Saturday, February 23, 2008

Average Resume Writer Profile: Professional Conferences

Our “average” resume writer has been to a professional association conference before. There was one that was only a couple hours away, so she decided to go when she found a $49 one-way Southwest Airlines fare. It was a good experience.

The opening reception was lots of fun, and she met a lot of new people … including some names she recognized from the association’s email list.

The first day’s morning sessions were very good – the first one was really relevant – it was on a resume writing topic, she recalls … but the second session was on something she wasn’t really interested in. Lunch went well – the food was pretty good, and she sat by a couple of people she met the night before. After lunch, she decided to check her voice mail messages, an discovered one of her clients needed a change to his cover letter. Fortunately, she had brought along her laptop, so she went back to her room and made the change and sent off the file. She’d missed the first after-lunch session (it was on using Microsoft Word), but she made it for the next one, on pricing your services. A great session by Susan Britton Whitcomb on resume writing strategies rounded out the day.

That night, she joined in the scheduled activity, a dinner at a famous local restaurant, followed by a show. She hung out in the hotel lobby afterwards, talking to some fellow resume writers until nearly 1 a.m., then called it a night.

Morning dawned too early. She slept in a bit and missed breakfast. The first session of the day was something about websites, and she already has one, so she went next door to Burger King and had a Croissanwich and coffee.

She got back in time for the last morning session, on organization, time management, and client management strategies. She picked up a few tips she vowed to put into practice when she got back home.

Lunch again – sitting with her new group of friends. They decided it was too beautiful of a day to spend inside … so they skipped out of the Friday afternoon sessions to head out to the beach that was just a few blocks away, and then dinner at a restaurant just off the ocean.

Saturday morning dawned, with a continental breakfast (the same food choices as Thursday, she noticed), and the first session of the day on interview coaching techniques. Very interesting! The second session was on conducting career assessments. A couple of people left mid-way through, though, collecting the suitcases they had stashed at the back of the room.

The conference ended at 1 p.m., but she had a 1:30 p.m. flight, and in this post-9/11 world, that meant getting to the airport by 12:15. She’d have to duck out of the last session herself, leaving before the closing banquet.

Sitting on the plane on the way back home, she paused to reflect on the trip. She met a couple of new friends, picked up some new tricks, and got a nice tan. Her total expenses were only about $1100, including the conference registration, hotel, plane fare, meals and drinks. Not bad.

She’d do it again, if the conference were somewhere fun, and the sessions looked interesting.

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