Elevator pitch advice offered by staff


Abigail Zeman

What happens if you get into the elevator with your dream employer? What if they ask you about the work you do? Do you know how to concisely tell them why you’d be a great fit for their company?

The new Assistant Director of NMU Career Services Katie Korpi hosted a “Skill Builder!” event titled “Create and Practice Your Elevator Pitch” at 4 p.m. on Monday.

The event focused on how to develop a strong and personalized elevator pitch. Most adults don’t realize how often they’ll be asked about who they are and what they do, Korpi said.
“Tweak your pitch like you tweak a resume,” Korpi said. “Your elevator pitch is always a work in progress, because it changes as your life changes.”

An employer can’t offer someone a job if they don’t understand what you want, Korpi said. A key component to an effective pitch is to communicate clearly. When in doubt, spell it out.

“Do not use acronyms and jargon that someone might not understand,” Korpi said.

A strong pitch includes educational background, skills and accomplishments, and the position that is desired with the company or organization.

“I hope that students will use this to develop their confidence and connect with other people,” Korpi said.
The average elevator pitch takes about 30 seconds to present. Funny or emotional personal stories will make a person stand out to an employer, Korpi said.

“Don’t talk about other people,” Korpi said. “It’s all about you.”

To impress a potential employer, Korpi recommended to include goals and previous work experience relevant to the targeted position.

“Don’t sell yourself short,” Korpi said. “I’m happy to meet with those who can’t attend the presentation or want personalized support.”

If you are looking for help on tailoring and editing a pitch, you can set up a meeting with Katie Korpi by emailing [email protected] or visiting Career Services (3302.3 Hedgcock).