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…
You’ll arrive around 4:45 and realize that it’s a Wednesday, so finding parking is easier than you thought. Your heart is beating slightly, because new places are scary, no matter how confident you are.
You see Rattle Inn ahead. Are those deer antlers on the rails going upstairs? Yep. You see blue chairs outside, and someone sweeping diligently. The doorman checks your ID (and you’re secretly flattered, but act slightly annoyed) and points to the door where you’ll enter.
Then you get signed in
There are six 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 start to peek into the venue to see which employers are there, just waiting to meet you.
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 drink ticket (because you arrived early and they’re not all out yet), a list of which types of jobs each employer is looking to fill, and you are excited to job hunt while holding a drink** (so you can stay focused!) – that feels pretty Austin-y. And look, recruiters are sippin’ too, that’s cool.
There’s even a booth downstairs for free high quality headshots, so you remind yourself to circle back to in between employers.
You start moving about the cabin
You start making the rounds, and the first hand you shake is a younger 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 on the rooftop, are they waiting for a table? 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 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 recruiter and line up two interviews for later in the week.
You go grab another drink to celebrate, 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.
You nailed it!
It’s almost over, so you finish your drink and 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 ADJMixer.
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.