For the purpose of professional networking, one of the keys to your success is to make a really strong first impression. To do this, you need to create a personal “commercial”. It is essentially an overview of your experience, skills, strengths, accomplishments and goals- all in 60 seconds!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Your 60-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. You commercial should allow you to stand out a bit from the crowd. Whether it is vocabulary you choose or a specific achievement you mention, you want to engage the listener and give them an opportunity to see your personality.
Be prepared for follow-up questions. You may be asked for more information or to elaborate on something you said, which will keep the conversation going. Part of your strategy is to develop a rapport with the interviewer and a good commercial and follow-up will help to set a positive tone. Vary your closing to fit the circumstances. At a job fair or networking event you want to be proactive and may want to consider an action question such as “May I have your business card and contact you…”
Contact the VCEA Internships & Career Services office for personalized assistance.
Phone: (509) 335-3740
You will use your 60-second commercial throughout your professional life. Some relevant uses include:
- When introducing yourself to a potential employer at a career fair.
- At an interview.
- In a cover letter- to highlight your background and key abilities.
- At professional networking events- when you are asked to introduce yourself.
- In cold calling employers for an internship or future job.
The structure of a 60-second commercial generally follows this pattern:
- Who you are, plus a credential
- A specific objective
- How you have demonstrated your interest
- Why you are qualified
- Ask a specific question about their organization/available position(s) based on your research
- What is your career goal? (Usually frame it in the form of doing something for someone).
- What skill, strength, or experience do you have that would help you realize that goal?
- What accomplishment proves you have that skill, strength, or experience?
- What are you searching for in a job or internship?
- How can you immediately benefit the organization?
For example, your commercial might look something like this:
- My name is [INSERT NAME].
- I am a [INSERT MAJOR] here at WSU and I am looking for [INSERT TYPE OF OPPORTUNITY i.e. Structural Engineering Internship].
- I have experience/interest/skills in [INSERT], for example [INSERT HOW YOU GOT/USE/LEARNED THE SKILLS].
- I feel I could apply these same skills/abilities in your [INSERT COMPANY/ORGANIZATION] opportunity. (You’ll need to do some research into what they’re looking for to be able to comment on this).
- Can you tell me more about this opportunity? (Or can you tell me more about career opportunities in your company)?