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AT THE CONFERENCE: The Meet the Faculty Candidate POSTER SESSION

This blog describes my many years of experience with the AICHE Meet the Faculty Candidate Poster Session and the advice applies to both ...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

AT THE CONFERENCE: *AFTER* The Poster Session

On Sunday, go and enjoy all the openings, get liquored up and have some fun.  The most part has just began.  Hopefully, you have received some invites to the evening university receptions by employer who were interested in your poster (if you did not, go to them anyway).  Pick up the schedule for these things at the registration desk. At this point, these are more important for you than the actual conference!

In case you are not aware, Monday-Wednesday many universities hold these sessions with free booze and food, and the faculty (including those on the search committee) typically stay in their room, while everyone else is floating around from one to the other.  While this is a joy-full experience to the hungry students and to the hand-shaking professors, for you this now almost a PUA-type of job...

Try to hit as many of these sessions as you can, starting with the hiring universities, obviously.  Note: alcohol help to loosen your tongue, so maybe start with some that are not as important to your search and load up on beer :)  When you enter the room, do your best to identify the important people (ie, the ones on the hiring committee).  These tend to be the older folks, and typically, they will have a crowd of desperate job-seekers, such as yourself around them.  Go and approach these professors, and *ahem*  c@#k-block your competition.

Usually, start with extending your hand, introducing yourself and then just start pouring your research into their ears.  Think of it as an "elevator-pitch", where you have just 5 mins to impress an investor (because, eventually, someone else will butt-in and steal your spotlight).  Make sure that your name-tag is visible, and have your resume on hand, plus some business cards.  Ask them for their card, and find out who else from their department is around that you could talk to.  Maybe even ask if they would hand you off to the next professor.

Unless, you were approached a department representative at the poster session, this is a low yield activity, but you have to try...  if you were indeed approached and invited, then treat this as an effective mini-interview.  Try to talk to EVERYONE from the department.

Also, some schools will flat out offer to interview you at the conference (some "teaching" departments did that to me).  Obviously agree to do that, go meet them up for coffee or whatever and have a chat.  Not as good as an on-sight interview, but better than nothing.

Also, also, make sure to invite people to your talks, both when you meet them and when you submit your packet to them online BEFORE the conference.  You can indicate the date and time of your talks in the cover letter, and if they are interested, they may come...

Finally, if you see me anywhere, feel free to ask me to introduce you to whomever is your target... I'll do my best to try, lol

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