Tech Job Fair: Tips & Tricks for SuccessIvy Gutierrez
You signed up for the San Antonio Tech Job Fair and now you are wondering how to make sure your time is well spent? In order to have a successful job fair experience, you will have to do some small preparations before hand. Let’s go through some good tips & tricks that will help you maximize your chances of scoring that dream job.
1. Bring 20 Copies of Your Updated Résumé.
Comb through your life and see which experiences and accomplishments you need to highlight. Do not include every single thing you worked on, only the information relevant for the kind of job you are applying for. Make sure to proofread and spellcheck your resume. Then print 20 copies of it on nice paper and pack it up for the job fair. Do not show up with only five, like I did! You will be handing these out like candy.
Prepare an electronic copy of your résumé, too. While SwipeTrack will accept your paper copy, some companies might not. Make sure that you have a copy of your resume stored somewhere on a cloud for easy access. You may need to login and upload it to a company’s server right on the spot. It is a tech job fair, after all. 😉
2. Comb Through Your Social Media Profiles.
If you have not done this already, do it now. Make sure you have a presentable profile picture. It would be best if it was a consistent picture through all of your profiles. Kids and pets are cute, but not professional. See if there is anything that you should remove to switch to priate. Your strong opinions on politics may be popular with your friends, but you do not know who is checking you out. There is no need to give them a reason to disqualify you based on something that will not affect your job performance.
Make sure your Linkedin profile lists everything you put on your resume. If you can reach out to your past colleagues, ask them to write a referral for you. Any serious employer will look you up to see what they can find so make sure it presents you in the best possible light.
3. Research the Tech Job Fair Atendees.
Or, at least — before you approach them. While it would be best to have a plan who you want to talk to before you walk through the door, it is not always possible. Make sure to do what you can though, by going to their websites, checking out their career pages and even scrolling through their social media accounts. Not only will this show you what the company is looking for, you will also have a glimpse into their corporate culture. What kind of voice do they use on social media? What do they post about on their blog? Knowing this information can make it easier for you to decide if you want to work there or not. If you want this to be a successful job fair, you will do the homework.
4. Figure Out Who is the Person to Talk to.
You will have a chance to meet many hiring managers or recruiters at this event. Do not be hesitant to approach them and ask what their role is and what they are looking for. For example, we will be there with Tammy Rains, our director of Technology, and Darrell Crumling, director of Enterprise. While Tammy is only looking for a specific person to add to her team, Darrell is a recruiter specialized in IT. He is our expert tech match maker and he is always on the lookout for skilled candidates to add to his pool. Make sure to stop by and meet him.
5. Make a Good First Impression.
Job fairs are busy and loud and you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. Prepare your elevator pitch. Be able to talk about yourself for a minute without pause or hesitation. Make sure you know your skill set. Be general. Be concise. Be on target. Do not recite your resume (since the recruiter is likely looking at it), but highlight the things a specific experience taught you.
Do not forget to shake hands firmly and look them in the eye. That shows people you are open, confident and respectful. A good handshake has a lot of power and there is scientific research to back this up.
Dress appropriately. You will basically spend the evening doing mini job interviews, so please dress up for the occasion. Tech positions are usually not very strict about the dress code, but business casual would be considered a good choice before you have the chance to see how your other coworkers show up every day.
And, the always recurring last advice – be yourself. A job fair is a less formal setting than a conference room. You can crack a smile or through a joke around a silly item you found in your goodie bag.
If you have collected contacts and business cards, it would not be a bad idea to follow up with the people you met. Are you particulary interested in working for someone? E-mail them and let them know! In fact, it might not be a bad idea to let them know before the job fair, either. If you are following our tips for the job fair, you will likely already know what company or position interests you. Why not reach out to them on social media, let them know you are coming to the job fair and ask the name of the person you will want to talk to. That will allow you to prepare even better and impress them on the spot!