30-Second Networking Commercial
Networking can be easy and more comfortable for you if you have a 30-second commercial prepared. Also known as an “elevator speech,” the commercial is your first chance to introduce yourself to someone and give them a short synopsis of your skills and experience with the goal of getting them to ask you for more information. Commercials are made to sell things, and you are marketing your strengths and talents to potential employers.
30-second commercials are good to use at networking or industry events as well as when talking to recruiters or hiring managers at career fairs.
Take the time to develop your script so that you are comfortable talking with anyone. Your speech should be memorable and effective and create interest on the part of the listener.
What are the Main Elements of the Networking Commercial?
By answering these questions, you can begin to craft your personal commercial:
- Who am I? What value do I bring? Identify yourself in terms of a job function or value you can contribute.
- What benefits might you bring to an organization, based upon your strengths and qualities and proven accomplishments?
- End your commercial with a question that will stimulate further action and/or referral.
Do’s and Don’ts for the 30-Second Commercial:
- Focus on your strengths and assets that you would like to use in your career.
- Mention the type of industry with which you have an interest.
- Practice it so you can deliver it effortlessly while appearing natural and sincere.
- Be sure that what you’re saying can be backed up with facts and results.
- Use your 30-second commercial when leaving voicemails for contacts and recruiters.
- Have more than one version. Different events and situations will require you to discuss different things.
- Ask if there is someone else that they would recommend that you also speak with regarding your interests.
- Use industry jargon or acronyms.
- Ramble. If you run out of things to say ask a question to the employer such as, “is there anything else you would like to know about me?” or “Would you like me to talk more about my experience?”
- Don’t forget to ask for a business card, the name of a person you can follow up with, or advice for future action you should take.
The following is a sample template to get you started on developing on your own 30-second commercial.
First sentence: Include your name, your school, your degree and major. (for students and new graduates). More experienced individuals want to introduce themselves and then begin with the middle sentence.
Middle sentences: State your relevant experience. For example mention your employer, your role, the skills you used and developed as well as the accomplishments and results you are proud of. Mention your future career goals.
Last sentences: Briefly relay how your background might benefit the listener. Ask for their suggestions on who else you might speak with for advice regarding your strengths.
After you have engaged the contact in conversation, don’t forget to ask for a referral by saying something like “Do you have any advice for me or can you suggest any other people I should contact?”
Hello, my name is Janet Danske and I will be receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in Economics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in May of 2011. During this past summer, I held an internship with Wachovia where I was developing customer correspondence including newsletters with featured products and services. My end of the summer evaluation from my supervisor was outstanding. During the academic year, I also worked an average of 15 hours per week as a writing tutor on campus where I assisted students with in all areas of development such as reports, letters and composition.
As I look toward graduation, I am very interested in utilizing my strengths in writing and forecast analysis within the financial industry. As I researched your organization, I believe that these strengths might fit well within your Economic Analysis division.
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this and if you might have some other suggestions where my strengths might be of value.
(After you have engaged the person in dialogue, make sure that you thank the person for their time and information. If you would like another referral, you can ask the following.)
Would you happen to know of anyone who would be interested in hearing more about my strengths?
The more you practice this and revise it to fit your style, the more effective it will become for you!