The Career Navigator: How to Work a Career Fair-Part Three-How to Navigate

The Career Navigator: How to Work a Career Fair-Part Three-How to Navigate
By Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, Career Navigator

This is the third in a series of articles about how to prepare for the Career Fair at the NAB Show on April 9.   The Career Fair gives you an opportunity to make face-to-face connections with potential employers.  Here are tips on how to navigate the NAB Show Career Fair

There will be human resources representatives from many companies. Make a list of the companies whose work you like and make sure you meet with those companies.  Don’t just walk through the room and decide which booths to approach.  Utilize your time wisely. It’s easy to get distracted once you are there. Visit with the companies you are most interested in. You could spend three weeks at the NAB Show and not talk to everyone. Use the chart you created and check off the companies on your chart you’ve met with as you navigate the job fair.

Make an impression with your interview. Prepare your strategy in advance so you leave a positive impression.

Each employer’s time is valuable. With thousands of attendees and dozens of companies, it’s wise to prepare your strategy in advance to ensure that the few minutes you have with each employer is productive and you leave a positive impression. Tailor your approach to the limited time you will have with any employer. Applicants should not be shy, nor should they be obnoxiously brash and overbearing.

Smile, extend your hand and introduce yourself using your 15-second pitch. Speak loudly and clearly so they can hear you above the crowd. You’ve done your homework so you know what the employer needs-show how your skills and career goals are a perfect match. This is your chance to tell the employer that you understand he/she is looking for x and you are x.  Give the recruiter your marketing materials (résumé, reel, shot breakdown, disposable portfolio) and ask about the job(s) you are interested in. Do not be a time waster. There will be lines at many of the booths. The employers want to visit with as many people as they can so keep your introduction brief and meaningful.

Some Don’ts

Don’t eat while walking through a job fair. Don’t talk on your cell phone or check for messages.  Don’t chew gum. Don’t bring children with you.

Some Do’s

Take note(s): Bring an electronic device or go old school with pens and a notebook, where you can keep notes organized.

Get the prospective employer’s business card.  Organize those cards so when you get home, you can follow up with e-mail or other communication.

Practice courtesy: Be nice to everyone you meet, not just those inside the booths. You never know who the person next to you is or what company they may be representing.

What You Can Expect During the Job Fair

“It seemed like everyone was there. I felt like I got a bum’s rush they didn’t even look at my reel.”

With hundreds of applicants visiting the booths, the company recruiters wont have a chance to view your reel during the job fair and go through it with you. It’s essential that your package is properly prepared and you include a résumé and shot breakdown. Your reel will be reviewed but it’s impossible to have it reviewed during the fair itself. (If you’re extremely lucky your reel may be reviewed that night.)

Make sure to have plenty of copies of your résumé, portfolio and reel to leave behind.  Include contact info including your cell phone and email address on your resume.  It’s unlikely you will be interviewed or land a job at the Career Fair but it is an opportunity to make contact with employers face to face.  It’s possible a prospective employer will want to contact you during the show for a follow up meeting so you may also want to include hotel contact  info on your resume.

The Career Fair at the NAB Show is April 9 from 10 am to 3 pm.  The Career Fair is at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, Pavilion,  3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas.  (Self parking is free).  The Las Vegas Hotel is directly adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center and offers access to the Skywalk Bridge.   The Career Fair at the NAB Show also offers seminars for attendees.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter, hiring strategist, and career coach and speaks often on career issues at conferences and colleges.  You can reach her for recruiting or personalized career coaching at [email protected]  Read more about Pamela here:

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is an internationally-acclaimed recruiter, career coach and animation veteran (production manager on The Simpsons, ink and paint supervisor on Paramount's animated feature Bebe's Kids.) Pamela is a popular speaker at colleges, film festivals and entertainment industry conferences around the world.She has presented courses at SIGGRAPH in San Diego, Boston, and Los Angeles; was the commencement speaker at Art Institute of Tampa, and taught the Career Realities course at Gnomon School of Visual Effects.Pamela was named one of the Top Ten Recruiters by Animation Magazine and has worked with clients around the world such as Disney Feature Animation, Technicolor in Beijing, Framestore in London, and Lucas Animation in Singapore.She has written for over 80 publications including Computer Graphics, Animation Magazine, U.S. Art, Media History Digest, Apple Directions, Art Business News, Idaho Arts Quarterly, and Animation World Network.
Pamela Thompson
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