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There are a number of career fairs on campus throughout the school year, the largest
being Career Information Days, which takes place in September every year. Other
fairs include the St. George Career Centre’s Summer Job Fair, Internship Fair, and
the Volunteer Fair. For more information on these events, including lists of companies
attending, check out the Calendar of Events.
To identify other events happening in the Toronto area, visit the Possibilities Project (you
will need to complete the free registration to access the calendar) or the Toronto Employment Directory.
Employers who are recruiting on campus may hold information sessions to provide
additional information about the company and any current openings. These company
representatives often play an important role in the resume screening process and
are looking to put a face to the names on applications.
Stay on top of who’s on campus by regularly checking our list of current information sessions. If you
are interested in the company, but not the positions currently advertised, consider
attending anyway. Recruiters appreciate meeting any students with an interest in
their organization and may be able to tell you about future openings related to
your career interests.
The Information Session usually begin with a presentation by the employer, including
an overview of the company and specific information about the positions advertised.
A question and answer period usually follows the presentation. This is our chance
to ask questions. For example, you might ask about the future direction of the company
or the typical career path for entry-level candidates.
Many companies will serve food and drink after the presentation and question period.
This time will give you and the opportunity to speak with company recruiters individually
or in small groups.
How do I prepare?
The key to making a positive impression at any networking event is to do your homework!
This will include the following steps:
- Do your research
Research the organization(s) that you want to focus on. Specifically, find
out more about the career
areas you are interested in pursuing. The more information you have, the
better prepared you will be to create your marketing materials, develop intelligent
questions, and speak to the representatives in attendance.
- Prepare marketing materials
When attending a job fair, most employers recommend you have a targeted and updated
resume at the event – so bring one! For information sessions, or networking event
where you cannot target your resume due to lack of time or information, Use networking
business cards. which have the look and feel of a traditional business card. These
allow you to provide key career and contact information including job ojective or
unique selling proposition to people you meet in social and professional situations.
For more information visit Quintessential Careers.
- Prepare your introduction
Prepare a 30-second script to introduce yourself to recruiters. Practice with a
friend, but try not to sound too rehearsed — just remember the key points. Your
- demonstrate your interest and knowledge of the organization
- communicate the skills you would bring to a company using your experience as evidence
- show leadership and involvement in a university or community environment, in addition
to academic and work experiences
- describe future career goals. Many students don’t know what they want until after
they graduate, so this is your chance to stand out
- Prepare your questions
Prepared career-oriented and company-specific questions. You’ll not only make a
good impression, but you’ll get information that can provide relevant content for
your resume and interview, and help you decide if you would be a good fit with that
organization. Make sure that you don’t ask for information that you could get by
doing some basic research. Here are some basic questions to get you started:
- What advice do you have for a University graduate entering this field? What kind
of work experience or extra-curricular activities would help me prepare for this
- What are the priorities for the organization right now? What are the top five things
you would like to accomplish in the next year?
- Are there internship or co-op opportunities in this field? Does your company have
training programs for its employees? What are the opportunities for career advancement?
- What’s the workplace culture like?
At the Event
At career fairs, and during the mingling period of info sessions, you have the opportunity
to speak one-on-one with recruiters. Now is the time to ask questions that show
you have researched the company thoroughly and are aware of industry trends. You
should also be ready to talk about why you are interested in the company and the
position. When you end your conversation with recruiters, thank them for their time
and ask them for a business card. If you have one of your own, offer it in return.
Try to speak to several recruiters from each company, as they may compare notes
about impressive students afterwards
Making a good impression also includes following the rules of business etiquette. The most important
things to remember at info sessions and career fairs are:
- Be punctual; arriving late will create a negative impression.
- Dress in business attire, unless the employer specifies casual dress.
- Greet the representative with a firm handshake. Don’t just drop off your résumé
or business card and walk away – introduce yourself and express your interest in
the company. When you ask a question, listen carefully to the response.
- Do not monopolize a recruiter’s time.
- When you end a conversation ask about the follow-up procedure and time frame. Be
sure to thank the recruiter and ask for a business card.
- Always approach a recruiter on your own, and not with a group of friends.
When food and drink is served:
- Do not take any food until invited to do so.
- Take small portions, rather than loading your plate.
- Skip the alcoholic beverages.
- Never just take the food and leave.
After the Event
After a career fair, don’t assume you made such a great impression that you’re a
shoe-in for an interview! Follow up. Write a thank-you note—it is an effective
way to reintroduce yourself to the employer.
After an info session, you will usually not have time to send a thank-you letter
to the recruiters before your application is due. In this case, simply mention in
your cover letter that you attended the information session. Include the name of
the recruiter you spoke with and comment on any relevant information you gathered.