Before you begin to set up networking opportunities, you’ll want to spend some time preparing your personal pitch.
Sometimes, this is called “an elevator speech.” Imagine that you get to take a trip from the Lobby to the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building with a recruiter from your dream company. Do you know what you would say?
You need an engaging, friendly and detailed elevator pitch. This should include your name and a few details about yourself, your studies, your work experience, and your career goals. You should also consider a way to briefly explain the mission of The King’s College and why you chose to study here.
This speech is also the perfect answer to the dreaded and common “tell me a bit about yourself” interview question. It’s a quick summary of who you are and what you have to offer. But you need to remember to keep it quick. What are two or three of your strongest skills or accomplishments? How do they fit into your career and personal interests? How can you convey all that with passion? As a rule of thumb, use approximately two-thirds of your time to share your background and the remainder to express your future interests.
Your goal in preparing this canned speech is to make a lasting impression with a potential employer and to make them remember you. You only have a few seconds to get ‘top of mind’ with someone, so make those few seconds count.
Be aware of who you are speaking with, too. Ask them about their interests, their experience, and their recommendations. Remember—this is a conversation!
As you’re preparing for your interview or networking event, be sure to practice your speech beforehand!
You don’t need to prepare a dramatic monologue, but you should certainly be confident and comfortable in pitching yourself. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice for your friend or roommate. Practice until you feel conversational.
Finally, be aware that your speech will rarely be a one-size-fits-all solution. If you’re meeting with a potential employer, you’ll probably put a different spin on your speech than if you’re meeting with an alumnus who works in your desired field.
Be ready, willing, and able to adapt your speech, and you’ll soon be networking like a pro.
“Hi, my name is Logan Smith. I’m a senior studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at The King’s College in New York City.
“I chose to study at King’s because of its unique position as a Christian college in New York City that wants to prepare principled leaders for our society. Although I aspire to a career in law, I’ve had some interesting experiences working in the non-profit sector as a Development Assistant for King’s and as an intern at a Washington, D.C. think tank.
“I also spent a semester working in the Press Office at CBS News here in New York. I think that this combination of public relations and development experience will serve me well in my future career as an attorney, most likely focused on public interest law. My goal is to support a rich and vibrant civil society in the United States by having a career that supports individuals and their quest for dignity.
“I’m actually interested to hear how you got involved in this field and would love to know if you have any advice to share with a young lawyer.”
Here’s some more good advice:
- How to Sell Yourself in 30 Seconds and Leave People Wanting More (Business Insider)
- How to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question, Examples Included (The Interview Guys)