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I’ve attended several large job conferences in the past few years, and there were a few interesting observations to share.
Paper handouts and resumes still are still a thing
There’s something reassuring for job seekers about handing you their paper resume. Most are pretty standard, but a few go over the top with card stock resumes or something else that helps them stand out. This was more prominent 20 years ago, but it seems like less of a distinguisher now.
Everywhere I’ve worked, I use some form of Application Tracking System (ATS) for people who apply for a job. The paper resumes are harder to deal with than a candidate submitting directly to the ATS.
People still like to have paper handouts, but a lot of these seem destined for the recycle bin. I don’t think they prefer it over a LinkedIn QR code, but if you were busy, it was ok. It’d be better to have a placard with your LinkedIn
QR code, then giving a handout. Even a placard with the QR code is better than handouts.
QR codes are king
You don’t necessarily need an app to support QR codes. For one conference, I put a picture of a QR code for our job site and another picture of a QR code for our intern site in the same Photos folder. Then, I pulled up that folder, and I could show either of the QR codes based on what the candidate wanted.
Paper handouts are still useful but less useful than in the past.
NFC business cards aren’t a thing
I saw very few NFC business cards. You see firms advertise the “bump to connect,” but I haven’t seen it in person. I think almost nobody will initiate the NFC bump, which means it won’t be as easily recognized as a QR code-based solution.
The LinkedIn mobile app dominates
I knew I used LinkedIn heavily and I expected job seekers to use it, but I think it owns 100% of the market. I didn’t see a single job search try any other type of app for connection. When you said you could look me up on LinkedIn, they were typically already putting your name into search or asking for your LinkedIn QR code. People didn’t seem to think anything about connecting on LinkedIn (no barrier at all), and they’re extremely likely to message you after an event (but I encouraged that for the folks I spoke with at these events).
Almost nobody asked for an email or business card. The LinkedIn QR code was king.
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