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BioSciences Career Fair (virtual) – Students and Postdocs

BioSciences Career Fair – virtual

Friday 30th September, 12-4PM EST

Student/postdoc registration for the virtual career fair opens on the 22nd September

There are two versions of the BioSciences Career Fair this year, with an in-person event on Thursday 29th September and a virtual event on the 30th September. There will be different employers at each event and so please make sure that you register for both. This page contains information for the virtual fair. Follow this link for information on the in-person event:

The Virtual BioSciences Career Fair will be hosted on Handshake.
Check out this resource on how to make the most of a virtual career fair:

You can find a list of currently registered employers here: (you can find the list of employers for the in-person event here)

Carefully review this page and the several steps required to update and/or set up your Handshake account properly so that you may participate!

1. Employers attending the virtual BioSciences Career Fair will each have one virtual “booth” hosted by their representatives.

2. When you register for the events, you’ll see 2 types of engagement offered by each organization – 30-minute group information sessions and 10-minute, one-to-one video meetings with company representatives for which you qualify. Please note that employers set their own requirements and arrange their schedule independently; their choices are not controlled by Penn Career Services, nor can Career Services adjust employers’ requirements.

3. 1:1 meetings (10 minutes each) are limited by the number of representatives each organization chooses to have for their booth, and again participation is limited to students and/or postdocs who meet each organization’s pre-set criteria. Sign-ups are first-come, first-served.

4. Group sessions (30 minutes) can be for up to 50 attendees within the Handshake platform; employers may opt instead to use their own external sites (WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.) for group sessions. Please be sure if the event is on an external platform that you follow all employer instructions for registering in advance if necessary. Employers will be able to collect resumes from Handshake (if you have made these publicly available) for any students/postdocs who attend the group sessions, and this provides another way to engage with employers. See best practices

5. Who can attend?

  • Current Penn undergraduate students
  • Current Penn graduate students
  • Alumni from Penn graduate and undergraduate programs
  • Current postdocs at Penn

Students and postdocs will have the opportunity to upload their resumes prior to the career fair, and these will be shared with all employers 7-10 days prior to the virtual and in-person career fair. This provides employers with the opportunity to reach out to students/postdocs directly if they choose to do so. This is an extra opportunity, and does not take the place of applying for specific positions at organizations that you are interested in. Resumes uploaded for the resume books will be viewed by any employer that has registered for this event.

To upload your resume, please select the link below that reflects your degree/academic status at Penn, and your interest in full-time or internship opportunities.

Alumni: If you are a Penn alum/alumna, please choose the category that reflects the degree your received from Penn or your most recent degree status (e.g., if you are a Penn undergraduate alum with a PhD from another institution, you can choose the PhD/postdoc option)

Upload your resume to one of the following folders if you are interested in internships:

Upload your resume to one of the following folders if you are interested in full-time opportunities:

The deadline for submitting your resume will be 11:59pm on Tuesday 20th September

Best practices:

  • Upload a PDF version of your resume
  • If you are a PhD/postdoc, a 1-3 page resume will be more effective than a longer academic CV
  • Keep your preferred employer audience in mind as you create a general version of your resume. You will have the option to add to add some descriptive keywords about your skills and interests when you upload your resume to the box file (e.g., Neuroscience PhD student with strong interest in life science consulting)

If you run into any challenges with submitting your resume, please reach out:

  • Joseph Barber (
  • Lisa Giang (

**For information directly from Handshake’s technical team on how to best update your Handshake account and prepare for the event, including more detailed information about each step of the registration process, please see:

1. Read through every step above so that you understand how the event works.

2.  Register for the event and update your Handshake profile completely as employers will be able to see it during the event:

  • Be sure to complete all fields in your Handshake profile including job and industry interests.
  • To sign up for Group or 1:1 sessions, your profile privacy setting must be set to “Community” or “Employers.”
  • Because employers can set requirements on the following fields for eligibility to sign up for 1:1 meetings in the virtual career fairs, make sure that the basics are accurate: graduation date, school year, major, GPA and work authorization. Click on the pencil icon in your Handshake profile to make any necessary changes.  Students and postdocs who have not yet a major or concentration to their Handshake profile should feel free to add their intended choice. Since only one school automatically transfers into Handshake, dual-degree students should add their second school.
  • Note to transfer students, first-year graduate students, certain PhD students, and postdocs: If you don’t (yet) have a Penn GPA, put in the GPA from your previous institution or previous degree for the career fairs so that you are not screened out based on not having a GPA in the system.

3. Even though the event is online, we recommend business casual dress – you may be engaging in personal video chats and you’ll want to look your best!

4.  In advance of the event, spend a bit of time researching the organizations attending as shown on Handshake, especially those with which you’ve scheduled to attend a group chat and/or 1-to-1 meeting. The Handshake search will list organizations by majors being sought, those looking for summer interns, and those seeking graduate students, among other searchable variables. Identify the organizations with which you wish to engage so that you can plan your time strategically.

5. Before you sign in to join a group session or 1:1 meeting, decide which companies you will visit first. Then, think about the following:

  • What do you already know about the employer? What can you learn from a quick, couple-of-minute review of their website and “careers” page about what they do and what they’re looking for in candidates? Be careful not to waste their time – and yours – by asking questions you could have answered yourself with a little advance research.
  • Prepare your thoughts as to how you want to introduce yourself and why you think you’re a strong candidate for their consideration. Be sure to state your (preferred) name, your major/program, what type of role (internship, full-time) you’re seeking, and have something to share about your relevant experiences and coursework.
  • Think of questions that you can ask to help you understand what the organization is seeking beyond what may already be in the descriptions you can find online yourself – and ensure that you build in a question about their hiring process and timeline so you know what to expect after the event.

6.  Try your best to not be nervous by remembering the recruiters want to speak with you!

7. If you would like to continue the conversation beyond the virtual fair, don’t be afraid to ask!  You can certainly say in closing, “I’d like to speak with you further, but I am sure that you have others waiting. May we reconnect when you have more time?”  If you want to pursue an opportunity, remember to make sure you know what to do next (e.g., apply through their online portal, submit your resume for their on-campus interview schedule, etc.)

8. Quickly during the event, or even just after, jot down some information about your conversation with each representative to whom you spoke.  Sending emailed thank you notes is recommended for those organizations with opportunities you are especially interested in pursuing. Try to trigger the representative’s memory of you by stating something that you had discussed with him or her during your conversation.

We look forward to seeing you there!

There is always an opportunity to explore careers, practice networking, and apply for positions at the BioSciences Career Fair – and this event can be a really helpful part of your career development process whether you are actively or applying for opportunities or not. Learn best practices for navigating the BioSciences Career Fair by registering for this workshop:

Making the most of the BioSciences Career Fair for exploring, networking, and applying
Tuesday 13th September, 4-4:50pm

The employers attending the BioSciences Career Fairs provide an insight into many of the common careers pursued by STEM students and postdocs. Begin your exploration to determine career options for when you complete your degree or postdoc. Talk with the employers to gain an unprecedented insight into opportunities that match your career goals.

Take this opportunity to network even if you are not job/internship hunting right now. The best time to network is when you are not looking for a job, and when information is all you are looking for. Employers want to be kept busy during a career fair. They want to talk to as many interested and interesting students/postdocs as possible. The more engaged they are at the fair, the more likely it will be that they will keep coming back to future career fairs. You may not be applying for job this year, but at some point you will be, and so take this opportunity to make a connection at employers that might one day be on your shortlist. You can connect with these employers each year (and throughout the year) to learn more about future opportunities.

The Virtual BioSciences Career Fair will be hosted on Handshake.
For additional information, please visit:
And click here for information on accessibility: