Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, July 15, 2016
The most important thing to focus on in such an 'elevator speech' is to focus on those things that differentiate you from others trying to enter the same field as you. For example, most candidates will have a degree similar to yours and a high GPA, so what about you is different. In many cases, a differentiator is leadership ability. It is one thing to get involved in activities outside of school and work, but what type of role did you play in these activities? If you took on a leadership role in these or other activies, make that the focus of your speech. Talk about your natural leadership skills and how you naturally migrated to them. Just as important in such a speech is the manner in which you deliver it. Being able to give the speech in a confident, but not arrogant way is key. The listener must be able to make a judgement on your communication skills and how you will fit into their company culture based on your delivery of the speech. Bottom line, like a resume, this speech must make the listener want to learn more about you and conduct a formal interview.