Get Yourself an Elevator Pitch Chef

Elevator Chef Pitch

Editor’s note: Get Yourself an Elevator Pitch Chef was originally published in December 2015 and most recently updated in May 2022.

A study conducted by Microsoft found that the average person has an attention span of around eight seconds. You have one opportunity to make a first impression on someone and that impression needs to hold their attention. So it follows that if you’re a chef currently looking for your next career move, you need to get good at being memorable. For all the right reasons, of course! It’s never been more important to make sure you’re noticed and remembered.

Get yourself an elevator pitch, Chef!

Step forward the elevator pitch – a prepared, short and impactful speech designed to introduce yourself and highlight why someone should hire you for their job.

They don’t have to be delivered word-for-word, but knowing that you have a pitch that highlights your best attributes at the ready is handy to have when you’re a job seeker.

Read: Creating a Chef Video CV – 12 Steps to Success

What to say

It can be tough to immediately think about ourselves in glowing, interesting terms. But here’s the thing about an elevator pitch – you probably already have the start of one. Think about it for a second. Any time somebody asks what you do or about your work, you’re saying something.

So don’t think of it as a completely daunting task.

First and foremost decide on your pitch goal and what you want your audience to remember you for.

Your pitch should be a brief introduction to what you do, how you add value, and – if you’re looking for a job – what you’re focused on next. This is the key ingredient to your elevator pitch when you’re a jobseeker. It’s also the most overlooked.

Follow these 3 simple steps chef for success:

1. Incorporate your current chef position
2. Share three strengths or three areas where you add value
3. Let them know what you want to do next

Keep it short

Your pitch should not last longer than a short elevator ride – 30 seconds max. Remember it should be interesting, memorable and SHORT.

Lose the clichés

Terms like: ‘team player – results oriented’ need to be kept out. Where possible use more powerful, specific terminology that highlights why you’re the right chef to hire.

Highlight the benefits you can bring

Don’t just trot out a list of your best features – think in terms of how they can benefit a future employer. For example, you’d like to say, ‘an excellent manager and motivator’ what you pitch additionally needs to say,’ whose reduced staff turnover in the kitchen by 30%.’

Sidestep the snooze fest

Keep in mind that your pitch should excite you, chef. If you don’t get excited about what you’re saying, neither will your audience. Tap into what makes you passionate about your work and showcase that in your delivery. It’s true that others don’t always remember exactly what’s being said, but they’re likely to remember how enthusiastically you’re saying it.

The read through

When you’ve completed each section of your pitch, put it all together. Then, read it aloud and time how long it takes. Try to cut out anything that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. Try it out on others and take on board the feedback.

It can take some time to get your pitch right. You’ll likely go through several versions before finding one that’s compelling and that sounds natural in conversation. But at the end of this process you should have an impactful and well-rounded pitch that you’re happy delivering. As you get used to delivering your pitch, it is fine to vary it a little – the idea is that it doesn’t sound too formulaic or like it’s pre-prepared, even though it is!

Practice makes perfect

Just like a new recipe, practice makes perfect. If you don’t practice, it’s likely that you’ll talk too fast, sound unnatural or forget important elements of your pitch. The more you practice, the more natural your chef elevator pitch will become. You want it to sound like a smooth conversation, not an aggressive sales pitch.

Consistently make a great first and lasting impression

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to develop an elevator pitch that will not only help support you during your search for a new chef job, but enable you to make a great first and lasting impression with new colleagues, bosses, contacts or mentors.

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