Ohio University Office of Career Services

Elevator Speech- A 30 Second Interview

The Career Fair is quickly approaching and you have probably been told to prepare.  You have perfected your résumé, researched the companies you will target, and know the types of positions that will match your skills.  How do you make sure you get the most out of the Career Fair and set yourself apart from the competition?  Creating a great “elevator speech”

An elevator speech is a clear, concise commercial about yourself.  It communicates to employers who you are, what you are looking for, and how you can benefit their company.  Generally, an elevator speech is about 30 seconds, or the time it takes you to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator.   By having an elevator speech prepared, you are ready to share this information with anyone at any time.

At the fair you can use your speech to introduce yourself to employers , ensuring you share the appropriate information.  Practice rehearsing your speech with a friend or in front of the mirror.  Practice saying it out loud so that it sounds natural.  Get comfortable with what you have to say so that you are not nervous and can breeze through it when the time comes.

You may want to include your name, year in school, major skills and career goals.  Only include personal information if it is relevant to the work for which you are applying.  Here is an example to get you started on developing your own elevator speech.


Hi, my name is Megan Hutchenson.  I am currently a senior studying Digital Media.  I have had several internships where I worked on program applications and animation with a project team.  I enjoy creating second life animation and video games.  I see that the position listed with your organization would be a perfect fit for someone with my skills.  I would love to hear more about the type of project teams in your organization.

Good afternoon, My name is Cindy Rankin.  I am a junior Environmental Biology major.  I am looking for a position that will allow me to strengthen my research and analytical skills.  During my time at Ohio University, I have begun strengthening these skills through my involvement with a local environmental council on conservation strategies for water quality and local sustainability efforts.  I read that your organization is involved in sustainability projects.  Can you tell me how someone with my experiences might fit into your organization?

Heather Pittman, Interim Assistant Director

Dealing with Failure on the Job Search
August 12, 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: From the Staff, Job Search | Tags: ,

Being turned down for a job is never easy. In the current economy, it is not only important to know how to write a good cover letter and excel during interviews, but also how to deal with rejection after applying for jobs.  Rejection is never painless, but there are some ways to deal with it so it does not overpower you or disrupt your job search.

Don’t Take It Personally: There are multiple reasons why you were not selected for a position.  The company may not fully understand your degree (ex: difference between computer science and IT).  It is also not just about your qualifications but about a match between you and the company.  Not being selected does not mean you do not have excellent talents and attributes.

Learn From Being Rejected: When you receive a letter saying you were not a good fit for a company or that they have already filled the position—take it as an opportunity to learn.  Why were you not a good fit? Were you missing a requirement?  How can you improve yourself and gain theses skills?  If the position was already filled—are there other opportunities with the organization?

Focus on Your Strengths: It’s easy to blame yourself and focus on your imperfections when dealing with job rejection. Focus on what you’re really good at, and what you’re passionate about. Don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect.  Keep a log of your successes-however small.  When things are not going so well, pull out your book of successes and remember that big successes are just the product of adding small successes together. 

Keep Multiple Things Going: Nothing is worse than only having one résumé out there and finding out that company is not interested.  Have multiple applications going so that something good will be more likely to offset the bad.

Know You Are Not Alone: Seek out a support system.  Having the support and shared knowledge can be very helpful.  Others can offer you contacts, job leads, friendship, and advice along the way.  Just having someone to support you can make the search less lonely.

Heather Pittman, Interim Assistant Director

For more information check out these articles:

How to Deal With Job Rejection

Why Wasn’t I Hired? Dealing With Rejection

So You Didn’t Get the Job…It’s Not Over!

10 Most Sought After Skills
July 14, 2010, 10:07 am
Filed under: From the Staff, Job Search | Tags: ,

Have you ever wondered what unique set of skills and values empress an employer?  Every employer looks for a specific skill set that  is necessary to perform a particular job. In addition to  job-specific technical skills, there are many transferable skills sought by most employers.

  1. Communication — write and speak clearly, listen, make effective presentations, and interpret accurately
  2. Critical Thinking and Research Skills — assess a situation, gather multiple perspectives, evaluate your options, anticipate consequences and draw conclusions
  3. Leadership — build relationships, inspire and motivate others and envision possibilities
  4. Creativity — generate new ideas or alternatives, think in new ways adapt existing information
  5. Time Management and Dependability — be on time for work, use time effectively by prioritizing work, and set and meet deadlines
  6. Flexibility and Adaptability — be open to and adapt to change, manage multiple demands, work independently, accept failure
  7. Teamwork — identify individual goals and use them for the betterment of the group, cooperate, negotiate
  8. Integrity — accept responsibility, behave consistently, hold a strong work ethic
  9. Professionalism — have a good attitude, dress appropriately, be accountable, take responsibility
  10. Technical — understanding of computer hardware and software

The good news is, job-seekers can improve upon these skills with training, professional development, and mentoring.   Seek to improve these skills during internships, volunteer experiences, campus involvement activities, and in the classroom.  Be sure to communicate these skills to employers both on your résumé and during interviews!

For more information about what employers are looking for check out these links:

What do Employers Really Want?

What Employers Want

Top Qualities & Skills Employers Seek

Skills Employers Seek

Top 10 Qualities & Skills Employers Seek

NACE Job Outlook