The 2018 Tech Career Fair, hosted by the Arizona Technology Council and LocalWork on Tuesday, June 5 at the Tempe Center of the Arts, was a homerun success, bringing in hundreds of qualified job seekers to connect with employers like Nextiva, State Farm, SRP, USAA, CitizenServe, + more.
This year’s event featured a pre-fair panel with hiring professionals from exhibiting companies, giving attendees valuable insight on how to stand out and what qualities employers are looking for.
Job Seeker Tips for Standing Out
Panel participants from Nextiva, State Farm, USAA, and CitizenServe, with moderation from Patti O’Brian of Maricopa Corporate Colleges, shared some incredible tidbits for attendees, including:
- Be yourself.
“At Nextiva, we like to say: Bring your whole self to work,” said Sean Callahan with Nextiva. To find an organization where you will feel comfortable, safe, and motivated working, start off by being yourself instead of trying to fit into a mold.”
- Work on whiteboarding.
Matt Isbell from State Farm said that good whiteboarding skills can help candidates stand out from the pack. “This not only shows technical aptitude for developers, it also shows adaptability and critical thinking.” Isbell says he frequently asks candidates to whiteboard during interviews.
- Be a team player.
“We’re looking for kindergarten skills,” joked Maria Nicolini of USAA. “You have to be able to ‘play nice’ with others and work on a team.” And Maria wasn’t the only one looking for candidates who can collaborate; representatives from Nextiva and State Farm echoed her sentiments in this regard.
- Contribute to community code.
Isbell also noted that he likes to see candidates who have contributed code or other skills to the community outside of their day job. “This not only shows altruism, it also shows a passion for the work.”
- Show a passion for tech.
“We’re an insurance company, but at the end of the day, we’re really a tech company,” said Nicolini. “You have to have a passion for technology.”
- Customer service is key.
All of the panelists drove home the importance of communication, professionalism, and having a customer-focused approach, but, most notably, was commentary from Ray Barker with CitizenServe.
“Our perfect candidate is someone who is going to take care of our customers.”
Barker even went on to say that customer service skills trumped technical ability when it comes to hiring talent. “We aren’t as concerned with technical skills; those can be taught. We’re looking for people who can make, and keep, our customers happy.”
2018 Tech Career Fair AZTC Member Job Openings
-Global Patent Solutions-