Diversity & Inclusion
Events / Hiring / Women in tech

Why you still need to be at the job fair

That face-to-face conversation matters, said Women in Technology's Daphne Wotherspoon. The org is hosting a job fair in Tysons Corner on Sept. 28.

At a past Women in Technology Job Fair. (Courtesy photo)

While perusing through Women in Technology’s announcement for their latest job fair, a question immediately came to mind: why should we still use traditional methods like job fairs?

After all, the internet is populated with job board sites. LinkedIn allows users to share profiles and resumes with recruiters from the palm of their hands. And now there’s an app that features video-based profiles for networking.

So, do tech companies and job seekers really need job fairs? Daphne Wotherspoon of Women in Technology (WIT) argues that the answer is yes.

Wotherspoon, the Managing Director of WIT with 25 years of experience in staffing industries, acknowledges that social media and online job boards have created plenty of positives in the market. But she continues to believe firmly in the power of face-to-face connection.

“The ability to differentiate yourself with you know your handshake, your smile, your personality, your elevator pitch and really your personal brand is often what’s going to get you noticed and at least get you to the interview table,” she said. “It’s really tough to highlight those things on an 8-and-a half and 11 right piece of paper.”

As for employers, Wotherspoon told Technical.ly that the traditional platform is still a great opportunity for companies to show of their brand, culture, and understand the nuances of each candidate. Companies in the local DMV area seem to agree, as 70-80 percent of businesses return to their job fairs each year, according to Wotherspoon.

Job seekers will have the opportunity to view this firsthand at WIT’s upcoming job fair on September 28 at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel in Tysons, Va. The event is free of charge, but requires registration.

Register

While WIT’s mission as an organization focuses on the advancement of women in STEM, they believe in the importance of keeping events like the job fair as inclusive as possible.

“In the mission of promoting opportunities for women in STEM, we are ultimately better able to do that if we can engage members of the DC community in a positive manner, creating brand awareness for our mission with both men and women who are looking for roles and sometimes leadership roles in technology organizations,” Wotherspoon explained.

Besides, from Wotherspoon’s point of view, the men in attendance at WIT events often actively seek out diverse and inclusive environments and organizations. They’re the type of applicants that WIT is happy to help.

Regardless of gender, Wotherspoon believes that one of the most important things that all applicants can do is simply show up.

“No one channel alone is going to optimize your ability to land the best job, and a variety of traditional channels, like job fairs, and more modern channels is the best strategy,” she said.

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