Published: March 30, 2022
career fair

Attending campus career fairs can be beneficial for graduate students. Whether you’re searching for a job or internship, exploring companies or looking to network, career fairs offer many opportunities—no matter your program or area of study.

The Just in Time Career & Internship Fair is coming up on April 13, allowing you to make connections with recruiters from companies in all industries. There are steps you can take before the fair to help you make a great first impression. Here are some tips for making the most of the career events as a graduate student.

Do your research

Review the employers who will be attending and make a list of who you’d like to speak with at the fair. New employers are continuously added to the list, so regularly check the Handshake career fair page to see who will be attending each event. Don’t have a Handshake account yet? Learn how to set up your free account.

Then, do some research on the companies that you’re interested in speaking with at the fair. Review their websites to familiarize yourself with their products, services and any recent news. 

Update your resume 

Make sure you have a resume that highlights your skills, abilities and experience, and take copies with you to the fair to share with recruiters. If there are specific employers that you plan to meet with during the fair, make a variation of your resume that is tailored to each employer based on your research. Review these tips for creating an industry resume.

Prepare for your conversations

Before the fair, prepare two or three questions to ask each employer. These should be related to the company or positions you’re interested in. Use your research to ensure your questions are insightful and not easily answered by looking at their website. Here are some sample questions that might be good to ask:

  • “I read that your company just started a project doing _______. What opportunities would an intern/new team member have in this project?”

  • “What do you like most about your job and working for _______?”

  • “I am interested in following up with you about your job opening. Could you tell me the next steps in the process? And could you give me your email address so that I can follow up with you in a few days?”

Attend a Prepare for the Fair workshop

For more career fair tips, attend an upcoming Prepare for the Fair workshop for graduate and postdoc students. Learn more about navigating career fairs and other valuable information to help you ready your resume for the recruiters you speak to.