“Tell us about yourself” can be an intimidating college prompt, but it comes up a lot in the college application process—on essays, in interviews, with scholarship apps, and more. But how do you sell yourself quickly and effectively?
The Elevator Pitch
First off, let’s define what an “elevator pitch” is: It’s a short 30 second to 1 minute statement in which you tell someone who you are and what value you can add to their community. It gets its name from the concept of telling someone about yourself or your idea while riding in the elevator with them: you only have a brief amount of time to impress.
In the college admission context, your elevator pitch must define who you are and how you can add value to their institution. Mastering your elevator pitch is the key to impressing the college admissions committee and boosting your odds of acceptance.
Here are some things you can do to achieve this:
Recognize the unique traits that set you apart from the crowd.
Highlight your unique talents and areas of expertise. Emphasize how you can use these attributes to add value to your classroom and to the college.
Be specific when talking about your accomplishments
Whether your educational goals or your long-term career goals. The more specific you are, the more impressed the admissions committee is likely to be. Bring up the facts.
Practice saying your elevator pitch out loud.
Record it and listen to the recording. Does it sound excited and convincing or does it sound rehearsed? Are you putting emphasis on all the right places? Does the wording sound off?
After you’ve listened to the recording, practice some more and make another recording. Keep doing this till you are fully satisfied with your elevator pitch delivery.
Write your pitch down
If you’re writing an elevator pitch, how long is it? Three sentences? A whole paragraph? Half a page? If you’re writing an essay for your college app or a scholarship, there are ways to show don’t tell who you are without being super overt or long-winded.
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