Career and Job Fairs

Before the Fair

Review a list of the organizations that are attending and what opportunities they have available. These are usually posted on the AA&CC website.

  • Company Research
    • Prior to attending, research organizations that you may be interested in speaking to at the Career/Job Fair. Visit their website in advance to access the career section. You will be able to understand the types of skills and qualities they seek in potential candidates
    • Check your LinkedIn contacts to see if anyone in your network is currently working there. Follow the Company on LinkedIn to review current information
    • Attend Employer Information Sessions on campus
  • Career and Industry Research
    • Use Career Cruising and other websites to research the field
    • Learn more about the industry by visiting the Industry Canada website (www.ic.gc.ca)

Making a Good Impression

Prepare

  • Review the list of fair organizations and prioritize your targets
  • Prepare questions for each employer
  • Bring extra copies of your resume in case an employer wants it
  • Dress in business casual (at a minimum), groom yourself well

Be Friendly

  • Greet the representative with a smile and a hello
  • Make eye contact and focus on a quality interaction
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Have a conversation, don’t just leave a resume

Be Professional

  • Employers observe how you interact with them and with others
  • Turn your cell phone off to avoid distraction
  • Be patient while waiting
  • Don’t focus on getting “swag”; your goal is to make an impression
  • Avoid travelling in packs with your friends; you want the employer to remember YOU
  • Ask each employer for the best way to follow up with them

What Will You Say?

Start with a friendly introduction, like “ My name is _______. You are?”

  • Small Talk
    • Small talk is what you use to start a conversation with someone you have never met. It helps to create a friendly, professional relationship. It’s important to keep the topics and tone of the conversation positive.
  • Talking About Yourself and Your Goals
    You typically have 1-3 minutes of the employers’ time. Prepare an introduction or an answer to the question, “Tell me about yourself.” This introduction typically includes some or all of the following (your choice):
    • What are you studying
    • Why you are interested in the organization
    • An example of something you are doing/have done that has developed related skills (this can come from schoolwork, project work, co-curricular activities, paid or unpaid experience)

There is no exact formula to use, and you want to be genuine with your interaction. What you say depends on who you are interacting with and always have a question to ask.

Sample Questions

Career and job fairs offer an excellent opportunity for you to obtain first-hand knowledge about the career fields that interest you. Come prepared with specific questions, clear goals and an idea of what you want from the day. Ask career-oriented and specific questions. Here are some examples of questions that you can ask – choose questions based on your concerns!

  • Questions about the Position and Career
    • What advice do you have for a university graduate entering your field?
    • Are there internships or co-op opportunities in this field?
    • What kind of prior work experience will be helpful if I’m interested in working for your organization?
  • Questions about the Organization
    • Your website made reference to ____. Can you tell me more about that?
    • What are the opportunities and alternatives for career advancement in your organization?
    • How would I find out about work opportunities in your organization? Do you participate in on-campus recruitment at U of T?
    • What are the priorities for the organization right now? What are the key things you would like to accomplish in the next six months? Five years?
    • Does your organization have training programs for its employees?
  • Other Questions
    • How long have you been at the organization? What do you enjoy most about working there?
    • What are the things you find most challenging about your job/industry/organization?

How Can I Find Out About Job and Career Fairs?

Information about events that the AA&CC organizes will be posted on the AA&CC website and in the Career Learning Networking (CLN). The following is a schedule of when our largest events are typically held:

  • Experience UTSC Fair – mid September
    Learn about the many opportunities available on campus for students including volunteer, work-study and other paid positions.
  • Volunteer Fair – mid September
    The Volunteer Fair is a great opportunity for you to find opportunities to gain skills that could jumpstart your future career.
  • Career Information Days – late September (at St. George campus)
  • Summer job Fair – mid January
    Speak with representatives from organizations in many different sectors to get information on their summer positions.
  • International Opportunities Fair – early February
    Have you ever thought about going overseas or are you just curious about the things you can do internationally? Come to the fair to gather information and speak with representatives from a variety of organizations.

AA&CC Resources

The AA&CC has created tip sheets on job search topics including Marketing Your Skills and Accomplishments, The Resume, The Interview and Employer Information Sessions.

Attend the Winning Resumes and Cover Letters, Making Connections: Networking to Find Work, or the Interview Techniques to Land the Job workshops. You can book an appointment with a Career Counsellor or Career Strategist to review your job search strategies.

Register for the Jobs for Grads Orientation. This is a comprehensive orientation providing exclusive access to full time job listings, and highlighting workshops and resources, to help graduating students and recent graduates find full time jobs.

Please note: While every effort is made to avoid errors, practices do change. This tip sheet is intended as an informational document only.

Last update: September 2014