I’ve been incredibly fortunate to attend alot of events this year, many have been conferences, some “tweet-ups”, a few casual business get togethers (i.e. a group of business professionals getting together and tweeting forbidden!) and some general parties as the CFO’s wife. At every single one of these events I’ve met job seekers.
I like job seekers, and I’m happy to help. Not just because I’m a TPR. I helped people while I was in my former job too, but have just a bit more impact now. Believe me, if you send me your resume and I have an opening, I’ll work with you. But if I don’t I’m going to tell you I don’t, at least right now. I do use my resume database and I do go to it first when we are seeking candidates. It’s where all of my hard work from sourcing is housed and is a place that I can quickly find people I know will consider a new opening. Keeping this in mind, last week I felt like I was reviewing at least a resume a day for acquaintances gearing up for a year end job search. It takes me no more than 10 minutes to lay out the rights/wrongs and “fix its”. Everyone is always stunned when they get such quick response, maybe its from years of recruiters treating them badly, I don’t know.
But if you are going to any of the events I mentioned, and you’re contemplating a job search, let me do some straight shooting with you right now.
First of all, dress the part. The label you’re wearing is lost on me. Just be clean, tidy and preferably not drunk. I’ve gone to three TWTRCONs, and it’s a rock star digital media event. And, at every single one there has been a job seeker that has found me, dressed like they just rolled off their couch. And let me add, conference t-shirts are so 2000. Take ‘em and wear ‘em at the gym, I don’t need to see you in that. If the speakers and volunteers at an event are vying for best dressed, you should too if you want their positive attention. Especially if you’re trying to get your resume into the hands of one of them.
When you camp out a conference, bring your best digital toys. At TWTRCON my setup was an ipad with a wired keyboard. It caught everyone’s attention, garnered me a seat next to the founder of CoTweet and got the Director of Social Media from Intel to stop by and comment on it. It was a great way to meet people and start conversations. And guess what? The gear was borrowed from a family member. But it totally worked.
Speaking of resumes, did you bring a paper one? Spectacular. That has a snowballs chance in hell of making it back to my office, getting scanned and entered into a database. Hand me one if you like, but better yet hand me a business card. Those I actually keep and they won’t get caught up in clutter or be to big for me to bring home (think party…). And on it make sure you have your email and your LinkedIn account, or the url of you landing page on your WordPress site where your digital resume is housed. That information will get in to my database.
When you meet me, never assume because I’m a recruiter that I’m a raving extrovert. Anyone who has seen me in action at a conference or event (except when I’m the CFOs wife, because that’s a different life)…will tell you that I’m an introvert. I’m not dysfunctional, I’m quite capable of small talk as you should be able to do too. If you’re looking to get geared up before an event, go read this blog. But bring your best sparkling conversation and reach out and engage me.
And when you engage me, please for the love of all that is good, remember I’m a stranger. You think you know me, but you don’t. Maybe you’ve been a reader for a while, or stalked me on Twitter. I have this incredible aura around me that makes people think they should tell me everything, when really, I don’t need the TMI. It happens all the time, and often ends up being comical for the people standing around me. When you feel like you’re about to go to far, stop yourself and filter. We’ll all be happier.
And lastly, remember to close. Who said “Always Be Closing”? I don’t know. But if you’re a jobseeker, before you walk away, get my business card. I always have one on me. If I don’t I’ll write down my LinkedIn account. That evening or the next day, send me and email or connect with me online. Follow-up is great and gives you the opportunity to stand out as well as send me your digital resume. Do that and I’ll remember you, particularly when I have the right opening or the referral to the right opening.
Good luck, and happy job hunting. Hope to see you soon!