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Our 2023 Virtual Careers Fair

This year we were delighted to host our biggest and most interactive Virtual Careers Fair yet, with over 120 people in tech joining us Australia-wide. Hosted in our own little virtual world on Gather we had a variety of booths to inspire budding coders; career changers; those looking to upskill; and everyone in between.

This virtual world was imagined and built in-house by our multi-talented team and featured a reception area, a lounge, expo booths, a main stage, a treasure hunt, and a pool party.

The main stage program was a highlight with a panel discussion on how to break into the tech world. Hosted by our very own Lead Technologist, Sarah Brown, we heard from the wonderful Demi Kaucic and Lili Guerrero on their unconventional career journeys, and together they shared insights and advice on how to forge ahead with a career in tech.

Among the highlights, the following stood out:

  1. Career transition is possible at any stage: The panel highlighted inspiring stories of career transitions, including Lili's journey from design to personal training and then to software engineering; and Demi's diverse experience in fashion, retail, hospitality, and management before entering software engineering. 

  2. Online study opens doors to opportunities: There is an abundance of online coding courses (including Code Like a Girl’s School of Code) that can lead you into an internship and then future roles in the tech industry. It’s no longer vital to have an IT-related degree for tech roles; companies value people with practical tech skills and diverse backgrounds and experiences.

  3. Transferable skills are invaluable: The panel underscored the value of transferable skills from their previous careers. While technical and coding skills can be learned through education, skills such as communication, problem-solving, project management, and teamwork are only gained through experience. 

Participants were then treated to a workshop run by our HR team, Helen Matovu and Lizzie Webster, on finessing your CV and Cover Letter.

Highlights on tailoring and finessing your CV/Cover letter: 

  • A few good habits to implement when creating your CV Review the formatting of your CV - make sure it’s easy to read and follow. A professional summary goes a long way to give the recruiter an understanding of your goals and motivation. Be specific and concise about your skills and experience. If you have examples of related past work you’re proud of, add a link to it (eg. Github) so the recruiter can see your skills in action (more below on creating a web portfolio).

  • The importance of writing a Cover Letter An extension to your CV, a Cover Letter helps build a connection with the recruiter as it shows your motivation for your application. It’s also a way to showcase and highlight your career goals on top of the skills and experience you’d bring. Consider including your ‘why’ or how your values align with the role or the company. Lastly, take the time to proofread your letter before you hit ‘send’! 

This was followed by an engaging session from our Lead UX Developer, Lara Salameh, in which she shared wisdom and guidance on creating a web portfolio to share your work and help you get noticed by employers. 

Key highlights on creating a webfolio: 

  • Use your webfolio (website portfolio) to express your personal personality.

  • Establish your goals! Will your webfolio be your long-standing folio for anyone to browse or do you want to tailor it to a specific role you’re seeking?

  • A well-maintained, well-documented, active GitHub profile is an essential sidekick to your webfolio. Definitely link it from your site!

  • Highlight your best project work in your webfolio and if you don’t have any, create some side practice projects and include those!

  • Don’t forget to consider UX, responsive design, accessibility, and SEO.

  • Get inspired and see what other designers and developers have created on sites like Awwwards and Codrops.

Download the handouts to read more about these sessions.

Outside of the main stage, attendees were treated to a lineup of fascinating booths hosted by our partners. We partnered with tech companies to build their own virtual expo booths, providing safe spaces for attendees to explore career opportunities, seek advice on resumes, and connect with industry professionals.

Attendees had the opportunity to visit the following booths:

Thank you to our partners for making this Careers Fair possible - and thank you to the Code Like A Girl community for coming along and supporting us. Hosting the Virtual Careers Fair was such a momentous task for the team and seeing the success and joy from participants and partners highlighted the impact events like this can have on the next generation of tech workers.

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