How to improve your 'elevator pitch' in job hunt

Every unemployed person -- and there are plenty of them -- probably has an "elevator pitch" meant to introduce themselves and their job qualifications in the time it takes to take a ride on an elevator.

It's difficult to explain in about 30 seconds what you can do for a potential employer, but it's a good thing to have in your job hunting arsenal in case you meet someone who can help you land a job.

When someone asks what you do, or did, for a living, you don't want to simply state, "I was in the real estate business" or just state a list of accomplishments, according to Mark Magnacca, author of a new book about communicating called So What?

After giving your name, you want to say what Magnacca calls a "So What Benefit" so that the listener wants to know more about you and what you can do for them.

For example, in his new book, Magnacca tells about a man named Floyd who described himself as "an automotive consultant." After some prodding, however, he gives what amounts to a perfect elevator speech that gets the listener's attention and makes people want to know more.

Here's what the "automotive consultant" said: