Every Moment Counts
Events such as IFT’s Annual Meeting/Food Expo are marvelous venues to learn all about the newest Food Science technology. Even more important, they provide the opportunity for you to meet dozens of professional colleagues.
Whether you’re attending the expo because you’re on the job market or you’re simply “laying groundwork,” always be prepared! Some of your most propitious encounters may occur while you’re standing in a line or listening to a panel.
Dress professionally at all times, including walking the show and attending technical sessions. We strongly suggest that even your travel attire be geared to business. A potential employer just might form his or her lifetime impression of you on an airport shuttle!
Attend every event possible. Formal and informal gatherings are great places to meet people. Extracurricular sightseeing can wait for another day.
Introduce yourself to everyone you want to meet, shake their hand firmly, and look them in the eye — but keep the encounter brief unless you’re encouraged to linger.
Arm yourself with neat, simple business cards bearing your name, permanent address, and phone number. Don’t be afraid to hand them out! (This applies to students, too. Cards don’t have to be expensive, and they shouldn’t be ornate.)
Ask for cards from everyone you meet. Note on each what you talked about and where you talked about it. This information may come in handy years from now!
Maintain your professional image during technical sessions. Sit up straight and take notes. If you have a meaningful question to ask, don’t be afraid to take the floor. Or, for more personal
Social skills sell, too
Be on time for meetings and interviews!
Call the interviewer to apologize, just as soon as possible, if disaster strikes and you miss an appointment. (You’d better have been stuck in an elevator or stranded in a suburb.)
Bring written questions about the job and the company.
Take notes on the interviewer’s comments.
Thank the interviewer for seeing you and ask about the “next step.”
Be gracious if the interviewer misses the meeting. He or she is working under even more stress than you are. Wait a reasonable amount of time plus another five minutes. Then leave a note providing your local phone number and requesting a reschedule.
Send (grammatically correct) thank you notes to everyone with whom you’ve had even a brief meeting.
Treat the whole exposition/interview process as a learning experience, regardless of outcome. Make and keep notes on things you said and did well and not so well. Write down the questions you might answer differently on another occasion.
Whether you’re a candidate or a client, we’d love to hear from you!