Career Newsletter, 1/18/2018 (ICF Tip #3 — Craft Your Elevator Pitch)

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ICF Tip #3: Craft 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. 30, 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 taxonomy 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 company particularly values experience, think about mentioning multiple internships you’ve had instead of listing all your specific skills. Or if you’ve heard an organization prioritizes community engagement, highlight your time volunteering.

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 Student Services on Twitter to stay updated on all our ICF Tips.

Upcoming events

iSchool

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

1/18: Don’t Be Awkward; 12:30 – 1:20pm, HUB 340

Join us for the seventh annual Don’t Be Awkward networking workshop. This event will provide you with strategies for interaction with professionals in a confident, charismatic manner.

1/23: ICF: Resume Review Day; 12:30 – 2:00pm, OUG 220

Local employers from ICF-registered organizations will be on hand to review resumes one-on-one with students. Please bring a printed copy of your resume, along with a pen or pencil.

1/25: ICF: Navigating a Career Fair; 12:30 – 1:20pm, BLD 070

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

UW Career & Internship Center

1/18: Grad Students: Identifying Values; 2:00 – 4:00pm, SMZ 401

1/22: Getting Started: Finding Internships; 2:30 – 3:00pm, MGH 134

1/24: Deloitte presents: Landing and Making the Most Out of Your Internship; 12:30 – 1:20pm, MGH 134

1/24: Accenture InfoSession; 5:30 – 6:30pm, DEM 102

1/25: Career Launch Workshop; 3:00 – 4:30pm, MGH 134

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

Top job/internship opportunities

  • Information Security Analyst Intern, Electronic Arts; HuskyJobs ID 122541
  • Intern – Technical Software Development, Avanade; HuskyJobs ID 122497
  • 2018 Summer Intern: Media Management and Taxonomy, HBO; iCareers ID 7107
  • WordPress/Web Developer, UW Integrated Service Center; iCareers ID 7088
  • Software Engineer, First Derivatives; iCareers ID 7108
  • Data Scientist, First Derivatives; iCareers ID 7109
  • Cybersecurity Analyst, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP; HuskyJobs ID 122580
  • Archives and Records Center Assistant, City of Portland; iCareers ID 7096
  • Research Services Librarian and Liaison for Science and Engineering, Seattle University; iCareers ID 7064
  • Digital Scholarship and Instruction Librarian, Grinnell College; iCareers ID 7092

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