Have you ever had a conversation with someone who had potential to help you land a better job and felt that they didn't get what's unique about you and what would make you a great catch?
If you're going about your job search right way, you're not confining yourself to Internet. Instead, you use Internet to get job leads but also venture out into real world, talk to people, go to networking events, etc. One of most critical things about effective networking is being able to succinctly communicate why someone should be interested in you. Especially in social settings, peoples' brains tend to be on low power setting so a long and complicated explanation about your profession and specialty won't work. It's for this reason that something called an "Elevator Pitch" was invented.
An Elevator Pitch is a concise, tailored, benefit-focused description of your career background. Elevator Pitches are used most often by entrepreneurs looking to raise venture capital to fund a new business. Venture capitalists are busy people and they receive countless business plans, many of which they never get a chance to read. Smart entrepreneurs recognize this logjam and that their best chance of getting an investor interested may be to summarize their complex business into a short, conversational speech.
Another way to think of an Elevator Pitch is that it's like a TV commercial for why an employer should buy you, but in a conversational format that someone would enjoy listening to. What if you ran into president of GE, IBM, or some other company you wanted to work for in an elevator and they casually asked what you did? Having an elevator pitch ready is key to getting someone like this interested in you.
Although elevator pitch should be designed to fit within 15 to 60 seconds' speaking time, you should be able to continue talking if person does not stop you. The goal of an elevator pitch is generally to get person to agree to let you follow up with them (or their assistant). You might close an elevator pitch by asking if you can follow up with person about potential job opportunities and exchanging business cards.
Effective public speakers often use tactic of telling audience what they're about to tell them, and then telling them in more detail. Starting out an elevator pitch by providing some context and telling them what you're about to tell them will generate interest and curiosity and make person want to hear what you have to say. Here's an example of how a conversation could start off: