Director’s Cut: 2021 Career Fairs
By: Pat Donahue
Just like last semester, all career & internship fairs will be virtual through Indiana University’s career services management vendor, Handshake. In order to access interview times for the virtual fairs, you must first set up an account with Handshake. To do so, check out our tutorial video!
Once you set up your account in Handshake, you can see a list of career fairs by going to Events and filtering by “Career fair”. When you find the career fair(s) you are interested in attending, click on it and be sure to register! Once you find an employer you are interested in, you can sign up for an individual ten-minute interview slot or a group information session. Employers will decide whether they want to offer group or individual interviews. All career fairs at IUB are open to all students, all majors, and all years.
Freshmen often believe that career and internship fairs are just for juniors and seniors, but that is not accurate. The Summer Camp Fair on Feb. 17 and the Summer Job & Internship Fair on March 30 will have employers who actively recruit freshmen and sophomores. Some companies, especially those in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) industries, have started recruiting freshmen for internships or summer jobs after their first year. These industries often struggle to find enough talent to fuel their growth, so recruiting freshmen early can help build a recruiting pipeline for future employees.
Even if employers are not hiring freshmen, talk to the recruiters to investigate what they look for on a resume for their particular organization: what kind of courses, lab experiments, research papers or study abroad; what kind of work/internship experiences, volunteering, or undergraduate research; what kind of student organizations or professional associations; or what kind of IT, creative, or language skills? By learning what employers want now, freshmen can better prepare themselves and gain related experience for future career fairs and job opportunities in the industry they are considering.
You will need a professional resume for the career fair to share with employers. University Division students can meet with their assigned career coach to have their resume critiqued. You can make an appointment with your career coach through your Handshake account. Direct admit students or students certified/admitted into Schools should use the career services office of their respective School.
More information on writing a resume and skill verbs for resumes can be found at our Resume Guide. There are also sample student resumes for each major at IU in the Major Guides that you can explore and download here.
Handshake has a great online guide for preparing for a career fair so you know what to expect from a virtual career fair. For more information about career fair preparation, you can also visit our Student Employment website. You will find out how to research employers; what type of questions to ask employers; how to give an elevator speech; and how to professionally dress.
Despite concerns about Covid 19, employers are still hiring for summer and full- time positions. Be sure and check out the virtual career fairs that interest you most.