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Make Networking Work 

A good elevator pitch is an important complement to your resume

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The further we dive into the age of information and learning, the harder it is for our qualifications to stand out on their own. Candidates can look perfect on paper, having completed any number of degrees, and turn out to be a complete dud in person.

That's why the personal touch still matters. A great way to show an employer that you're ready to show up for the job, is to show up to industry social gatherings and pitch yourself.

The benefit of pitching stretches from entrepreneurs getting their ideas off the ground, to perspective students applying for university programs, to getting that promotion you've been eyeing.

Find out where the next meet-and-mingle event is, and when you go don't forget to bring that quick, persuasive introduction to yourself—the elevator pitch. Here are six tips to help you ace it.

1. Write down your key points

If you can remember these bullet points, you'll know how to elaborate on them if the conversation gets rolling past your initial pitch. The important thing is getting through your list in 30-to-90 seconds, then see if you've kept their interest.

2. Know who you're talking to

Just like a resume, you don't want to tell an employer about skills that don't apply to them, because they'll feel generic and unimportant. Learn something special about their company or brand, and that'll put you one step ahead.

3. Prepare a few variations

Sometimes you only have an elevator ride to pitch yourself to your dream boss, but other times you get an entire conversation. With a few versions of your speech, you won't end up stuck on minute two.

4. Eliminate industry jargon

No one likes to feel dumb or uninformed. Using big language may seem appropriate, but it can actually turn a "yes" into a "no" for them very quickly. Remember the old saying to give them a K.I.S.S. Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.

5. Read your pitch out loud

Reading work out loud can eliminate errors, and make the pitch feel more natural to the way that you speak. Writing is more formal, so speaking is a way to highlight any awkward phrases or stiffness.

6. Nail it with confidence

Look them in the eye, have a firm handshake and you're on your way to a good first impression. If you act upbeat, you can mess up and they won't even notice. There's nothing worse than a good pitch that falls flat and unenthusiastic.

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Vol 26, No 52
May 23, 2019

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