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Preparing an “Elevator Speech” for Career Fairs

What does an elevator have to do with a speech you ask? Well, it is the term used to describe the short 30 second to two minute speech that you could have with somebody in an elevator ride, also known as an elevator pitch. It is used to market yourself as an ideal candidate for a company or job and often used at career fairs, other networking events and even interviews. This blog will explain the basics of how to prepare and polish your own elevator speech, so YOU will be ready for the next career fair!


  • Consider personal strengths

We all know that you are the coolest person ever, but how do you translate all of that awesomeness into 2 minutes or less? This part is a challenge, but it is important to mention the most professional traits that you possess. You will more than likely have many personal examples of using this attribute that will enhance your testimony if asked for more detail.


  • Relate to the company or position

This aspect is especially important to cater to each company or position specifically. Demonstrate that your traits and experiences are relevant to the job and how you will be an asset to the company. This will show that you are not only confident in your abilities, but that you did your research for the company and sincerely want the job.


  • Make a draft

As with most papers and speeches, it is always a good organizational tool to make an outline before you begin writing. You have already brainstormed for ideas, so now it is just organizing those ideas logically. You can then use the outline as a guideline for the rest of your speech. Don’t worry about making this draft perfect right away, it will take several drafts to arrive at the conclusion.


  • Finalize

When you are satisfied with a draft, read it aloud as if you were speaking and time yourself. If you have reached 2 minutes and are only halfway through, you will need to cut out some of your speech. Once you feel the timing is just right, have a friend, classmate, or better yet an advisor look over it for revisions or suggestions. After making edits, you are almost ready to head to the career fair.


  • Practice

Just like with sports, music, and almost anything else, it takes practice to be able to master it. The same is true of your elevator speech, you must practice. Practice in front of a mirror, practice in front of friends and family and ask for feedback. After you have practiced several times, you will not have to read it any longer and will be able to just speak naturally. It is also a good idea to be able to practice different scenarios; perhaps your “elevator ride” is cut short, what are the most important parts of your speech? Make sure to be able to identify those!


It is normal to get a little anxious and nervous before a career fair or interview, but following these steps to have a speech prepared will help eliminate some of this stress. Contact Jones College for more information!

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