10 Things to Do Before #vGHC20

Practical tips for the virtual conference prep

I published a version of this article in 2019 — 10 Things to Do Before GHC19 — and it was very well received by perspective Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) attendees. Since GHC20 is virtual, I thought it would be a good idea to reshare with the addition for virtual conference tips.

Grace Hopper Celebration is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.

1. Upload Resume to GHC Database

If you haven’t done this already, submit your resume to GHC database. This is how recruiters will reach out to you for job and networking opportunities.

Find companies that are recruiting at the career fair here.

2. Get Your Resume Reviewed [FREE]

While uploading a resume to GHC database, you will see an option to get a free resume evaluation by TopResume “Submit my resume for a free evaluation from a trusted resume expert at TopResume.” Select Yes on the toggle.

I requested a resume evaluation and the feedback was very constructive and useful.

3. Career Coaching One-on-One

Did you know that AnitaB offers one-on-one career counseling by experts? Take advantage! Sign up time with a AnitaB Career Counselor.

4. Download GHC App and Finalize Schedule

Download GHC20 app (available closer to the conference date) if you haven’t already and sign up for sessions. Finalize your agenda for the 3 days of the conference and add to your calendar.

5. Join Unofficial GHC Communication Channels

  1. Join the Facebook group Grace Hopper Conference 2020.
  2. Join Slack Group: GHC20 Slack

6. Signup for non-GHC Events:

  1. Follow GHC Events GitHub repository, hosted by Carrie Mah. 2020 repository has not been shared yet, keep monitoring.
  2. If you are not able to secure GHC20 tickets, attended local GHC Connect meetups hosted by Google ( to be announced).

7. Make a Plan for Virtual Conference Logistics

Attending online meeting and webinars has been challenging, so start creating a plan now.

  1. Create a schedule on which session you want to attend.
  2. Find companies that are recruiting at the career fair here. This open-source spreadsheet has links to companies’ GHC career page.
  3. Add breaks to your schedule.
  4. Try to keep the camera on if it’s an option but don’t hesitate to turn it off if you get tired. Also, keep your surroundings distraction free.
  5. Read session abstracts in advance and prepare questions. This will also help you standout.
  6. If you have interviews scheduled, prioritize them over other sessions. If attending session will tire you out, then by all means skip or limit the sessions.
  7. Finally remember that this is everyone’s first time at virtual GHC, including the organizers, speakers, attendees, and volunteer, so be patient. There will be glitches and it’s okay. Stay calm and try to enjoy the process as much as you can.

8. Practice Your Elevator Pitch

You only have 30 seconds to impress as a job seeker and stand out among 20,000+ other attendees, so you want to make sure your elevator pitch is on-point. I’ll share my elevator pitch on Instagram soon for reference. In the meanwhile, watch this video that formulates effective elevator pitch. Once you write, make sure to practice in front of friends and family virtually.

9. Be Active on Social Media Channels

As you approach closer to the conference, you will see many recruiters, hiring managers, organization leaders, and other conference attendees becoming active on social media, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn. The hashtag #GHC20 is most likely how they will search. Update your LinkedIn bio with #GHC20 (see this example) and Twitter (see this example). Two years ago, one of the Twitter recruiters found me on Instagram and scheduled a coffee chat at GHC18. Reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn, this spreadsheet has over 2,100 recruiters’ LinkedIn.

10. Get Ready for Virtual Networking

Last, but not least, networking at GHC will be different this time, so make sure to plan ahead. Plan your target networking audience. Is it a specific company, job family, a person or anyone else? This will help you customize your elevator pitch and questions in advance.

During the sessions, take notes of people who you want to get in touch with during or after the conference. Send them connection requests on social media, Twitter and LinkedIn are always a good choice. Be ready to share your information as well, whether that is a email address, website or social media channels. Decide in advance on what you want to share with recruiters and networking leads.

Again, remember virtual networking can be awkward at moments, which is expected, so don’t let that discourage you from speaking up, asking questions, and making new connections. Embrace the awkward and continue!

Thanks for Reading!

I hope this was useful. If you enjoyed my work, connect with me on these channels: Medium, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and my website sundaskhalid.com

I write about data science, diversity & lifestyle | currently at Google | more learning content at sundaskhalid.com

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