This blog is written by Ariam, our campus ambassador from Stony Brook University.
Most associations/organizations hold career conferences for its members and the public. It’s a fun-filled day of meeting and networking with professionals in your desired field. Often the different committees within the conference anticipate this event and YOU shouldn’t miss out on the action.
Do Your Homework
The clock is ticking, and there’s one week left till the conference. What to do? Any recognized organization will begin promoting their conference months in advance. Do your research on who’s attending! Even if you’re completely stumped on panelists, check out who came the previous year. Create your own biographical sheet on these panelists—may want to include a picture to help you remember their face and look into their position at the company.
Pack the Essentials
- · Registration/confirmation e-mail—to check-in
- · Business cards—check out moo.com or vistaprint.com which offer great deals
- · 10 copies of your resume
- · 2 pens
- · Pad of paper
- · Purse of tote bag
Tip: Pack your essentials in a folder, so you don’t look like you’re pulling out of a hat all-day!
Look Simple, but Sharp
Just like any other event on-campus or professional setting, you want to dress appropriately and leave a lasting first impression to whomever you come in contact with. Looking sharp doesn’t equate sporting the most expensive pair of slacks or watch, but wearing attire that is suitable for your frame. DRESS COMFORTABLY as you’ll likely be standing on your feet for most of the event.
- · no heavy make-up
- · SHOES- flats or 3-inch heels (maximum); remember comfort is a MUST
- · Skirts should not be 3-inches above the knee
- · Try to match colors
Ladies: white button-up shirt or blouse with dark grey jacket and pencil skirt. Gentleman: Ideally black or dark brown shoes to accompany your suit will do.
Use Your Smartphone
Engage with the panel and other attendees throughout the conference by live-tweeting questions, comments, or answers that may surprised you using the appropriate hash tag! You never know—your tweet may end up in a post-coverage event.
Think of this conference as a second-interview. You are already in the ballgame, so you must view your position as a student professional. Don’t fray the idea of bringing SAMPLES from your portfolio to show off your work.
Tip: If you’re looking to bring press releases or any other writing samples, make sure you include most recent work.
- Strike a friendly conversation with someone
- Take notes while they are speaking (if needed)
- Exchange business cards—it’s about who you know and WHO KNOWS YOU
FOLLOW UP WITHIN THE NEXT 2 DAYS. Send a friendly e-mail, tweet. But as always handwritten notes are most appreciated when done gracefully.