Job Fairs & Hiring Conferences
Prep for the Conference
Job Fairs are screening processes. Objective is to have the recruiter move you on to a qualified hiring manager.
Recruiters can recommend and, ideally, endorse; they are NOT hiring managers. Hone your 2 minute pitch so that the recruiter understands your value and where in the organization to forward your resume’.
Recruiters meet lots of candidates so distinguish yourself by your dress, your preparation, your crisp introduction and researched interest in their organization. For example, “my background is this.. and I believe that I can do that for you.”
If the recruiter expresses interest, ask “How may I follow-up.” If they mention a name, copy it. If they are not specific, i.e. “I’ll forward to Engineering”, they are not advancing your cause.
Regardless of your military experience - Subs, Artillery, Aviation - talk about your IT / Tech experiences; Systems experiences; Data & Analytics work; Project Management achievements.
Emphasize the you have the Education, Technical Training and Leadership Experience that they seek. Help them to understand that You’re Not Looking for a Job; but that You are Interested in Their Company….and here’s why = see above.
Emphasize that even though the nature of your jobs in the service may seem somewhat atypical to them, that at the core you managed people in the deployment of technology for business advantage.
Should the recruiter or interviewer ever question or challenge your Profit & Loss experience, use the IBM Objection Handling Model of Feel, Felt, Found =
1. I understand how you may feel.
2. Others have felt the same way about Navy / Army / Marine officers
3. However, I’ve found that when they understand that we have to develop funding proposals, recommend operations budgets, account for spending and even partner with other agencies to share costs, that there is much in common with our counterparts in Business Development and Project Management.
Post Job Fair
Get the contact info of the recruiter. Follow-up with email to say Thank You (very, very few do this)
If not sooner, please ensure that your Linked-In Page synchs with your resume’.
Assess the Fair and your discussions. What did you do well / How might it have gone better?
How can this info be applied to improve your transition and search?