This is the time of year when my frequent flyer miles get a BIG boost. After the holidays you say? Yup. After the holidays. Its internship and job fair time my friends. That means that I’ll be hitting the streets of lovely cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Toronto to name a few. This means that my suitcase gets unpacked and repacked on a regular basis, but it also means that I get the privilege to meet so many of you in person. I think there is nothing that beats an in person hello and having a little conversation with a potential employer or employee.
That being said, I’ve been to some amazing job fairs (Thanks DigiPen for doing it so well in January! You ROCKED!), and there have been some less than stellar ones as well. While only the school or company that actually sponsors the event can control the majority of the factors, there are several steps that any individual can take to get the most out of the fair or event and have it be successful for them on a personal level.
First step is do your research! Events and job fairs post who will be attending. READ IT. Use that crazy thing called a computer to Google the company/studios attending if you are not 100% sure who or what they are. I love (not really) when people come up to me and say “I love Jak and Daxter!” Their enthusiasm is real, but sadly they are talking to the wrong company (FYI that would be Naughty Dog). So know who you are talking to, and about what. Also resist the urge to say “So what do you do” in regards to what games we make or ask “What jobs do you have available”. Our website does an AMAZING job of letting viewers know what games Insomniac is responsible for and our open positions. All it takes is a few clicks and you will be well informed!
Secondly – it’s ok to be excited and nervous when talking to a stranger, since that is what we are when we meet. But I have not cured cancer, no Nobel Prize is sitting in my office, and I’m not a rock star. I’m just a really lucky person who get the privilege to represent a fantastic company at fun events. No need to be nervous. We are as excited to meet you and talk about cool things, as you are to meet us. So just remember- I’m a little nervous too, but cannot wait to share what we as Insomniacs are all about.
Next – resumes vs business cards. Not sure why schools still do this – but they tell students to come to job fairs and events armed with two reams of paper resumes, AND business cards, along with a slew of other items like laptops, tablets and backpacks. It’s got to get heavy! I know students occasionally want to get opinions on resumes, and some companies still take paper resumes at events and job fairs, but we don’t. For a few simple reasons, it’s not very green (something we as a company firmly believe in) and I’d hate for your resume to get lost in the shuffle as we pack and crate up our booth. It’s always better to apply online! Online submissions allow us to have multiple hiring managers check out your resume and that speeds up the process. So please don’t feel we are rejecting you or your resume. I just want to make sure that your resume actually makes it to the right people and in the right way.
Last bit of info for this post – we really want to talk with you. It’s why we came! It’s why we went through airport security in our socks, it’s why we braved a plane ride, and got a rental car. We want to talk with you. But we also have to talk to all the other people lined up behind you, and eventually the event will shut down, and then we have to pack up and do it all again in reverse order. So please don’t take it personally if we have to keep things moving. I just want to make sure that we get the chance to say hello to everyone. If it’s a little slower, by all means stay and chat, but if there is a huge line, we do want and need to get to everyone. We may not be able to have a long discourse on Ratchet’s background or how Merryn knows how to build a submarine, but we do want to answer your top two or three burning questions.
Hope this helps share a bit of our side of an event, and how to be prepared for your next big career fair, or event.
Until next time…