While perusing through Women in Technology’s announcement for their latest job fair, a question immediately came to mind: why should we still use traditional methods like job fairs?
After all, the internet is populated with job board sites. LinkedIn allows users to share profiles and resumes with recruiters from the palm of their hands. And now there’s an app that features video-based profiles for networking.
So, do tech companies and job seekers really need job fairs? Daphne Wotherspoon of Women in Technology (WIT) argues that the answer is yes.
Wotherspoon, the Managing Director of WIT with 25 years of experience in staffing industries, acknowledges that social media and online job boards have created plenty of positives in the market. But she continues to believe firmly in the power of face-to-face connection.
“The ability to differentiate yourself with you know your handshake, your smile, your personality, your elevator pitch and really your personal brand is often what’s going to get you noticed and at least get you to the interview table,” she said. “It’s really tough to highlight those things on an 8-and-a half and 11 right piece of paper.”
As for employers, Wotherspoon told Technical.ly that the traditional platform is still a great opportunity for companies to show of their brand, culture, and understand the nuances of each candidate. Companies in the local DMV area seem to agree, as 70-80 percent of businesses return to their job fairs each year, according to Wotherspoon.
With news of a major breach at Equifax in the headlines, planning for DC CyberWeek seems particularly timely.
To be fair, CyberScoop, part of the D.C.–based tech media company Scoop News Group, planned for the mid-October affair because October is National Cyber Security Awareness month. However, with a data breach that’s impacted potentially 143 million consumers, Greg Otto, Managing Editor for CyberScoop, sees how the fallout emphasizes the urgency of their cause.
“We put too much faith in institutions that they’re protecting our information,” Otto explained. “We’re going to come to a point where just as a citizen in America, as a citizen online, you’re going to need to understand how these systems work.”
Understanding how these systems work doesn’t necessarily mean running out to grab a graduate degree. Gaining basic knowledge in cyber security can mean simple things like brushing up on password management, understanding if that https:// site is actually secure. There’s also knowledge to be gained at the free week of events during DC CyberWeek.
From October 16-20, DC CyberWeek will host talks, panels, receptions and even a startup pitch competition hosted by Eastern Foundry.
“We want to bring people together in order to figure out some way so that stuff doesn’t happen as frequently as it is right now,” Otto explained.
While that goal may seem broad, Otto and the CyberScoop team believe that their success hinges on their ability to bring people together and form sustainable relationships in the cybersecurity community.
After building PR campaigns, studying personal branding and obtaining a Master’s from American University, Mima Firdaws knew that her number one passion centered in public relations. So when a friend, Amine Kriem, approached her about a social networking platform centered on video content, Firdaws dove in head-first. Why?
Simply put, “It is about the people,” said Firdaws.
Kriem and Firdaws now serve as the cofounders of iZoomIn, a social networking platform that centers on video profiles to build a more effective networking or marketing platform.
But wait—can’t we use Instagram for that? Technically, yes, but let’s be real the ‘Gram was designed to capture and share the world’s moments.
“iZoomIn is not a platform to rate your popularity or acquire followers, rather it’s a platform to promote your game changing idea,” Firdaws told Technical.ly.
Firdaws isn’t too worried about crossover competition or any social media fatigue as video content becomes an increasingly vital way to promote ventures and ideas.
The Arlington, Va.–based company’s focus centers on those with a particular message interested in bringing change to an industry or market. Ideally, the app will have a significant impact for startups, particularly at networking events.
As D.C. produces more new technology, leaders want to make sure everyone gets a chance to benefit.
That’s the message that the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) and the city brought to SXSW last March and WDCEP will now follow up with their inaugural Inclusive Smart Cities Summit.
WDCEP, affectionally known as “The Partnership” by Emily Rasowsky, Director of Marketing & Communications for WDCEP, aims to drive business opportunities across all sectors, in part by creating meaningful connections between ventures. Lately, smart cities has become an important avenue of focus.
“We’re not just building a connective city with the coolest innovation--which we are,” Rasowsky asserts, “but we’re doing it so that it intentionally benefits and speaks to all people in the population.”
Hosted on September 12 at the US Institute of Peace free of charge, the Inclusive Smart Cities summit will break down innovation efforts through three specific lenses—transportation, the workplace, and the workforce—before convening for a collective panel about smart city ideals and initiatives in the city.
The companies that are opening coworking spaces and startups adding collaboration space across D.C. often talk about fulfilling demand for flexible workspace. A recent study from Capital One confirmed that there is a lot of interest in such options.
The company’s Work Environment Survey measured the preference of full-time office professionals, with a special focus on millennials, from five major cities across the country, including D.C.
According to the survey, 81 percent of D.C. participants surveyed feel that flexible workspaces are important and 76 percent feel that they come up with their best ideas there. Only 41 percent don’t have access to something more than a standard desk and chair.
Stefanie Spurlin, VP of Capital One’s Workplace Solutions unit, told Technical.ly that the need for opportunity and choice drove these numbers across the board. So what solutions does Capital One have for businesses?