10 Tips to Crush It at the SA Tech Job Fair

SA Tech Job Fair

The second annual San Antonio Tech Job Fair is just around the corner. Over 30 companies will be at The Doseum on September 26, and they are hungry for new tech team members!

At the job fair, companies want to quickly source a list of new talent leads. AKA they need to find qualified employees they can begin interviewing for jobs. Recruiters will represent their organization at tables with informational handouts and company swag. Your goal at a job fair is to set yourself apart from other candidates and ensure your name makes it to the top of those lead lists.

Think of your interaction with the company as a mini screening interview. The company rep will subtly evaluate basic qualities like your professionalism, communication and interpersonal skills, work experience, and interest level in the organization. Job fairs are also an opportunity for you to gain information about companies that may not be easily accessible online.  

At Codeup, we’re passionate about bridging the gap between talent and demand, so we’ve outlined 10 tips to ensure you bring your A-game and leave a lasting impression!

10 Tips for Totally Crushing it at the SA Tech Job Fair

  1. Use keywords to describe your skills, but don’t go overboard. You’ll probably be talking to a recruiter or talent acquisition specialist. As a technical candidate, recognize these individuals usually aren’t developers or network administrators. They know terms like “JavaScript” and “Apache,” but haven’t written a line of code or spun up a server, so don’t get too caught up in industry jargon.
  2. Research the companies ahead of time. Review the list of attending companies and make sure you know what the company does and whether or not they hire people in your desired role. Look up recent news on the company and mention it during your conversation.
  3. Define your own goals for the job fair. Are you searching for a specific type of role or company culture? What matters most in your job search? Are there companies you want to prioritize?  Develop a game plan and be intentional with your time.
  4. Prepare a stellar résumé. Bring about 20 copies of your résumé to the event, printed on nice paper. We won’t cover resume writing in this post, but there are a plethora of online resources you can consult. For job fairs, don’t worry about cover letters.
  5. Polish your online profiles. If recruiters have a copy of your resume, you can be sure they will stalk you online soon. Make sure your online presence is professional and appropriate. A good place to start is by Googling yourself. Update your LinkedIn, and clean up any social media profiles.
  6. Craft a 30-60 second elevator pitch. You may only have a few minutes with an employer. What will you say if they ask, “Tell me about yourself?” Consider structuring your pitch like this: Who you are + What you do + What your goals are + Why that matters to the company.
  7. Don’t show up in a t-shirt, but trade in your suit for something more chill. Always keep it professional, but remember: tech is typically more casual than other industries. You’ll likely feel out of place if you look like you belong on Wall St., so refer to this guide on dressing for tech interviews.
  8. Don’t forget the basics. Start and end each conversation with a firm handshake. Make eye contact while conversing. Smile! Thank the recruiter before you move on to the next table.
  9. Ask educated questions. Don’t waste valuable face time with recruiters by asking questions like, “What does [Insert Company here] do?” They hate that question! Instead, try some of these:
    1. What are the top 3-5 examples of knowledge, skills, and abilities you look for in candidates?
    2. What’s the best advice you have for someone who wants to work here?
    3. What is your interview process like?
    4. Are you hiring for any roles not currently listed on your websites?
  10. Follow up. Collect business cards from each table. The next day, send a short note expressing your interest in the company’s opportunities and thanking the recruiter for his or her time.

RSVP for the SA Tech Job Fair taking place at The Doseum – September 26th starting at 5:30 pm.