Revisiting Conference & Job Fair Etiquette

This is a topic that I always come back to every couple of years, whenever faced with a new batch of college graduates and job hunters.  General etiquette and preparedness for job fairs and networking.  I find it is always worth repeating.

  • Always have a business card even if it isn’t your ideal design.

I was surprised by the number of people that didn’t have a card, whether because they haven’t designed one they liked or they just didn’t get to it.  Walking away, I don’t remember their names or even how to look them up if I wanted to.  There were some exceptions to these encounters.  One person ran out of cards but just so happened to have lovely post cards of his work as a backup.  That was a nice surprise. – It doesn’t take much to just head over to a printing site and order some basic cards to have on hand.

  • How you present your portfolio can be just as important as the contents.

Take some time to craft your portfolio.  Ultimately, if your content is magnificent the rest won’t matter but you don’t want the presentation to be distracting.  Have your portfolio readily available on a tablet or a master, nicely bound, book or folder.  Make it easy and pleasurable to look at your portfolio and not a frustrating experience.  Also, only bring copies of your work and not the originals.  (Don’t want things to get destroyed.) If you are using video on a tablet or phone, make sure it is downloaded to your device so you aren’t battling WiFi and data issues in a conference hall with an already taxed network.

  • Keep your website simple and make it easy for people to remember who you are and how to contact you.

More than once, I had to mention this.  Make sure your name and an easy way to contact you is on every page of your site.  You don’t have to have background images and tons of flourish but do keep your portfolio front and center.  Also, give your site some focus.  I understand that you may be able to handle multiple disciplines but I want to know what kind of job you are actually after.

Here are some previous posts on this topic.  They also include links to other blogs that have talked about the same thing as here but that can provide a lot more information:

Your Website = Repulsing

I have enough business cards to make a new card game….

The Critique: Friend or Foe?