Can you demonstrate to someone that you’re the best candidate for the job in a minute or less?

The majority of job seekers are petrified at the idea of having to self-promote during an interview—especially when nailing the first impression is key. Whenever you meet someone new, be prepared with a short professional summary that defines who you are and what value you can bring.

If you want to be successful in your job search, then it is essential that you learn to sell yourself. This involves developing an elevator pitch that can act as a conversation starter, while also communicating important professional information.

Use these seven tips on creating an elevator pitch that will take your networking potential to new heights:

1. Try to start a conversation. When giving your best elevator pitch, you only have a brief amount of time to make a positive impression. Instead of trying to stuff in all the details of your professional experience, focus on starting a conversation. Keep in mind that it might take some time to perfect your pitch, but ultimately you want your listener to be intrigued and want more information. Instead of thinking about making a personal sale, focus on being compelling and personable.

2. Keep your language simple and to the point. A pitch that drags on is like a one-sided conversation—which won’t make anyone want to invest in you or your product. Keep your elevator pitch short and sweet, while still making it compelling. At the end of the day, you’re likely trying to sell yourself, but try also not to forget about the listener

3. Be proud of your success and publicize your achievements. Before you deliver your elevator pitch, jot down a list of all your professional successes. It’s important to focus on the actions behind these accomplishments too during your pitch, rather than just enumerating where you have been employed in the past.

4. Avoid buzzwords and jargon. Instead of sounding like every other job candidate by using generic and opportunity phrases, stand out by being specific about your accomplishments.

5. Stick with a theme. When crafting your elevator pitch, see if any of your accomplishments share a similar sentiment. Your professional theme is like your personal brand – it helps you to communicate your message more. For example, if you’re really good at solving problems, then make sure to highlight this strength.

6. Practice makes perfect. Avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script by memorizing your elevator pitch. Although it’s important to have your pitch memorized, practice until you can deliver it conversationally. Prepare several pitches and perfect them through repetition.

7. Make sure to follow up properly. Think of your elevator pitch as just the start of a fruitful conversation. If you executed it correctly, your listener will probably have some questions for you. Be prepared to keep talking and be able to answer any inquiries they may have.

Develop a clear and concise elevator pitch that engages your listeners through compelling storytelling, as well as a regular practice.

Have you had any success with an elevator pitch that’s out of the box? Share your experience in the comments below!

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