Career Fairs and Employer Events
There are many different ways in which students can interact with employers. Below are some of the important and exclusive ways the university is connecting Longhorns with their future employers, along with resources and tips to help you best prepare for each.
A career fair is a great opportunity to meet a number of employers from a variety of industries, find potential job and internship opportunities, explore different career paths, and practice networking.
Most colleges and schools offer career fairs each fall and spring semester.
Steps for Success
- Explore the Events Calendar to gather information about upcoming career fairs and employer events in advance so you have time to prepare.
- Create a list of the organizations with whom you hope to connect at the fair. Do your homework and understand the organizations and their available positions. Use Glassdoor or Indeed to read reviews and to learn about them in the news. Prepare thoughtful questions in advance, such as:
- “What do you value most about working for this organization?”
- “How do you engage interns or employees when working remotely?”
- “What does the hiring process look like?”
- Update your resume
- Create and practice your elevator pitch to maximize your confidence and to ensure your interactions get a strong start.
- For virtual career fairs, prepare by orienting yourself to the software and ensure you understand the process. Register to attend and schedule your times to speak with recruiters in advance if possible.
- Even if you are participating in a virtual career fair, dress appropriately to increase your confidence.
- Ensure your camera angle and lighting are adequate, and reduce distractions. Minimize the possibility of technical issues by practicing the technology you will be using.
- After the event, follow-up with a professional thank you email to the recruiters with whom you spoke. This will remind them of your encounter and help you maintain a positive relationship for the future.
College to Careers Speaker Series
This series hosts career- or industry-themed employer panels followed by open networking. Explore your career options and hear from employer representatives about their roles, career paths, and experiences.
UT students can connect with a variety of employers across industries at campus-wide networking events. Put your face to your resume and build your employer network!
Employer Office Hours / Coffee Chats / Meet-ups
Chat with employers face-to-face to gain insight into employment opportunities and employer career advice in an informal setting. Go beyond your elevator speech and gain more face time with employers by chatting in an informal environment.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about organizations that interest you. Take advantage of these employer-led sessions and learn more about organizational culture and opportunities, or simply introduce yourself!
Preparing for Success
No matter which type of event you’re attending, preparation is critical and will reduce your stress, increase your confidence, and help you make a great impression.
Do your research
Research the employers to familiarize yourself with their organizations’ purpose, mission, products, and more. If you’re attending a speaking event, look up the panelists to get a sense of their background and expertise; identifying who might be present can be helpful in preparing questions and conversation topics. Also, be prepared to develop questions during the event based on the content that is shared.
Update your resume
Review your resume and make sure it is polished and appropriate. Bring extra copies with you in a professional folio or folder to share with individuals who may ask you for it. If you make a connection with a potential employer, you can always ask if they would like a copy of your resume, but don’t feel the need to hand one out to everyone you meet. Also be prepared that some professionals may prefer digital copies of your resume, so make sure to get their business card and follow up with an email and resume within 48 hours of the event.
Find out what attire is appropriate for that particular event, and dress accordingly.
Make a good introduction
Develop an elevator pitch that you can use to introduce yourself when you meet new people. This will be a short introduction you provide that explains who you are, your previous experiences and skills, and your future career-related goals.
Be ready to network
Prepare questions that will serve as good conversation starters. Networking can be a lot easier if you have a plan on how to engage with other participants. Don’t feel the need to stick to your questions exclusively, but use them whenever you get stuck in a conversation or are unsure of how to start.
Follow-up with a thank you
If possible, ask for a business card or take note of the employer representative’s contact information. Send them a follow-up email thanking them for their participation in the event and highlighting a few of your take-aways. If they encouraged you to let them know once you have applied for a position in their organization, make sure to send that follow up email as well.
Schedule an appointment with the TCE Career Education team for help preparing for and making the most out of your next employer event.