Events & job fairs
You can do all the things perfectly online and have your profiles ready and active - nothing works as good as just meeting people in-person and just talking directly to recruiters and other company representatives. You can always add them on LinkedIn and GitHub later! It's easy to find events and to join them (for free) - below some tips how to find them and what to do there once you're there.
A job fair, also referred commonly as a job expo or career fair or career expo, is an event in which employers, recruiters, and schools give information to potential employees. Job seekers attend these while trying to make a good impression to potential coworkers by speaking face-to-face with one another, filling out résumés, and asking questions in attempt to get a good feel on the work needed. It's THE best way to get in direct contact with recruiters and find that first job.
A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest, datathon or codefest; a portmanteau of hacking marathon) is a design sprint-like event; often, in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers, project managers, domain experts, and others collaborate intensively on software projects. It's an awesome way to build your portfolio and to meet other developers.
So, you are there, what now? Finally you are at a job fair or at a cool and fancy tech meetup, now you need to act! Below some best practices, depending what kind of event you have joined:
- Dress to impress! That doesn't always mean you need to suit/dress up! It rather means wearing according to the type of event: if it's a job fair, yes, maybe wear a tie or a nice dress, but if it's a regular networking event, it's not so common in tech to dress up fancy - just regular clothes will do.
- Talk to people! Almost all events are in the end networking events, meaning you need to connect to people and see if there are interesting people who can help you further in your career (or maybe you can help them). Of course, this isn't easy - don't worry if you haven't spoken to a lot of people at your first event: it takes practice!
- Get information! Take business cards, take flyers, or in other words: take all the information you can find. At home, you can organise all the information and potentially follow any interesting leads or information you received.
- Connect digitally! If you meet an interesting person or get to know a cool company, connect to them on LinkedIn or give the company a follow to stay up to date on any potential job opportunities. And as explained before: having more LinkedIn connections can never hurt.