Discovering Your Value Proposition – The Elevator Pitch, Part I

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Have you written your elevator pitch?  Otherwise known as your value proposition or a personal infomercial, this is a brief (some say 2-minutes, I like 30 seconds) introduction to you with a focus on what you have to offer.  This technique is used all of the time in sales and marketing, and since your job search is all about marketing YOU, having a well practiced, targeted elevator pitch is a good idea.  (The name comes from the fact that you could deliver your “speech” while going down an elevator with a great contact.  I guess the length may depend on the height of the building!  Since most people have a pretty short attention span, assume most buildings are short.)

Just as your resume should be targeted to the reader’s needs instead of your own needs, your pitch should focus on how you can solve a problem for the listener.  What do you offer?  What is your hook?

Discovering Your Hook

What is special about you?  What skills and accomplishments set you apart from every other person in the room?  In your industry?

You need to know two things:

  1. What the employer wants.
  2. What you offer.

You will find out the employer’s needs via research, informational meetings and networking.  Discovering what you have to offer may take longer! 

Big brands like Disney decide what they offer before they create and place their advertisements.  When they want to advertise Disney World, they appeal to families and parents’ need for an affordable, yet magical vacation.  Their brand is all about magic and family fun.  Their television ads appear on shows with a high viewership of people Disney targets.

If Disney didn’t consider what they offer, they wouldn’t be able to target their marketing.  By defining themselves and what problem they solve, they can offer a hook (an affordable family vacation).

What is brand YOU all about?  What makes you special and unique?  Think about what you offer an employer.  Consider your top five work and personal accomplishments.  Write them down and think them over.

Read more about writing your elevator pitch

Keppie Careers can help you with every aspect of your job search.  Need a resume?  Help with your profile?  Interview prep?  Take advantage of our


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View Miriam Cohen Salpeter's profile on LinkedIn
March 2008
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