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Career Development

How to Create Perfect Elevator Pitch for a Career Change

General Assembly
January 23, 2024
Elevator Pitch as a Career Changer

As the founder of a career mentorship platform for women, I spend my days speaking with people who want to change careers but aren’t interested in starting over. They’re terrified that taking risks might mean losing everything they’ve achieved. They agonize about explaining “gaps” on their resume during an interview or at networking events.

Lucky for them (and you), I have good news: changing careers doesn’t mean sacrificing your past. It means building from the experience you have and leveraging that in a strategic way.

What’s more? There’s a simple (seriously, it’s four steps) way to incorporate both your career change and past experience into your elevator pitch. It’s the perfect solution to that dreaded question: “So, what do you do?” for those of us who, frankly, have done a whole lot.

What is a career elevator pitch?

Your career elevator pitch is a concise and compelling introduction that communicates who you are, what you do, and why you are seeking a career change. It summarizes your professional identity and ambitions in a way that captivates your audience in a short amount of time.

Crafting Your Perfect Elevator Pitch in 4 Steps

Tips to Create an Elevator Pitch

1. Introduce yourself.

Start your elevator pitch by telling them who you are, what you do, and something that interests you.

Example: I’m a Social Media Manager at a healthcare company and a total foodie.

2. Introduce your previous experience.

It’s time to come clean about your past. Introduce some of your previous experience even if it’s not relevant to what you do now—or want to do. It’s still part of the unique story that makes you, you.

Example: I’ve been working in social media for five years and I’m constantly attending (and tweeting!) healthcare conferences. Listening to so many health food companies discuss the effects that eating healthier can have on our bodies, the idea of holistic nutrition really caught my attention. I’ve even been inspired to take a few cooking classes.

3. Connect the dots.

Here’s where you’ll going to connect your favorite parts of what you do now to what you want to do in the future.

Example: I love working in social media. It’s great to have the opportunity to build relationships with our customers and engage with them directly. For me, the opportunity to teach our audience about healthier eating habits is the highlight of my day.

4. Introduce your career change.

Finally, bring it all together and introduce the career change you’re seeking. The person already has a good idea of what you’re currently doing so it’s important to make it very clear about what you want to do next.

Example: That’s why I’ve decided to pursue a new career working in brand management for a health food company.

Your elevator pitch is an important step toward better communicating your career change without letting go of the experience you already have. The added bonus is that it keeps you on track, reminding you why you decided to make the change in the first place. Take some time to draft your elevator pitch so you’re comfortable telling it to people at networking events, interviews, etc. Ten bucks says you’ll meet more than a few career changers who totally relate.

Additional things to consider

  • Highlight your unique strengths and skills to make your pitch memorable and impactful.
  • Keep it concise. Aim for clarity and brevity to ensure your pitch is effective in a short timeframe.
  • Maintain a positive tone, showcasing your enthusiasm for the change and your flexibility in adapting to new opportunities.
  • Be adaptable. Craft different versions of your pitch to suit various contexts and tailor them to specific job opportunities.

What to Avoid in Your Elevator Pitch

1) Speak Clearly, Avoid Speaking Too FasT

2) Refine Your Message, Steer Clear of Rambling

3) Project Positivity, Maintain a Positive Tone

4) Tailor Pitches for Impact, Craft Different Presentations

Elevator Pitch Examples

The Perfect Elevator Pitch – Best Examples and Templates

Career Elevator Pitch FAQs

1. What information should be included in an elevator pitch?

Your elevator pitch should include who you are, your current role, a relevant aspect of your personality or interests, a brief overview of your past experience, the connection between your current and desired roles, and a clear statement about your career change.

2. What are the key aspects to emphasize when crafting an elevator pitch?

Emphasize your unique strengths, skills, achievements, and the positive aspects of your career change. Make sure to connect the dots between your past, present, and future in a compelling way.

3. Why is having an elevator pitch crucial?

An elevator pitch is crucial as it provides a concise and powerful introduction, making a strong first impression. It enables you to communicate your professional identity, goals, and aspirations effectively in a short period, which is particularly important in networking events and job interviews.

4. What is the ideal length for an elevator pitch?

Aim for a pitch that can be delivered in about 30 seconds to a minute. Keeping it brief ensures that you capture the listener’s attention without overwhelming them with information.

5. Is it advisable to memorize an elevator pitch word for word?

While it’s important to be familiar with your pitch, avoid memorizing it word for word. Focus on understanding the key points and delivering them naturally. This allows for flexibility and genuine communication in different situations.

Find the career that’s right for you. Let GA help.

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