March 9 2015 A colleague Kazeem Omidiji and I were the keynote presenters at the San Diego State University National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) meeting. We had an informal presentation on preparation for the annual NSBE Convention in 2 weeks. Our main focus was “What to say at a career fair booth and your 30 second introduction”.
We opened the meeting with having 4 volunteers come into the center of the table arrangement and give us their 30 second introduction with the scene:
You are at the career fair in your business professional attire with your resume and I am a recruiter from your dream company.
Following this, I gave Kazeem my 30 second introduction, and he responded with his.
Then, we had the room give feedback on the good and bad things that they saw while I documented them on a PowerPoint for everyone to see. A shortened list is below:
- Start with your name, school, major, graduation date
- Research the company and ask the recruiter about it
- Tell them about your work and extra-curricular leadership experience
- Forgetting to offer your resume
- Being too informal
- Not asking for a business card or a follow-up contact
The remainder of the presentation was spent in a tag team approach touching on the vast settings where you can land an internship or full-time job. It may vary from sitting next to a recruiter on a bus, eating dinner at the next table, or meeting them at a hospitality suite. I told them to always be yourself, but remain professional because there is always a recruiter around.
With help from other professionals in the room, we were able to give a more realistic point of view on the hardships of career fairs. One mentioned that you may not always get an interview or offer at the career fair, but there is always an opportunity to follow up and possibly get in through the back door with LinkedIn, phone, and email.
We ended with reminding them that “You are your own best salesperson” and “Your company wants to find you as much as you want to find them”.