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Ace the Career Fair

Emily Bennington | CareerRealism


Have your elevator pitch down: The elevator pitch is your answer to the question “Tell me about yourself.” It needs to be under two minutes and should include some general background information, demonstrated leadership, and what you will bring to an organization. For example:

“I grew up in Seattle, but moved here to attend university. I’m a junior this year with a major in accounting and a minor in communications. I know accounting today is much more than numbers in a box so I felt my communications courses would prepare me for the demands of client service. I’m a member of student government serving as co-chair of the community outreach committee, and in that role I’ve organized projects for the United Way and Habitat for Humanity. I’ve researched your company and I know you offer the resources of a ‘Big 4’ with the personal touch of a smaller firm and I believe that combination will give me the best opportunity to contribute and grow my career in the long run.”

The best way to perfect your elevator pitch is to practice. You should be able to recite this in your sleep.

Be confident: One of the fastest ways to turn off an interviewer is to appear overly nervous. If you can’t handle the interview – how are you going to handle clients? Naturally, you will be nervous. The trick is to appear as if you’re not, e.g. look people in the eye when you speak, be secure in your delivery (Note: This comes from practice – see above) and watch how often you use filler words like “um, ah,” etc.

Carry your resume in an executive padfolio: This not only keeps your papers neat, but makes a spiral notebook or binder look like small potatoes. Also, bring at least five copies of your resume because you never know how many people will be in the interview and you definitely don’t want to come up short.

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