networking situations much easier and much more productive. Your elevator pitch also has the benefit of dealing with significantly less stress in networking situations, especially if you place yourself more on the introverted side of things.

What to Include

When thinking about crafting an elevator pitch to succinctly promote yourself, you first must realize it is an exercise in focus and self-analysis. There are many different directions to go in terms of building out an elevator pitch, but these pieces are going to give your pitch pizazz that will shine in the world of professional networking:

  • Professional Accomplishments These glowing achievements will catch your audience's attention right from the start. You should start by mentioning your education or all the certs you've already earned. You can also talk about the variety of awards or recognitions you may have received in your past experiences working in the industry.

  • Your Greatest Workplace Skills You should also think about how your unique skill set as a professional will come into play in your future roles. Think about both technical and soft skills you have developed in your professional career that might be able to help you stand out. Promoting the strengths that make you stand out will bring out your inner confidence. You already know what you're good at, but now is your time to let it glow.

  • The Intended Goal of Your Pitch Every time you make your pitch, your goal needs to change. You need to customize your pitch to directly meet the needs of each unique audience. This means making tweaks between presenting it to a current employer and a potential lead at a IT conference. Think about who you're talking to, and focus your message on what they need.

  • Why You're Trying to Do It The why of your elevator pitch is one of the most important parts of crafting your elevator pitch. Your inspiration for taking on a new role is going to nudge you towards presenting yourself in this professional manner and keep you motivated to perform at your peak. The emotions behind this inspiration support your ability to make a huge decision like this, so make sure that those show throughout your pitch.

If you're prepping to make a jump in careers that will better align with your professional or personal goals, this is the place where you should mention that. Use this train of thought to present your reasoning as not being just about the money (unless, of course, it is about the money), but progression and self-satisfaction.

What Not to Include

As important as some things are to include in your elevator pitch, be warned there are some aspects that could distract your audience from what's really important. For instance:

  • Excessive Industry Jargon So there's totally a chance you may be delivering your pitch to an industry professional who knows what you're talking about, whether you're a networking, security or SysAdmin expert. But what if they don't? Be prepared to deliver your pitch to someone like an HR professional who might not know the details of what you do. Use language that anyone can understand. The last thing you want to do is make your audience feel dumb.

  • Acronyms or Slang You want to come off as friendly and approachable in your delivery, but you have to keep in mind the delivery of your elevator pitch should hopefully be the start of a professional connection. Emphasis on the word "professional." Keep the slang you'd use with your coworkers and that list of acronyms you mutter in your day-to-day workings out of this delivery. If all goes well, you'll have plenty of time to get on more friendly terms with your new professional connections.

  • A Robotic Delivery Let's face it. If you're writing something out, it's going to sound way more formal and structured in delivery than just speaking off the cuff. If you're not careful in your presentation, your elevator pitch will come off sounding like an infomercial. Practicing and maintaining a conversational style in delivering your pitch will get you so much further than an overly rehearsed monologue approach.

Get Out There and Throw that Pitch

When you tie all of these ideas together succinctly, you're going to find yourself with a decent way to market yourself quickly. Whether you're selling your skills in an interview, explaining to some IT newbies what you do best, or showcasing to higher-ups what your goals are, an elevator pitch has the potential to help you clearly state your goals and keep the attention of any audience.

Once you have mastered your perfect IT elevator pitch, try using it on some of your non-techie friends and family members. If throwing them your pitch helps them to better understand your work, then you're definitely delivering a fastball to success.


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