Austin Digital Jobs Recruiting MixerLinkedIn, Hostmonster, Craigslist and so on spew out hundreds of jobs a week, and each one gets even more resumes. But those who have been in Austin for a while know that getting a job (or a client) in this town more often comes down to who you know and your reputation than a pretty resume.

So when the amazing Lani Rosales (Who runs the Austin Digital Jobs Facebook Group) launched their first Recruiting Mixer I knew it was going to be a hit. Finding work in this town from my own experience has come more from the social side of this town than any resume submission, or any “interview”. The majority of companies in Austin seem to live by the fact that it is the people that make the company, and I love it.

The ADJ Recruiting Mixer formed the perfect venue for mixing social with recruiting. I gave a more social, relaxed situation for potential recruiters to meet candidates, and find the people they knew would fit their team.  I talked to a few people myself and found some candidates I loved for our next round of hiring, and it didn’t come down to a resume.

The following list might not be representative of all the recruiters there, but it’s definitely how a lot of the people I know who are hiring think.

So when the next #BizBASHH  Austin Digital Jobs Recruiting Mixer Comes around, what should you do if you are looking for work?

Remember That This is a Mixer, and Talk to People, Don’t Just Pitch Yourself

The people I remembered are the people I had conversations with. The ones who just pitched themselves and asked about the company were a dime a dozen, the ones who I related to stood far apart from the others. It’s better to network than just ask about positions. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to meet people in your industry and have a fantastic time. Get a drink or two, relax, talk to people and enjoy yourself. Austin still manages to retain it’s relaxed atmosphere, so feel free to be yourself. This won’t just help you make a good impression with a recruiter, it will also help you find a job you will enjoy!

A Million People Do {insert role here}

Plenty of people do what you do, don’t just tell me you do social media, tell me why you do social media better than everyone else. I’m more likely to pick a person who is passionate about getting in to the social media industry because they love connecting with people, than picking someone who just tells me they have three years social media experience, because the first person told me the why behind the position they want.

Don’t Start with a Resume

Sure bring some resumes, but don’t start with them.  This is a mixer, not just a recruiting event.  If someone takes you to an interview table or really seems interested in you as a candidate, pass them your resume.  Resumes are great (and some people might love them) but for me they were a bit of a time sink.  Tell me about your achievements, what you enjoy, your skillsets, and your achievements. Talking to people gives you a much greater opportunity to be remembered than hoping that I’l read something. Even though I wasn’t actively advertising myself as a recruiter (Other than a sticker) I still generally had at least one person loitering whilst I was talking to someone, so had little time to take in the details of a resume.

Which Reminds Me – Don’t Loiter

It just feels a little awkward for everyone.  It’s not always possible, but if the recruiter is looking bored with who they are talking to, they might actually appreciate being taken away from someone who they know isn’t the right fit, or has been taking up a lot of their time. Interrupt, and at the very least ask if you can talk to them later. If you really are having trouble getting through, ask if you can talk to them next and tell them you will be just over “there” (find a spot close by, preferably by the bar).

Business Cards Get Lost

Seek a more active touch point, connect on LinkedIn, or ask to connect with them later and note down the recruiters name and email/Twitter. I get home from event, I put them in a pile, and only ever really revisit that pile unless I specifically want to get the contact information of a potential I was thinking about. Afterwards, connect, say something like “Hey this is John, I talked to you about x role and that skydiving incident, would love to hear more about the position over coffee soon!”

Business cards get lost unless you made an impression, so remember…

Make an Impression

I talked to dozens of people with social media experience.  Make an impression.  The best way to do that is connect at a personal level.  What’s something that you have done recently? Have you travelled to somewhere exotic, are you doing something to achieve a life goal?  A good hire is about more than just your skillset (especially in Austin). It’s unlikely that I am going to remember some guy with social media experience, I will remember that guy who went ziplining in Panama before heading up to Costa Rica to go surfing.

If you say you know social media, that’s what I need to know, I’ll test you in an interview.

Oliver Whitham

Oliver Whitham

Founder at In ATX
Oliver is a Business and Marketing Consultant by day and owner of In ATX and Austin Virtual Workers by night. He lives, drinks, works and eats in this fine city, and figured that it was time to write something about it!
Oliver Whitham