A “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is a simple way to present to someone else a balanced understanding of who you are. It piques the interest of a listener who invites you to “Tell me a little about yourself,” and it provides a brief and compelling answer to the question “Why should I hire you?”
What Should it Include?
When well crafted, your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement will include:
- A brief personal introduction that includes your career objective or the type of position you want.
- Three or four specific accomplishments that prove you meet or exceed the requirements for that position.
- A few character traits or adaptive skills that set you apart from typical applicants.
When networking, finish your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement with probing questions that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no” to start a conversation that may lead to referrals or job opportunities.
WHO do you know who works in _______________?
WHAT businesses are in the area that _______________?
WHO do you know who knows a lot of people?
Other Points to Consider
Keep your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement brief. People generally listen effectively only 30 to 60 seconds, and they appreciate concise responses to questions. This indicates that you are clearly focused and waste no time getting to the point.
- Speak in the present tense to show that your skills are current and applicable in today’s market.
- Remember your audience. Adjust the level of detail and industry jargon you use according to the interest and experience of the person you are addressing.
- Avoid common claims such as: “I’m trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, kind,” and so on. Not only are these claims made by most job seekers, but without detailed examples, they don’t convey your value to a potential employer.
- Make your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement natural.
It is a genuine form of communication that will help you organize everything you are into brief, coherent thoughts.
Sample “Me in 30 Seconds” statements for networking:
“My name is Randy Patterson, and I’m currently looking for a job in youth services. I have 10 years of experience working with youth agencies. I have a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education. I raise money, train leaders, and organize units. I have raised over $100,000 each of the last six years. I consider myself a good public speaker, and I have a good sense of humor. “Who do you know who works with youth?”
“My name is Lucas Martin, and I enjoy meeting new people and finding ways to help them have an uplifting experience. I have had a variety of customer service opportunities, through which I was able to have fewer returned products and increased repeat customers, when compared with co-workers. I am dedicated, outgoing, and a team player. Who could I speak with in your customer service department about your organization’s customer service needs?”
Sample “Me in 30 Seconds” statement for an interview:
“People find me to be an upbeat, self-motivated team player with excellent communication skills. For the past several years I have worked in lead qualification, telemarketing, and customer service in the technology industry. My experience includes successfully calling people in director-level positions of technology departments and developing viable leads. I have a track record of maintaining a consistent call and activity volume and consistently achieving the top 10 percent in sales, and I can do the same thing for your company.”
“I am a dedicated person with a family of four. I enjoy reading, and the knowledge and perspective that my reading gives me has strengthened my teaching skills and presentation abilities. I have been successful at raising a family, and I attribute this success to my ability to plan, schedule, and handle many different tasks at once. This flexibility will help me in the classroom, where there are many different personalities and learning styles.”
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Movies and television shows don’t start with the big reveal. Essays and articles don’t put their conclusions first. Your speech is no different — audiences want you to slowly but deftly ease them into the topics of your speeches. (Foreplay would be another apt analogy, but let’s keep this PG.) Successful introductions establish three things first and foremost:
1. A comfort level and rapport between you and your audience
2. Who you are
3. Your point — what you’re going to be discussing — and its relevance
Not all intros fit the bill. For example, you may want to start with the funniest joke or anecdote in the world, but if it doesn’t connect with these objectives, it does you no good.
Suggestions for strong introductions:
1. “My name is X, and I’ve been asked to speak to you about Y because Z.”
This is not the most sophisticated or original way to begin a speech, but since it meets the objectives, it’ll do. Just be sure to nail down and memorize these first few lines, so they don’t trip you up.
2. “Good morning, my name is X. Maybe you saw the headline in today’s paper about ….”
Connecting your point to recent news conveys timeliness and relevance, but also sets you up as someone concerned about the world at large and your place in it.
3. “Good morning, my name is X, and I’m here to talk to you about Y. I’d actually like to begin with something funny my six-year-old said to me this morning that relates to why we’re here….”
Revealing a personal moment humanizes you immediately, giving your audience an avenue through which they can instantly relate. It also opens up opportunities for humor: “… later I told my child if he wanted to share news with me, to just tweet it.”
4. “Hi, my name is X. Let’s start with a question: How many of you have ever tried Y?”
Starting with a question is a traditional tactic, yet still effective. But don’t just ask rhetorically — solicit a response. It draws your audience into the discussion and engages them immediately, even if the number of hands raised proves absolutely nothing.
Remember, you’re taking your audience on a learning journey. Do what all good tour guides do at the start: be human, be likable, and prep your audience for what’s ahead.