The Offshore Technology Conference is huge, so take some time before you hit the floor to map your path. If you’re looking for a job, figure out where you want to go and who you want to meet.
Then spend some time doing research on the companies you’ve targeted.
The more homework you do, the easier it is to talk about the company, said Marsha Murray, president of Murray Resources in Houston, a recruiting and staffing firm that focuses on engineering, accounting, human resources, management and clerical.
Many company websites also include job openings. Study those listings in advance, recommends Murray. And bring copies of your resume, including information on how to reach you.
So let’s assume you’ve done your homework and found an interesting opening? What’s next?
The biggest mistake a job seeker can do, says Murray, is to try to turn the opportunity to meet and greet into a job interview.
It’s not, said Murray. It’s a time to introduce yourself and make a good impression.
“It’s not the time to bend someone’s ear on where you’ve been during the last 15 years,” she said.
But you can —and should —provide a resume and ask about how to follow up.
Check FuelFix daily during OTC for more networking tips from L. M. Sixel, whose weekly Working column appears in the Houston Chronicle.
Previous OTC networking tips:
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It’s tough to start a conversation with someone you don’t know. The weather isn’t a great starting point. Neither is the food.
Tom Leuntjens Photograph / Flickr
Dress up. You’ll stand out — in a good way —from all the more casually dressed attendees.
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Don’t ask for an invitation when you show up at a booth. It’s one of those things that if you have to ask, you’re not going to get.
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Do what doesn’t come naturally to most people, seek out the people you don't know.
If you’re interested in an oil and gas career, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to study up on international issues.
Take careful notes of every encounter you have as you go from booth to booth, to help re-start the conversation later.
Loading yourself down with all those chip clips, thumb drives, mouse pads, stuffed animals, koozies, hats, hand-muscle exercisers and key chains sends a message that says, "not so serious."
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Do your homework: Spend some time doing research on the companies you’ve targeted. The more homework you do, the easier it is to talk.
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First impression: Don’t think of the convention as time away from the office in which you can relax and wear what you want. What you’re wearing should be forgettable.
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Don't get in the way: While many have received job offers during the Offshore Technology Conference, don't be too aggressive. It’s important to be sensitive to the sales staff's time.
Getting ready: If you’re heading to OTC, now is the time to make sure your on-line presence is in good shape.
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How to meet and greet: The key to confidently meeting and greeting people you don’t know? Practice.