They don’t call them elevator speeches for nothing: Imagine yourself walking into an elevator and encountering a recruiter who works for a company you aspire to join. In a few short minutes, if that, you have a golden opportunity to introduce yourself and make a contact that could blossom into a job offer before you reach your floor. This is exactly how you must prepare to introduce yourself at a job fair, where you will face off against people who are after the same thing you are -- a challenging job with a reputable company. Think of your short and pithy introduction as part information, part self-promotion, and you’ll make a memorable first impression.
Begin your introduction by telling the recruiter your name, along with a one-line summation of what you do. If you’re a student, tell the recruiter where you go to school and what your major is. Provide your title and the name of the company you work for if you are employed. State your profession if you are unemployed.
Demonstrate that you’ve done your homework by knowing what the company does and exactly which positions it is advertising and, therefore, hoping to fill at the job fair. Deftly position yourself as filling this need: “I understand that your company is looking for these positions, which is great because I’ve aspired to work for your company for some time, and I have a portfolio of related work samples.”
Keep the momentum going -- and give yourself a classic talking point -- by taking out your resume and putting it directly in the hands of the recruiter. Direct her attention to several of your most recent accomplishments, whether they are college courses, jobs you have held with distinction or honors and awards.
Segue to the personal attributes that you believe would serve you well in the position that is being advertised at the job fair. You might say, “In my experience, this position must possess a rare combination of precision and creativity, and I can offer your company both skills.” Provide those samples and a list of references to fortify your points.
Expect that the recruiter will take over the conversation, so follow her lead courteously. At this point, you have piqued her interest by providing a succinct overview of who you are and what you can do for his company. Prepare to answer some typical interview questions, including, “Why exactly do you want to work for our company?” and, “What do you think makes your work stand out from other people who are attending this job fair?”
Practice your introduction until it rolls off your tongue with ease, but doesn’t sound rehearsed or robotic either.