Accountants: How to craft the perfect elevator pitch for meet the firms
Meet the Firms is an accounting-specific career fair that features representatives from various accounting, finance and CPA review firms. Attending a Meet the Firms event can be a crucial step in advancing your future career. You will get the opportunity to network with accounting professionals, showcase your skills to potential future employers and get a better notion of what types of firms are out there.
At these events, recruiters are searching for individuals that possess personalities that fit well with the culture of their companies. It helps to prepare an “elevator pitch” to help you make a great first impression. An elevator pitch, or elevator speech, is a brief, compelling introduction that can be ideally communicated in the amount of time it takes someone to ride the elevator.
To ensure that you are properly prepared, we’ve put together a few suggestions to help you polish your elevator pitch and land that next big job.
1. Keep it Short.
Keep your pitch short and sweet. The length can vary, but a good pitch shouldn’t last longer than 60 seconds. People are busy, so being able to adequately convey who you are and what you are looking for in a timely fashion is key.
2. Do Your Homework.
It’s important to know which firms are attending and what specific qualifications they are looking for in a candidate. Spend some time gathering background research on each firm, be familiar with who you will be speaking to and know what you’re talking about. It’s common for people to have various versions of the same pitch, so you’ll want to tailor your pitch depending on who you are speaking with.
3. Formulate your Pitch.
Begin by introducing yourself and providing a brief summary of what you do, such as your education, work experience or any special strengths. If you’re not sure what to include here, consider the main highlights on your resume. Focus on the most interesting or remarkable facts – the ones that will make you stand out.
Next, explain the value that you provide to the employer. This may depend on what exactly you’re using the pitch for, be it an internship, job opportunity or to get someone’s contact information. This is a good time to explain why you’re a good fit for the job and what you have to offer.
Finally, close with a call to action. This could include expressing interest in a job, asking for a meeting or simply asking a follow up question.
4. Be Confident.
Express confidence throughout your entire pitch. Employers want to know that they’re hiring people who can easily adapt to situations. Display that in your body language and overall demeanor. It’s natural to be nervous at an event like this, but if you keep your focus, stay positive, smile and have faith in your ability, you will be just fine.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice.
After you’ve developed a pitch that matches your background and goals, practice your speech with a friend who can be objective and offer constructive criticism. Recite your speech out loud, rehearse in front of a mirror and record yourself to make sure you are within a good time limit. Knowing your pitch inside and out will help you feel more confident when delivering it, so put in the time to get it right.
Many firms use this event as a way to recruit future talent, so do your homework, ask questions and make yourself stand out among the rest. Your pitch could be the beginning of a new opportunity, so take the time to draft, review and deliver it with confidence.
Remember this: recruiters are there to meet YOU, so be confident in yourself and make them remember exactly who you are.
Once you’ve perfected the elevator pitch, check out these 8 networking tips so that you’re more prepared to make personal and professional connections in the accounting world.