How the Startup CEO’s company benefits from attending Career Expos

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So here is the situation, you are an energetic CEO of a startup with a small but focused team – and you do not have any need to hire any more people. Why could it still be useful for you to buy a booth at a career expo?

Continuing to my earlier post, here I talk about what opportunity a career fair presents to you if you are an organization/CEO of a company, and how to go about making most of this chance.


1. Get to showcase your organization. This is the place where you get an equal placement with the giants of the industry, where a graduate/professional will not be scared away by the small size of your company he will actually stop by and ask questions about your work instead of asking how you will survive (which happens for startup companies in interviews)

2. Finding your place in the industry. With the huge number of companies and organizations around you will get to evaluate where you stand as an organization — what you are doing differently; who are the real competitors doing the same kind of work.

3. Network. The best place to create new relations with in the industry are conferences and expos. This is the best place because — for a limited amount of time — you are actually away from work and working as a whole (even if paying for the booth :)) for the industry. We all succeed if there are more graduates willing to work in our industry, this single cause bounds every one in a relation of trust. This trust, in turn, makes a great case for networking and creating new contacts and friends.

4. Learn. Talk to the leaders who have ‘been there done that’ — this exposure for the attendant is invaluable and better than any training they can receive, ability to actually talk to the professionals is a great learning source


Here are few things to keep in mind while going to the fair

1. Choose the best presenters in your company. Not the best employees (there is a difference), and DEFINITELY not the people you are most comfortable with. Choose people who not only have a passion for your company, but have great charisma and can immediate capture audiences. Many times you find people standing at company booths not enthusiastic enough turning away potential employees.

It would not be a bad idea to involve some one who has been long enough in the company to discuss its growth (students/professionals are really interested), who can engage the audience in uniqeness of work you do.

2. Print brochures of your work. Give the attendees some thing to remember you by, some thing they can take home and read about(no one will do that in the fair and your banners no matter how attractive will be forgotten). Success stories are best things to create an air of excitement. Ask them to contact you if they have any queries and mean it.

3. Be genuinely interested in the attendees. Show them that you are actually there to get best the people on-board. Don’t give an impression that you are here because the company decided to have a booth, (or because Green&White pushed you to get one!)

4. Ask your employees to handle the CVs with care. While accepting CVs do show consideration to them. I have seen that — due to rush — representatives just pull the CV and dump it in a big pile in front of the attendee, giving an impression that they will never look at it again. don’t do that — have a proper file to save the CVs.

When you receive a CV, do not just write down basics like “years of experience, salary expectations” — write down something about that particular attendee that struck you as unique. Try to find something unique in everyone you meet.

Write down something that will help you remember that person later. Believe it or not but even writing “The goofy looking guy with glasses with brilliant answers” can help you recall that person. This will ensure you dont miss out on your best candidates.

After the fair take the pain of filtering through those. you have actually paid to get those CVs don’t waste them.

Facebook comments:


  • Hmm.. The guidelines make sense even if you’re not hiring – turnover can pretty much kill the startup so its always good to have the best resumes on file to contact immediately in those cases.

    It may also help you find some really smart people that can strengthen your group and you can consider giving management / leadership roles if they are interested.

  • Very nice article and it does actually clear up a kit of issues for CEO’s and attendies alike. I have participated in almost all major Job Fairs since last 2 years and I can slowly the theme is becoming clear in candidates mindset that its not a picnic they are going to, rather its a career opportunity for which they should be fully prepared for.

    I hope instead of just Job Fairs, we can have Start-up fair one day where all web 2.0 companies coming out of Pakistan can showcase there products and services.

  • Interesting comment on “picnic”. Even in US I noticed many students going to the fairs just to get the “goodies” and of course the companies also brought lots of give-aways and their prettiest recruiters.

  • Salman, Start-up for web 2.0 sounds like a great idea. I went to an OPEN even in Silicon Valley recently, and its a great opportunity to meet like minded people. I’ll be writing about some of their venture on my blog soon.

    I wonder how many people are working on internet startups for Pakistan or out of Pakistan. Osama, Salman, any idea?

  • Babar, just saw your comment. One of my friends who worked for Google joked that they hire females in the business side just to retain the engineers. 😛

  • Adnan, there are a lot of people working on some niche ideas. Besides from my recruitment practice (, we initially started with, an e-commerce portal. Fahad Bangash, whose comments are on somewhere is working on a very impressive project We have actually integrated the solution with too.

    And on the topic of females, its a shame why this trend is couping up. Its not only the job fairs, but also at work place I get a lot of “pretty face” requirements from clients.

  • Good idea about the startup event — if we can get sponsors Green & White could hold something like that one day hopefully.

    You have to note thought that startups are often notoriously paranoid about talkign about their company until they are happy to go “public” with their details. The element that draws out startups to such events then are the VCs / Investors present to take in those ideas.

    Until Pakistan can find a more mature Angel Investment network then, I do not see any events for startups being successful I’m afraid. I’m sure Fahd could add to this since both of us went to TIECon and shared the same thoughts about its help for a startup. (click the TIECon tag on the right).

    @Adnan: Post your review here instead of your own blog. Why segregate the place where people can find the latest inspiration for entrepreneurship when we already have a platform here?

    Regarding the number of startups, well there’s LOTs — the good news is that more people are looking to do innovative work. Look back at G&W because I’ve already covered a bunch (look at the PakStartup tag) and have a bunch lined up still, but gosh if I have had the time to write about them.

  • Salman, nice to see you here. and thanks for the appreciation

  • Nice post. I would love to drop in such career expos.

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