Make a Great First Impression: How to Craft a Standout Elevator Pitch in 5 Steps

As an instructional designer or eLearning professional, you know the importance of creating engaging and memorable learning experiences. 

But have you considered applying these principles to your job search? In a competitive market, making a strong first impression and effectively communicating your unique value proposition to potential employers is essential.

One powerful tool for achieving this is the elevator pitch – a concise, persuasive speech that introduces who you are, highlights your accomplishments, and demonstrates how you are qualified for the role you are seeking.

In a recent webinar hosted by Kristi Oliva, guest faculty member for IDOL courses and host of the Leaving the Classroom podcast, attendees learned how to craft a standout elevator pitch tailored specifically for the learning and development industry.

According to Kristi, an effective elevator pitch should last between 30 to 60 seconds and be structured around three key elements: who you are, what you have accomplished, and how you are qualified for the role.

To help you create a compelling pitch, she introduced the five-step PITCH formula:

  1. Prepare: Begin by reflecting on your passions, values, and career goals. What drives you as an instructional designer or eLearning professional? What unique qualities and experiences set you apart in the field? Consider how your background aligns with the needs and values of the companies you are targeting.

  2. Investigate: Conduct thorough research on the company you are interested in. Look for their mission statement, core values, and current initiatives. What challenges are they facing, and how can your skills and experience help them achieve their goals? Tailor your pitch to demonstrate how you can contribute to their success.

  3. Trim: When crafting your pitch, use plain, concise language and avoid overusing technical jargon or buzzwords. While it's important to showcase your expertise, your pitch should sound natural and conversational, as if you were speaking to a friend. Focus on the most relevant and impactful details, and trim any unnecessary information.

  4. Characterize: Inject your personality and passion into your pitch. Use storytelling techniques to make your pitch engaging and memorable, while still maintaining a professional tone. Share a brief anecdote or example that highlights your unique approach to instructional design or eLearning, and how it has made a difference in your previous roles.

  5. Hone: Practice your elevator pitch until it feels natural and confident. Record yourself and listen back to identify areas for improvement. Seek feedback from peers, mentors, or professionals in the industry, and continuously refine your pitch based on their input. The more you practice, the more comfortable and convincing you will become.

When tailoring your pitch for an instructional design or eLearning role, focus on the accomplishments and qualifications that are most relevant to the position. Highlight your experience in creating engaging and effective learning experiences, your proficiency with authoring tools and learning management systems, and your ability to collaborate with subject matter experts and stakeholders to deliver results. 

Be sure to provide context and relevance for any achievements or awards you mention. For example, instead of simply stating that you won an award for a course you designed, explain how the course impacted learner engagement and performance, and how it aligned with the organization's goals. Use specific metrics or outcomes to demonstrate the value you have brought to previous projects. 

Finally, end your pitch with a clear call to action or a statement that expresses your enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the company's success. This could be as simple as expressing your excitement to learn more about the role and how you can apply your skills to support their learning and development initiatives. 

By following these tips and tailoring your elevator pitch specifically for the instructional design and eLearning industry, you'll be well-prepared to make a lasting impression during your job search. Remember, your elevator pitch is a powerful tool for showcasing your unique value proposition and setting yourself apart from other candidates. With practice and refinement, you'll be able to confidently articulate why you are the ideal candidate for your desired role, and take a significant step forward in your career journey.

Watch the entire webinar recording below: