How To Introduce Yourself At A Job Fair
Introductions can be difficult, especially if you’re not outgoing. It can be particularly difficult at job fairs if you are uncomfortable with large crowds. What do you say? Who do you address?
Don’t let it overwhelm you. Take a deep breath and start at the beginning.
Like much of your job search, treating the process mechanically will help you achieve your goals. Here are the steps you can take to reduce the stress of introducing yourself at a job fair.
Step 1: Get your stuff together
It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to see one person or a dozen, you need to have several copies of your resume ready as well as a portfolio if you have a visual representation of your work. Remember to dress appropriately. This may not require a suit, but you certainly want to be clean and tidy so your first impressions are a success.
Pro Tip: Having a business card is a great idea for anyone, not just salespeople or professionals.
Step 2: Research
Unless attending the job fair is spontaneous, you should have enough time to research which companies are attending. Knowing which companies are present will help set the tone. Take a few minutes to see what the companies believe in and who works for them.
Step 3: Have your notepad ready
When you get to the job fair, you may find the recruiter’s names posted. Even if you don’t, you can still learn it from other job seekers. Writing names and information will help you remember them.
Step 4: Practice
Hello, my name is…
Hi, my name is …
Practicing your introductions will make it easier. You want to feel comfortable saying it out loud as you will be repeating it several times.
Step 5: Have your elevator pitch
Your elevator pitch is important. Well practiced, it is your opportunity to shine. In thirty seconds, you open the doors for your own opportunities and show a hiring officer why you should be given an interview.
Step 6: Check in when you arrive
It seems like such a little step, but having your name tag may help focus your thoughts when things seem like they’re spinning out of your control.
Step 7: Smile like you mean it
You may be nervous, but your body language doesn’t have to let on that secret. Being aware of the signs your body is giving off will help you control them. If you get sweaty palms, take a towel or handkerchief. Be mindful of tapping your feet or crossing your arms and don’t chew gum.
For all your preparation beforehand, letting the opportunity slide to call them a few days later is a big mistake. You want to seize any chance you get to follow up with the hiring officers you’ve already spoken to. The second time you speak with them, you’ll have more confidence as you know more about them and have already established some rapport.