From networking tips to job interviews, from professional headshots to leadership training, attendees at the 2018 National Planning Conference had a variety of opportunities to position themselves for career advancement.
The Career Zone in the Exhibit Hall was the home base for many career-related activities at NPC18 in New Orleans.
The well-attended Networking 101 drop-in event provided tips to help attendees make the most of networking events happening throughout the conference. At the Employer Connection Job Fair, employers from all over the country were excited to connect with energetic job candidates and made plans for second interviews with many attendees.
Individualized career development guidance was offered in an “Ask Me Anything” session with Rick Willson, FAICP, author of A Guide for the Idealist, and through portfolio reviews and interview preparation tips with the professional recruiting firm Sequence Staffing.
Mentoring is not just for students! The Mentor Match Meetup Mixer buzzed with excitement as planners at all levels met, compared notes, and shared stories to encourage and inspire each other in their career endeavors.
Headshots were a crowd-pleasing feature in the Career Zone — 475 attendees took advantage of the opportunity to receive a free professional photograph to use in their My APA profile and beyond.
Resume reviews were also popular. Professional resume writers and volunteers from among APA's experienced members helped attendees polish their resumes to reflect their strengths and talents.
Career development advice and education didn’t stop there. Education sessions addressed skills, trends, and tools grounded in personal and professional experience. They offered ways to help planners deliver results and elevate the planning profession.
Peers shared career success stories and traded practical ideas on facing similar circumstances in their daily work.
The Planning Management Institute and Planning Leadership Institute offered participants feedback and tips on how to position themselves for the next promotion or career move. In these hands-on institutes, attendees learned techniques for becoming better leaders, managing staff, navigating conflict, facilitating external relationships, and more.
APA is committed to providing career resources and opportunities for planners at every stage in their careers, and the National Planning Conference is an annual must-attend for those looking for career development.
For career resources available from APA beyond NPC, visit the online Career Center.
Top image: Conference attendees check out the job postings in the Career Zone at NPC18. Photo by Riverview Photography.
About the Author
Bobbie Albrecht is the career services manager at APA.