How To Sell Yourself In 30 Seconds.


A Comprehensive Guide On How To Create The Perfect 30 Seconds Pitch

How to Sell Yourself: It is important for everyone to know how to sell themselves to potential employers, clients, and coworkers. If you don’t know how to go about this, just sit back and read till the end. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how you can craft the perfect self-pitch that will arouse your listener’s interest and increase your chances of landing that interview, job, or partnership.

What Does It Mean To Sell Yourself?

Selling is not meant for companies or big brands only. As a person, you still sell something every day, even if you don’t realize it. When meeting new friends, sharing your ideologies online or trying to get the attention of your crush. You’re selling yourself.

This applies to your personal and professional life. First impressions matter and what you do within the first few seconds can affect the other person’s opinion of you either positively or negatively. Now, this is where the 30 seconds pitch comes to play.

In essence, irrespective of your skills, talents, qualifications or experience, if you cannot sell yourself within 30 seconds, your chances of securing that job, or connection are almost zero. Second chances don’t always happen so you must be prepared at all times to be able to seize the moment whenever the opportunity presents itself.

What Is The 30 Seconds Pitch Aka “Elevator Pitch”

The 30-second pitch also known as the elevator pitch is a short presentation summarizing your background, experience and purpose and is aimed at persuading someone. It is called an elevator pitch because it should be short enough to present during an elevator ride.

Let’s say you’re riding an elevator and suddenly the director of a multinational company steps into the elevator, you have a few seconds before the next stop to tell him about yourself and sell him an idea. Whatever you’re saying has to be brief, precise and have the right amount of information. Just enough to land yourself a proper phone call, meeting or interview.

This brief speech, if done right, helps you compellingly introduce yourself to potential business or career connections. You can use it to build your network, get a job, and connect with new colleagues on your first work day.

How To Sell Yourself: Where To Use The 30 Seconds Pitch

You can use the 30 seconds pitch to sell yourself in different ways, depending on the place and situation. For example,  when job hunting, you can use the 30 seconds pitch at career expos and job fairs. You can also use it online in your Twitter bio or LinkedIn summary.

The 30 seconds pitch is also a great way of introducing yourself to company representatives and hiring managers. You can use it at networking events and of course during job interviews especially when you’re asked about yourself. Think of your pitch as a shorter and simpler version of your response to the famous “Tell me about yourself” interview question.

If you’re also attending any professional seminars, workshops or other types of gatherings, having your pitch ready for presentation is important.

How To Sell Yourself : Creating The Perfect 30-second Pitch

1 . Make It Brief

The reason it’s called a 30 seconds pitch is that it’s meant to be brief. So make sure you aim for 30-60 seconds. You don’t need to include your full work history and career goals. Your elevator pitch should be a quick summary of who you are and what you do. Mentioning only the important stuff will do the trick.

2. Be Persuasive

Because it’s short doesn’t mean it has to be boring. The aim is to sell yourself and to do that, your pitch has to be persuasive. You can achieve this by mentioning something you have in common with your listener, even if you don’t you can share an idea you know will be beneficial to their organisation. It’ll stir their interest in the conversation and if they’re not in a hurry, you’ll earn yourself a few more minutes of their time to drive home your point.

3. Share Your Skills

Now, remember, you’re giving a summary of who you are and what you do, this must include your relevant skills and qualification. Focus on your assets, and start with your best, most notable accomplishments. This will help shape the listener’s perception of you as a valuable individual.

Delivering a sales pitch at a networking event

4. Practice And Perfect Your Pitch

You never know when an opportunity might present itself, so you need to have your pitch ready at all times. Selling yourself in 30 seconds is not easy but it’s achievable with lots of practice.

You can start by practising in front of the mirror, then get a friend to stand in as your listener, practice like that for a while till you’re at the right speed and your pitch comes out naturally without sounding like a robot.  The more you practice the easier it will be to deliver it at job interviews or career networking events.

5. Be Positive And Flexible

Selling yourself does not equate to an interview or job application for a specific position. You’re only trying for potential clients or employees to notice you enough to set up a formal meeting with you. Do not start the conversation with negative information or insinuations. Your focus should be on appearing open-minded and flexible. For instance, if you’re networking with someone in the travel industry, you need not say that you hate travelling. That information is not necessary and would render your pitch dead on arrival.

This is your chance to make a great first impression, so don’t waste it.

6. Mention Your Goals

Highlight your goals, but don’t get too specific. The reason is that your pitch will be used in different circumstances and an overly targeted goal won’t help. That aside, remember to say what you’re looking for. For example, instead of saying “I would love to take up a position as the internal auditor for your firm”, you can say ” I’m looking forward to a role in accounting”. Instead of saying you have your eyes on becoming one of the “regional sales managers”, you can say you’re looking for “an opportunity to apply your sales skills to a new market”.

7. Know Your Audience

The way you present yourself is largely determined by your audience, you’ll talk differently when trying to network with colleagues compared to pitching your skills to a potential employer or client. Knowing your audience will help determine your language and vocabulary. It’ll help you decide when to use industry terms and jargon to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry.

But this does not work all the time. If you’re speaking to a hiring manager or recruiter, it’s best to avoid jargon in your pitch. They may feel you’re doing too much which can be off-putting. Keep it simple, even as you’re trying to sell yourself, you don’t want to sound too ” salesy” or desperate.

8. Have A Business Card Ready

After delivering your pitch, offer your business card at the end of the conversation. The whole point of your 30 seconds pitch is to help you get your foot in the door, so to continue the dialogue, have your business card ready at all times. And if you don’t, you can share your contact information through the phone. Ask for their contact details, email or phone number. You can proceed to send a copy of your resume also, especially if you’re at a professional networking event or a job fair. This will demonstrate your enthusiasm and preparedness.

How To Sell Yourself: Things To Avoid When Presenting Your Elevator Pitch

1. Avoid Rambling

There’s nothing more disappointing than failing to effectively convey your thoughts. Imagine speaking to a potential and you’re struggling to put words together. Even when you know what to say, not saying it well tells your audience that you’re not prepared. This is why you need to practice your pitch regularly. Your sentences should be clear and focused. And don’t forget to give the other person a chance to respond. That’s why it’s a conversation and not a live recording.

2.  Don’t Speak Too Fast

Yes, you don’t have the luxury of time here, but you also don’t want to talk too fast. This will only make it harder for your listener to digest all the information. You should be able to deliver your pitch as quickly as possible without sounding rushed.

3. Don’t Frown Or Speak In A Monotone Way

One side effect of rehearsing your pitch too much is you could end up sounding too robotic. This is because you’re focused on trying to remember the exact words to say that you forget to communicate with your facial and body language. Know your speech well enough that it becomes easy for you to say it even from your sleep. Don’t forget to smile and maintain a confident posture.

4. Don’t Limit Yourself To A Single Pitch

Earlier, we stated that you should only mention relevant skills, experience and goals. This is important because you can have more than one elevator pitch and tailor each to your different set of skills, depending on the job you are applying for or who you’re talking to.

How To Sell Yourself Online In 30 Seconds

The guidelines we just gave on how to create your 30 seconds pitch to help sell yourself in person, can also be applied online. However, when it comes to delivering your pitch in a virtual job fair on zoom, there are a few tips you should keep in mind

• Be intentional about your appearance – Dress properly and make sure your background is clutter free and well lit

• Make eye contact – maintain eye contact with the person at the other end of the video chat. Avoid looking side away from the camera or getting distracted

• Maintain high energy – just as you would in person, maintain high energy, smile, sound cheerful and avoid talking too fast

Examples Of 30-second Pitches You Can Model

  • I graduated a year ago from the university with a degree in Business administration and I worked as an office assistant during holidays. I’m looking for a job that will put my skills as an administrator to use
  • My name is Tony, and after years of working with the state’s food and drug administration agency, I’m taking the bold step to open my pharmacy. If you know any hospitals looking for licensed drugs, please send them my way
  • Hi, my name is Stacy and I create amazing websites for brands. I also create pictures and cartoon illustrations. My passion is to help people express and share their messages on social media using my illustrations and designs


Who would have thought that it is possible to sell yourself in 30 short seconds? Well, no you do. You have now been equipped with the right information to create that killer pitch to help you sell yourself to potential business partners, clients, recruiters and colleagues any time, any day.

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