Are you a recruiter?
For some of us, walking into a room full of strangers and having to make contact with people you don’t know can be a really daunting prospect. You might feel anxious, as if your stomach is in knots, and that’s absolutely normal. It is very easy to say not to worry, but you cannot help how you feel. So, how can we combat those fears and be the kind of person who can walk up to a complete stranger and introduce ourselves with ease?
It’s all about confidence. By definition, confidence is the ability to have trust in yourself. So, for starters, you need to change your mindset and believe you can achieve what you set out to achieve. When attending a jobs fair, there are certain things you can do to help yourself feel more confident. This includes everything from ensuring you are smartly dressed to checking you have done your research on the companies in attendance. If you have a few questions up your sleeve for the individuals with which you wish to speak, you will also feel more relaxed when it comes to talking to them. Some of the best questions to ask are, ‘What skills do you look for in the right candidate for this position?’ and ‘What are the biggest challenges you face in this role?’.
You can also prepare by having your elevator pitch at the ready. What is an elevator pitch, I hear you ask? Well, it is a quick synopsis of what you have to offer prospective employers. You need to include your background, skillset and experience, and it should last no longer than 30 seconds.
So, what do you actually say when you first encounter a recruiter at a jobs fair and introduce yourself? What words do you use? It couldn’t be easier than simply saying, ‘Hello, my name is Joe Bloggs. Pleased to meet you’. Yes, it really is that simple. But, as I said before, it takes confidence to walk up to a complete stranger and utter those immortal words. And the right level of confidence at that. So, how can you make sure you get the balance right?
Practice makes perfect. You can either practice in front of the mirror or call on the help of friends or family to ensure your pitch is right. What’s more, there are other considerations to take into account when practicing your initial introduction. Bear in mind your body language, for example. When introducing yourself to a recruiter, you need to make sure you are maintaining eye contact, standing tall, smiling, and you should also offer your hand for a handshake. Take the initiative to be the first to stretch out your hand, as this is likely to impress the individual in question.
Unless you are told otherwise, you must keep it formal. You will usually address the recruiter as Mr or Ms, for instance. After your initial introduction, it is then time for your elevator pitch and questions. Having done your preparation, you will be able to keep the nerves at bay, and, as a result, you will feel so much more at ease in the conversation.
It is always best to speak to individuals at jobs fairs by yourself, rather than in a group. It is believed that if you attend with friends, employers will think you suffer from low self-esteem. Nobody wants to employ someone who is unable to engage in a one-to-one conversation without the support of their friends. Having the confidence to approach recruiters on your own is more likely to give the best impression.
You should also be aware that it is essential to keep it professional at all times. Think about what you are saying before you say it. Is it what your prospective employer wants to hear? If confidence is not a problem for you, you should equally ensure that you do not appear too relaxed. Avoid slouching or resting your materials on the recruiters’ table. Imagine knocking over a display by accident! It could be very embarrassing.
Finally, the main aim of attending the jobs fair is to try and secure a new job, so keep this in the forefront of your mind when chatting to recruiters. Are you demonstrating the kind of qualities they are looking for in the next member of their team?
If you are the type of person who can introduce yourself professionally and engage in a formal conversation with confidence, this could be a game-changer for your career prospects.