1. Update your resume and bring copies
- Connect with your career services office (career.umn.edu) to review your resume and find resume writing resources.
- Make at least 15 copies of your resume and have them ready to bring to the fair. Keep a digital copy of your resume in case you are directed to apply online.
2. Do your research
- Find out what organizations will be at the fair on GoldPASS powered by Handshake and download The Fairs App!!
- Review employers by industry above!
- Create a list of organizations you are most interested in speaking with at the fair.
- Spend time researching the organizations on your list:
- Visit the organization's website
- Review the organization’s social media channels: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- Utilize the University of Minnesota's Business Reference Library. Ask Librarians for help!
- Use the information you learned from your research to develop questions to ask employers at the fair.
- Show interest and prepare a few questions to ask the recruiter.
3. Prepare and practice your introduction
- Your introduction should include your name, major, year in school, your interest in the organization and the kind of positions you are seeking. Ideally this is less than one minute.
- Practice your introduction out loud before the fair so you are comfortable and confident when you meet employers.
4. Build your confidence
- You are amazing, so tell your story! Employers at the fair are excited to talk with you and want to know how you are qualified for their positions.
- Identify your unique interests, strengths, skills, and experiences and get clear on the value you bring to an organization.
- Guide on speaking to employers, including sample questions to consider asking.
- Videos below to study strategies for making a strong first impression:
- Studied abroad? Check out the Learning Abroad Center's resources for:
5. Dress for success
- Plan ahead and have professional clothing to wear to the fair - similar to what you'd wear for a formal interview.
- Suit, tailored dress, blazer with pants or a skirt
- Conservative accessories, hair, and shoes.
- Clean and well groomed
- Need ideas? Check out the Career Fair Success Pinterest board for examples of business formal clothing options.
- Need assistance purchasing professional attire? See information below in Accommodations.
6. Plan to use your time at the fair wisely
- The fair will be large, and there may be lines at the booths of some employers. It's best to plan ahead to make sure you know where to find employers that interest you the most.
- Download the GoldPASS powered by Handshake App to view employers attending and locations at the fair.
1. Start off strong
- Arrive early to ensure you have time to visit your top organizations
- Wear business formal attire and comfortable shoes
- Stay focused by turning your phone on silent
- Get your free professional headshot photo taken to use on LinkedIn and other social media (Line closes at 3:40 so get there early!!)
- Learn about the organizations at the fair on GoldPASS powered by Handshake and download The Fairs App!!
2. Communicate effectively with employers
- Employers are excited to meet with you! Show enthusiasm and positive body language (smiling, head nodding, open stance, eye contact) when you approach the organization's representatives.
- Introduce yourself and be prepared to give the employer your resume.
- Be positive and confident in what you have to offer the employer.
- Be clear and concise. You have limited time with each employer.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the field/organization.
- Highlight your relevant experiences.
- Say "Thank you!"
3. Prepare for follow-up
- Take notes on your conversations including details on how to follow-up with the employer.
- Ask for the employer's business card so that you have their contact information.
After the Fair
1. Send a thank you
- Send tailored thank you emails to the employers you connected with at the fair.
- Mention any unique points you discussed so the employer will remember you.
- Reiterate your qualifications and include any information you neglected to mention at the fair.
- Proofread your email and have someone else look it over.
2. Follow-up and apply online
- Complete any other follow-up items the employers indicated, including applying for positions online.
We understand that being an international student seeking career experience in the U.S. presents some unique challenges. (As one who will eventually require sponsorship to continue work in the U.S. beyond CPT and OPT.)
To help you respond to those challenges, we have prepared a few resources that are specific to the international student experience at job fairs:
- Read all of the information in “Prepare for the Fair.”
- Read all of the resources outlined here for International Students.
- Register for an International Student Career Fair Preparation Workshop.
- Visit your college career center for a resume review, to practice introducing yourself, and to resolve any additional questions about the fair.
For further career information and resources for international students, please visit the Career Services website.
International Student Career Fair Preparation Workshops
- In preparation for the UMN Job and Internship Fair, International Student Career Fair Preparation Workshops will be offered three times. For more information, please the "International Careers" Facebook page or email Jane Sitter at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Friday, Jan 31, 12-1pm, Lind Hall room 305
- Monday, February 3, 3:30-4:30pm, Bruininks Hall room 512A
- Monday, February 10, 5:30-6:30pm, Folwell Hall room 108
- This event is an elevator pitch competition!
- Friday, February 21, 3-4pm, Bruininks room 420B
ISSS Information Table
Be sure to visit the International Student and Scholar Services table at the fair for information about work authorizations options for students with an F-1 or J-1 visa.
*ISSS counselors will offer short CPT and OPT information sessions at the UMN Job & Internship Fair on 2/28 in the Student Lounge.
Research International Friendly Employers
Identify employers who have expressed a willingness to consider international applicants for their positions. Learn more about the International Students Flag System
Career Fair Check List for International Students
- Approach recruiters one at a time.
- Begin with an introduction that emphasizes your qualifications.
- Showcase the research you have done about the company, and your fit with the company.
- Ask questions that will get a conversation started, and let the employer learn what you bring beyond being an international student.
Answering common employer questions about sponsorship
"Do you need sponsorship?" or "Do you need work authorization?"
- "My education visa covers me for internships. I don't need any authorization or sponsorship from an employer."
- "My education visa covers me for X months during which time I do not need authorization or sponsorship from my employer. After that I would need my employer to file for a work visa, but I expect by that time to have really demonstrated my value and my fit for your company."
- "I would not require sponsorship or any additional paperwork or expense to work for you as an intern. If, as I hope happens, I do such a great job that you want to keep me on for full time, then I would ultimately need sponsorship."
- Register with Career Services by emailing Michelle Christopherson: email@example.com
- Transportation will depart at 6:00a.m. on Friday, February 28th, UMN Crookston Lot A, near Kiser Hall.
- A boxed lunch will be provided, round trip transportation included. Arrival back to campus around 10p.m.
- Email Susan Hudec at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject "UMN Job & Internship Fair Bus Reservation"
- Deadline: Tuesday, February 25.
- Depart Duluth at 7:30am / Depart Minneapolis at 3pm
- $10 deposit will be returned.
- Email Irene Malony at email@example.com with subject "UMN Job & Internship Fair Bus Reservation" or stop into the ACE ofice.
- Deadline: Friday, February 21 by 3pm.
- Depart Morris at 7:30am to arrive in Minneapolis at 10:30am / Depart Minneapolis at 3pm to arrive in Morris at 6pm.
- $10 deposit will be returned when you get on the bus.
- Deadline: Friday, February 21.
- Find details and register on this google form
Twin Cities: No Registration Required. Look for the YELLOW school buses with UMN Job & Internship signs in the window.
Minneapolis campus: Buses begin at 9 am on Minneapolis Campus and run every 20 minutes begining at West Bank.
- West Bank: On 19th Ave S: Right in front of the Carlson School of Management (CSOM) building. East side of the street.
- East Bank: University Ave & Pleasant St. South side of University Ave - West side of Pleasant.
- East Bank: University Avenue at the Rec Center. South side of University
Return buses: Buses will depart from the Minneapolis Convention Center every 20 minutes from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Return buses will take students back to the three stops listed above, on the Minneapolis campus.
Wheelchair-accessible buses: Accessible bus will stop at the West Bank stop on the hour (10 am-3pm) and reach the EastBank stops shortly after. It will depart the Minneapolis Convention Center every 45 minutes (10:45-4:45)
St. Paul Campus: Buses begin at 10 am on St. Paul Campus and run every 20 minutes.
- Bus will depart from the front of Coffey Hall, on Eckles Avenue. Hourly at 10am-3pm.
- Bus will depart the Minneapolis Convention Center on the half hour 10:30am-5:30pm.
For disability accommodations, please call 612-624-7577.
The Professional Attire Assistance Program is for students and recent alumni of the past 3 years who would like assistance in acquiring professional attire for a job, internship, or career fair, or for interviewing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject "Professional Attire Request" or follow this link to begin the process.
Mothers' rooms are available for candidates and employers. Please see the employer registration desk (left of the event enterance) at the event for locations and access codes.
Consider bringing snacks or see this list of restaurants within walking distance of the Fair: http://www.mnpcfair.org/students/restaurants-in-walking-distance.pdf
Who Can Go?
The Job & Internship Fair is open to:
All enrolled, degree-seeking University of Minnesota students -- both undergraduate and graduate students
Alumni who graduated in the past three years (2017 - 2020).
Job Fair Check List
Introduce yourself with name, year in school, major(s), and related experiences/interests.
Practice for confidence.
Ask for a business card.
Be postive & curious!
Take notes on the employer you spoke to for a thank you message.
Pack a snack.