On-Campus Recruiting & Job Fairs
During the fall and spring semesters, organizations come to campus to interview students for full-time positions. You must sign up for interview times on Handshake and submit your resume in advance by posted deadlines. The types of companies include retailers, computer firms, financial services organizations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, telecommunications, businesses, and banks.
Veteran job searchers know how difficult it is to get a first interview. Signing up for an interview on campus guarantees at least 30 minutes of an employer’s time to introduce themselves and to learn more about an organization. Read the following Recruitment Guidelines to make your on-campus recruitment a pleasant and successful experience.
- Attend a campus recruitment workshop or have an individual conference with a staff member to prepare for interviews and/or job fairs.
- Prepare your resume. If you have never written a resume or if you need help, attend one of the Career Services resume writing classes
- Submit your resume to Career Services by the posted deadline for each position of interest. Each recruiter you meet with will expect a copy of your resume.
- Prepare for interviews. Recruiters report students with interview training make stronger impressions. We strongly recommend attending a Career Services interviewing class.
Succeeding at Job Fairs and On-campus Recruiting Events
Meeting recruiters at job fairs may seem both intimidating and overwhelming. But job fairs are a crucial job search technique you should not ignore. Here are some guidelines to help you successfully utilize these opportunities.
Due to the hectic nature of most job fairs, the first impression is even more critical than in a traditional job interview. This means several things:
Unless a casual dress code is advertised, job fair attendess are to wear business professional attire. Do not “drop by” in jeans and t-shirt to pick up company literature. You will make a very poor first impression which will harm you in the future.
Employers want to talk to students who are focused about their career goals, can clearly articulate their marketable skills, and possess basic knowledge of the firm. Work with a career counselor to hone your presentation skills and research employer information.
Bring multiple copies of your resume.
If you are considering several possible career directions, compose a different resume for each. Resumes that are too general don’t impress employers.
Don’t be shy — recruiters want to meet students. Make a memorable impression by smiling warmly, offering a firm handshake, using direct eye contact, and speaking clearly. Your time with an employer will be brief. During the conversation, state your marketable and applicable skills, your related experiences, and your interest in the organization.
Be ready to interview.
Some fairs are designed to establish initial contacts to be followed up with interviews later. At others, you may have a brief screening interview right at the employer’s table. Some fairs even feature “break out” rooms, where recruiters meet prospects for a traditional-style interview. Make sure you know what type of fair you are attending and be ready.
You’ll likely need information in some, if not all, of the following areas:
Describe the position(s). What is the typical career path in your organization?
What education and experiences are you looking for in this field?
How does this position fit in with the company? Describe your training programs. What is the work environment like? What are the organizational goals?
Do you anticipate openings in the near future? What trends do you see in the field? How do I find out about further opportunities?
End on a positive note.
Leave your resume, ask for the recruiter’s business card, and offer a warm handshake and thanks. If you and the employer are mutually interested, be sure to determine the next step in the process — will they call you, should you call them, etc.
Take employer information.
Job fairs typically include stacks of organizational brochures, annual reports, position descriptions, and promotional material. Be sure to gather the pertinent pieces of information. They will help you in follow up and decision making.
Immediately after the fair, make notes about your various contacts and what follow up arrangements you made with each. Send all your contacts a Thank You note. Read through the company literature for important information. Consult with a career counselor on any questions you may have.