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Job Search: Core Message Statement/"Elevator Pitch"

A short spoken statement (30-second mini-abstract) about you that lets people know who you are, what you do well, and what you are looking for. In your own authentic voice, it is a well-prepared answer to the questions, "Tell me a little bit about yourself," or "So, what do you do?"

Basic Template for Your Core Message ("Pitch"):

Who you are:

My name is_________________________________. I am a(n)_________________________________
(Tip - This can be your actual job title or a descriptive term for your occupation. Examples include biologist, research scientist, microbiologist, biochemist, etc.)

specializing in____________________________________________________________________________.
(Tip - This is a short phrase that makes your title or occupation more specific)

What you do: 

(Tip - Write a single sentence that describes what you do. For example, "I work with... and discover mechanisms that ..." Try to be specific so that people can really picture what you mean.)



Why you're the best, unique, talented; or what you do especially well (Skills):

(Tip - Write a sentence that expresses your best strength(s). For example, "My cutting-edge techniques and collaboration with other researchers allows me to ..." Provide a concrete example of something that sets you apart from others in your field.)



What contributions (values added) are you looking to make:

(Tip - Tell what you are looking for, in terms of what problems you will solve for the employer or for the world. For example, "I'm looking to continue research to discover new ..., make breakthroughs in ..., provide results that can lead to cures for...")




How and When to Use Your Core Message Statement ("Pitch"):

  • In an informal social setting: A way to introduce yourself or to start a conversation, or to answer such a question as, “Now tell me again, what the heck is it that you do?”
  • At a networking meeting, conference, workshop, etc.: Approaching a referral, target author or presenter, target lab director, new potential colleague . . .
  • In the job interview (on telephone or in person): “So, John, tell me a little bit about yourself.” If you have done your homework, you will know what kinds of things to highlight. If you haven’t done your homework, you can still try a basic statement, or you can attempt to ask them about their particular needs and interests before you launch your pitch, and then try to address their needs and interests. Think about what you want them to say about you when you are gone.
  • In your letter of introduction or cover letter: It can provide an excellent basis for your second paragraph.
  • As an introduction for a presentation, workshop, class, or speech that you are giving


Helpful Hints:

Develop your core message statement/ “pitch” quickly by writing it out first, and then talking it out. Make adjustments until it sounds and feels right for you.

You may develop several different pitches in order to address specific situations and specific targets.

Practice out loud in front of a mirror, in the shower, or in the car. Practice with friends and colleagues.

A positive core message statement (“pitch”) will enhance your professional presence and stature, boost your self-confidence, and reduce your anxiety. It helps you establish your identity as a professional, and it opens doors for connection and collaboration.

Take the initiative. Make eye contact. Smile. You belong here. You have much to contribute.
© 2015 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 08/07/2014