University of Oregon

Elevator Speech - 30 Seconds to Interview!

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Elevator on a red wallThe Spring Career Fair is approaching (April 15 from Noon to 5 p.m. in the EMU Ballroom!) and everyone keeps saying you need to be prepared. So you’ve perfected your resume and have a general idea of the type of position that will use your skills. Now, how do you work the fair and set yourself apart from the competition? One strategy is to develop your “elevator speech.”

An elevator speech is a clear, brief message or "commercial" about you. It communicates who you are, what you’re looking for and how you can benefit a company or organization. It’s typically about 30 seconds, the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator. (The idea behind having an elevator speech is that you are prepared to share this information with anyone, at anytime, even in an elevator.) At the fair, you can use your speech to introduce yourself to employers. It is important to have your speech memorized and practiced.  Rehearse your 30 second elevator speech with a friend or in front of a mirror. The important thing is to practice it OUT LOUD. You want it to sound natural. Get comfortable with what you have to say so you can breeze through it when the time comes.

What information might you include in your elevator speech for the fair? Consider sharing your name, year in school, major skills and career goals. Include personal information only if it is relevant to the work for which you are applying. Here are some examples to help you get started developing your 30 second elevator speech.

Examples:

Hi, my name is Samantha Atcheson, and I am a senior Environmental Sciences major. I’m looking for a position that will allow me to use my research and analysis skills. Over the past few years, I’ve been strengthening these skills through my work with a local watershed council on conservation strategies to support water quality and habitats. Eventually, I’d like develop education programs on water conservation awareness. I read that your organization is involved in water quality projects. Can you tell me how someone with my experience may fit into your organization?

Nice to meet you, I’m Alex Biondo. I’m currently a senior and am studying Computer and Information Science. I hope to become a computer programmer when I graduate. I’ve had a couple of internships where I worked on several program applications with a project team. I enjoy developing computer applications for simple business solutions. The position you have listed in UO-JobLink seems like it would be a perfect fit for someone with my skills. I’d like to hear more about the type of project teams in your organization.

You are always welcome to meet individually with a career counselor to discuss crafting your own elevator speech or ask any other questions. To make an appointment call 541-346-3235 or e-mail career@uoregon.edu. Please contact us anytime Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo from Flickr by tatejohnson

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