One skill that is essential for those gunning for all manner of jobs (including science roles) is the ability to sell oneself quickly.
From biotechnology and engineering roles to regulatory affairs and procurement posts, mastering the art of the “lift pitch” can be the difference between a congratulatory phone call and a consolatory email.
It’s widely regarded that hiring managers form opinions about candidates very quickly these days – potentially within just seconds. With such a short space of time to make a brilliant first impression, it’s vital to make every second count.
What is a “lift pitch”?
The “lift pitch” is so-called because it is based on what you would say to your dream employer if you found yourself in a lift with them. You need to be able to convince them to take you on within the short duration of the journey between floors.
Your pitch, therefore, needs to be a genuinely concise introduction of no more than 30-60 seconds, explained in language that is easy to understand and hooks the listener immediately.
The basic rules of the lift pitch
Whether you refer to it as your “personal pitch”, “60-second commercial” or something else entirely, the basic gist is obvious: brevity is key.
Your pitch needs to succinctly summarise who you are, what you do and why someone else should want to work with you. You will need to use strong, powerful words to create a memorable image in the hiring manager's mind of a person who they simply cannot afford not to hire.
A great lift pitch isn't just a sharp, bullet-point list of the great things about your candidacy - it also tells a story, setting out a problem and how you can solve it. It is also necessarily tailored to the vacancy in question, in much the same way that a great CV is.
Putting together a great lift pitch
A great lift pitch tends to open with a compelling 'hook' that piques the interest of the employer or recruitment agency, followed by a passionate demonstration of what you stand for as a professional and the value that you can bring to the role. You might conclude it with a question that asks something of the interviewer.
Given the 60-second limit, we would recommend a 150-225 word count for your lift pitch. When you come to write it, you should first consider what you actually do and come up with 10-20 different ways of expressing it in spoken form - the idea being to edit these ideas and eliminate those that come across as too dull, inappropriate or even amusing.
Your aim is to generate as many potential lift pitches as possible, crafting, refining and/or merging as necessary to create a powerful message that advertises you at your best. Don't forget to record yourself in audio and/video form, making your lift pitch, so that you can consider further changes.
Creating lift pitches is a continuous process
Remember that the process of creating the perfect, clear and impactful lift pitch is never-ending, with your pitch necessarily differing between different science jobs.
You should also constantly contemplate ways to improve your lift pitch so that you are always making the best possible first impression at each and every interview that you attend for a science role.
For additional tips on how to sell yourself at interview, head over to our “Interview Advice & Questions” page or get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions using the button below.