One Minute Commercial

Having your “One Minute Commercial”, “Elevator Speech”, or “15 Second Pitch” ready to go is an essential component of networking. This is your introduction to and your first impression on a new contact. It's a concise and compelling summary of who you are, what you can do, and what you want to do. It highlights your relevant skills and experience as they relate to the type of position you are seeking. You want to prepare these sound bites ahead of time and rehearse them out loud. Your commercial may include information like:

  • Your name, degrees, and relevant minors.
  • Your career interests and focus.
  • The type of position you are seeking.
  • A targeted summary of relevant past and present work experience/internships, volunteer positions/class projects.
  • Activities demonstrating leadership, teamwork/service.
  • How your background and future goals will fit with their organizational needs.
  • Your specific interest in the organization and how your skills relate to their needs.

It is not necessary to address all of the above in your introduction, but preparing ahead of time a conversational and concise message opens doors to having a dialogue with a new contact.


  1. Hi, my name is Jane. I will be graduating next year with my masters in library and information science from SJSU. Through my coursework I have found that I am really interested in ____________. I have taken several classes related to this area and I feel like this area is a great fit for me. I am interested in an internship position where I can apply what I have learned. Before deciding to attend graduate school, I worked at ________________ and have been able to apply my knowledge of ______________and ______________to the __________________ field.
  2. Hi, my name is Thomas and I am interested in an entry-level __________________position in a public library. I will be finishing my Masters degree in Library and Information Science this summer. I recently completed an excellent 6-month internship at the Martin Luther King, Jr. library in San Jose where I had the opportunity to _____________________ and _____________. This experience really solidified my interest in ____________________. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience in the field of______________________________?
  3. Hi, my name is Jamie and it is a pleasure to meet you. I am currently a student at SJSU and working on my MLIS. I am particularly interested in the field of ______________. My past experience has been in film and media where I was responsible for _________________ and ___________________. This experience prompted me to continue my education in information science and I am really interested in combining my skills in ___________and _____________ and working for Pixar Animation upon graduation. I would love to learn about how you got into the field and got hired at Pixar.

The SJSU Career Center has a template of a One Minute Commercial to help you map out an introduction.

You can also check out the website The Pitch Girl; view an interview with Laura Allen about the 15-second pitch for a different way to create your personal introduction; and read Mary Ellen Bates' blog about creatively different approaches - the anti-elevator speech

In Fall 2015, the iSchool SLA Student Chapter hosted several interesting events. Scroll down for Dee Magnoni’s and (especially for nervous networkers) Tracy Z. Maleeff’s discussions about networking.

 Next: Informational Interviewing