Present Yourself with Poise
January 20th, 2015 | Comment
Before going to the career fair, prepare an elevator pitch for introducing yourself to company representatives. You have only minutes (if not seconds) to make a positive impression. You want to be able to answer the question (even if they don’t ask it; they will be thinking it) – Why should we hire you?
Here are five tips for developing and delivering your pitch:
1) Research – Learn more about the companies you want to meet at the fair. Search the companies and identify the following: Current initiatives (What is the company doing?); Industry (What is happening in the industry?); Business lines (What are some of their business lines?); Location (Be familiar with where the headquarters and other offices are located.); and Skills (Review current job postings for desired skills and qualifications. How do you align with whom they are seeking?) Also, you want to determine their values and how your values and skills align with the company.
2) Outline – Create an outline of key points you want to hit when delivering your pitch. Focus on your educational, professional, and personal accomplishments and how they align with the company’s goals. How are you going to help them reach their goals? Know your skills, interests, qualifications, and goals. Be able to articulate them in 1-2 minutes. Use this worksheet as a guide to develop your pitch.
3) Practice – Practice, practice, and practice some more. It will help you remember what you want to say; however, don’t memorize. You don’t want to sound like a robot spouting out data. You want to be natural. Deliver your pitch in a mirror and to a friend. Ask for feedback. Remember… Smile and make eye contact.
4) Prepare – Write down questions specific to the industry and the company’s work. Not only do you want to sell your skills and qualifications; you want to discover more about the company. Develop a list of questions to ask (if time allows). Don’t ask questions when you can find the answers on their website unless you need clarification. It will be apparent you have not done your homework. You want to demonstrate initiative, preparedness, and interest in their company.
5) Deliver – Approach the company’s table with a smile and exude confidence by making direct eye contact. Speak clearly. Introduce yourself with a firm handshake. Use the representative’s name during the conversation to build rapport. If the representative is speaking with another student, patiently wait to be acknowledged; speak with other students; or visit another employer and come back later. At the end of the conversation, always thank the representative, and shake his/her hand before exiting.
Category: Professional Development