One of the most important tools for a jobseeker to have in their job search toolkit is a strong 30-second commercial, also known as an “elevator pitch”. This is a great way to introduce yourself to new contacts, and allows you to communicate professionally and appear polished when meeting new people. There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your 30-second commercial makes the best first impression for you. Read on below to find out how to create your own winning elevator pitch.
What should I keep in mind when developing my 30-second commercial?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Your 30-second commercial should be conversational and natural. Although prepared in advance, it should never sound memorized. You want to appear confident, enthusiastic, poised and professional. Make it memorable but not outrageous. You are competing with many other qualified candidates. Your commercial should allow you to stand out a bit from the crowd. Whether it is the vocabulary you choose or a specific achievement you mention, you want to engage the listener and give them an opportunity to see your personality.
Questions to Think About in Developing Your 30-Second Commercial:
1. What is your career goal? (Frame it in the form of doing something for someone)
2. What skill, strength, or experience do you have that would help you realize that goal?
3. What accomplishment proves you have that skill, strength, or experience?
4. What are you searching for in a job?
5. How can you immediately benefit the organization?
How should I format my 30-second commercial?
First sentences: Include your name, where you are from, your alma mater and what you studied.
Middle sentences: Quickly summarize your relevant experience. Do not reiterate your resume. For example, mention your industry and your most recent roles, the key skills you use and developed as well as an accomplishment with results. Mention your future career goals. Try framing it as, “One accomplishment I am most proud of…” or “One key strength that I would bring to your organization is…”
Last sentences: Briefly relay how your background led you to your career exploration. If you are in an interview, explain why you are interested in the organization and this role.
Pro Tip: Even though you may get the request, “Tell me about yourself”, this does not mean that you should share personal information about your family, marital status, health conditions, or negative stories about former employers. The employer or networking contact can get a sense of your personality by your responses and attitude regarding work. If you share personal information, it may be used against you in their decision to stay engaged with you as a candidate or networking contact.
We would love for you to join us at the April meeting of the Alumni Career Management Job Club, where we will be providing networking time for participants to practice their elevator pitches with one another live. If you’d like to take part, register here.