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Tuesday February 28, 2012

Preparation for the Upcoming 11th Annual Asian Diversity Career Expo - March 9th, 2012

Alan Wong, Sr. Recruitment Consultant

For those who have registered for the 11th Annual Asian Diversity Career Expo, the event is just around the corner. So, have you begun preparation? If so, what is your strategy for succeeding in this event?

With dozens of exhibitors and thousands of other attendees, participating in this Career Expo can be a formidable experience. Although there are no guarantees that following the below tips will land you a position, with a little preparation, however, you can make the event at the very least a rewarding and worthwhile networking experience.
 
The Very Basics

Whether you are in school, or at work, accomplishing the below tried and true basics is conducive to success:
 
* Get a good night's sleep
* Eat right
* Dress for success
 
Who are you?-Developing Your 30-Second Commercial
 
As making a positive first impression is crucial, and you will be introducing yourself quite often, it would be a good idea to have a well-prepared 30-second introductory statement highlighting who you are, what you have accomplished, and what you are looking for. A good introduction will be brief, relevant, and impactful.
 
Here is a sample format for this introduction:
 
My name is ___ and I graduated ___ University with a BS in computer science. As I am seeking full-time developer positions in the technology services industry, companies that I would like to work for include ___, ___, and ___. (Presumably, you will be mentioning the company whose booth you are visiting).
 
Following this brief introduction, you will need to transition to a more tailored message, which brings us to our next tip.
 
Doing your Homework

Be sure to find out what companies will be exhibiting at the career expo and which positions they are hiring for, so that you may research beforehand those companies with whom you would like to meet. For the Exhibitors / Sponsors list, please click here

Aside from gathering a few tidbits here and there, your research should accomplish the following main objectives:
 
* Ascertain what the company's current hiring needs are
* Ascertain what your target company's overall direction / strategy is
* Based on the above, ascertain how you would fit in that company's overall mission, and therefore add value to that company (Ask yourself: Are you the right person for the position and/or company?)
 
Good places to research include:
 
* The company's Web site - Browse their careers as well as corporate news sections
* Lexis-Nexis and other company information databases - Make full use of your alma mater's library which subscribes to these databases, so their students, alumni and faculty can use them free of charge
 
Once you have completed your research, you should prepare a worksheet for each company to organize all this information. This work sheet may include the following headings:
 
- Name of company
- Name of representative
- Positions hiring for
- Important and helpful points you have ascertained about the company during your research
- Questions to ask
- Interview appointment (if any)
- Notes
 
It's Show Time!

Always have a clear sense of what you would like to accomplish prior to meeting each company representative. Thankfully, with your diligent research, you now have a context in which to present yourself and establish a meaningful and purposeful relationship with the company representative.
 
Bear in mind that the company representative will mainly be looking for:
 
* A fit between you and the company
* Strong interest in the company
 
You should therefore:
 
* Communicate how your skills and experience will add value to the company
* Emphasize your (long-term) interest in the company
 
Be sure to establish a good rapport with the representative, so that you may follow up with further communication at a later point in time.
 
* If the communication with the representative(s) is going well, feel free to ask if they schedule interviews either on-site or off-site
* As always, be prepared to network at all times
* And, remember to get business cards
 
Note: Especially if you are visiting many booths, be methodical:
* Prior to visiting each booth, you may want to do a final review of that company's work sheet
* After visiting the booth, complete the worksheet
* Then, take a brief break and gather your thoughts for the next booth you will be approaching
 
The Show is Not Over..Yet..

After the Career Expo, you will want to follow up with those whom you have met. Look over your work sheets which should give you insight as to how best to handle this post-event communication. It is a good idea to send a brief thank-you email, for instance, which accomplishes the following:
 
* Communicate your gratitude for the time they have taken to meet with you
* Mention a point or two discussed during your meeting (especially if those points strengthen your candidacy)
* Emphasize your continued interest in the company and/or position
* If an interview appointment has been scheduled, express that you look forward to the interview. If no appointment has been arranged, simply convey that you look forward to hearing from them soon regarding next steps.

With all your hard work, never become discouraged if your efforts do not "bear fruit." As mentioned earlier, the Career Expo can be a valuable networking experience, as you will have gained industry contacts which you did not have prior to the event. Feel free to come by our Asian Diversity booth, and let me know how the event is coming along for you.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Career Expo on March 9th.

To register as an Attendee, please click here.

To register as a Volunteer, please click here.

Please note: All registration for the Career Expo closes on Thursday, March 8th at 5:00 pm (Eastern Time).

Best wishes to everyone!

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