When you walk up to recruiters at next week’s Career Fair, what are you going to say? After you shake hands and tell them your name, what are you going to talk about?
You have less than a minute to tell an employer your skills and background and what makes you a qualified candidate for job openings at their company. You accomplish this task by writing and practicing a killer elevator speech.
To give a great speech you need good content and sharp delivery. Make the recruiter want to ask more questions about your background and accept your resume for future consideration.
Discuss your professional background as it relates to the company. How does your education or experience make you qualified for this job? What skills do you have that will help you contribute to the company’s success? Not only does this show you know yourself, it shows you’ve done your company research.
Convey any related experience you have. Remember, relevant experience isn’t always paid. Did any classroom projects help develop a solid knowledge base? What about internships, volunteer experience or campus or community leadership roles you’ve had?
Include a “hook,” or a way to get the employer to take action. Ask for a business card, ask relevant questions about the job or inquire about the hiring process.
Start with a confident handshake. Remember to smile and maintain comfortable eye contact. Being nervous is understandable, so take a deep breath beforehand to avoid talking too fast.
Finally, the best speakers rehearse a practiced speech beforehand. You should do the same. Take time now to write and practice your elevator speech. Rehearse it in front of the mirror and family and friends. Time it to make sure it doesn’t exceed one minute. Get feedback from your audience and practice your speech many times.
Your goal at the job fair is to capture the recruiter’s interest enough to be considered for a follow-up interview. A strong elevator speech helps you achieve this goal.