How to Stand Out to Employers
Whether you are exploring careers, job searching, or networking, you will have various opportunities to ensure you stand out to an employer.
Multiple Employer Career Fairs
Before attending an in-person or virtual career fair, research the list of employers that will be attending. Pick out your top 5 or 6 companies of interest, go to their website, find the mission statement, and view their current job postings.
When you approach employers, share the connection between your goals, values, and the company. Before you exit the conversation, ensure you ask about next steps. Exchange contact information and always follow up with a thank-you email after the fair. In your follow-up email, include an electronic copy of your resume, address an aspect of the conversation that stood out to you, and ask any remaining questions you may still have. If you attend career fairs for career exploration, keep in contact with the recruiters by checking in 2-3 times a year; you never know when a connection will lead to opportunities later.
30 Second Pitch
Your 30-second pitch should be versatile, concise, and straightforward. Your pitch should be four-five sentences, including an introduction, highlights of skills, career goals, company knowledge, and ending with a question. Here is an example pitch:
My name is Jami Smith, and I am a leader in digital communication and currently serve on the board of my economic council. I enjoy solving problems, leading collaborative teams, and sharing unique stories that support economic growth in local communities. In my next role, I seek challenges in a high-paced environment. I value that Example Company values inclusive brainstorming and process improvement. Can you tell me how the leadership team at Example Company has increased their focus around diversity and equity within their talent acquisition?
Information sessions are an excellent opportunity to meet employers and gain more insight into an industry, company, or specific position. Since the 2020 pandemic, many companies are hosting virtual information sessions to expand their reach to new talent. Before you attend an information session, research the company, including their job postings, mission, vision, company culture, and prepare specific questions you want to ask during the session.
When developing your questions, be mindful that you will have valuable time with the employer – ask questions that you cannot find the answers to online.
Make a good impression by arriving or logging on early and staying until the end. Before you exit the conversation, make sure you ask about the next steps. Exchange contact information and always follow up with a thank-you email after the fair. Include an electronic copy of your resume, address an aspect of the conversation that stood out to you, and ask any remaining questions you may still have.
Online networking is essential in today's career exploration. Whether you are on LinkedIn, email, or online events, it is always important to be professional, friendly, and enthusiastic. Below is an example of email communication:
Thank you for taking the time today to speak with me regarding the Manager of Sales position. I valued your insight into the future of B2B sales. After learning more about the company and the Manager of Sales position, I am very interested in the possibility of joining the team, and I am confident my diverse and transferable skill set will add value to Example Company. Could you share with me the expected hiring timeline and desired start date for the position?
I have attached my resume and applied for the position on the Example Company website.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Employer panels can offer diverse insights. Before attending research, the companies and members of the panel searching company websites and the panelist on LinkedIn. Prepare mindful and intentional questions that spotlight your company's knowledge. As always, ask questions, arrive early, stay until the end, get the employers' contact information, and send thank you emails as a follow-up.
Also known as career conversations, informational interviews offer you the opportunity to ask specific questions in a 1:1 environment with a professional in your field of interest. Like the other networking opportunities, research the company, including their job postings, mission, vision, company culture, and prepare specific questions you want to ask during the session. When developing your questions, be mindful to ask questions that you cannot find the answers to online.
How to request an informational interview.
1. Draft a clear and concise message (LinkedIn or email) to send to the individual.
2. State who you are and how you are connected to the individual.
3. Share the specific reason or goal for sending the message.
4. Clearly state the ask of the individual and the time commitment you are requesting.
Good afternoon Mrs. Jackson,
My name is Sarah Seavey, and I am a University of Arizona graduate – BearDown! I will be relocating to New York next summer. After reading the article you posted on LinkedIn regarding the job market in New York, I wondered if you have time to chat on the phone with me for no more than 20 minutes or someone that comes to mind you think I should speak to in my job search pursuit and relocation?
Thank you for your time,
Example Questions to Ask in an Informational Interview.
Throughout your progression in your career, what were the defining factors in your success?
What is the best advice you can give to someone thinking about a career in the _____ industry?
What is a typical day like for you?
What is something you wish you knew when you entered the field?
What would you change about the industry?
Can you share with me your advice on applying in the _____ industry or at _____ company?
Are there certifications or professional development opportunities you would recommend increasing my value?