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How To Craft Your Personal Elevator Pitch

July 26, 2017

Man being interviewed

Tip Content Provided By: AthLife

As you move throughout your career, you will often hear this question – “Tell me about yourself.”  It could be at a career or networking event, a professional conference such as the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association), or a job interview for a coaching position or internship. It’s important to have a brief statement of your background prepared ahead of time. Think of it as a way to tell your story and frame your accomplishments in terms of what you want to be doing. This is a career fundamental for everyone, including coaches, just like having an updated resume. Keep in mind the following information to create your own professional introduction. 

Keep it concise.  “Tell me about yourself” is often referred to as your elevator pitch or elevator speech. The idea is that it should be about 30 -60 seconds long or about the time it takes to have a brief conversation in an elevator. You will have to adjust the length of your introduction depending on the situation. 

Make it count. Lead with the most important thing that you want to share and keep the person interested and wanting to learn more. Share specific skills and accomplishments as they relate to the position or career field. Know your audience and modify your statement as needed. 

Stay flexible. Be flexible and open-minded as you network and introduce yourself to others while discussing your background and general goals. This will help you make a great first impression and could lead to more open doors and potential job opportunities.

Be prepared. Practice your introduction and then practice some more. As it is written in the first person, it should sound like a conversation. Don’t use a monotone voice, talk too fast or ramble on. Practice in front of a mirror or record yourself; practice with friends or family members and listen to their feedback. Remember to bring your business cards to keep in contact and continue the conversation. 

Consider 3 questions.  Answer these three questions to help you create your own “Tell Me About Yourself” introduction:

Who is my target audience?

What is the most important thing I want my audience to remember about me?

What are my key related accomplishments?

Review examples. Here’s a ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ introduction written by former NFL player, Van Malone.

My name is Van Malone. This is my third season as the Defensive Coordinator at Southern Methodist University. Since retiring from the NFL in 1998, I have worked in the coaching profession in nearly all of the conferences on the FBS level, at schools including Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Western Michigan. I have also coached at a FCS powerhouse, North Dakota State. While my area of specialty is the defensive secondary, I have also coached the wide receiver position. During my career as a secondary coach, my defensive teams have been ranked in the top ten nationally in interceptions multiple times and I have coached many players who have played in the NFL and including some drafted in the first round. I have also been on the AFCA Board of Trustees for the past two years. When the time is right, my ultimate goal is to serve as head coach of an FBS school and win a national championship.

 For more information on creating your own professional introduction, read Elevator Speech Examples and Writing Tips or contact your AthLife Advisor for assistance.

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