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Daniels College of Business Career Expo, Marcus Commons DCB, February 14, 2013

At career fairs, you may only have three minutes to market yourself so you must be ready. Employers expect students to be professionally dressed, have thoughtful questions, a great attitude and a polished resume.

How can you prepare?

Write and rehearse your “elevator pitch.” Have at least two people review your resume; research the companies that will be in attendance — along with their available positions and come up with knowledgeable questions to ask company representatives.

What is an elevator pitch and how do I put one together?

Your 30 second elevator pitch is an introductory statement, mentioning your name, major and year of graduation. Include three to five key strengths, relevant experience and contributions you have to offer the employer. It helps answer the question: “What can this candidate do for me?”

Additional tips include:

  1. Introduce yourself.
  2. Highlight your experience, including your major, field(s) of study and any relevant work experience.
  3. Connect your skills with their needs.
  4. Name an accomplishment (or two) that demonstrates those skills.
  5. Tell the prospective employer what you are looking for now and in the future?

How do I research the companies? Employer websites,, Career Insider, LinkedIn and business periodicals are good places to start.

Ensure you make a great first impression by dressing and acting professionally (put cell phones away!), remembering your professional introduction and questions for the employer. Once you arrive, you should get a program and locate the employers you’d like to meet (TIP: Practice on a couple who aren’t at the top of your list first). Communicate gracefully and with confidence, collect business cards and be prepared to give out your résumé.

After the fair, send each employer a thank you email and connect on LinkedIn—personalize this outreach message.  Organize your notes and calendar noting any future follow-up contacts you will initiate and meet with a career counselor to prepare for the interview you will hopefully have landed!

Rebecca Wolfe is the Assistant Director of the Taylor Family Undergraduate Career Center»