No matter your major or class year, Clark Career and Internship Fairs are a great way to explore careers, check out specific companies and organizations, get career advice from industry insiders, expand your professional network, and yes, potentially land an interview. Come explore and practice introducing yourself — even if you are not specifically job hunting right now.
DAY-OF SUPPORT FOR THE VIRTUAL FAIR:
Career Connections Center staff will be hosting a virtual career fair support channel via Zoom throughout the event. If you have any questions or experience technical difficulties the day of, you can drop into our Zoom channel from noon to 3:30 p.m. Stay tuned for the link below.
Just In Time, All Majors Virtual Career Fair
Clark University’s Career Connections Center invites you to the Just In Time, All Majors Virtual Career Fair on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, from 1 to 4 p.m. EDT on Handshake’s virtual fairs platform.
- Discover internship and job opportunities. Interact with recruiters through video, audio, or chat in one-on-one meetings and group info sessions.
- Learn about potential career paths. Ask questions of industry professionals and gain insight into the types of opportunities available.
- Build your professional network. Engage in meaningful, productive conversations with industry professionals, and have fun building your network!
SIGN UP FOR EMPLOYER SESSIONS:
Once you register for the fair, visit the event page on Handshake to view and sign up for sessions on the “Available Sessions” tab. For a quick walk-through, see Handshake’s Locating and Registering for Virtual Fairs Video.
Preparing for a virtual fair is like preparing to meet with organizations on campus, but you’ll need to keep a few extra things in mind. The Career Connections Center will help guide you through each step of navigating the virtual fair.
You will need to:
- Prepare your tech
- Prepare your Handshake profile
- Register and build your career fair schedule
Your virtual fair experience might include one-on-one sessions with recruiters and/or larger group sessions with recruiters and other student participants. It’s important to prepare well for both scenarios and to be ready to interact with recruiters via both video and text chat.
STEP ONE: PICK A DEVICE AND BROWSER
Desktops and laptops perform best during the Handshake virtual career fairs; the recommended browsers are Chrome and Firefox.
STEP TWO: TEST YOUR CONNECTION
Testing your connection is highly recommended to ensure a smooth virtual career fair experience. Before the fair, ensure you have a strong internet connection in the location where you plan to log on to attend the fair.
You can test your audio and video by joining your sessions with employers up to five minutes early. You’ll need to make sure you’ve allowed microphone and video access in your app or browser in order to participate.
While a webcam is not required to participate in the virtual fair, you might want to use video when you speak with recruiters, especially during one-on-one sessions. Ensuring your technology works before the fair begins will help you feel prepared and confident when you speak with the recruiters.
STEP THREE: ASK FOR HELP
You can review Handshake’s Video Requirements and Troubleshooting for Students if you need additional technical support. You also can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support and want to connect with someone in the Career Connections Center.
For the virtual fair, you must sign up for sessions in advance to meet with organizations. This allows you to choose who you’re meeting with and when. To make sure you’re putting your best foot forward, you’ll want to update your resume and Handshake profile.
STEP ONE: UPDATE YOUR PROFILE
Employers will likely look over your profile before meeting with you during a group or one-on-one session, and may even have specific questions for you based on the information they find.
Updating your profile is easy by uploading your resume to Handshake. Click on your profile image, scroll down to Documents, and upload your resume. Pro Tip: Update your resume first and get expert feedback from the Career Lab on format and content — upload it to your Documents and you’ll receive feedback within one to three days (the feedback will be at the bottom of your resume document in Handshake).
If you are a graduate student, contact your career center or department for feedback on your resume.
STEP TWO: FILL OUT YOUR CAREER INTERESTS
We also strongly recommend you add your Career Interests. Click on your picture icon, select Career Interests, and fill in the job types, job roles, locations, and industries that you are interested in.
STEP THREE: MAKE YOUR PROFILE VISIBLE
To participate in virtual career fairs, you will need to adjust your Handshake privacy settings, found on the Privacy and Settings page of your dashboard. For one-on-one sessions, you will need to select the “Employers” privacy setting, while for group sessions, a “Community” privacy setting is required to participate. You may choose to change your settings back to “private” after the fair.
If you forget to change your privacy settings, don’t worry! When signing up for one-on-one or group sessions from the virtual fair page, Handshake will prompt you through a pop-up window to change to the required setting.
To participate in the fair, you must register for the event on Handshake and you must sign up for employer sessions at least one minute in advance of the session start time. If you do not register and sign up for sessions, you will be unable to meet with employers.
Once you’ve registered for the fair, stay in Handshake to review the list of participating employers and sign up for one-on-one and group sessions. We also encourage you to check back frequently, as new employers will be added. Watch this quick video, How to Register and Sign Up for the Virtual Career Fair, which shows you how to register for the fairs and sign up for sessions, or read this Handshake Help Article.
WHY CAN’T I REGISTER FOR A ONE-ON-ONE WITH AN EMPLOYER?
While group sessions are open to all students, some employers have set qualifications to define which students can register for their one-on-one meetings. To ensure you qualify for an employer session, make sure you have filled out the following fields on your profile:
- Grad year, major, and GPA, which can be found on your profile. To ensure your GPA is visible, uncheck “hide from employers” in your profile.
- Work authorization status, which can be found on the Privacy and Settings page. You can learn more about work authorization status here.
Please note: We have asked participating organizations to keep their one-on-one preferences relaxed to allow opportunities for career exploration and networking.
- Arrive on time for your session. This shows respect, good time management skills, and that you are dependable. You can log in to your session early, but if you’re late, you may miss it completely.
- Cancel in advance when possible. If you need to cancel your session, please cancel as far in advance as possible through the “Your Sessions” tab. This will also open the time up for another student to participate.
- Maintain eye contact and smile. Look at the screen and try to really listen to what the employer has to say. Active listening enables a more meaningful, productive conversation. Also, don’t forget to smile and show positive energy.
- Take notes for easier follow-up. If you have multiple meetings scheduled, it may be difficult to remember which recruiter said what. Taking down a few key notes will also make it easier for you to follow up after the fair.
- Make an impression. To build personalized connections, we recommend you select to show yourself via video if possible, particularly in one-on-one sessions. However, if you feel more comfortable, you also have the option for audio only or text-based chat.
- If interrupted — don’t panic! Since many of us have been working from home for the past year, people have come to understand that life happens. Do your best to quiet the interruption and continue the conversation. You can always switch your video off or revert to the text chat feature if needed.
- Request contact information. Whether or not you are actively seeking an opportunity, don’t forget to ask for the recruiter’s contact information at the end of your session. Otherwise, it may be difficult to find later.
- Send thank you emails to employers you met. Even if you are not actively seeking an opportunity, you may want to keep in touch with any recruiters with whom you had a productive or positive conversation. They will appreciate the professional courtesy. In your email, mention something you found interesting or learned from your conversation. If you are interested in being considered for a position, say so, and reiterate the qualities you could bring to the organization.
- Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn. Immediately following the fair, you should also connect with any employers you’ve met with on LinkedIn. Remember to add a personal note in your connection request, reminding them who you are. Build your professional network!
- Apply for posted internships or jobs. If you are seeking opportunities, apply for internships or jobs on Handshake and company websites. Once you’ve applied, follow up by email to let the recruiter know you’ve submitted an application. This is appropriate before the standard two-week application follow-up, because you already have made a personal connection.
Preparing in advance of the Career Fair will help you build confidence in presenting yourself and navigating new connections with employers. Here are a few quick tips on how to prepare:
- Plan to dress appropriately. First impressions matter; business casual attire is required for the career fair.
- Check out which companies are registered for the fair on the Handshake event page. Click on “View All Employers” on the fair event page to see a list of all employers registered, a description of the companies, and the types of positions they are hiring for (internships, full time, or part time). You also can view the current positions posted by an employer in Handshake to get a sense of their roles, requirements, and expectations by clicking on the company’s page and viewing their current posted positions.
- To prioritize your time at the fair, make a list of the top five to 10 employers you want to introduce yourself to and learn more about.
- Practice your “career pitch.” A career pitch explains, in 30 seconds or less, who you are, what your major or skills are, your career goals, and why you’re interested in the company. You can highlight things such as: you’re looking for an internship in a certain industry to get a sense of potential career paths; you’re seeking a full-time opportunity after graduation that enables you to use a particular set of skills; or your values align with the brand of the company and you’re planning to apply for their internship program.
- Bring several printed copies of your resume. Be sure to have your resume reviewed by Clark’s Career Services staff for proper formatting, industry keywords, and best practices on how to highlight your unique skills and experiences.
- Bring a notepad and a pen so you can take notes on what you learn from employers and recruiters when you inquire about how to connect with additional managers. The representative at the fair may not be the person hiring for the department or opportunity in which you’re interested.
- A way to hold on to the business cards you collect. Ask for business cards from people with whom you plan to follow up, not from every representative at the fair. It’s easy to fall back on asking for a card if you aren’t comfortable networking. Take this opportunity to make connections!
- Introduce yourself with your career pitch (see above under How to Prepare for tips on your career pitch). Say “hello” to the representatives and welcome them to Clark — employers sometimes send alumni to represent their company! Talk about your career interests and ask questions about the company and their opportunities.
- Bring your positive attitude and be sensitive to other students who may be waiting to speak with the same employer by keeping your questions brief and offering to follow up at a later time.
- Be courteous of employer materials. Always check with employers before taking materials from their tables.
- Send a thank you letter or email to representatives you meet at the fair, even if they don’t have an immediate opening for a position. The connections you make now can be invaluable later. Reaffirm your interest, follow up with direct questions you may have, and say thank you. Here’s a sample message:
Dear (insert representative’s name),
We met two weeks ago at the Clark University Career Fair. I enjoyed speaking with you about (insert company name and position or conversation topic) and was impressed by the company philosophy and opportunities.
I wanted to reaffirm my interest in the (insert position or potential program) at your company. Given the qualifications and skills that you highlighted as ideal for this role, I believe that my (insert your related experience and interests) would be a great fit for the opportunity.
I have attached an updated copy of the resume I gave you at the Career Fair. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
(insert your name)