IMPORTANT: Student and alumni registration begins at 12 PM EST on Friday, February 17, 2023.
The 2023 Virtual Penn Career Fair will cover a wide range of industries and offer both internship and post-graduate opportunities. This fair will provide an opportunity to schedule individual 1:1 meetings with employers and /or attend group sessions with employers. All students and alumni served by Penn Career Services are invited to participate.
The virtual fair will be held on Handshake. Event details can be found here: https://app.joinhandshake.com/career_fairs/37502/student_preview.
Carefully review this page and the several steps required to update and/or set up your Handshake account properly so that you may participate!
**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: https://support.joinhandshake.com/hc/en-us/articles/360049934274
1. Read through every step above so that you understand how the event works. Check the Handshake Virtual Fair FAQs if you still have questions. Penn Career Services staff members will be available online during the days leading up to and during the event to answer questions not addressed in the Handshake FAQs.
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 interest you the most. 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 (ie. 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!