Top 8 Reasons to Attend TPE Onsite as a Candidate


  • Author
    Kirsten Fox, Ph.D. | Director of The Placement Exchange
  • Categories
    Career Info, TPE Events

Searching for jobs is always an investment - of both your time and money. And, attending the TPE Onsite experience in March allows you to optimize both your time and your money.  Instead of having to search multiple institution websites for open positions and writing dozens upon dozens of unique cover letters and tailored resumes, you can more easily express interest to employers, LOTS of employers.  And, as a TPE candidate you will have exposure to hundreds of open jobs! Job searching, and going on many first round interviews, can also be expensive.  Have access to hundreds of employers and even more positions, and the opportunity to interview for many positions in a short period of time.  

Keep reading to see the Top 8 Reasons why you don't want to miss out on TPE as a candidate! Your future is worth the investment! But before you read on, let's acknowledge the elephant in the interview hall.  Travel and lodging for TPE is expensive!!!  So...

  • Check out last year's Navigating TPE on a Budget webinar.
  • Take advantage of the roommate matching app to help you find someone to stay with to keep costs down.
  • Book flights early to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, only 7.5 miles from the Austin Convention Center and servicing 350+ flights daily!
  • And an even larger selection of hotels are available this year. While we recommend TPE/NASPA hotels, we realize that you may stay with friends or family elsewhere. 

Top 8 Reasons to Attend TPE Spring Onsite 2020 as a Candidate!  

New This Year: First Look and Networking Fair

As the job search process changes, so does TPE Onsite.  A successful job search is more than just resumes, cover letters, and interviews, it's about making connections to employers, institutions, and fellow candidates. It's about knowing your self and what you want in a position.  It's about articulating your value and what you would bring to a campus. TPE Onsite has evolved to make your job search process more transformational.  New in 2020, TPE will offer a First Look event on Wednesday, March 25 from 5pm-7pm at the Austin Convention Center. This event will provide candidates first hand access, before the start of interviews, to the TPE Interview Hall.  Candidates will have the opportunity to move around the interview hall and stop at Institutional/Employer tables.  (Think College Fair or Job Fair.)  This event provides an opportunity for both candidates and employers to connect prior to the start of interviews.  Take the time to meet new (to you) campuses and learn more about job postings for which you are unfamiliar.  You can only find out so much about a school or a position online, however this event provides you with a face-to-face chance to learn more and ask questions. Plus, a First Look at the interview hall and set-up (at your pace!) will surely ease the interview process.  

Find Your Fit

TPE Onsite provides you the opportunity to have face-to-face first (and often second and third!) round interviews.  Instead of a phone call or a skype interview where you cannot “read the room”, TPE allows you the chance to interview for multiple positions face-to-face. Remember, employers aren’t only interviewing you, you are interviewing them as well.  Face-to-Face interviews allows you to better feel out opportunities that are a good fit (or not!) As one recent candidate said: “I can truly say that I have never felt so comfortable speaking and connecting with employers from a variety of institutions. While interviewing can seem like you are just trying to prove yourself over and over again, the employers at TPE are really looking to get to know you and to mutually see if the school or position is the right fit.”  By interviewing face-to-face with multiple schools, you will also be able to decide which positions you would like to continue to pursue, and which positions you are no longer interested it. Maybe you’ll end up liking a position or school you had previously never considered?  

Access and Efficiency

TPE Onsite is a chance to explore something new, learn about institutions and roles you otherwise might have never learned about on your own, and gives you a chance to interview for multiple positions all in a few days. The opportunity to speak face-to-face with institutions from all over the country is invaluable and an experience you cannot replicate elsewhere.  Don’t let your resume be one that just goes “unnoticed” amongst online applications. Meet face to face, take an interview with a new type of school, explore new types of roles and positions, and interview for different positions across all types of institutions. Within 4 days, you will have the chance to interview with upwards of a dozen schools and positions without having to wait to schedule with different schools (all on different timelines).  TPE allows you the opportunity to explore, interview, and build connections within a short period of time.

Interviewing is Better with Friends

In the midst of all the job opportunities and interviewing at TPE Onsite, there is also a great sense of camaraderie between candidates. TPE is a great place to connect with peers in the field from all over the country while searching for that perfect job. As one candidate recalled: “You can't get the experience of TPE anywhere else! It is something that I will remember throughout my career, and a place where I started lifelong friendships with colleagues in the field.”  

Building a Network that Lasts Beyond TPE

The interview experience and the networking opportunities are a phenomenal way to build relationships and networks that last long beyond the TPE Onsite event. With hundreds of candidates and employers all in one place, TPE is a great way to not only meet potential future employers, but to also meet future colleagues and coworkers.  TPE candidates always appreciate making new connections as well as revisiting previous connections from other institutions. As spoken by many past candidates, “The people that you meet at TPE will change your life.” You cannot get the experience of TPE anywhere else! It is a place to search for jobs, but also a place where you start to make lifelong friendships with colleagues in the field.

Confidence Booster

TPE helps you be a more prepared job seeker - from the pre-TPE Onsite webinars, to Candidate Coaching, to the TPE Academy with Mock Interviews, to the onsite orientation and roundtables. Candidates going through the process are able to gain confidence and feel more comfortable talking with employers and interviewing alongside hundreds of other candidates.  The opportunity to speak face-to-face with employers and institutions from all over the country is invaluable. TPE helps many (many!) candidates land their first, or next, position. But even for those searching beyond TPE, attending TPE helps to showcase how prepared, and how valuable, candidates are to enter the field. In addition to providing access and tools to a large selection of positions across functional areas, candidates leave TPE with gained confidence and an enhanced ability to articulate their value to potential employers.

A TPE Support System Every Step of the Way

The job search experience can be isolating and overwhelming.  The Candidate Development Team will be there with you every step of the way.  As a TPE candidate, you get the benefit of the TPE Candidate Development Team both before, during, and even after TPE!  Take advantage of the webinars between now and TPE to be the best-prepared candidate possible. And, registration for the TPE Academy will open soon. While onsite, you can meet with career coaches, attend roundtable conversations about the job search and interview process, use the computers to research institutions and positions, or just relax and unwind in the candidate resource room.  The Candidate Development Committee will be the first to welcome you, answer any and all questions, and offer words of support and guidance.

Selection, Selection, Selection

In one place, under one roof, you can find ALL types of institutions, recruiting for all types of positions, in all geographic locations! In 2019, 48 states (plus Washington DC) and 2 countries had institutions interviewing candidates onsite. And, there are even some non-schools interviewing as well!  There is truly no other place where you can show up and interview with this many different higher education entities all in one place in a short period of time!  As of December 31, 115 employers have already registered to attend and interview at TPE! But remember, most schools don’t actually post their open positions until February. 

We hope to see you at TPE Onsite: Spring March 25 - 28 in Austin, Texas! Learn more and register today.
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