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What it’s like to go to an Austin Digital Jobs Recruiting Mixer

(BUSINESS) It can be intimidating to go to an Austin Digital Jobs recruiting mixer due to the size, but listen, everyone’s slightly nervous – here’s what it’s like to actually go to one.

networking event introverted

Getting to know the ADJ Mixer

The following letter is written for those of you who have never been to an Austin Digital Jobs Recruiting Mixer…

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You’ll first notice when you arrive that there’s lot parking, but there’s also CONVENIENT parking garage, you don’t have to stress over hunting and pecking for pricey parking downtown. And traffic was easy because it’s a Wednesday. Your heart is beating slightly, because new places are scary, no matter how confident you are.

You see the building up ahead. You see an unassuming line of people at the door, and there are potted plants at the front table. That’s nice. A volunteer checks your ID (and you’re secretly flattered, but act slightly annoyed)..

Then you get signed in

There are seven people in line ahead of you, so you look around and well, you don’t know a single person (but you don’t realize that most other people don’t know anyone either). You hold your folder filled with resumes to your chest and wait your turn. You try to peek into the venue to see which employers are there, just waiting to meet you.

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At the registration table, you’re greeted by a friendly face, and asked whether you’re job hunting or looking for talent, and given the appropriate badge. Your handwriting sucks, but you write in big bold letters what you’re looking for, and you notice that employers’ stickers are vertical and job hunters’ stickers are horizontal. You’re told the neon name tags are worn by partners who are most eager to hire. Bingo!

You make a mental note so your eyeballs focus only on the vertical or neon stickers in the crowd, spelling out in equally bad handwriting what they are looking for.

You’re handed a list of which types of jobs each employer is looking to fill, you circle the ones you want to visit (make a plan – trust us on this one).

You stop by the “Pep Talk” booth right outside the ballroom doors to get a quick high five, or some affirmation that will really help (even those of us putting on the event stop by)!

You are excited to job hunt after you grab a free drink, probably a beer** (so you can stay focused!) – that feels pretty Austin-y. And look, recruiters are sippin’ too, that’s cool.

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You start moving about the cabin

You start making the rounds, and the first hand you shake is a smiling recruiter who is looking for someone like you, only he says they need a specific skill and you don’t quite have it, so you hand him your resume, and you part ways politely.

You see a line of people, what are they? You ask someone what’s going on and they tell you it’s free career and resume coaching and you can have 15 minutes with an expert. Bingo! You wait a few minutes and a table opens up, you learn that your resume is outdated and ineffective and quickly walk away with some tips to improve that and affirmation that your career is moving in the right direction.

Time is of the essence because you only have two and a half hours, and you’re pressuring yourself to make the rounds, but you tell yourself to remain calm.

After two or three more handshakes, you make it over to three employer booths in a row, and you hit it off with two recruiters and line up two interviews for later in the week.

You go grab another drink to celebrate, you tip the bar staff, and meet a few more folks along the way. Before you know it, you’re out of printed resumes, have several phone interviews lined up, an in-person interview, and things are looking up.

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You nailed it!

It’s almost over, so you start heading out and you thank the registration table (always be networking), and head out to your car.

You start ‘er up, and drive home with some pep in your step because YOU, my friend, have just made it a successful first ADJ Recruiting Mixer.

You tell everyone on Facebook about it when you get home, you nail the job interview, you become the Prince of Zamunda*, you get the job, and you tell everyone how awesome ADJ is, because BOOM, it worked.

*Obtaining the Prince of Zamunda title not guaranteed. For everyone.
**Drink responsibly, friends.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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