Tell me about yourself
A key aspect of networking is introducing yourself to others. A personal commercial (also known as an elevator speech, personal introduction, 30-second commercial, etc.) is a quick, effective way to make an impressive introduction. You will use your personal commercial throughout your professional life, including when introducing yourself to a potential employer at a job fair, an interview, or anytime you are asked to introduce yourself professionally. It is also helpful when responding to the popular statement, “Tell me about yourself.”
Whether you are meeting people through networking or introducing yourself to a potential employer for the first time, having a self-marketing commercial that defines who you are, what you want and how you would benefit an employer will help you stand out. Try using these questions to organize your thoughts:
- What is your career goal?
- What skills, strengths, or experiences do you have that would help you realize that goal?
- What accomplishment best represents how you use these skills, strengths, or experiences?
- What are you searching for in a job or internship?
- How can you immediately benefit the organization?
Your personal commercial should be conversational and natural. The statement should not sound memorized, but take care not to ramble. You want to appear confident, poised, and professional.
Personal commercial template
Your personal commercial should be conversational and natural. The statement should not sound memorized and you should take care not to ramble. You want to appear confident, poised, and professional.
- Greeting: Hello, my name is (name). I am a (year in school) studying (major) at Western Michigan University.
- Goal: I am looking for (internship/full-time position) at (employer name).
- Interest/passion: I am interested in (interests related to the company/industry).
- Strengths: I have many skills to contribute including (strengths) and (skills).
- Brief example of experience: Previously, I worked at (employer name), where I (achievements and/or responsibilities - use the STAR method).
- Goal (informational interview): I am looking to gain a better understanding of ...
- Question: Ask a question to keep the conversation going.
Personal commercial examples
“Good morning, my name is Nirag Vashi, and I am a secondary education student at Western Michigan University with a focus in science. I grew up in a family of teachers and know that being a high school science teacher is my calling. My passion for helping others has been evident in my involvement in Kalamazoo Public Schools and as a camp counselor for the last three years. Through those experiences I have learned to interact with a diverse group of people, which has increased my ability to relate to others. I have also had the opportunity to create lessons for the campers that focused on life skills like teamwork, communication, and time management. Having been a teacher yourself, what things should I be doing now to prepare for my internship search?”
“Hello, I am Alexandra Hill, and I will be completing my bachelor’s degree in finance from Western Michigan University in August. I have worked on a wide variety of projects that have allowed me to put what I’ve learned in the classroom into use in a practical sense. Last year, I was part of a new course where the students managed $500,000 for the Western Annual Fund and it was really exciting to see the portfolio grow. I pride myself on being detail-oriented, analytical, and driven. I understand that you are searching for a new investment advisor and I believe these qualities would benefit your company’s goal to increase your client base while continuing to provide sound investment advice.”