Placement Center FAQ for Seekers and Organizations
What is the Placement Center?
What is the function of Placement Center?
Are there fees associated with the Placement Center?
When does Placement Center actually open?
How do I get my information into the system?
As a seeker, do I have to sign up in advance to participate in the Placement Center?
As an organization looking to post a job, do I have to sign up in advance to participate in Placement Center?
How does it work at the conference?
How do I secure space in the interviewing area as an employer?
What does Placement Center look like?
What can we do with the computers in the Placement Center?
I want to reach out to a potential employer, but have no idea what to say. Help!
Should I email my resume to every employer to maximize my chances for an interview?
I just checked my email/phone and found a message from an employer indicating an interview time that has already passed. I’d still like to meet with them. What should I do?
Can I walk into the Placement Center and meet a variety of employers?
I have an interview scheduled at the conference. Now what?
As an employer, can I interview potential employees privately in the Placement Center?
What should I do if I find a job before the conference, or I fill the position I posted?
I didn’t fill my requisition/get an interview at the conference? Is it over?
Conference dress gets more casual each day of the conference. Does this mean that I should dress more casually for interviews as the conference progresses?
I am a discrete job seeker. I don’t want my current employer to know that I am interviewing. How do I keep them from seeing my resume on the Placement Center site?
Q: What is the Placement Center?
A: The on-site Placement Center has been a fixture of the annual SIOP conferences since 1993. Over the years it has evolved from an entirely paper process (bound copies of paper resumes and job descriptions, and supplements of late registrants) to a computerized process. Here are the main components of the Placement Center.
- Web site. To register for the Center, provide information about yourself and your posting, and search for jobs/candidates. The web site is organized into a section for Job Seekers and another for Employers.
- On-Site Computer Room. Computers and printers to conduct last-minute searches or add newly created jobs. The room is restricted to employers and job seekers only. The computers are Windows-based with open USB drives, are hooked up to laser printers, and have Internet access. The workstations are set up kiosk-style and do not have chairs.
- Interview Area. Room of tables and chairs for employers to use to conduct interviews. There is a waiting area for candidates. Pitchers of iced water are available for your convenience.
- Help Desk. The Help Desk is staffed by student volunteers and/or Placement Committee members. The Help Desk can answer questions regarding the Placement Center or its web site.
Q: What is the function of Placement Center?
A: Placement Center is a virtual job board where job seekers can enter their resume, organizations can post jobs, and both groups can search the database for individuals/organizations that match their desired search criteria.
Q: Are there fees associated with the Placement Center?
A: There are fees for both job seekers and employers for use of the Placement Center service. These fees cover the administrative costs associated with the service as well as the facility rental fee at the conference. For the fee schedule go to http://www.siop.org/Conferences/13Con/Regbk/fees.aspx This fee is an optional additional fee in addition to the basic conference fees and membership fees.
Q: When does Placement Center actually open?
A: Because the system typically receives upgrades in the off-season, the open date somewhat varies by year. Generally, individuals will be granted access to the system to post jobs, resumes, and do searches about 45 days before the conference.
Q: How do I get my information into the system?
A: For Job Seekers, Placement Center has the functionality that individuals can upload postings as a whole, when the documents have been placed into a PDF format. This is the only way to effectively upload your information. There are many free on-line programs that will turn your documents into a word format for you. After uploading your information, you will also have a few additional questions that will enable others to search for specific criteria. Please fill those out as well, even if it is somewhat redundant with what you have already uploaded.
For employers, the system is in a beta phase for the job seekers and PDF output. It is our goal to use this for both postings, but for now the process will be to copy and paste job postings into the system.
Q: As a seeker, do I have to sign up in advance to participate in the Placement Center?
A: No, you can sign up at the conference during general conference registration. However, your odds of having a favorable placement center experience are increased if you are proactive in getting started early. A recent survey showed that 40% of organizations had already begun conducting interviews prior to the conference. Provided you do sign up early, we recommend that job seekers do the following:
1. Register for the Placement Center early and enter your resume on the web site. Most employers search for candidates prior to the conference. If you want to be noticed, register early! Anonymous job seekers cannot enter their resume or else their identity will be compromised and will need to contact employers directly.
2. Conduct a search of jobs to see which ones match your qualifications. While employers will contact you if they are interested in interviewing you, showing initiative and reaching out to employers with job postings that fit your skills, will greatly increase your chances of getting noticed. Keep in mind this is a competitive hiring situation. Each job posting should have contact information for a recruiter or hiring manager. Reach out!
3. Bring copies of your resume with you to the conference. If you have a business card, don’t forget to bring plenty of them with you to the conference.
Q: As an organization looking to post a job, do I have to sign up in advance to participate in Placement Center?
A: There is less pressure on the organization to sign up early. However, signing up at the conference is likely going to require you or your fellow coworkers to have to do resume reviews during the conference, which takes time away from other valuable activities you could be doing. As mentioned above, 40% of the organizations participating in Placement Center had already conducted at least one interview prior to the conference. In the battle for our best and brightest talent, acting sooner is always better.
Q: How does it work at the conference?
A: At the conference, the onus is primarily on the organizations looking to conduct interviews. Employers who are interested in seekers will send an email and/or contact the individual by phone. Seekers are encouraged to stand “at the ready” to ensure they do not miss an important communication from an employer, having email and phone access handy at all times.
Keep in mind that resume screening by employers may result in a short list of candidates that they can interview onsite. One way for employers to narrow this list down to a more manageable number is based on who has shown an active interest in them.
Q: How do I secure space in the interviewing area as an employer?
A: Tables are first-come, first-served. One table per employer. Tables cannot be reserved by employers, nor can you expect the same table each day. One tent card per organization will be provided by help desk staff. Place your tent card on the table stand and remove your tent card when not using the table. Tables with a tent card but no interviewers present will be given to other organizations to use. The tent card will be stored at the help desk. Candidates are always confused about whether to look for the interviewer or if he/she will come and get the candidate. We recommend that these arrangements be made when setting up the interview. If no arrangements have been made, Placement Center staff is instructed to tell candidates to wait in the waiting area and the employer usually comes and introduces him/herself when ready to conduct the interview.
Q: What does Placement Center look like?
A: In terms of aesthetics, SIOP is somewhat bound to accommodate Placement Center to the host facility. Size will vary from year to year. Generally however, it will be divided into two areas in the following style.
Q: What can we do with the computers in the Placement Center?
A: The Placement Center computers are restricted to activities pertaining to the activities of Placement Center. Job candidates can conduct searches, print position descriptions, upload revised resumes from a disk, look at employer web sites, etc. Employers can post or revise job descriptions, print resumes, and conduct searches. There is a 20-minute limit to using the computers when lines exist, and printing is limited to 10 items per use. Help Desk staff will be able to assist you if needed – don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Q: I want to reach out to a potential employer, but have no idea what to say. Help!
A: Let the employer know that you are interested in the position/their organization. Why not go two steps further and indicate: (1) why you are interested in the position, and (2) the specific skills/experiences that you would bring to the position. Indicate that you are interested in setting up an interview with them on site. Of course, be sure to let them know your email/cell phone number so that they can easily contact you. Shakespeare once wrote “brevity is the soul of wit.” Allow yourself enough writing to portray yourself favorably, but save your big “sales pitch” for the on-site interview.
Q: Should I email my resume to every employer to maximize my chances for an interview?
A: You could, but that isn’t a good use of your time. Stick to the jobs you are genuinely interested in, and have relevant skills with. Additionally, the network at SIOP is very close knit and you don’t want the reputation as someone who is “spamming their resume out.” Remember that all employers have access to your resume online.
Q: I just checked my email/phone and found a message from an employer indicating an interview time that has already passed. I’d still like to meet with them. What should I do?
A: Respond indicating that you received their note after their proposed meeting time, but would be very interested in meeting with them. Recommend times when you are available to make coordination easier for them, giving as many options as possible.
Q: Can I walk into the Placement Center and meet a variety of employers?
A: No. The Placement Center is not a job fair. Employers and job seekers make appointments via phone or email to meet for interviews during the Conference. All placement center applicants will be given the opportunity to attend an “open house” format with the organizations participating in Placement Center at the beginning of the conference (further details will be provided), but other than this time, presence in the interviewing area is restricted to those conducting interviews. An un-registered job seeker may not attempt to use the Placement Center.
Q: I have an interview scheduled at the conference. Now what?
A: The interview area is one open room with tables and chairs. The proximity of the tables is dependent upon the room size. The interview area is a service provided to employers to use if they choose. Some employers conduct interviews at their exhibit booth, hospitality suite, hotel lobby or restaurant, etc. Don’t assume that the interview will be held in the Placement Center – always confirm the location of where you will meet.
There is a waiting area for seekers, but employers and seekers should confirm how to make contact at the scheduled time. If the organization you are scheduled to meet with is with another candidate, wait in the waiting area. If they’re not with a candidate, approach the employer and introduce yourself.
If the interview is scheduled during peak times, the interview area can be very crowded and loud. Prepare accordingly. Both hiring managers and seekers would benefit from practicing an interview in similar distracting conditions (e.g. have a friend practice interview with you in a noisy restaurant.
Q: As an employer, can I interview potential employees privately in the Placement Center?
A: Not entirely. The Placement Center has numerous tables that employers may use for conducting interviews, but these tables are not partitioned off from one another. Initial meetings and interviews are somewhat public if taking place in the Placement Center. However, SIOP conferences traditionally have a lot of open space outside the Placement Center that we encourage you to utilize if discretion is necessary.
Q: What should I do if I find a job before the conference, or I fill the position I posted?
A: Congratulations on your success! Please contact the SIOP Administrative Office immediately, let them know of your good fortune and we’ll remove your entry from the web site.
Q: I didn’t fill my requisition/get an interview at the conference? Is it over?
A: Not at all! Placement Center stays open as a virtual job board for approximately 2 months following the conference. There is a lot of value in continuing the job search following the conference as a lot of searches are still ongoing for both seekers and employers.
Q: Conference dress gets more casual each day of the conference. Does this mean that I should dress more casually for interviews as the conference progresses?
A: As an organizational representative, that is your choice on how you choose to portray your organization. As a seeker, the answer is an unconditional no. Your goal as a job candidate is to make as positive an impression as possible. Don’t chance it. Business formal at all times.
Q: I am a discrete job seeker. I don’t want my current employer to know that I am interviewing. How do I keep them from seeing my resume on the Placement Center site?
A: You will not want to upload a resume. You will have to be more proactive in your search because of this, but nobody will know you are registered. We cannot guarantee your anonymity in the physical location of the Placement Center. If you schedule interviews with potential employers, you will need to decide to what extent you want to be forthcoming about meeting publicly.
Still have questions? Please contact Placement@siop.org for general assistance or firstname.lastname@example.org for technical assistance with the web site.