Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he explains what an elevator pitch is an why you need one if you want to find your dream job

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains why you should always be ready to pitch yourself to employers
  • Next, Isaiah discusses why PhDs often fail when they deliver their elevator pitch
  • Finally, Isaiah explains how to craft a proper elevator pitch that will resonate with employers and recruiters

From This Week’s Show… 

Why You Should Always Be Ready To Pitch Yourself

There will be rare occasions in your job search where you will achieve moments of focused attention from those you’re connecting with, whether it’s after they talk about their interests and pause to ask you “What about you?” or from the moment you start your first in person interview when the interviewer says, “Tell me a little about yourself.”

These moments will be very fleeting so you need to be prepared for them. You will have seconds, literally, to impress the other person. You won’t impress them with your accomplishments but with the concise delivery and impactfulness of your elevator pitch.

Your elevator pitch is a personalized, top-of-mind script that you can deliver in an encounter with decision-makers. It should highlight what you could uniquely offer the company to advance its mission and goals.

Why PhDs Lose Great Opportunities By Not Having An Elevator Pitch Prepared

Creating an elevator pitch is your chance to break free of the academic stereotype: non-social nerds who can only hold conversations with other non-social nerds about their latest experimental findings.

A recent report in Nature showed that many postdocs struggle to communicate their knowledge to non-scientific audiences. As the article notes: “[PhDs deliver an elevator pitch] the same way as they would do it to a lab colleague — resulting in a lot of glazed eyes and wrinkled brows.”

But you can be different. You can craft an intelligent, succinct, and rationale-based elevator pitch. The key is to practice and revise your pitch until you have developed a winning introduction that can be expressed in a conversational tone.

How To Craft An Impactful Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a personalized, top-of-mind script that you can deliver in a connected way. In order to create an effective pitch, you need an answer three questions about yourself:

Who are you (both professionally and personally)?
What do you want?
Why should someone else care?

An example of an effective elevator pitch is, “I’m an immunology expert who loves to bake – German chocolate cake is my favorite recipe! – and I’m seeking a project management role because I want to help coordinate research into treatments that will help cure XYZ disease and improve patient lives.

With your pitch in place, all you have to do is present it to your target with confidence and good body language. Of course, truly pinning down who you are professionally in addition to what you want and why are not easy tasks. It takes careful thought and execution of a proper process to arrive at a simple sentence that communicates your professional who, what, and why. This effort is worth it however. An elevator pitch that showcases who you are, what you want and why will make you stand out from other job candidates and will result in referrals, interview invites, and job offers. 

If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.

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