Everything You Need to Know About Career Fairs
Prepare for the upcoming Fall 2023 Internship & Job Fair on September 19th!Sep 8, 2023
It's that time of year when you start to see emails, flyers, and announcements for the fall career fairs happening across campus. For many students, the thought of going to a career fair comes with a mix of anxiety, dread, and confusion. What is a career fair anyway, and why would you want to go to one?
Think of a career fair as a one-stop-shop where students can explore potential internship and employment opportunities. It's also an incredible opportunity to make connections and get to know people working in various industries.
Jessica Valdez, a dual criminal justice and biology major graduating this December, has attended several career fairs at CU Denver. She said, "I love going to career fairs because they are a great place to meet employers in fields I am interested in and to learn about fields that I may not know I will become interested in until I interact with employers. I've been able to get on email lists to hear about upcoming information sessions, job openings, etc. As a bonus, there's usually lots of cool swag!"
Still trying to figure out how to make the most of the career fair? Here are some tips to help you feel more confident about trying it out:
Find out who is coming to the fair so you can decide who to speak with. On Handshake, go to the events page and find the fair you want to attend. All registered employers are listed so you can see who is coming and what opportunities they have posted. Not seeing any open positions? Some companies come to the fair because they know they will be hiring for internships and full-time positions sometime soon. They are excited to get to know you, so take the opportunity to stop by and say hello!
Practice your introduction. Include your name and major and let the employer know why you are stopping to meet them -- do you need an internship, are you starting to look for a full-time position, or do you want to learn more about the company culture? What is something you learned about the company that you can include in your introduction? Is this company in the industry you want to join, or do you align with the company's mission or values? Employers like to know that you have done a little bit of research on them!
Get your resume career fair ready. Whether the recruiter asks to look at your resume at the career fair or asks you to apply through their application portal, having your resume ready helps you move quickly to apply for that position you really want. And don't be discouraged if the person you meet with asks you to apply online rather than taking your resume. Many recruiters prefer to have candidates apply online so they can track them through the hiring process. If they ask you to apply online, do it!
Need even more incentive to come to the career fair? According to Jessica, "Career fairs are a great place to network! I've met people in different fields that I later interviewed for class projects and who took me on tours of their departments. I also get to meet people who represent me at the fairs and can give me insight into their personal experiences and helpful advice for starting out. For example, every law enforcement table I went to at the Spring fair had a female recruiter, and I learned a lot about the work environments and cultures of different agencies."
- Internship & Job Fair, September 19
- College of Arts & Media Fair, October 10
- Engineering, Design & Computing Fair, October 25
Check out Handshake for opportunities to meet with employers before the fair for resume help and networking advice! The list of employers coming to campus is updated often, so sign into Handshake regularly for updates.