Networking tip: Score an invitation to a private reception
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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.
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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.
You won’t find the information on posters. Or through email blasts. The details go to only a select few.
But if you work at it, you might score one of the coveted invitation-only get-togethers for serious job candidates.
Many companies have secured a nearby suite or other private space, hired caterers and will put out the word to a few select candidates about the opportunity to mingle with hiring managers about job opportunities. It’s all very hush-hush for the candidates who have been screened in advance.
The key? 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.
So how do you get invited to the special gatherings?
Be an informed candidate, suggests David Williams, manager of talent acquisition for FMC Technologies. Be confident. Talk to the recruiting managers on site about the company, the projects, the challenges and the opportunities.
Don’t stop there in getting an insider’s insight into the company. Follow the company on Twitter and Facebook, watch the company’s presentations on YouTube and sit in on some technical sessions the company is hosting during OTC, he recommends.
“We have a very limited number of tickets to the suite,” he said. So be the kind of candidate who gets one of those invitations.
Check FuelFix daily during OTC for more networking tips from L. M. Sixel, whose weekly Working column appears in the Houston Chronicle.
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