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  • Frank Manfre

Elevator Pitch for a Recent College Grad

The old saying “You have one chance to make a good first impression” still holds true. Knowing how to describe yourself in the best possible light with confidence is vital to having a strong positive impact with an HR person or hiring manager during an initial interview. It can often be the difference between a “one and done” and a callback for another round of interviews.


This 30 to 60 second statement is referred to as an elevator pitch since that’s about the length of time you’d have on an elevator to tell someone who you are. I refer to it as your Unique Value Proposition, i.e., what sets you apart from everyone else applying for a given position with the same degree. It is the time to share your attributes that relate to the position you are seeking.


Words Matter - Be sure to include those qualities and soft skills that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Those keywords can be found in the job description. Some of soft skills most often found in job descriptions and sought by all organizations include:


  • Integrity

  • Adaptable

  • Tenacious

  • Initiative

  • Team-Oriented

  • Reliable

  • Creative

  • Critical Thinker

  • Effective Communicator


Always include an anecdote that supports your claims. For example, when applying for a sales position you are likely to be asked to describe yourself; so, you might say:


I am a driven, goal-oriented person and have always been able to easily connect with a wide variety of people. Many have said I am a natural sales person. As a kid, I led my Girl Scout troop in cookie sales three years in a row and while in college during the summers I successfully sold magazine subscriptions to help pay for my tuition. I also love to identify and solve problems so working as a consultative sales professional at Acme Manufacturing helping your customers get their issues resolved quickly and efficiently would be a great job for me.


The goal is to impress the interviewer and get an offer, or at least make it to the next round of interviews. Delivering your elevator pitch smoothly with confidence takes practice. So, rehearse it with a friend or your career coach until you can say it a comfortable pace without hesitation. A strong elevator pitch will definitely set the stage for a successful interview.

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