9 Reasons Why You Should Go To a Career Fair 9 Reasons Why You Should Go To a Career Fair
Tech companies have been known to ask… interesting…questions during interviews, such as the famous “How many golf balls can you fit in a... 9 Reasons Why You Should Go To a Career Fair

Tech companies have been known to ask… interesting…questions during interviews, such as the famous “How many golf balls can you fit in a school bus?” (It’s 660,000, apparently.)

Whether it’s at Google, Facebook, Apple, or another company hiring for a data science position, you can bet that the interview(s) will be difficult to prepare for. Between the pressure, time commitment, and feeling that you’re never prepared, looking for a job is rarely a fun experience for someone.

According to Burning Glass, there are over 360,000 job listings for those with data science skills annually. IBM predicts that the demand for data scientists will increase 28% by 2020. With so many positions available, why are there still people unable to get work? One complaint we’ve heard is that even though there are plenty of open positions, there aren’t enough qualified candidates for the roles which require a very specific set of skills. Oftentimes good candidates are just missing one or two key skills.

Let’s face it. If your LinkedIn inbox is not already flooded with data science job offers, you may want to skip the interview and head to a career fair where you can get the valuable feedback you need.

Career fairs are a great way to get your feet wet if you’re just starting your data science career, or to be exposed to newer trends and emerging organizations if you’re already established. What other ways are career fairs beneficial?

1) You gain unbiased feedback from multiple organizations
How many jobs have you been rejected from without even knowing why? Do you ever wonder how to get from your current level to your dream job? At a career fair, you will get the chance to speak with dozens of hiring managers who can look at your resume and walk you through what you’re doing well and can do better to land your ideal job. This is applicable for data scientists of all levels, whether entry level or management.

2) Less pressure, more results
When interviewing with one company, you spend time researching them, going through a series of phone screenings, multiple email exchanges, and lengthy in-person interviews. At a career fair, both you and the hiring manager will decide after 10 minutes if it’s worth continuing the conversation and if an in-person is worthwhile. Plus, no email tag of trying to set up time to talk!

3) Get answers and fill in the blanks
When you get an interview, you’re likely doing something right. Yet you end up not getting the job. At a career fair, you’ll get the opportunity to meet with multiple people who can fill in the blanks to as of what you’re missing to be a perfect candidate, so you can fill in the gaps and make out your skills path.

4) It’s like LinkedIn, but real life
Does this need explaining? Networking, networking, networking. Not only do you connect with multiple companies, but you can also meet other people on the same journey as you – the journey for a better job!

5) It’s great experience
Not very good at interviews? Need to brush up on some soft skills? Haven’t looked for a job in a while? Well, at a job fair you can practice with dozens of hiring managers. Don’t use your actual interview as a trial run – get experience before the big day.

6) What companies are hiring, and what for?
Indeed and LinkedIn only say so much. Sometimes companies don’t even post some job listings online. Maybe your searches just aren’t bringing up the best jobs for you. By going to a fair, you can see more companies hiring and what they’re hiring for.

7) You might be surprised at what kind of job you can get
It happens more often than you think. Applicants may apply or interview for one job, but the hiring manager may decide they’re better fit for another job. Try your luck at a fair and see all of the jobs you’re a fit for.

8) Understand the context of your field
It’s easy to be stuck in a bubble if you’re not meeting new people in the industry or interacting with other organizations. At a career fair, you’re exposed to individuals and companies representing different walks of life, some of which may be on the cutting edge. Take this opportunity to get the latest news from the companies making waves!

9) Fast track to getting hired!
Last but certainly not least – companies go to career fairs with the intention of hiring qualified candidates. They go out of their way to find the best people for jobs that require the best people. This means that when you go to a career fair, you’ll be exposed to dozens of companies that are looking for immediate hires.  You’ll have already passed the screening test and be on the fast track as a qualified candidate. Thus you’ve increasing your chances getting hired in a shorter amount of time, expediting the normally tedious screening process.

Looking to attend a career fair now? Attend our career fairs at ODSC West and ODSC London, you will get the chance to network with dozens of companies, all while attending the fastest-growing data science conference in the world.

Alex Landa, ODSC

Alex drinks a lot of coffee and sometimes writes stuff. Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-landa-a0889857/