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Elevator Speech

You have 10 seconds to impress a business owner, can you do it? What’s your Elevator Speech?

You are at a networking event, and the owner of a large well-known company in the city walks up to you, shakes your hand and asks what you do. You have a brief window to impress and not bore them, what’s your next step?

The following goes through your head in a matter of seconds: You realize that this individual is extremely influential in the community; they are business minded and only have so much time. You only have a few moments to speak with the business owner and you have to be concise and get your point across.

What you don’t want to do is sound like you have rehearsed your elevator speech and are on replay:

“My name is Rachel.”
“I am a professional recruiter.”
“I work in the employee relations department.”
“I answer all employee questions and respond to any concerns they may have.”

With this response you aren’t really engaging the business owner, or piquing their interest. What you want to say is something like this:

“I support people and help them make well-informed decisions to better themselves and their careers”

In turn the business owner might say “Tell me how you do that exactly”. This is your opportunity to then explain your role in more detail and express your commitment and passion to your job and your profession. This also allows the business owner to see that you are truly invested in the conversation and not just repeating a few catch phrases in answer to his questions.

The best thing that can happen is the business owner may engage you in a longer conversation or they may even ask to meet with you outside the networking event to learn more about what you do. The worst thing that can happen is they leave you with their business card and move on. Either way, you’ve had some face time with a decision maker and made a connection that you may be able to utilize in the future.

In today’s competitive job market, the more you can do to stand out the better!

Vanessa Burns, B.A., CPC is a Recruitment Partner with Lucas Professional Search Group, located in Windsor, Ontario.  You can learn more at

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