30 Second Commercials (aka “The Elevator Speech”)

Now that you have your 10-second tagline well honed (see this post), you can expand it into your “30-second commercial”, also know in job search circles as “The Elevator Speech”.

30-Second Commercial

Second step:  When someone seems interested, and asks another question or for more details, then you can launch into your “30 second commercial”/”elevator speech”, which expands upon what you’ve already shared.  You start to paint in the sketch with a few more details.  A 30-Second Commercial might include:

  • examples of companies and/or job titles in the past
  • a key accomplishment or skill set or two
  • short description of the type of working environment you prefer
  • something about your work personality and style

Good conversation unrolls itself like spring or like the dawn.” – W.B. Yeats


Once you have crafted both your 10 second tag line and your 30 second commercial:

  • Practice reciting them until they feel and sound natural and conversational, rather than rehearsed and too much like a sales pitch.

  • Practice working in natural pauses into your 30 second commercial where it is natural to stop. This will be helpful if you sense the listener is either not understanding, or no longer interested, of that it’s simply time to end your explanation.

Practicing your tag lines and commercials until you feel comfortable will not only help your conversations with potential contacts sound and feel natural, it will help you feel confident, and therefore more relaxed in your interactions as well.

This works for interviewing & practicing those skills, too.  When you feel more like yourself, your personality, enthusiasm, and confidence will shine through, and the listener will surely notice.  Resist any urges to be pushy or talk longer than the other seems to want to talk.

Personal Contact Cards

Third tip: remember to have personal contact cards ready and available to exchange.  They are like business cards but simply list your name, phone number and email information.

  • Many people nowadays add their LinkedIn profile, Twitter, and/or Facebook account info, too, or in some professions, their blog info would be appropriate (if business based) too.
  • Basic designs are available for only the cost of shipping and handling at www.vistaprint.com, visit your local copy/print shop like Kinko’s, or  you can get card stock and print your own from your computer.  Keep your look clean, simple, and professional.
  • Some people like to put a little information about the type of work or field they work in, for example “Customer Service Management” or “Graphic and Web Design” under their names, too.

Networking takes time and gentle persistence to work. When you are meeting new contacts, your focus should be on building relationship, and getting to know that person and how you might assist them too.

As another old saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.”  Fear not, your opportunity will roll around – work in the meantime on being ready for it when it does.