The CBS Career Team is excited to welcome you back to campus for the start of the spring semester! During this semester, there are endless opportunities to work toward your career goals. A few of those opportunities are the various career fairs happening on-campus! We know that career fairs can seem daunting if you’ve never attended (or even if you have), and that it feels like there are a lot of unwritten rules – so we wanted to provide you with some information to help you make the most of this year’s career fair season!
This article will answer some of the most commonly asked questions and link to a resource to help you with every step of preparation for a career fair.
What is a career fair?
A career fair is an event where companies and organizations come to campus to recruit, network with, and hire University of Minnesota students. Some of them are quite large (200 companies and organizations present) and some of them are much smaller (30 companies and organizations present). Some of them have specific themes (such as the Environmental Job & Internship Fair), whereas others are more general.
Aren’t career fairs just for seniors?
Career fairs are for everyone! Whether you are a first-year student still exploring future career paths, a senior looking for a full-time position, or anywhere in between – a career fair is for you! Many employers will have jobs and internships that they are recruiting for, but employers also want to talk to students early in their academic careers to start building relationships and giving you a chance to learn about their organization.
How do I know if CBS students are invited to a career fair or not?
In general, most career fairs are open to any student at the university, unless otherwise stated in the information shared about the fair. For example, the large-scale University of Minnesota Job & Internship fair is for students from any major or college at the U. At this fair, there will be organizations hiring CBS students for jobs and internships in biotech, research, healthcare, sales, consulting, environmental work, and more. We’ll highlight some of the upcoming fairs in the events section of the newsletter, but if you’re ever unsure if you can attend a fair or not don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you figure that out!
I plan to go to graduate school or a health professional school after I graduate, do I really need to attend a career fair?
Absolutely! If you are at all considering a gap year, career fairs can be a very efficient way to spend time meeting representatives that recruit for various organizations. You may also find some very interesting part-time jobs, internships, or other opportunities that will help build skills and experience necessary to gain admission to the program of your choosing. Additionally, the ability to succinctly describe your interests, skills, values and goals will be of great benefit to you when going through graduate or health professional school interviews.
How do I know what to say, how to dress, and what to do at a career fair?
That is a great question! And there are a lot of answers that might work for this. For example, if you are trying to connect with recruiters hiring for biotech jobs, you could consider wearing a CBS shirt and jeans to make it easy for the recruiter to see you are someone they want to talk to. Or you could consider dressing in a more business casual style! Our best advice is to read through our Career Fair Prep Guide to answer these questions and more!
Thanks for taking the time to read some information and tips about career fairs. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our Career Coaches if you want to talk through these questions, practice your elevator pitch, revise your resume, or have any other questions regarding career fairs.