Career Fair Countdown! Week 3: Creating your Perfect Pitch

Nicole Schneiter – October 13th, 2015

The Fall Job and Internship Fair is coming up on Oct. 28th and 29th! In order to make sure you’re fully prepared (and not waiting until the last minute), we’ve created a Career Fair Countdown! blog series. Whether you’re a fourth year looking for a job after graduation or a first year exploring your career options, tune in to stay ahead of the game for acing the career fair.

Hello! My name is Nicole and I’m one of the Career Peer Educators (CPE) working specifically as the student ambassador for the Engineering, Science, and Technology (EST) career community. I’m currently a 4th year, majoring in Environmental Science with a minor in Global Sustainability. At the upcoming career fair, I will be looking for a position after graduation that allows me to be in a dynamic environment, working and engaging with diverse people as related to the environmental sciences industry. Over the next few weeks, I’ll focus on 1 new thing every week that you can do to manage your time and start your preparation, as well as use myself as an example for the steps I’m taking to prepare for the career fair!

With 3 Weeks Left: Creating Your Perfect Pitch

We all know making a good first impression matters… especially at the Career Fair! But what do you say as you walk up to an employer? How can you explain your qualifications and that you are the perfect fit? Follow these tips on what to do and say as you meet employers to ensure an awkward-free experience that lets you market your best self!

What is a Pitch?

If you met an employer in an elevator what would you say? A pitch, or ”elevator pitch,” is an introduction of yourself that lasts about 30 seconds. When introducing yourself include your name, year in school, and something relevant about yourself that relates to your career interests. Here are some questions you may want to consider for including in your pitch:

  • What kind of position are you interested in?

  • What are your career goals?

  • What kind of relevant achievements or experiences have you had?

  • Do you have any specific skills or qualifications?

  • What are you passionate about?

  • Why are you a good fit for the company?

Making a Good Impression:

  • Establish good eye contact

  • Give a firm, but not forceful handshake

  • Be confident and genuine- don’t be afraid to smile to show them you’re excited to be there!

  • Keep open body language- don’t cross your arms while speaking with an employer and be aware of nervous habits you might have (Ex: If you play with your hair when nervous, tie your hair back!)

  • A pitch is just an introduction, so let the conversation flow naturally

After the Pitch:

Ask for a business card or contact info to follow up with the recruiter. About 1-3 days after the fair, contact them through email or other means and thank them, give specifics about how and when you met, reference your conversation, and show interest in staying connected to the company. Also be sure to clean up your Facebook and update your LinkedIn!

My Personal Tips:

  1. A firm handshake shows confidence, so don’t shy away from a little strength. The best way to make sure you’re not crushing hands is to practice with others!

  2. Be sure not to stare someone down when speaking with them. I break eye contact every so often by looking away about 2-3 seconds as if I’m trying to really absorb and comprehend what they’re saying. Looking at a handout or your resume for a few seconds is also another trick to break eye contact briefly but still show you're paying attention.

  3. Practice your pitch on lower-priority companies, that way when you're talking to your dream employer you will be more relaxed and ready to have a conversation.

  4. Add the recruiter on LinkedIn- send them a personalized message and then continue connecting with them throughout your internship and job search process

Get extra tips and feedback on your personal pitch!

The Career Center at Bryant Hall has office hours every Monday-Thursday from 1-3pm. Stop by to have a career counselor or a CPE give you tips for improvement.

Christie, our most wonderful career counselor who is working directly with the EST community, has office hours in Rice Hall every Tuesday from 3-5pm.

Practice with your friends- they’ll likely want to practice their pitch as well!

General Resources:


Next Week: Researching The Companies You Want To Visit

Now that you’ve honed in on what kind of position you’re looking for, knowing what companies you want to visit and having great questions to ask employers is a must!


Need resume help? Check out last week’s blog here for tips and resources!