30-Second Commercial

When meeting new individuals in a professional setting, such as networking events and career fairs, it is important to make a strong first impression. By developing your personalized “30-second commercial,” you will be able to quickly and effectively market yourself to others.

Your 30-second commercial should:

  • Identify who you are
  • Highlight a few strengths and accomplishments
  • Show how you can bring added value to an organization
  • Be concise

As you can see in the sample below, the student highlights her name, major/industry, strengths and specific interest in the company.

Remember, the 30-second commercial can also be useful when writing resumes/cover letters, writing emails to employers, or when leaving voicemails.

Also, don’t forget to practice! It will help you deliver your 30-second commercial seamlessly with confidence; however, you don’t want to sound like a robot!

Dos 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.

Sample Template & Example

Sample Template

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 his/her 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?”

Example Commercial

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. During this past summer, I interned at Wachovia, where I developed customer correspondence, including newsletters with featured products and services. My 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 approach graduation, I am very interested in utilizing my strengths in writing and forecast analysis within the financial industry. I researched your organization and believe that my 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.


▲ Back to:
Networking 101
Continue Reading:
10 Tips for Effective Networking