career fairs, networking & recruitment
Networking is connecting with people to expand your community and build relationships. It can be people you know and those you want to meet to gather information about careers and job opportunities.
Networking is connecting with people to expand your community and build relationships. Connect with people you know and those you want to meet to gather information about careers and job opportunities.
Meet new people, expand your network
Networking can happen in Career Exploration & Education workshops, industry panels and fairs, through Backpack to Briefcase, by talking to alumni, joining professional associations, and through social media.
You can also connect with family, friends, peers, professors, past or current employers, neighbours, etc. to see if they know someone working in the field that you are interested in exploring. Ask for referrals to conduct informational interviews.
Here are a few more tips on expanding your network:
- Create a profile on LinkedIn and use social media to connect with U of T alumni, companies and people in your industry
- Participate in mentorship programs
- Join and become active in your industry’s professional associations (many have student membership rates). Attend the events, and consider volunteering.
- If you have graduated from U of T, participate in alumni events
Don’t be shy about networking. If you are friendly and polite, most people are happy to help!
Use your network
Ask for referrals and update your network on your progress. Continue using social media and in-person networking even after you have secured a job. Maintain these connections. Fostering relationships throughout your career ensures you always have an available network to share information and leads.
Track your network
Every time you make a new contact, keep track of their contact information and record how you met them. If you connect with them on LinkedIn, you can record this information in their profile notes. Regularly update them on your progress and request new contacts.
Career fairs and panels
Career fairs and panels gather many employers into one space. By attending a fair, you can connect with representatives to learn more about their organizations and possible job openings.
Career fairs are larger events with 40 to over 100 employers present
Career panels invite up to four employers from a specific industry; after the event, you will have an opportunity to network with employers and alumni
Interested in attending a fair or panel?
See our calendar in the CLN for dates and to register.
Prepare and practice
Before the fair or panel, study the list of companies that will be at the event and research the ones that interest you. The more information you have, the more informed you’ll be when speaking with representatives.
Practice how you’ll introduce yourself. Keep it brief, highlighting the skills you could bring to the organization, using examples from your experience. Come up with questions specifically for the companies you are interested in. You might want to ask for advice on entering the field, what type of education and experience you’ll need, what kind of work experience, either part-time, summer or co-op work would be helpful, what the work culture is like, the range of career paths, and if they offer internship or entry-level positions.
During the event
Come dressed in appropriate attire. Bring several copies of your updated résumé. Introduce yourself, and talk about your interest in the organization. This will help the representatives get to know you.
Make the most of your one-on-one time with representatives. Pace yourself, so you’re able to see all the organizations you researched. Be courteous. Learn about what the company is looking for. Ask for business cards. Enquire about followup procedures and hiring timelines.
If an organization is hiring, follow up with an application tailored to the job. If you dropped off a résumé, follow up with a thank-you note to reintroduce yourself.
Need more help?
On-campus recruitment is another way to find out about full-time employment upon graduation, summer and termed work-integrated learning opportunities. Since it’s just for U of T students and recent grads, there’s less competition!
Over 150 top employers from all over the world visit the campus to recruit the best candidates! These employers post jobs on the CLN job board, host information sessions and interview on-campus throughout early September – November and January – March each year.
To prepare, learn more about dates and posted positions, visit CLN job board.