The 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration drew 12,000 attendees from all over the world to Houston to exchange ideas and learn from one another. The entire celebration is an amazing chance to meet other technologists, but it is also a chance to network for career opportunities. We have assembled some tips and tricks for you to help you get ready for what’s arguably the most hectic part of #GHC16.
Pack More Business Cards Than You Think You’ll Need
As we stated in our recent GHC Packing Tips article, it’s essential that you remember to bring plenty of business cards — bring more than you think you’ll need — plus copies of your resume or another way for employers to contact you after the conference. Business cards are also a great option if you meet someone interesting during a talk or in the halls between events.
Practice and Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
Come up with an “elevator pitch” to give to potential employers or contacts. Rather than fumbling through trying to remember your interests and qualifications, it’s good to note who you are, what you’re doing, and what you want to do next. Keep this in the back of your mind, and when you meet people, you can immediately have an introduction ready for them.
Stay Comfortable and Hydrated
Make sure you are comfortable in your professional attire. Comfortable shoes and clothes that fit are vital both to appear professional and to stay pleasant throughout multiple important first impressions. In addition, bring water (and possibly breath mints) to avoid any embarrassing dry mouth, bad breath, or coughing fits. You’ll be doing lots of talking and networking, and staying hydrated will help you immensely.
Ask Your Own Questions!
Don’t forget that the GHC Career Fair is your opportunity to ask questions of the recruiters and hiring managers, too. Remember that an interview, no matter how informal, is a two-way street. Of course, you’ll be focused on making a good impression and showing off your skills and talents, but you want to find out if the job opportunity, company culture and potential teammates are a good fit for you too. Ask questions about how new recruits, especially women, progress their careers. Check out our recent piece on 3 Reminders For All Women in Technology for more details.
GHC is an amazing chance to meet inspirational women, as well as to network career opportunities. Coming prepared will help you make the most of your #GHC16 experience.