Career Newsletter, 1/19/2017 (ICF Tip #4 – Crafting Your Elevator Pitch)

Career Newsletter Picture

ICF Tip #4: Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Interactions at ICF are fast-paced. You have dozens of employers to check out (and they have several hundred students to greet) in just a few hours. The ability to advertise yourself succinctly yet substantively is important.

Before heading to the HUB Ballrooms on Jan. 31, we recommend crafting an “elevator pitch,” a 30-second summary of your core attributes. The speech should cover three areas: who you are, what skills/experience you offer, and the types of opportunities you’re seeking.

In developing your pitch, it can help to start with that last part. Are you going to ICF in hopes of landing a UX internship? A full-time librarian position? Anything that’ll allow you to develop your programming skills?

Having a specific goal in mind will allow you to pinpoint what aspects of your background and skillset to include in your introduction to employers. If you’ve determined you want a UX position, maybe mention that you’re not only majoring in Informatics, but that you’re also pursuing the HCI track. Then, bring up a recent internship or project you worked on, and talk about how it let you develop your frontend abilities with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

You’ll end up with something like this:

“Hi there, my name’s Jane. I’m a senior in the Informatics program, working on the HCI track. I had an internship last summer that let me strengthen my HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills. I enjoyed it a lot and wanted to see what types of UX opportunities your company might be offering.”

Or, for MLIS students:

“Hi, my name’s John, I’m finishing up my MLIS degree this year. My favorite classes have been those on knowledge organization, and I’ve been doing stuff related to that as a student assistant with the UW Libraries. Do you have any full-time positions available in that area?”

There’s no need to get much more detailed than that. These examples include pertinent information without overwhelming with particulars. The point of the pitch, after all, is to interest the employer in further conversation — not recite your resume.

Two final things to keep in mind while coming up with your pitch:

Tailor your pitch when necessary. If you know a certain tech company particularly values experience, think about mentioning multiple internships you’ve had instead of listing all your specific skills. Or if you’ve heard a library prioritizes community engagement, highlight your time volunteering with literacy efforts, even if that’s not the exact type of work you want to pursue.

Second, sound natural. Practice your speech beforehand until it sounds more conversation than infomercial. And once you actually get to ICF, work the pitch in organically — be prepared to mention the various details as part of a larger back-and-forth, rather than all at once.

Follow our Twitter feed and blog to stay updated on upcoming ICF tips!

Upcoming events


(Please RSVP via iCareers for any iSchool events you plan to attend, unless otherwise noted.)

1/24: ICF: Resume Review Day; 12:00-1:30pm, OUGL 220

Get professional feedback on your resume in advance of the iSchool Career Fair. Local employers from ICF-registered organizations will be on hand to review resumes one-on-one with students. Online MLIS students can email theirs to

1/26: ICF: Navigating a Career Fair; 12:30-1:30pm, HUB 337

Learn how to make the most of your iSchool Career Fair experience. Alycia will share advice on researching companies in advance, communicating effectively with employers, and making yourself stand out.

Career & Internship Center

1/23: Getting Started: Networking; 3:30-4:00pm, MGH 134

1/23: Premera Blue Cross InfoSession; 5:30-7:30pm, MGH 134

1/24: Getting Started: Career Fair Success; 3:30-4:00pm, MGH 134

1/25: Dropbox InfoSession; 5:30-7:30pm, MGH 134

1/26: Diversity Career Fair; 5:30-8:30pm, HUB Ballrooms


Spring Break: Career Treks to Bay Area and D.C.

Make your spring break count with career exploration trips to the Bay Area (March 19-22) and Washington D.C. (March 22-25)! Learn from pros at top companies and explore a new city with classmates.. Apply by Feb. 1 at 4:00pm using the above link.

For additional events, visit the iSchool and Career Center websites.

Top job/internship opportunities:

  • Web Developer Intern, Visit Seattle; iCareers ID 5674
  • Software Engineer Intern, Comcast NBCUniversal; HuskyJobs ID 110951
  • Cataloging and Metadata Intern, Smithsonian Gardens; iCareers ID 5422
  • Salesforce Developer, ExtraHop Networks; HuskyJobs ID 110917
  • Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship, The Washington Center; iCareers ID 5686
  • Library Manager, Libraries of Stevens County; iCareers ID 5673

3 thoughts on “Career Newsletter, 1/19/2017 (ICF Tip #4 – Crafting Your Elevator Pitch)

  1. Pingback: Career Newsletter, 1/26/2017 (ICT Tip #8 – Do Your Research) | UW iSchool Office of Student Services Blog

  2. Pingback: Career Newsletter, 2/23/2017 | UW iSchool Office of Student Services Blog

  3. Pingback: Career Newsletter, 4/20/2017 | UW iSchool Office of Student Services Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s