Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Internships, Jobs and Careers: Do You Have a 30-Second “Elevator” Pitch?

Imagine you’re in an elevator with a well-dressed person in his/her 40s. The person asks you: “What do you do?” And you reply ….

When you're looking for internships, jobs and careers, opportunity can strike at any moment. Maybe the person in the elevator with you is looking for an assistant. Or maybe he or she knows of an opening with a friend’s business.

Be ready with a well-prepared but unstilted elevator speech: I just finished my junior year at UCLA and I’m looking for an unpaid summer internship in the field of interior design.

Or: I just graduated from UC Santa Barbara and I’m applying to advertising agencies with the goal of becoming a media buyer.

You never know who somebody knows. And it would be a shame to waste your 30-second window of opportunity with the answer: I just finished college and I’m looking for a job.

Because just as the person is about to ask you what kind of job or which college, the elevator doors can clang open and you’ll have lost your opportunity.

At each stage of your life be prepared with a 30-second “elevator” pitch that you can use at cocktail parties, in line at movie theaters, in line at Starbucks, and even in elevators. Remember, the person to whom you give your elevator speech may end up being your next boss.

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