Industry Events are your chance to make connections with creative industry professionals. The students who leave with strong leads are the students who walk in prepared. Before the big event, take some time to prepare so that you can leave with strong contacts.
Resumes should be up to date and ready to go out for quick follow-up. Be sure your document is polished and up to date, and have it reviewed by at least one professional. Stop by the Portfolio Center for Resume Spot Checks Tues, Wed and Thurs from 2 - 4pm.
Talking about your work just doesn’t have the same impact as showing it. Compile your work and have it reviewed beforehand. Consider whether you want to bring print or digital samples with you to the event. If you bring digital work, be sure to bring your files in PDF format - wifi can be unpredictable, and that way you will definitely have something to show.
These make a great compliment to your resume. Many professionals will not want to carry around resumes at the event. By having a business card available, you’ve got something professional and portable to leave behind. Find printing resources on our Where to Get Stuff page.
Few of us are inherently good at selling ourselves, so it’s wise to take some time to practice. Brainstorm a short, 30 second summary that you can use when you introduce yourself to professionals. Include your past experience, strengths, and your future goals.
Unlike a job fair, we can't always provide a list of companies who will attend. But, knowing your industry - including the major players, trends, and changes - will help you walk into the event informed. Our Career Research pages will give you clues on where to start.
The big day is here- get ready!
While you probably don’t need to wear a full suit, you shouldn’t wander in wearing sweat pants either. A nice pair of pants/skirt and a nice shirt will show that you take this seriously. Here are some great tips for planning your attire.
Walk in with goals about how many professionals you want to talk to. Don't wait for professionals to approach you - greet them, stand up, smile, and shake some hands.
Regardless of if you are seated with your work or standing, your interactions will go something like this: greet professionals and give a firm (but not crushing) handshake. Launch with your short introduction, then segue into a question. Which company do your work for? What kind of work are you interested in seeing today? Would you like to see my work? Depending on the crowd, this interaction may only last about 5 minutes.
You won't get job offers on the spot, so think about what comes next. Ask for a business card, and see if it's ok to follow up with additional questions/for additional feedback.
What you do after the event is as important as what you did the day of.
Quickly - ideally within 24 hours - send a follow-up note to professionals to let them know you were grateful for their time. In addition to making them feel good, it will help ensure that you stay on their mind. Want to take it a step further? Send a hand-written thank you note to stand out.
Go back to your business cards and decide on professionals you want more contact with. Follow up to ask if you can have 20 minutes of their time to learn more about the company. Interactions on the spot will be short, so this gives you the chance to prepare additional questions and gather information that will help you land a job down the road.