Spring is one of the hottest seasons for hiring. University students prepare to graduate. Companies organize budgets and projects for the rest of the year. Conferences and meet-ups pull together networking capabilities for these two different groups to connect. For job seekers in growing fields like data science and AI, niche job fairs that focuses solely on such areas of expertise are excellent venues to connect with potential employers, like-minded individuals and would-be mentors. There are a few top tips that job seekers should keep in mind when printing resumes, sorting business cards and preparing for a data science career fair.
Have Your “Elevator Pitch” Down Perfectly for Each Job Type
Each organization at a career fair seeks to hire for specific positions and verticals. Do your research prior to a career fair, particularly in the data science field to understand how your skill sets and interests align to specific companies and open positions. Based on your skills and interests, practice creating succinct and comprehensive summaries of how you would best fit the company’s current needs. These summaries are known as “elevator pitches.” Just imagine that you have 30-seconds in an elevator with a high-power executive who can give you a job on the spot; all you have to do is dazzle him. How do you do that? Elevator pitch.
Here are a few questions to consider when creating elevator pitches:
- What makes you different than everyone else?
- Why should the (executive/recruiter) care?
- How do your skills/interests align to their needs?
Understand Both Technical and Business Needs and Solutions
It goes without saying that business and technology go hand-in-hand. As data science focuses on the integration of both “worlds,” job seekers need to be able to speak to both technical and business needs, the specific solutions for such needs and most importantly how each component influences the other. More and more data science oriented jobs require that job candidates not only have the technical skillsets to resolve problems but also understand the business context and potential ramifications of such problems.
When researching various companies and their open positions, make sure to update yourself on current events of the organization. Such goings-on will shed light on present business conditions and provide your imagination with the ability to determine how AI, machine learning or the like might resolve any problems that the company might face. All you need to do is connect the dots between both technical and business needs. Speak to these connections at the proper time with recruiters, executives and colleagues at data career fairs and stand out from the crowd.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Contact Information
Though data science is a technical field, human relationships form a large part of its basis. This is particularly true throughout the hiring cycle. It’s important to get to know the people behind the technology and applications. To do so, have the confidence in yourself to ask for a recruiter or executive’s contact information or LinkedIn information for future communications, questions and insights. When individuals in a hiring capacity are able to differentiate you from other applicants, you become more than a number in the system.
Networking is truly a part of today’s hiring process, especially in fields such as data science where business and technical savviness is necessary to succeed. Remember, people hire people. Have confidence in your abilities and communicate those abilities to others. The first step is asking for their information and business card.
Career fairs can be daunting and exhausting to both jobs seekers and employers but in the end, both parties need each other in order to succeed. Take a look in your area to see what data science career fairs are coming up and be sure to participate. Do your research, prep your “elevator pitch,” know your facts and have confidence.