Preparing for a Job Fair: Your Elevator Pitch & Appearance Matter!

Preparing for a Job Fair: Your Elevator Pitch & Appearance Matter!

January 18, 2019 - Cheyene Shuart

Job Fair is coming up fast – but how do you stand out at the Job Fair when hundreds of other students and alumni will be there competing for employers’ attention? Here are two of the most important things you need to consider in preparation for the Job Fair. 

If you have been following our Career Peer articles (which you should be!), you should know by now how important it is to make a good first impression. It may seem like common sense, yet good first impressions are not always that common in the career world! Some of us have aced having a professional appearance, but may fail the test when it comes to introducing ourselves to potential employers, or vice versa. The truth is, your professional appearance and your elevator pitch go hand-in-hand. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you stand out at the upcoming University of Windsor and St. Clair College Job Fair on January 23rd. 

1.Attire: Go big or go home! 

It’s 2019, and our standards for attire in western culture are pretty casual in this day and age, but when it comes to landing your dream career or even a part time gig to pay the bills, you should always dress like you’ve got a meeting on Wall Street. We’re talking suit and tie, classiest-blazer-in-your-closet kind of attire.  

As someone who’s been desperate for a job and lacking the funds to really wow an employer with my wardrobe, I totally understand the struggle of finding a good interview-level outfit from the scraps I have left in my dresser since last laundry day. However, it’s really important to make your best effort to go big or go home. Borrow formal attire from a friend or sibling, or even try thrift shopping – you never know what treasures you can find! 

The best policy is to assume you are meeting the most conservative employer in existence, so dress modestly, but formally.  

  • Don’t show much skin, make sure everything is crisp and ironed, and get a second opinion from a business-savvy friend or colleague 
  • Don’t put on too much perfume or cologne, try not to overdo the makeup or hair gel, but do make sure you’re crisp and presentable – You don’t need to be ready for a photo shoot, but you do need to exemplify effort 
  • Dress pants are the standard – jeans, skinny-style or short cuffs are not appropriate, so go for a boot-cut or wider cuff for your pant legs, and make sure your shoes are dressy and functional. 
  • For my bearded friends: keep your facial hair trimmed short and neat and make sure your hair is trimmed and clean. 
  • Use your best judgement and shoot for classy! 

If you need some more advice on how to dress, come and see us in drop-in from 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday at JEC 100. 

2. Perfect Pitch: 30 seconds to knock their socks off! 

What is an elevator pitch? Imagine you have 30 seconds in an elevator with your dream employer. How would you present yourself in such a short amount of time in such a way that will make you memorable later when you follow up with them?  

State who you are, talk about the skills you have that will best benefit the employer, and talk about your motivation for applying to their company or position. One method you could try to consider when creating your pitch is the PAWS method.  

  • Passion: What personally motivates you about the position?  

  • Academics: What training and school credentials do you have that you can use in the position?  

  • Work: What previous work experience can you draw from for this position, including volunteer, paid, and extracurricular experience?  

  • Skills: What specific skills do you have that will make you the right person for the job?

Be creative and specific by using examples from your past experience to illustrate how awesome you are and why you’re a great fit for the job. It’s best to write it ahead of time, and practice makes perfect! Make sure it’s short and sweet, but also pack it full of good action words and skill statements. These are things we can guide you through structuring in a 1:1 appointment with a career advisor or in drop-in hours at Career Development and Experiential Learning in JEC 100 

Looking your best and being ready to present yourself are only half the battle of being prepared for the Job Fair. Make sure you check out our upcoming article on researching job fair employers and preparing your resume before you even set foot in the Sportsplex at St. Clair College on January 23rd from 10am until 2pm! 

If you need more guidance, we have workshops specifically for helping you in Preparing for the Job Fair that you can register for on mySuccess, or we have Interview Prep appointments or workshops that also will help give you the tools you need. Our Career Peer Advisors are always available from 10am to 4pm Monday through Friday in JEC 100 to give you some more pro tips for preparing for the fair. If you’re short on time, our website has some great tips and tricks that you can peruse at your leisure as well.