I was involved in the Society of Women Engineer’s organization throughout university and this year I attended my the Society of Women Engineer’s (SWE) National Conference from November 7 - 9 in Anaheim, California. I learned many lessons from that experience that I thought I’d share.
If you’re thinking about going and want tips, I hope this blog post will help.
1. Do your research on how to be prepared for that specific conference because every conference is different.
For the Society of Women Engineer’s Conference this means registering on the conference website well in advanced in order to get the best-valued conference tickets. In addition to this, upload your resume to the general SWE website at least a couple weeks prior to the conference. Many companies are looking to do on-site interviews during the conference and will scout candidates from resumes uploaded here. You never know what can happen!
2. Being personable is extremely important.
There are a lot of people attending the conference to make connections and to talk to recruiters. If you approach with a generic and formulaic introduction, chances are they’ve heard a variation on that all day long. Remember that you’re talking to a real person. Ask them questions about what they do. Be genuinely curious about the person you’re talking to and what they do. A lot of times people at these types of events make shallow connections, but why put all that energy to make a shallow connection when you could really get to know people and get people to know who you really are? At the end of the day, be genuine.
3. You’re presented with an amazing inside look at many companies.
Extending from the previous tip, you have the opportunity to ask questions directly to company employees directly. Is there anything you’re curious to know about that specific company? Now’s your chance to ask. Come with good questions and do your research.
4. You have the opportunity to have several technical interviews.
Sometimes you will be asked technical questions right at the booth. Somtimes a company might interested from coming across your resume on the SWE website (see tip #1), and schedule an interview on-site. Be prepared for any technical questions.
5. Have an easily scannable resume
Recruiters are very unlikely to read your resume word-for word. It was found that when most people scan, they read in an “F-shaped” pattern. Have clearly defined sections and short bullet points. Also, make sure it looks clean.
If you have an additional questions or want tips on the conference, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.