A huge thank you goes out to Kenneth Kinney who included me in his latest “An Education That Works” television show for Victory University. It appeared on Saturday morning on Local 24.
He interviewed me and Alex Matlock from ContigoCreative. We shared information about the upcoming Multicultural Career Fair, and tips for how to best navigate a career fair.
Watch the show below to learn more. For additional tips, read my previous e-newsletter, Working the (career fair) room like a pro. If you need assistance in preparing for your next career fair, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
The National Society of Black Engineers is hosting their national conference in Nashville this year on March 26th – 30th. This is such an exciting opportunity for Tennesseans looking for a job! First of all, you do not need to be an engineer to attend. I personally spoke to the NSBE office this week to confirm all the details. The event is open to all professionals, regardless of your professional focus or ethnicity.
Second of all, they will have a GIANT career fair with AWESOME Fortune 500 companies. We’re talking Google, Dell, GM, Honda, Intel, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, and the list goes on. To view the entire list of sponsors (which is continuing to be updated), click here.
Again, YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN ENGINEER TO ATTEND. The recruiters at this fair also attend many other job fairs for other professions. They often (not always, but typically) recruit for more than just technical jobs.
The one downside to this conference is the price. They do not have a career fair ticket only. If you join their organization ($50), the walk up price for a pass is $320. If you choose not to join, the walk up price is $425. Tickets are less if you purchase them now.
Besides just the discount, another benefit to purchasing a membership to NSBE is that you get access to their career center. Recruiters are doing interviews during the conference. If you’re a member, you can submit your resume ahead of time, and have a chance (not guarantee) of scheduling an interview in advance.
The career fair is scheduled for Thursday, March 27th from 11 AM to 4 PM and Friday, March 28th from 11 AM to 5 PM.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to see a conference of this caliber within driving distance of Memphis. If you’re looking for a corporate job at a top company, I encourage you to consider attending.
Below is the video NSBE shared with me when we spoke over the phone. They hope this will help encourage you to consider attending.
When was the last time you attended a career fair? Five years ago? Ten? Never? Chances are the last time you went to a fair, it was in college.
But, career fairs are not just something for college students anymore. They can be a great way to find an in person connection to a company you’ve been internet stalking for months. They’re also an alternative to submitting your resume to the online application process black hole.
Here are my top five tips to making the most of your next career fair experience:
Bring your business cards & resumes – You never know who you might meet at a career fair. Bring plenty of business cards AND resumes. If you don’t have any and you’re short on time, lean on an office store like FedEx to you started.
Bring your cell phone (and keep it on) – Although you should keep you phone turned down low or on vibrate, keep it on during a career fair. There’s a chance a recruiter may call and ask you to stop back by their booth to meet someone else, or to interview during the fair. Put your cell phone number on your resume. In fact, take off any phone number that’s not your cell during a career fair.
Reach out to recruiters in advance – Many fairs allow you to submit your resume weeks or months before the fair. This can help you to connect with recruiters and begin to schedule interviews in advance. If you already have recruiters in your network, reach out to them to find out if they’ll be attending.
Ask for on-site interviews – It’s a little known fact that many career fairs have private interview booths that are hidden away from the career fair floor. Recruiters often have lists of positions they’re hiring for, and a schedule of available interview times. Ask questions and find out if there’s anyway to get on their calendar during the fair.
Follow up – When you get home from the career fair, send every recruiter you spoke with a thank you e-mail. Follow up with a LinkedIn connection request to make the most of your new networking contact. If at possible, take these steps on the same day you attend the fair.
Last, but not least, continue to perfect your elevator pitch. Practice introducing yourself. You want to shake hands, and make eye contact while introducing yourself. Explain what you do, and what you’re looking for. This simple and concise message will open to the door to further conversations about job opportunities.
Lucky for Tennesseans, there are multiple career fair options coming up in 2014 to practice these skills. First, the Multicultural Career Fair will be held in Memphis on April 13th at the Hilton. To learn more about this great event, check out my blog post about it. This will be an excellent opportunity for those in Memphis to work on their networking skills and professional development while searching for a new job.
I will also announce a national career fair on Thursday, so check back on my blog for all the details.
I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.
The National Black MBA Association is holding their annual conference in Houston, Texas this year September 10th-14th. If there’s any chance you will be in the area, I encourage you to go.
Although the entire conference is quite expensive, you can purchase a ticket to just the career fair at a greatly reduced rate. Even if you aren’t a NBMBAA member, they would love to have you. I’ve attended this fair before and found it very helpful.
Hundreds of large employers recruit at this event every year. Below is an awesome photo of their career fair in action. Just seeing it makes my heart beat with anticipation. I hope you’ll check it out.