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πŸ““ Telling Your Story

Why Your Story Matters​

As you start job searching and attending networking events, it’s important to know how to communicate your journey into tech and the skills you bring with you in a succinct elevator pitch.

An elevator pitch is a brief way of introducing yourself, getting across a few key points, and making an initial connection with someone. Ideally, this will take you one minute or less to cover completely from start to finish, but can be slightly longer if you have lots of relevant technical experience.

Your elevator pitch allows you to cover the broad strokes of your background along with any key details that highlight your most relevant skills, experience, and goals. When sharing your story, you want the listener or reader to walk away with the most important information about your path into tech, while also leaving space for them to ask you further questions.

Practically, you’ll use this elevator pitch (or some version of it) throughout your job search in cover letters, job applications, interviews, while networking and more.

Developing Your Story​

To develop your elevator pitch, we’re going to break it down into three key sections: your background, your goals and career transition, and your current technical experience.

Step 1: Your Background​

Write 2-3 sentences about your background, and include 3-5 relevant skills (technical and non-technical) that you bring with you from that work, education, or volunteer experience. Where relevant, include job position titles, company or organization names, and educational institutions (including relevant classes taken, or certifications, degrees, or licenses earned).

Your focus here should be on broad strokes with enough detail to highlight your most relevant transferable skills. If you have any technical experience or adjacent experience in the tech field, this is a great place to mention it.

Step 2: Your Goals and Career Transition​

Write 1-2 sentences about why you are entering tech or pursuing your education at Epicodus. These should all be framed in a positive light, describing what you are excited about in this industry and what interests you, rather than what you don’t like about previous work experience.

Below are a few questions to get you started:

Note: You don’t need to answer all of them or limit yourself to these questions, but use them instead as a jumping-off point for this section of your elevator pitch.

  • What interests you about this field?
  • What do you like most about coding so far?
  • What do you want to learn more about?
  • What are your goals in the next 1 year? 3 years? 5 years?
  • Why did you decide to attend Epicodus?
  • Why are you moving from your previous career into a technical role?

Step 3: Your Current Experience​

Next, write 2-3 sentences about your current experience in tech. For most students, this will be about Epicodus and the specific projects you’ve built, technologies you’re learning or have learned, and any other experience you’re gaining in your education here. In the future, this section may expand to include your internship experience or first job in the field.

Step 4: Put It All Together​

Now, read your entire story out loud and time how long it takes you to complete. If it’s too long (more than 2 minutes), consider where you can scale it back. On the flip side, if it’s too short (less than 20 seconds), see where you can expand. As an optional, but highly encouraged final step, share your elevator pitch with at least one peer, but ideally with multiple peers, friends, or family. Practicing telling your story is just as important as building it, so that you feel confident in communicating every piece of it going forward. Keep this elevator pitch somewhere that you can reference it easily for cover letters, job interviews, and networking events in the future.