Your résumé and your elevator speech

elevator speechWant a good summary of your job in each place where you worked?  Think about what you did for that company and write an “elevator speech” about it.

If you’re unfamiliar with “elevator speeches” — sometimes called “elevator pitches” — they are brief descriptions of your work, your idea, your project, yourself or whatever you want to get across to another person.  They can be delivered so quickly that they can be presented in the time it takes an elevator to reach it’s next floor.  They can be as little as ten seconds, but usually no longer than one minute.  They offer only the most relevant and interesting details for the person who’s listening to them.

Your résumé can’t truly represent your experience.  No one wants to read a long story about what you did in your past employment roles.  In fact, the résumés that get the job interviews are short and scannable.

If you can summarize and get the essence of your experience into three sentences or less, the scanner’s job is made easier and they’ll like you better.

Furthermore, you’ll be better prepared for interviews, where time is also limited.  In most employment situations, the résumé readers and the interviewers see a great number of applicants.  And they are looking for reasons to exclude you quickly, not reasons to hire you.  So make a few words work powerfully for you.

If you make it easy for them to see what you have to offer quickly, you’ll keep their attention and interest longer.  You’ll improve your chances of making it to the next level, where the readers or interviewers have more time to look at your qualifications in more depth.  Where you can sell them on what makes you different.  What makes you a better hire.

Don’t know much about an elevator speech?  Read these articles:

And take a look at this tool from Harvard:

Here’s an example of one of my own “elevator” speeches about being a performance psychologist:  “I show people how to make whatever they do better, faster, easier and/or more enjoyable.  How to get more done and still have time for a life. I’m a performance psychologist. “