How to Tell Your Story

Reading Time 2 minutes

“Tell me about yourself.”

You’re used to this standard request—in school, sports, clubs and social circles. It is the go-to ice breaker for first introductions. This is also true in the professional world, but the stakes are slightly higher. This is why it’s critical to have an elevator pitch. Not sure what that is? Believe it or not—you already have one!

An elevator pitch is a quick, personal selling statement that is used to introduce yourself during interviews, career fairs or networking activities. A strong elevator pitch is also a foundation to use when writing cover letters and other professional summaries.

Preparing, memorizing and delivering an elevator pitch is time well spent to start any conversation with confidence and direction. In less than one minute, your elevator pitch will tell employers and fellow professionals exactly who you are, what you do and more importantly — why they should care.

To form your elevator pitch, follow these prompts…


Your ideal introduction is authentic, honest and piques someone’s interest right from the start. State your background and provide a little insight as to why you’re enthusiastic about diving into your field.

“My name is Casey. I have a degree in Environmental Science from The University of Notre Dame. My studies focused on water quality—an interest that began with my love for the outdoors and grew exponentially during my research internship with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management."


Close your elevator pitch with a high-quality statement (or question) as it relates to the employer or person —this will explicitly tell them why they should be interested in getting to know you!

“I’ve read your company’s data intake processes are extremely sophisticated. I’d love to learn more.”

Keep in mind that your elevator pitch should be tailored as you meet with different employers. You may use a more barebones approach when professionally introducing yourself to someone you have not researched. Be sure to know your audience and what is an appropriate time range based on the setting you are in. For example, a 30 second to one-minute answer is great for a career fair, but employer may be expecting a 1–2 minute answer during an interview. Always remember that once you’ve delivered your pitch in either setting, it’s now your turn to do the listening. Gather as much information as you can!

Chart Your Course
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Additional Career Resources

How to Dress for Success

How to Prepare for an Interview

You Received a Job Offer … Now What?

Questions to Ask During Job Interviews

After an Interview: Follow Up Best Practices

Conquering Job Applications

Crafting a Standout Cover Letter

Six Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Job Search

Writing Your Best Resume

Your Job Search: Strategies for Success

Developing Your Professional Network

How to Tell Your Story

How to Use LinkedIn Like a Pro

How to Conquer Career Fairs

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