How to Land Your Next Job at LibertyCon
Not only is LibertyCon the perfect place for liberty-lovers of all ages to meet, plan, learn, and have fun, they also have the opportunity to land their next job at this amazing, three-day conference! Whether you’re a sophomore or junior in college searching for your next internship experience, a soon-to-be college graduate, a graduate student, or a well-established individual searching for employment with liberty ideals, this conference has serious opportunities for you.
You may have the charisma, passion, and skills to gain an interview with a liberty organization, but it will take some thought and preparation for you to land a job with them. Here are some professional development tips to increase your chances of landing your next job at LibertyCon:
You can start preparing professionally NOW by doing the following:
1. Engage in some personal reflection and “know thyself”
Think about what kind of job you’d like to have and what you are interested in. Are you looking for an internship experience in D.C.? Or a marketing or business development job in a different city? Do you want to work for an organization that influences public policy? Or are you more interested in working for a company that focuses its efforts on a specific cause? Really spend some time considering what kind of opportunities you would like to explore.
2. Research the organizations attending the conference
Currently there are over 15 sponsors of LibertyCon, and you can expect that there will be representatives of each of these organizations present. It’s best to learn about the things that these organizations do in advance so when you speak with representatives at the conference, you have an idea of how you can connect with them, and better market yourself. You can find a list of the sponsors here.
3. Edit your resume
After looking up information about the organizations who will be represented at the conference, you’ll have a better idea on how to tweak and promote your skills. Don’t wait until the night before to make edits to your resume. You can start making edits now, but you should have your updated resume completed at least two weeks prior to LibertyCon.
4. Print off copies of your resume in advance (business cards, too)
You’ll want to have printed copies of your resume and business card to hand out to people and organizations you connect with during the conference. You’ll be perceived as being prepared and enthusiastic about landing a job. Now, you don’t have to do this right away, but I don’t recommend waiting until the day of to print off your resume and business card, in case there are any printer issues prior to your departure.
Things you may want to abide by DURING LibertyCon:
1. Dress the part
Although liberty people sometimes have a laid-back and carefree attitude, it’s still important for you to dress professionally (at least business casual) when meeting potential employers. You can still embrace your own unique and individualistic sense of style, but do so in a way that screams, “I’m ready to work for you!” and not “I’m just looking for a job. Hire me?” This means packing attire from business casual to business professional when you’re preparing for this special weekend. Feel free to mix and match tops and bottoms.
2. Smile and be positive
Obvious. Nobody wants to hire a face that looks sad and disinterested. A smile and a happy attitude can go a long way.
3. Utilize your already established network
Do you have a friend who has a personal connection to someone else? If so, have them introduce you to them. People are more likely to remember other people when they already have a connection with someone.
4. Know your facts
This is when your previous research or knowledge on liberty ideals comes into play. Don’t brag about what you know, but don’t pretend you know something that you don’t, either. Be open to asking questions and learning something new.
5. Pass out your business card to people you connect with
It’s such a beautiful feeling when you meet someone new that you genuinely connect with. What’s not so great is when you have nothing for them to remember you by. If you have a business card to hand out, the chances of reconnecting later increases. But don’t just pass out your cards to everyone you meet. Ensure that you’ve made an authentic and memorable connection with someone first.
6. Network, socialize, and have fun, BUT remember that others may be watching
Liberty conferences are about having fun and networking. Now, I don’t mean this in a creepy and tyrannical way like the NSA, but people looking to hire you want to see that you know how to have fun AND can be professional while doing so. There is the occasional person who can get a little too out of hand and embarrass themselves by saying something inappropriate or rude. I doubt you’ll be that person, but remember to NOT be that person. You want people to remember you for the right reasons.
AFTER LibertyCon you should:
1. Follow-up within 48 hours
During a large conference, you will meet a lot of people, but it’s very easy to forget faces and names. Don’t be forgotten! Follow-up fairly soon with anyone you felt a genuine connection with. You never really know who may be your next liberty friend or the person who connects you to an employer. Facebook may be an easy way to connect and follow-up with an individual, but if you want to remain as professional as possible, send a personal email. Reference a conversation you had with them at LibertyCon in your attempt to follow-up so they will remember who you are.
2. Research the organizations that attended… again
Even if you distributed your resume, it may be that you actually have to apply online. It also could be that new positions have been posted weeks after the conference. To increase your chances of landing a job, I suggest doing more career research with the organizations you spoke with at LibertyCon.
And, most important of all, don’t forget to register for LibertyCon! Reach out to your favorite SFL Campus Coordinator to receive a promotional code for a discounted rate. Take a peek at travel scholarships and lodging discounts too. See you there!!