Let’s face it. Finding a job - regardless of your level of experience - can be a challenging task. In this blog series, we plan to equip you with the power to land the job of your dreams with 10 helpful tips for the job-seeking ECP. Let’s get started!
Job Search Tip #9: Treat Vision Expo Like a Big Networking Event
International Vision Expo is known throughout the eye care industry as ‘the complete eye care event’, offering eye care professionals the chance to advance their professional education, discover new developments in eye care technology, and network with some of the most reputable names in the industry. For you, the job seeking eye care professional, Vision Expo is the perfect opportunity to put your best foot forward, spruce up that resume, and hit the show floor armed with a stack of business cards and a fresh outlook on your career. But what steps should you take to ensure that your efforts are successful? In this post, we’ll tell you what you need to know to make sure you hit the job search jackpot during International Vision Expo.
1. Make an Action Plan
The first thing you’re going to want to do prior to attending Vision Expo is come up with a plan of attack for when you get there. You certainly don’t want wander aimlessly around the floor frantically trying to figure out which booths you want to visit during the show. This behavior is not only exhausting, but it doesn’t help you effectively use your time to maximize your job search efforts amid the other things you might have to do during Vision Expo (assuming you’re there for a reason other than looking for a job). Instead, we recommend you first check out which companies are hiring by visiting VisionJobs, Vision Expo’s very own job portal. Then, once you know which companies have vacancies, you can use the show planner feature on the Vision Expo website to plan out which companies you want to touch base with while you’re there. If you have a smart phone, you might even want to download the Vision Expo app - a handy feature to help you keep your day organized and your time managed effectively.
2. Promote Your Personal Brand
Another thing you’re going to want to do to increase your chances of finding a job at Vision Expo is bring along materials that help you promote your personal brand. These materials typically include an updated version of your Resume, a notebook to jot down important information, and a business card with your contact information on it. Even if you’re not currently employed, or if your current employer doesn’t supply you with business cards, you might want to go somewhere like Vistaprint.com or a local printer and create your own. Although seemingly outdated, business cards are still relevant in networking situations, since oftentimes Resumes are too bulky to hold on to in a casual setting. Overall, a good sprucing of your Resume and a clean business card can come in handy, especially at an event as big as Vision Expo.
3. Dress To Impress
Like any other professional event, what you wear can be an important factor in making a good first impression with a potential employer. Our suggestion is that you bring along some clothes that will allow you to be comfortable, but also demonstrate professionalism. You don’t need to wear interview-style clothing to the trade show, but it wouldn’t hurt to put in the extra effort to show potential employers that you’re serious about how you carry yourself. How you carry yourself can oftentimes reflect how you perceive your profession, so dress to impress - even at Expo!
4. Attend the Social Events
Now this is a piece of advice we can all agree with. Have FUN! Vision Expo is really fun - especially after hours - so don’t ‘call it a night’ when the doors close at 6pm. Our advice is that you make an effort to take part in the social events that Vision Expo has provided during the week. Of course, you never want to over do it, so be mindful of how much fun you’re having and keep your composure - especially if alcohol is involved. You don’t want to end up embarrassing yourself in front of a potential employer - keep it professional, people! Events such as Eye Rock in years past is a great example of a good time had by all, so check out the calendar and make the decision to be social during Vision Expo! Oh, and you never know who you’re going to run into, so bring your business cards while you’re at it!
5. Follow Up
We’ve said this before, but always make sure you follow up with the connections you established during Vision Expo. Odds are everyone you spoke with spoke to a hundred other people just like you, so the chances of them forgetting who you are a couple weeks down the road are pretty high. Once you get home, take the time write them a short email thanking them for their time, recapping your conversation with them, and reminding them of where you are in your job search. The worst thing that can happen is they don’t respond to your follow-up, but most people are pretty nice and will respond upon hearing from you. The fact is, you never know until you try, so why not follow up and see where it leads? Whatever the case, following up is a great way to keep your name in the forefront of a potential employer’s memory, so follow up after Expo!
Overall, International Vision Expo is an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals in the eye care industry. Whether you’re going for work, continuing education, or to find a job, there are things you can do to prepare and maximize your efforts (and fun) during this awesome event. Even if you come home empty-handed as far as a job or an interview is concerned, at least you will have made some valuable connections along the way that could one day lead you to the job of your dreams!
Are you looking for a job and planning to attend Vision Expo? Take the first step and add Local Eye Site to your show planner!
Don’t forget to stop by the Local Eye Site booth #2757 at Vision Expo East! We’ll be serving FREE Coffee and giving away a few awesome prizes, so be sure to swing on by and caffeinate your career search with Local Eye Site! Employers: Click here for our show specials!