Friday, February 6, 2009

My Chat with Chad from the WWD Fashion Career Expo


Chad Dinzes, WWD Fashion Career Expo & www.fashioncareers.com


On Friday, February 20, Women's Wear Daily will be hosting its annual WWD Fashion Career Expo in New York City. This is the must-attend event for anyone searching for a style career. I had the pleasure of catching up with Chad Dinzes who is coordinating this year's expo. Here's what he had to say.


NM: What makes the WWD Fashion Career Expo stand out from other career fairs?

CD: Fashion Career Expo has a unique partnership with WWD which is good for our clients because it includes an ad in WWD, which is the “fashion bible.” We also limit our candidate pool to job seekers with at least two years of work experience and a college degree. All of our candidates are mid-level to senior level. Our exhibitors see the value in attending the Fashion Career Expo as opposed to spending money on advertising or on an agency. Our clients love the idea of seeing people right in front of them. They are able to come to the event and make many hires in one shot.

NM: Of course we know that there are many more people looking for jobs right
now due to the economy. How have employers adjusted for the high volume of great candidates out there?
CD: From one side, the candidate pool is obviously greater this year. Right now, we have 800 candidates registered for the event. Usually, we have about 400 registered at this time, so we have doubled our attendance. We will accept an unlimited amount of registrants, in the hopes to get everyone through the door with our organized registration control team.

On the other hand, it is a rough economy and companies are retracting on their spending. Many of our clients are on a hiring freeze and others are actually downsizing, but there are still fashion companies out there hiring. We want to do our best to aid our clients in their recruiting process during this difficult time. The show is going to be a touch smaller with 25-30 companies rather than the usual 50+, however the candidate pool is going to be larger than usual. We already
have over 1000 candidates pre-registered. For those companies hiring, the competition will be less and the possibility of making hires will be greater. It is going to be a busy, busy day.

NM: Since this expo is open to only candidates with two years of experience, what advice do you have for those seeking entry-level opportunities?

CD: For entry-level applicants, I would recommend applying for jobs through our website, fashioncareers.com. We give access to the resumes on fashioncareers.com to all of our exhibitors, so even though you don’t come to the expo, your resume is still accessible to our clients. I also recommend that you research a company you really want to work for and apply directly through that company’s website.

NM: What are your top three tips for attendees who want to put their best foot forward?

CD: Dress to impress and always look good. It’s also important to have a well formulated resume that gets to the point. One page resumes are the way to go. We want to see what you have done in the most concise format. Also, be very personable. Most employers want to see who you are, not just what you’ve done.

NM: What are the most effective ways to follow-up with an employer after the career fair? What is a good timeline for follow-up?

CD: Follow-up is very important. You have to follow-up immediately. I would send an email the same day. Email is better than voice mail. You can send an email saying, “Thank you for meeting with me. It was wonderful speaking to you and I am very interested in the opportunities we discussed at the expo.” Be very proactive. Whatever you do, you have got to stay on top of it.



Thanks so much Chad for speaking with Style Career Connect! Have a question for Chad? Reply to this post with your feedback. Make sure you reserve your space at the Career Expo. Visit www.fashioncareers.com to register online today!

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