5 Tips To Improve Your Appeal At A Career Event

Nature’s Laws of Attraction have influenced behavior and judgement since the dawn of time.

It’s a relatively simple process: an idea, concept or physical sighting generates an impulse, stimulating immediate action as a means to satisfy an instinctive want, need, or desire.

The professional nature of this blog will not allow critique of your behavior on Friday or Saturday nights, or when under the amorous influence of your favorite alcoholic beverage.

Instead, we’ll focus on your instinctive pursuit of a brighter tomorrow; rich, meaningful and engaging employment pairing your natural talents with an inherent desire to perform.

Our muse will be the recently attended Signing Day Career Event in the city of Tampa, Florida, coordinated locally through the Hillsborough Community College Foundation.

Paying It Forward

It was Kristofer, our Media & Marketing guru, who suggested TSHAMRELL participate as a way of giving back to the community. So, we did.

It was a fantastic day-long event, a festive atmosphere featuring a visit from Tampa’s Mayor Jane Castor and lunch from two unbelievable food trucks (who wouldn’t love a Chicken Shawarma Taco in the company of great talent?).

Our role involved sponsoring two separate raffles: one offering five lucky attendees a complimentary Personal Development Planning Session with me.

The second raffle was for vendors, a Half-Day Workshop featuring a selection from our TSHAMRELL Catalog of Services or a customized program unique to their specific team and environment.

WEHR Constructors, one of the largest contractors and construction managers in the Southeast United States, was the Vendor Raffle winner. Their selection proves that it does pay to be first: Cindy, a Talent Manager from their Tampa office, was the first vendor to contribute her business card to the raffle.

The overall experience highlighted a wonderful cross-section of attendees from diverse generations, backgrounds, and career interests.

Their one common objective was to gain meaningful employment and place themselves in the best position to grow and develop.

Appropriate, since that is a shared goal of ours.

Cue The 5 Tips

The biggest takeaway from the Signing Day Career Event is that there is no substitute for person-to-person contact. We have missed that terribly due to well documented global events.

Since we’re working these opportunities back into the mix, there are some key behaviors and tips that can benefit both employers and prospective employees:

Tip: Understand the Laws of Mutual Attraction

Why would someone choose you or choose to join your organization?

A Career Event validates two needs: An organization needs employees, and an individual needs a job. One does not automatically account for the other.

Attendees: Resist the urge to stroll through vendors like you’re walking around a Farmer’s Market.

Review the list of participating organizations prior to the event, formulate your gameplan, and move with a purpose.

Meet with targets on your list, then explore remaining opportunities with confidence, organization, and structure.

Employers: Remember you are searching for undiscovered talent. Treat your open positions like a perishable product . . . move it, or risk losing it.

This is not selecting talent out of desperation. However, attracting potential stars improves with a more proactive approach to promoting the benefits of working with your team.

Tip: Represent Your Brand

How or what will separate you from the crowd?

It’s a competitive landscape out there. Attention to the smallest details can mean the difference between success and a reserved seat in the “Better luck next time” section.

Attendees: So much of this comes down to personal appearance, both a benefit and risk of attending in-person events.

If you have purchased a new wardrobe, please ensure all garment tags have been removed. More than one gentleman had designer labels attached to the sleeves of business jackets . . . appreciate the effort but follow through to secure results.

Carry your resume in a folder, even if it is in simple document cover. These little details demonstrate genuine care, an impression that can carry over into a positive meet and greet.

Employers: Communicate your value to potential employees like they were your customers. Would you welcome a guest to your hotel or restaurant while sitting behind a table?

Your marketing team doesn’t sell your brand by watching potential clients walk by.

Role model expected behaviors beginning with proactivity, a sense of comradery, and the potential to perform fulfilling and rewarding work.

Tip: Trust in the Unknown

This is your opportunity to discover untapped resources for growth and development

Several attendees bypassed participating in our Personal Development Planning raffle, responding to our offer with a blunt “No, I’m good.”

The cynic in me wanted to say “Are you, really? Because it looks to me like you need a better job.”

But I get it . . . everywhere we turn, someone is trying to sell us something.

Success at a Career Event asks you to trust in the process of change.

Change won’t happen if you don’t take the chance on something new, especially if that involves an investment in yourself.

Tip: Celebrate the Spirit of the Event

Recognize and embrace the sense of hope and optimism

Walking into a Career Event is like arriving at the doorstep to the unknown. You never know when one more step will cross that threshold and expose a world of new beginnings.

Attendees: Try to put nerves and anxious feelings on the back burner and celebrate the sense of community present in a Career Event. It’s difficult, perhaps a bit poetic, but will put you in the proper mindset to create what happens next.

Employers: Strength is found in the unity of the human spirit.

Recognize your opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of your community . . . and society in general. Demonstrate a sense of optimism by willingly engaging with other employers.

Let attendees know it’s not them vs. the world . . . it’s the world taking a moment to embrace their dreams of a better future.

Tip #5: Just Be Yourself

Authenticity is the ticket to finding something you love, doing it, and doing it well

Attendees: Be prepared, represent your brand, trust in the unknown, be optimistic . . . and most importantly, be yourself. There is no one like you . . . don’t try to be someone else.

Let your pride show, speak with confidence, and say “No” if the shoe doesn’t fit.

You control the direction of your dreams and aspirations.

Employers: You also control the direction of your dreams and vision. Have the confidence to be open and transparent with potential talent.

If they’re not a good fit for your team, what value will you add from their time spent with you? Your insight can clear a path to discovery and fulfillment.

Closing Time

It felt so satisfying to participate in a live, in-person event. But with that comes the responsibility of being prepared to do your best.

Hopefully these five tips will become habits, leading to an employment discovery that results in never attending another Career Event.

But just in case you do . . .

Thank you for spending your Tuesday with Tall Tim Talks!

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