Me in 30 Seconds: A Tool for Networking

Two men are having a conversation. They appear happy.

Studies suggest that 80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success. A “Me in 30 Seconds” statement (sometimes known as an elevator pitch) is a simple way to talk about yourself, pique the interest of a listener, and make a good first impression when networking. Learn more about what a “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is and how to craft your own statement below.

What Is a “Me in 30 Seconds” Statement?

A “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is a few sentences that provide an overview of your current employment status, your relevant background and experience, and your career goals. The purpose of a “Me in 30 Seconds” is not to tell your life story or go into great detail about your professional accomplishments.

This can be done using “Power Statements” during the job interview. Instead, the purpose of the “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is simply to establish credibility, create interest and awareness, and make it easy for the person listening to help you identify additional contacts.

The Elevator Pitch or Verbal Resume

Sometimes, a “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is referred to as an “elevator pitch.” Imagine you are riding in an elevator with a person you identify as a potential networking contact. You would like to introduce yourself and try to network with this person, but you only have a brief time (the length of the elevator ride) to tell them who you are and pique their interest.

Another way to think about the “Me in 30 Seconds” statement is as a “verbal resume.” Your written resume is usually a one-page document highlighting the most important facts relating to your job search. Studies have shown that hiring managers often spend only 7 seconds visually scanning a resume for the most relevant information. Your “Me in 30 Seconds” should function in a similar way, providing a brief verbal “scan” of the most important elements on your written resume: your current employment or career goals, your current and past job titles, the companies you’ve worked for and the length of that employment, and your educational background.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills in Your “Me in 30 Seconds” Statement

In a job search, it’s important to understand the difference between hard skills and soft skills and when to use each:

  • Hard skills refer to quantifiable data and information about yourself, such as job titles, names of companies you’ve worked for, number of people you’ve supervised, degrees you’ve earned, and so on. This is the kind of information you will use to create your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement.
  • Soft skills refer to attributes or qualities you possess, such as being a team player, a hard worker, a quick learner, an effective manager, a strong leader, an excellent communicator, and so on. This is information you will use in your job interview.

Examples of Hard Skills

Examples of Soft Skills

  • I worked at Acme Manufacturing as a plant manager for 7 years, managing over 200 people.
  • I have a master’s degree in public administration from Ableton University.
  • I have experience with Python, SQL, and Java.
  • I am very detail oriented.
  • I work well under pressure and can handle deadlines.
  • I can effectively manage change.

When networking, you should focus on briefly and effectively communicating your hard skills using a “Me in 30 Seconds” statement. This will help you establish credibility, create interest, generate contacts, and get interviews. The time to focus on your soft skills is during the job interview.

What is an Example of a “Me in 30 Seconds” Statement?

Use the table below to learn what elements make up a great “Me in 30 Seconds” statement. Use this example to help you get started on drafting your own statement.

Element of “Me in 30”


Introduction“Hi, my name is Gregg Toland.”
Or, if you already know the person:
“Hi Steve, do you have a minute to chat?”
Reference mutual connection
(Optional—only if relevant)
“I got your name from Amy Jacobson. She thought you would be a good person to talk to.”
Current Status or Background
Use hard skills such as job titles, previous employers, length of employment, and so on.
“For the past six years, I’ve been a regional sales manager for Whipple Randolph Industries. They’re a mid-size pharmaceutical manufacturer headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the company went out of business a few months ago, but prior to that I supervised a team of 15 salesmen.
“I have over 20 years’ experience in pharmaceutical and medical device sales for several different companies, including 5 years at SmithKline Beecham.”

Goal or Vision
Be clear and straightforward about your goal. This shows the person you’re networking with that you have a thought-out plan, which will make it easier for them to help.

It’s also important to show enthusiasm about your career objective. People love to help other people who are passionate about what they do. Your enthusiasm will be infectious!

“Outside sales has always been my passion, and I’m currently looking for a senior sales position in the healthcare industry.”

The “Ask”
It’s important to be clear about how you would like this person to help you. Don’t ask “Do you know of any jobs?” This might put someone on the defensive and make them feel uncomfortable.

Instead, look for ways to get the person involved in your job search using one or two of these examples.

  • Who do you know that would be good for me to talk to?
  • Do you know of anyone in a VP of sales or marketing role that I might be able to talk to?
  • Do you have any contacts in sales or in the healthcare industry?
  • Do you know of any companies that might want to talk to someone with my background?
  • Would you be willing to look at my resume and give me some feedback?

It’s About People

You’ll find that most people are willing to help you to achieve your goals as long as you make it easy for them by:

  1. Establishing credibility by briefly communicating the highlights of your background and experience
  2. Clearly stating your goals and objectives
  3. Asking specifically for the help you need