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Thread: Networking tips for upcoming chapter conference

  1. #1
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    Networking tips for upcoming chapter conference

    So my local APA Chapter Conference is coming up, and while looking at the descriptions for the sessions that are being offered, I noticed that a couple of the presenters are directors or otherwise higher ups for a few organizations that I have recently applied for positions with. They are presenting at two different sessions, so I am not really concerned about an awkward three way meeting or some similar situation.

    It seems like a great opportunity, but I dont want it to backfire, so I am curious as to how I should play this hand. I submitted my resume to the two positions fairly recently so I still believe I have a good chance of getting interviews. I highly doubt, though, that either one of them would recognize my name, even if they happenned to see my resume/cover letter. I am sure that I at least need to introduce myself after the sessions, even if I dont mention that I am looking for a position.

    I am wondering, though, if I should try and make it a point to mention my interest in the position or only do so if the conversation flows naturally in that direction, although I dont know what I would say if I happened to get an interview and then have to explain why I didnt mention my interest during the conference. Also, what can I do to ensure a lasting impression, I dont have a business card to give, so can I give them my resume even though it is already floating around somewhere in their respective organizations.

    Any tips about what you think is the best way to handle this would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plan 9's avatar
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    First get yourself some personal business cards, they are not that expensive.

    I would introduce myself in a non-threating way, "I really enjoyed your pesentation, how do you think x affects y?" In other words, show that you listened to the presentation and actually have some kind of thoughtful question. Then you might bow out of the conversation by saying that you applied for someplanner postion and hope you get to a chance to work with them and learn more. The hard part is that it has to be sincere. If you aren't sincere, then you are best off not saying anything.

    It wouldn't hurt to wear your power tie/outfit and sit in the front row where they can't miss you. Then they might remember you during the interview. You could also use it as an ice breaker at the interview, "I saw your presentation on yackity yackity at the blah blah blah." More than likely they will ask you what you thought, and gives you a jumping off point to get more personal and both of you a chance to see if you will fit into the organization.

    Most important: BE YOURSELF
    "Future events such as these will affect you in the future."

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I agree with Plan 9. And business cards are not an expensive thing, especially in a small batch. I would not give my resume personally. I think it might come off as too pushy.

    I also think there is nothing wrong with saying something like "I actually applied for a position with your firm (or department) and wanted to come see your presentation to get an idea of the kind of work you are engaged in. I was impressed with..." Or something like that. This shows you are not only interested in employment, but actually have the follow through to do your homework about places you are looking to work for.

    I would, however, keep the encounter brief so they don't think you are trying to gain favoritism. Show your face, introduce yourself, and then politely excuse yourself. If they want to talk to you more, they will let you know.

    And yes, be yourself.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    I have no affiliation with the biz cards available at www.vistaprint.com except to say that I'm a happy multi-year customer.
    They don't print 'em overnight, so you will have to, er, plan ahead.

    (my current design has a graphic from Sim City, and they have dozens of city scapes as well as upload-your-photo)

    Some years back I attended the state planning meeting. Brought resumes. In the session on "jobs in planning" the presenters were open to ideas. I said I always bring resumes with me to planning confabs, in fact I have them here. Guy behind me says, "give me one." (Private consultant, they haven't hired me yet but someday they will.)

    I wouldn't broadcast them or leave on people's windshields, but it can't hurt to have some extras.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    If there are social events in the evenings, that is a good time to showcase yourself, personally.

    Also, dance if the occasion arises.

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