BSides has always aimed to increase access to cybersecurity skills, knowledge, and resources. Over the years, BSides conferences around the world have served to advance cybersecurity professionals’ careers and to form connections between people, projects and organizations.
In today’s job market, Cybersecurity remains one of the most in-demand industries in Canada.
With the Ottawa-Gatineau Region as Canada’s Cybersecurity Capital, we are seeing more demand than ever for both experienced and entry-level workers in cybersecurity professions. On the flip side, cybersecurity professionals are looking for opportunities. Beyond an increase in income, professionals are looking for a fulfilling career, job security, a healthy company culture, and an environment where they can flourish.
The BSides Ottawa Career Fair allows potential employers and employees to get to know each other in person, to ask questions, and—in some cases—even to start the application process.
There are basically two roles at the Career Fair: Recruiters and Job Seekers. Companies which are interested in recruiting are advised to visit our Recruiter page. The rest of this post is written for job seekers.
The BSides Ottawa Career Fair is an expo-style event, which means that—if you wanted—you could participate in this event by simply going around the tables collecting cool promotional swag. We won’t judge!
But if you’re looking to get the most out of the BSides Ottawa Career Fair, we have 5 tips for you for getting the most out of the BSides Ottawa Career Fair:
Home – Canada’s Cyber Capital
Our goal is to attract new cyber talent, companies, and investment that grow our economy, and increase the competitiveness of Canada’s Capital Region.
1) Dress Appropriately
It’s very important that you dress appropriately for the BSides Ottawa Career Fair. This means wearing a suit, a dress, a traditional hacker hoodie, a faded t-shirt and jeans, a wardriving kit with cables and antennas dangling everywhere…. You get the gist. This is BSides Ottawa, and we welcome you as you are—always!
2) Research Companies in Advance
By the time BSides Ottawa 2023 rolls around, a full list of companies that are recruiting will be available on our website. By researching the companies ahead of time, you can use your in-person time to ask more targeted questions.
Researching companies ahead of the fair will also allow you to tailor your resume in such a way that it best showcases the particular skills and qualifications that a company is seeking, helping you stand out as a potential hire. Some things to research include companies’ area of specialization, what positions they have available, and what those positions require in terms of experience and/or certifications.
Of course, general questions can be useful for job seekers as well. Some examples of those include asking employees what they like about working at the company, asking about the onboarding process, or asking about the company’s projected growth over the next five years.
3) Don’t Prepare an Elevator Pitch
Nobody is looking for your canned goods. Instead, arrive at BSides Ottawa ready to meet people and explore possibilities. The BSides Ottawa Career Fair is a great opportunity to go outside of your comfort zone and see how different organizations may be doing things you’re interested in, hiring aside.
It is, however, a good idea to have various copies of your resume ready, business cards, or even QR codes for recruiters and social connections to scan. Being able to communicate your skills and knowledge effectively is important to networking, and is also a demonstration of your soft skills. Having an up-to-date and detailed LinkedIn page and/or website will allow recruiters to easily learn more about you after BSides.
4) Quality Over Quantity
The main goal of a Career Fair is to connect potential employees with recruiting organizations in a way that is meaningful. If you choose only to spend 20 minutes at the BSides Ottawa Career Fair, we recommend dividing those 20 minutes between two or three tables rather than trying to reach all the recruiters in a hurry. Researching companies ahead of time will make it possible for you to make the best use of that time. Running around the expo throwing business cards as if they were ninja stars is not recommended.
That being said, exchanging business cards is a great way to keep in touch, and it makes it easy to follow up after the conference. It’s also a good idea to bring a pen and notebook with you for when business cards aren’t available, or generally to write down interesting things that you learn or start thinking about throughout BSides.
5) Follow Up!
As you can imagine, recruiters sometimes talk to hundreds of people in the course of an expo-style event such as a Career Fair. If you’ve had a great conversation with someone at an organization you’re interested in, we recommend you follow up via their suggested method of contact and let them know you’ve appreciated their time and would like to continue the conversation.
See You There!
BSides Ottawa is a grassroots-driven conference that provides an open platform for security experts and industry professionals to share ideas and insights and to reach out to the community.
The Career Fair at Security BSides Ottawa 2023 is open to all attendees. Whether you’re just getting your feet wet or are a battle-hardened cybersec ninja, come to the fair either or both days and see what shakes out!
If your company is interested in recruiting at the fair, please visit our recruiter page.
Recruit at BSides Ottawa – BSidesOttawa