New spin on career fairs makes job hunt a party
Cocktails, cover bands and casual clothing? It doesn't sound like it, but this may be the perfect environment in which to find a job.
Job seekers looking for employment in New York's competitive tech industry have the opportunity to network with companies during tomorrow's NYC Uncubed, an event that puts a unique spin on the typical talent fair.
Drab booths and waiting on long lines have been replaced with lounges, music and the potential for beer pong. What Uncubed offers, organizers say, is a better chance to mingle with employers.
"We're moving into a space where people's personal and professional lives are blurred. It's foreign to a lot of us, but not to people graduating today," said Tarek Pertew, the co-founder of Wakefield, an online publisher and Uncubed organizer.
This is the third Uncubed event in the city; there were two others held last year. The first one included 145 startups and 1,200 candidates, Pertew said, while the following recruitment fair was held at a smaller space at the Altman Building in Chelsea. The Altman fair featured 80 companies and 600 candidates.
Tomorrow's event, also at the Altman, could attract close to 800 people, Pertew said.
One of the sponsors is microblogging and social-networking site Tumblr, which has offices in the Flatiron District. Recruiting manager Sean McDermott said Uncubed's relaxed vibe seems to capture the "Silicon Valley spirit" of social gatherings.
"Having a technology background is a big factor, but we need people who are outgoing and would want to participate in a fun environment," McDermott said. "Some people are not a match for [Tumblr's] culture."
Industry experts, meanwhile, say New York's tech scene is flourishing. The NYC Startup Job Fair in lower Manhattan last week had 1,300 job seekers registered.
"Even in these tough economic times, tech jobs are in strong demand, especially among startups," said Patrick Duggan, director of the NYC Startup Job Fair.
Pertew said job candidates must still come prepared to Uncubed - and not lose focus with the drinks and music.
"Do your homework. Startups want passionate people," Pertew said. "And these are highly sought-after jobs."