Firstly, because they benefit both students and employers. For most employers, improving brand recognition is a constant struggle, while for students, standing out in a huge list of resumés can be challenging. Familiar faces and logos are always favoured, whether consciously or not. Seizing every opportunity for recognition is the best way to jumpstart your career!

Secondly, because networking matters! Networking is using contacts to get information, advice or referrals. Contacts can range from your closest friends to professionals you have met before. A surprising number of jobs can be found through friends, relatives and personal contacts. Networking is also proactively developing your contacts and connecting with people; it is asking people if they are aware of job openings for someone with your qualifications or if they know other people who can help you locate unadvertised jobs. If done well, it can actually lessen your job search time by turning personal contacts into interviews and, hopefully, job offers.

  • To make a good (or great!) impression in person, which is especially important if your resumé doesn't necessarily stand out.
  • To learn more about employers than you can learn from their websites. You learn about the culture of an organization, meet their people and ask questions. Take advantage of opportunities to meet employers face-to-face.
  • To expand your network of contacts by adding professionals in your field of interest.
  • To explore the labour market and discover what opportunities exist in your field of study.
  • To practise your networking skills and build your confidence!

To get the most out of the event, you have to set your own goals. Here are some examples to inspire you.

Next week at the career fair I will: 

  • Connect with organizations to collect information, submit resumés or arrange interviews
  • Discuss job search strategies, interview and resumé tips and finding a summer internship with recruiters
  • Develop a network of contacts
  • Collect referrals to other departments or divisions within an organization
  • Meet with new, less familiar organizations and discover unexpected opportunities