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Your 30-Second Commercial


“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca (3 BC – 65 AD)

elevatorThe term “30-second commercial” can be used to describe the brief sales pitch someone gives about their company when they bump into a prospective customer. Also referred to as an “elevator speech,” a 30-second commercial is intended to provide all of the key information about something in a short period of time, while also piquing the interest of the listener. If you are searching for a job, you need to make sure you have your 30-second commercial prepared. You never want to miss an opportunity to sell your product—yourself!


Make sure that you include all of the key information about yourself. Your experience, your strengths and key accomplishments can easily be fit into 30 seconds. If you’ve worked for some large, well-known companies, mention them. Don’t forget to include anything unique about you or your career.


The most effective 30-second commercials use short, declarative sentences. Be careful not to use any jargon specific to your career field unless you are certain that your audience will understand it. You want to try to grab the person’s attention, so be passionate and engaging. Even if your job search has you feeling bitter or frustrated, don’t let those emotions come through. Ideally when you deliver your commercial it will be part of a dialogue, so it’s good to end with a call to action or a question. For example, if you are speaking to someone about your IT experience you could end with: “How does your company handle software development?”

Key Points to Remember

The delivery of your commercial is crucial to its success. Speaking with confidence will convey credibility and will impact the listener. Remember your audience and tailor your message so that it has the most impact. Most importantly, keep your commercial to 30 seconds. Use the first 15 seconds to engage your audience and the last 15 seconds for wrap up. Don’t forget to practice so that you are comfortable with the material. You don’t want it to sound overly rehearsed or memorized, but it needs to flow easily.


A polished, professional 30-second commercial is an invaluable tool when you are looking for a job. You never know where the next opportunity is going to come from, and you never know where you might meet someone who can help you. In the next few weeks we’ll share some more hints on how to structure your job search and some of the other tools you need to make it successful.




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