A Modern Twist on the Tech Job Fair

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Things are changing in all kinds of areas of the job search, even the job fair side of things. Tech firms like Twitter and Facebook took part in a very untraditional career fair this month, as reported in the New York Daily News.


The new Uncubed fair is ditching the dull company reps sitting at tables with materials and prospects standing in line to talk to them. They're shooting for a casual atmosphere that includes a game room, a music lounge, and even a beer pong table. This was actually the third year for the job fair in NYC, and with it taking off so well, talks have begun about holding similar fairs on the West Coast and Chicago later this year.


“Job fairs are boring — they suck. You’re standing on lines; you’re going through the motions.... We know Uncubed’s style will become standard fare in due time,” says Tarek Pertew, the co-founded of SoHo-based Wakefield. The job culture for many tech industries is more laid-back and encouraging of playful exercises, so why not make the job fairs match that culture more? Overall, it lends to the creative employee that these companies seek to hire.


Out with the stuffy meetings, in with the casual conversations – it is all about being more comfortable. Also available will be “skills classes” taught by execs from Facebook, Yipit and MediaMath, which are geared towards programmers and designers.


Following the fair itself, there was a beach-themed happy hour with other fun things happening. “At the end of the day, it’s a fun job fair, and people can’t believe there’s this much opportunity at tech startups,” Pertew said. With NY having about a thousand tech companies in town, and the tech job market having grown some 30% since 2005, it is a prime place for this event. Founding members of many companies can be found intermingling at these events, making it a prime place for networking too. “As a job seeker ... (New York) is a buffet of cool, innovative, fun companies that you can pick to work for,” said Keith Williams Jr., a project consultant from Brooklyn.


This type of job fair goes a long way to take the stiff and fearful ways of old and turn them on their head, providing a more laid-back atmosphere where people can relax a bit and let their true colors shine. Of course, it might be a good idea to show a lot of restraint at such an event as this. I am not sure how good it would make you look if you totally ruled on the beer pong table, and got totally wasted at the event. There can be a fine line between casual and professional.


Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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