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Episode #291 – The ‘Elevator Pitch’ and Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #291 - The ‘Elevator Pitch’ and Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

Caleb: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we’ll be talking about the “elevator pitch” and a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.

Caleb: Stacy, you’ve not discussed the elevator pitch on your podcast before, have you?

Stacy: That’s true. We have not discussed the elevator pitch before on this podcast.

Caleb: Stacy, what compelled you to choose this topic for our podcast today?

Stacy:  Well, first, to note that the elevator pitch important to a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career, and we’ll talk more about that shortly. Second, it’s something that not a lot of people talk about these days. It seems as though it has faded from the public consciousness, but I can tell you that those people who are committed to networking know about it and they use one. And third, it has remained virtually unchanged.

Caleb: What do you mean by that, it’s remained unchanged?

Stacy: I mean that many other things have changed in the job market and employment marketplace. Take the concept of “job hopping,” for instance. What defines a “job hopper” has changed dramatically during the course of the past 10 years. It used to be someone who changed jobs every five years was considered a “job hopper.” Now someone who stays at the same job for that length of time is considered loyal.

The elevator pitch or elevator speech, on the other hand, is something that has not changed. It’s basically the same as it ever was.

Caleb: That all makes sense. Where would you like to start with today’s topic?

Stacy: With a definition, of course. According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch is a “short description of an idea, product, or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time.”

Caleb: How short of a period of time are we talking about?

Stacy: Approximately 30 to 60 seconds, which incidentally is the same amount of time that it takes to ride in an elevator.

Caleb: So that’s how it got its name.

Stacy: Yes, exactly right. After all, the elevator is a place where total strangers cross paths on a daily basis. If you want to network with people you don’t know, the elevator is the place to be. You never know when someone is going to turn to you in an elevator and ask something like, “So what do you do for a living?”

Caleb: And if you have an elevator pitch, then you’ll be able to answer that question easily.

Stacy: And also answer it well, which is important.

Caleb: Okay, can you spell out why having an elevator pitch is important to a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career?

Stacy: Certainly. First, you must recognize that a person’s biggest asset is the value that they can offer to an employer. A person’s value is the accumulation and application of their talent, skills, and experience, all of which should be steadily increasing throughout their career.

But once you have value and can offer value, you must be able to communicate that value to other people.

Caleb: That’s how you get a new job.

Stacy: Right, among other things. During an interview, a job seeker or candidate has to communicate the value that they can offer to the employer. If the employer believes that the candidate can offer tremendous value, then they’ll offer the job to them. An elevator pitch can help you to effectively communicate the value that you offer in the shortest amount of time possible.

Caleb: Because you never know who you’re going to run into.

Stacy: That’s right. You never know who you’re going to run into, and it’s better to have an elevator pitch and not have to use it then to not have one and then be in a situation where you could have used one.

Caleb: So obviously, you can use an elevator pitch in an elevator. But where else can you use one?

Stacy: Almost anywhere, actually. We just talked about how the job interview is a common situation, especially if the person conducting the interview asks you to tell them about yourself. But one of the great things about an elevator pitch is that you can deliver it almost anywhere, since it only takes between 30 and 60 seconds to deliver. It could be in a taxi. It could be while waiting in line somewhere or at a tradeshow or convention.

Success in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career is all about opportunity, and you never know when an opportunity will present itself.

Caleb: So you must be prepared to take advantage of an opportunity when it does present itself.

Stacy: That’s right. If not, then that opportunity can pass you by, and you might never get it back.

Caleb: Stacy, I imagine there are certain steps involved in creating an elevator pitch. Is that the case?

Stacy: Yes, it is. There are multiple steps involved, and I’d like to address each of them right now.

The first step is to start with who you are, and by that, I mean within the professional realm. You might like to collect comic book hero figurines in your spare time, but that’s not something you would include in your elevator pitch. Instead, start with your job title and possibly your employer, although if you’re in a job interview, that won’t be necessary. The interviewers will see that information on your resume.

The second step is to explain what you do and how you do it. However, don’t just recite a list of duties and responsibilities. That can be boring. Instead, try to take a big-picture approach about what you do, and if possible, communicate this information in an energetic way. After all, if you’re not excited and passionate about what you do, then how can you expect other people to be excited, too?

Caleb: I’m guessing that you’d want to show that energy and excitement from the very beginning of your interaction with the other person.

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct. That will help to grab the other person’s attention, and more importantly, hold their attention for the duration of your elevator pitch.

The third step is to explain the results of your work and what you do and how it makes you unique. This is a critical step, namely because this is when you make references to the value that you provide. And in the interest of setting yourself apart, it should be unique value, something that people don’t hear every day. People are generally not as interested in things that they hear all the time. So what can you do that not many other people can do? What are the results that you achieve that would be of interest to other people?

Caleb: It sounds like this step might take some thought.

Stacy: It will take some thought, but it’s well worth it. Providing value is great, but providing unique value is even better. Unique value is what gets you hired over other job seekers and candidates and helps you to grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: Stacy, I just thought of this, but how do you start the conversation? Sometimes, I find that’s the most difficult part of talking with people you don’t know or networking in general.

Stacy: That’s a great question, and it can apply to a person’s elevator pitch.

If you’re in a job interview, there won’t be a need for a conversation starter. The people conducting the interview will likely take care of that.

You can, of course, ask the other person  to tell you more about what they do in their role. If you’re attending a conference or tradeshow, you can ask them a question related to the event. Using whatever has brought the two of you together to start the conversation can work.

Caleb: Stacy, does it have to be a “one-on-one” situation, or will it work if there are more people present?

Stacy: It doesn’t matter if you’re talking with one person or three people or five people. Your elevator pitch will work just as well. In fact, it might work even better, because you can communicate your unique value to more people at the same time. This means that you’ve maximized the effectiveness of your 30 to 60 seconds.

Caleb: So what’s the next step in creating your elevator pitch?

Stacy: Hopefully, you’ve been writing down your pitch as we go, so at this point, you must edit your speech as you see fit. And once you get it to a satisfactory place, zhis is when you record it.

Caleb: Record it?

Stacy: Yes, you’re not going to write a perfect elevator pitch the first time. You’ll have to make changes and revisions, but you can’t do that just by reading it. You’ll have to record yourself delivering it, first with just the audio, but eventually, with both audio and video. When you say something, it might sound differently when you listen to it outside of your own head.

Caleb: Does that mean you have to memorize your pitch?

Stacy: Absolutely. You must know it inside and out. Once again, the good news is that it’s only 30 to 60 seconds, so it’s not like you have to memorize a whole book. So while you edit and refine your pitch, you’re also memorizing it. Keep rewriting and editing your pitch until you’re satisfied with what you hear.

Caleb: Can you bring in another person to help? I mean, can you have them listen to your pitch and also watch you deliver it?

Stacy: Yes, and that’s part of the final step of the process, which is to practice as much as you can. You must be prepared to the point where you’re able to give your pitch at a moment’s notice. As we mentioned earlier, you never know who you’re going to meet and under what circumstances you’re going to meet them.

So yes, record yourself delivering your pitch. Practice delivering your pitch in front of other people whose opinion you value. Incorporate all of the feedback and keep revising and refining until you believe that it’s the best that it can be.

Something else to keep in mind is that you want to deliver your elevator pitch in a pleasant way. When I say that, I mean that you don’t want it to sound rushed because you know you only have so much time to say it. Your delivery should sound relaxed and normal. You don’t want to put the other person or people on edge because you sound stressed out. They won’t be focusing on your unique value. Instead, they’ll be focusing on the fact that you seem nervous and stressed.

Caleb: Stacy, you probably knew that I was going to ask this question, but do you have an elevator pitch?

Stacy: Yes, I do.

Caleb: Can you share it with us?

Stacy: Of course! Here is my elevator pitch:

“My name is Stacy Pursell, and I am an Executive Recruiter and Workplace Workforce expert for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. I help Animal Health and Veterinary businesses hire top talent to help their business grow while at the same time helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that allow them to achieve the quality of life they seek.

You can see that all of the elements that we discussed are in there—who I am, what I do, the results of what I do, and the unique value that I provide for others. There isn’t a conversation starter in there, but those can be situation-specific. Once again, if I was at a convention, I would start the conversation by asking a question about the other person’s attendance at the event.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much. However, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Yes, I’d like to leave our listening audience with a couple of final thoughts.

First, no matter what happens in the job market and no matter how many things change, being able to communicate the value that you can provide will never go out of style. It is one of the most important things that a person can do in their Animal Health or Veterinary career.

And second, creating and using an elevator pitch is another example of taking advantage of opportunity, which is also critical. To grow your career, you must be able to recognize opportunity and then act with the intent of taking advantage of that opportunity. This applies to networking, and specifically, it applies to creating and delivering your elevator pitch on a consistent basis.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about the role of an elevator pitch in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

Caleb: Before we go today I want to remind our listening audience to check out the Animal Health jobs and Veterinary jobs posted to The VET Recruiter website at www.thevetrecruiter.com If you are a hiring manager with critical hiring needs contact Stacy at The VET Recruiter.  Thanks again for listening to the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider Podcast.

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