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Sell yourself in 30 seconds

IN A JOB-FAIR interview, you really do not have the luxury to take your time and explain what you have been doing, and the several areas with which you are adept. There are several hundred, if not several thousand people waiting outside (or worse, around you) and you have to make yourself interesting enough with a near-complete thumbnail portrait of yourself and how you fit the interviewer's bill.

Start with your name, even if your CV in the interviewer's hands. This is a way of letting him, her or it how your name is correctly pronounced.

If you have finished a course of study - say a BTech in Electronics, say so: "I've just taken my B.Tech. from MES College with Electronics, and just managed a distinction." Move to the next phase, such as your project work or company attachment. " I worked with Care Systems, and developed a bio-geometrical security system for system deployment, and spent time with SAPlabs during the summer to see how they go about their business. I am looking at an entry- level position with your company, and feel that my particular skill in systems design and linear programming will be just what your company is looking for."

That is all. No mention of your interests, pet's name, your grandmother's, sister's, brother-in-law's children's names etc. Please note that you have established your bonafides and in 30 seconds have told the interviewer what you have studied, how well you have done, the limited experience you have had and exposure to a big-name company in a related business. You have also indicated that you have researched the company and that you know that you'd like to work there. Finally you have left the interviewer with the idea that you could fit the bill.

You need to practice this spiel till you are word perfect because it is all about you in a very tiny nutshell. It's a microbyte that is designed to `stick' in the interviewer's mind, so it has to flow, so practice is an absolute must. Use it on friends, and try saying it out aloud in the bath to `hear' how it sounds. Play with the intonation and the modulation till it is perfect. Trust me, it will work like a charm. Try it and see.

(This job fair article has been reprinted on popular demand from readers)

ABHIMANYU ACHARYA

abhimanyu@india.com

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