Who Can Help | Foundation 3 – Lesson 6

Go back to Job Search Prep Syllabus.


Since Jason and I are big fans of Twitter (it’s how we were introduced), we’re going to use it to inspire this lesson’s homework. In case you’re not aware, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that requires you to condense your messages to 140 characters or less.

So, your homework is to give us your elevator pitch in 140 characters or less by leaving a comment below. Don’t worry about grammar – txt spk is ok.

Oh, wait, that’s not it. Go join Twitter, and make your first tweet your elevator pitch.

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18 responses to “Who Can Help | Foundation 3 – Lesson 6”

  1. mdabhi says:

    Am I going along the right lines? I had to break the exercise down into small managable chunks so I could deal with it. My first question was so what can you do?

    I’m always trying to step out of my comfort zone and learn something new.
    I like to believe that I can think outside the box.
    I have an unshakeable faith in my-self.
    From developing small ideas and then taking the steps to implement these ideas and translating ideas into finished products using tools such as Photoshop etc

    Why does it make a difference?
    I believe I have the drive and tenacity to push through obstacles and meet my goals.
    I believe this makes a difference because I am always willing to push boundaries by challenging myself by stepping out my comfort zone.

  2. Willy Franzen says:

    You’re still kind of missing the point of the elevator pitch. What you have here are statements that most people would make about themselves.

    My biggest problem is that I don’t believe you when you say these things. Why? Because you say “I like to believe that I can think outside the box.” Then you say “I have an unshakeable faith in my-self.” If you like to believe something about yourself, then you don’t have unshakeable faith in yourself. Those are two inconsistent messages. “I believe…” and “unshakeable faith” sound inconsistent to me. If you’re unshakeable, then say “I am…”

    They key to being believable is saying things with more substance, which is the overarching problem with your response (don’t worry, you’re going to get a lot better at this).

    Here’s how you should do it:

    In one sentence, this is what I do – “I help people use the Internet to find jobs that they love.” That’s believable because it leads to questions that will get answers like “I’ve helped over half a million people so far.” or “Yes, this one girl got her dream job at Daily Candy.” From there I can tell people how I help and how I’ve expanded my platform to reach so many people. My answers are full of substance – references to things that I’ve actually done.

    It’s a lot easier to do when you have specific experience that you can reference, but try something like:

    “I have spent 3 months learning everything I can about green energy. I have a passion for the environment and it’s where I want to channel my creativity and problem solving skills.”

    The lesson inside the lesson here is that if you haven’t done anything, go do something so that you can talk about it.

    To recap, tell me something that will make me think all of the things that you said without actually saying them. You need to DEMONSTRATE!

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come back with.

  3. mdabhi says:

    My Answers:-

    “I have spent approximately 3 months living and working abroad in the Czech Republic, Prague. I have a passion for travelling and visiting other countries. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself and learn new skills at the same time. It’s where I would like to channel my problem solving skills.”

    “I enjoy designing and developing creative ideas using tools such as Adobe Photoshop. I have a passion for coming up with ideas that push the boundarys of visual design. It’s where I would like to channel my ideas, creativity and problem solving skills. ”

    “I’m a driven and motivated indivdual. While participating in fire-awareness day with the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service I participated in an activity called the Rat-Run. As part of my tasks as team-leader I had to lead and motivate my team to complete a complicated obstacle maze in the dark blindfolded.”

  4. Willy Franzen says:

    Great improvement! The next step is cutting it down to one elevator pitch. You obviously will want to have different stories for different people, but if you can get “you” down to a sentence or two, you’ll have a great starting point for any kind of conversation.

  5. annamonster says:

    My elevator pitch will differ based on who is in the elevator with me.

    So, If I was pitching to an art gallery manager: ” The series I’m currently working on involves using charcoal rubbings of constuction equipment to develop structured compositions.”

    If I was pitching to the director of a school or camp: “In my four years of leading young adults through the outdoors I have led backpacking trips through the Rockies and nature exploration hikes through the Catskills.”

    If I was pitching to the vice president of an ad agency: ” I led a student campaign targeting new home owners for Home Depot. We pitched our campaign to Home Depot reps at the end of the semester.”

    Are these in the right direction?

    • Jason Seiden says:

      @annamonster Yes, right direction, both with the content and also with the variations. But I’m going to challenge you to do more than just talk about youself… use your pitch to solve a problem. e.g., “In my 4 yrs leading young adults through the Rockies and the Catskills, one thing I learned is that a leader needs to be adaptive and needs to be able to keep others calm in times of uncertainty. Because sometimes, forces bigger than you throw you a curve ball.” Implies that you can lead change.

      For the gallery manager, that one’s more direct, but still, ask yourself how you could present yourself that makes them chase you… where, “that’s nice, but we’re not looking for that…” isn’t even a possible response?

  6. kylekane says:

    Too long but i would speak very fast!!!!

    To date I have optimized my International Business development opportunities and would value the opportunity of furthering my skills. Past experiences have honed and tailored my dynamic multicultural views and strengthened my communication and analytical skills.

    These experiences include working in Beijing, laying the ground work for a potential long-term order agreement between the Chinese company SEILCO and various U.S companies.

    This was accomplished by developing a database and communication channel for SEILCO and potential Western partners. At SEILCO I also conducted an in-depth analysis of specific industry leaders. Research included assessment of a company’s financial health, marketing position, product offerings and in conclusion leveraged this analysis to pinpoint company’s compatibility for partnership.

    More recently my current position with Bloomberg L.P has been developing my fast thinking analytical skills adding wider understanding of financial markets and interconnectedness of financial services.

    These experiences have expanded my ability to understand, establish, foster, and maximize global business relationships.

  7. Jason Seiden says:

    @kylekane Great start… but I’m not letting you off the hook: it’s too long and uses too much jargon. You’re spending too much time telling me what’s important to you, rather than what’s important to me.

    Try starting with the basics: “I am a one man UN who has lived on four continents and now crunches analytics and builds relationships for international biz dev deals.”

  8. Roxy says:

    OK, I’m having trouble pairing this down – anyone wanna help?

    Nonprofit Program Associate with 3 years program/project support experience, fluent in MS Office Suite, experienced in HTML, Dreamweaver, social media, e-marketing, event planning, document and web editing in fast-paced, mission-driven organizations who can positively and skillfully manage and prioritize competing demands from managers, directors, and external and internal clients

  9. Willy Franzen says:

    Hey Roxy,

    How about something like:

    “I use technology and marketing savvy to help non-profit organizations connect their mission statements with on the ground action by managing the competing demands from managers, directors, and external and internal clients.”


    It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start. Focus on the benefits that you bring, not the features that you have.

  10. Benjamin says:

    “As a fundraiser, I convey the importance of the organization’s beliefs and endeavors. By making a unique connection with that prospect, I foster a relationship that will lead to bigger and brighter achievements for both.”

  11. ebilly says:

    “With the patience and adaptability I’ve developed over the past 10 years working as a babysitter, I’m looking to transfer to the role of educator. At your museum, I will put my creativity to work and find new ways to inspire the kids to want to learn.”

  12. Krista says:

    How do you begin to sum yourself up if you’ve never held a job and have many varying interests (even the multiple internships I’ve held are all in different areas of business, e.g. business development, sourcing, and marketing)?

    “I’m an honors graduate with a marketing degree who learns quickly and am capable of doing many things(see internship experience)” doesn’t adequately explain it, but “I love to read, and I think that combined with my business knowledge and international experience (I studied abroad), I can make a difference working for a publishing company.” doesn’t begin to include everything I want to do/think I could be successful at.

    • Willy Franzen says:

      Krista, you don’t need to sum yourself up. You need to be able to make yourself seem interesting in a short amount of time. Your goal isn’t to tell the whole story—it’s to get people to want to hear the rest of your story.

  13. baseball11qwa says:

    I’m having a very hard time with this. Not because I can’t give a pitch, but because I still don’t quite know what I am interested in. I have a lot of interests.

    • Willy Franzen says:

      I don’t care what you’re interested in. I care why I should be interested in you. Think about that when you create your pitch.

  14. EatSEA says:

    I have passion and ability for understanding southeast Asian cultures and use these skills to bring health care reform to the region through medical technology.

  15. EatSEA says:

    I have passion and *adaptability for understanding southeast Asian cultures and use these skills to bring health care reform to the region through medical information technology.

    More specific. Better?

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