Article Title: What Do Employers Remember About You?
Author Byline: Lorraine Russo
Author Website:

Imagine you are a recruiter or hiring manager at a job fair. An attendee (that is, a job seeker) walks up to you and says:

“So, what have you got for me?”


Remember our posts on developing and practicing your elevator pitch? Well, if the reason you’re at the job fair is to be considered for a job (which is a reasonable assumption), then you need to get to work on a concise, 30-second summary of who you are and what you can do for a company!

What’s so wrong about the ‘What have you got for me’ approach–on so many levels–is that it only says you are looking for work and will take any job at any company. While that may be the case, you can’t let that be known, and it certainly doesn’t give a potential employer any reason to give you a second look. Ever.

In fact, the ONLY thing the recruiter may remember about you was your question, not your skills, knowledge, or passion for a particular line of work. They will remember you as the Desperate-Job-Seeker-Who-Will-Take-Anything — not a highly-skilled candidate who will quickly contribute to a company’s bottom line.

When you attend job fairs (or any event where decision makers are in attendance), keep in mind that you literally have only a few of seconds to make a good FIRST impression with your introduction. Once you begin to speak, you will instantly be judged by how well you communicate. Are you well-spoken, verbally nimble, and confident with a firm handshake, or the opposite: unsure, stuttering, ill-prepared?

So your assignment for today is to practice how to introduce yourself. Think about what you want to tell an employer about what you can do for them and how you will add value to the organization.

If you’re thinking ‘What organization? What are you talking about?”, this means you missed Step 1:

Find out what companies will be at the job fair, target the ones you would like to work for, and develop an understanding of what that company is all about. What does the company do? What are the divisions in the company? What products or services do they offer? Once you know this, THEN you can develop an effective 30-second introduction that relates to each company you will visit at the job fair. You’ll then be able to discuss a certain opening on their website in direct relation to your skills and ability to contribute.


“Good morning, Mary! [note: check the name tag — don’t call everyone Mary 🙂 )

I’ve been a sales and marketing writer for 10 years with a strong emphasis on widget technology. I noticed on your website that you have an opening for a sales and marketing writer in your Widget Business Unit. I’ve been developing B2B materials for widgets for the past three years with XYZ Company and would love to explore your opportunity. Do you have a few minutes to discuss it?”

See how that works? In those few seconds, you can give a recruiter or hiring manager just about all the information needed to strongly consider you for an opening!

Consider what you can do for a company that would bring value. Write it down, recite it aloud, and get it down to 30-seconds or less. Then, practice while looking in the mirror. What are your facial expressions? Are you looking into your eyes (think: eye contact) and speaking with a smile?

Preparing an effective elevator pitch BEFORE you go to a job fair will help you create an excellent first impression, one that tells a potential employer that you have done your research about a company, what your qualifications are, and what you can do for them.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

About the author, Chief Executive Restaurant Recruiter

Born in Arkansas, moved to FL for 3 years as a youngster. Lived in GA most of my life. Married in 1985, 2 kids, one of each. Graduate of USNA Class of 1980. Love golf, computers, poker, photography, and gadgets.

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