What’s the one thing that all job hunters need regardless of the industry they’re in or the position they’re looking for? Well if you want to make a good impression then the “must have” is an attention-grabbing :30 commercial.

Are you tongue-tied when people ask you about yourself? Do you start back to where you were born and where you went to high school? Are you getting bogged down in irrelevant details and information that makes the listener’s eyes glaze over?

What you should be doing is developing and practicing your :30 commercial, giving your listener a scintillating snapshot of who you are and where you’re heading. This brief introductory statement helps form your first impression and should focus on what’s most appealing about you and your background.

Why so brief?  Have you ever been introduced to someone who goes on and on about themselves. At first you’re listening, but as they continue ad nauseam you find your attention wanes, your eyes dull, your smile stiffens and the little voice in your head is thinking of ways to escape? It makes an impression all right, but not a favorable one. There’s another reason for brevity. In these days of 140 character tweets and 160 character texts we just don’t have the attention span to listen to an entire monologue.

When developing your own commercial take a cue from the ads you see on TV. The advertisers aren’t telling you everything there is to know about their product, they’re focusing on its most sellable and appealing aspects and you should as well.

Your commercial should include what’s most marketable about your background including pertinent positions you’ve held and the skills and accomplishments that make you stand out that would benefit the listener. Also, if you’ve worked for prominent companies don’t be afraid to namedrop, this is not the time to be humble.

Remember when you’re involved in a job hunt or career transition, you are your product. Therefore, whether its a networking contact or an interviewing opportunity you want to be prepared with a commercial that keeps your audience tuned in and turned on.