First Impressions Are Everything. Make Yours Worth It!

Filed in From the Staff by on January 30, 2013

Fact: Talking to employers is difficult and stressful.

Fiction: It’s impossible to connect with a company at a Career Fair.


Talking to employers is often the make or break moment at a Career Fair or networking event; here’s a few helpful tips for you to make the most of it.

the term "elevator pitch" is simply a coined term that sums up a couple sentences to catch an employer's attention.

If you met a girl on the street and had 30 seconds until the pedestrian walk sign turned green, what would you say to catch her interest? 

Would you tell her all about your accomplishments?  How handsome you are?  About that one time where you saved a kennel of dogs from mass destruction?

Probably not.  But you might compliment her on something simple, ask her a brief question, and keep your smile and body language confident, right?  Dialogue and signs that you’re not anything more than someone looking to create a worthwhile moment.  Take this and switch it to the employer market: find any similarities?

Employers are people, too! Creating a good first conversation is more memorable than which resume in the pile was yours.

Employers are looking for model students to pull into their companies.  To that extent, when looking to make a connection to a company, you should be as well-versed with who you are as who they are.  What are their company values?  Who do they usually recruit for the position you’re going for?  How do they plan to keep a competitive advantage?  If these haven’t been burning questions for you yet, they should be now.

But how do I prepare for these first interactions?  The truth is, each employer is unique, so a pre-packaged and perfected elevator pitch is somewhat irrelevant in today’s job market.  By entering a networking or Career Fair event, chances are there is a listing of who will be attending, so step 1 is to do your homework and figure out who’s of interest to you.  Step 2 is to understand your weaknesses when it comes to employee interactions, whether it be conversation, body language, or resume content.  Step 3 is to research CDC resources that can (and WILL!) help you out with these flaws.  Resume critiques, workshops, InterviewStream, and How To Prepare For A Career Fair (Feb 6th 6:00-7:30pm in SL115) are all great starts.

Keeping positive, knowing your potential employer, and creating interesting dialogue are three key steps to a great first impression!

The last thing to keep in mind is that practice takes perfect.  It’s practically an anomaly these days when you hear that high school sweethearts got married — the same goes for employees finding their dream company or rocking a networking session right off the bat.  Be honest with yourself and identify your career insecurities prior to Feb. 14th’s Summer Career Fair in the Sports and Rec Center, so that when the day comes, you’re more confident, assured, and prepared to make that first impression knock ’em out of the park!

Feel free to email me at for additional advice and CDC resources!

Until next time,


About the Author ()

Hey there! My name's Adam and I'm currently a senior at WPI majoring in Management Engineering, focus in Operations Management. On campus I'm involved in Greek Life, Undergraduate Admissions, and campus programming. My blog topics will be focused primarily on staying focused and realistic when it comes to career building, as well as personal improvements and confidence builders in knowing yourself and your skill set. If you have any suggestions for topics or improvements along the way, feel free to let me know at any point! Keep searching, Adam

Comments are closed.