Candidate Information

Before the Fair

Step 1: Register for the Fair

Step 2: Update & Complete Your Profile 

  • Set your profile to “community” for complete access to both 1:1 and group sessions
  • Click the photo icon at the right-hand top of the screen on your homepage, select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown menu. Scroll down to the privacy section and select Community. For additional help, visit Changing Student Privacy Settings
  • Complete your profile to qualify for 1:1 sessions
  • Go Under Education in “My Profile” to edit the following information:
    • College (your college is the University of Minnesota)
    • Graduation date (called time period in Handshake)
    • Major (select your major)
    • GPA* (employers can filter on cumulative GPA) 
  • Go Under the Name & Photo/Photo Placeholder in “My Profile” to edit School Year
  • Fill out Work Authorization under “Settings & Privacy”

Step 3: Sign Up for Sessions

  • We encourage you to review all the employers in attendance, but you may also filter this list by industry, job type, major, work authorization, and more to target employers that match your interests
  • You’ll be able to sign up for two different types of sessions with employers: Group sessions and 1:1 sessions
    • Group sessions will last 30 minutes with up to 50 students to participate in a presentation/Q&A
    • 1:1 sessions will be between you and one recruiter and will last 10 minutes
  • Need help signing up? Read this article on signing up for sessions
  • Note: In order to see and qualify for sessions employers have available during the fair, complete step 2.

Step 4: Upload a Resume to Your Profile if You Haven't Already

  • After uploading, click the blue button Feature on Profile to make the document public - when you sign up for sessions, this will allow the employer to view your resume! Video: How to Upload a Document
  • See Understanding Document Visibility for more information and instructions on how to quickly change document visibility.
  • Note: If you aren't actively looking for job or internship opportunities, you do not need to complete this step. However, we highly encourage you to sign up for Group Sessions to learn more about organizations, the work they do, and the opportunities they have for when you're ready to apply.

Step 5: Review Additional Materials and Prepare Talking Points

At The Fair

Join Sessions Via 'Your Schedule' Tab Within the Fair

Get Support Through Our Candidate Lounges

  • Need help Handshake, technology, or want to talk with a career counselor? Join the Candidate Lounge in Zoom anytime from 9am-4:30pm CST the day of the fair
  • Join the International Student Zoom Room for questions about employers, work authorization, or to practice your self introduction. Available from 1-3:30pm CST the day of the fair

Prepare for Follow-Up

  • Take notes on your conversations including details on how to follow-up with the employer
  • Ask for the employer's contact information

After the Fair

Send a Thank You

  • Send tailored thank you emails to the employers you connected with at the fair
  • Reiterate your qualifications and mention any unique points you discussed so the employer will remember you
  • Proofread your email and consider having someone else look it over

Follow-Up and Apply Online

  • Complete any other follow-up items the employers indicated, including applying for positions online.

International Student Info

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.
  • 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.

When joining Virtual Career Fairs in Handshake, we recommend international students to pay close attention to answering Work Authorization questions, please view the resource here for guidance

International Student Career Fair Preparation Workshops

ISSS Information

Join the International Student Zoom Room on the day of the fair, Friday, February 25th, open from 1pm CT-3:30pm CT (Zoom Link). Here you can ask questions about employers, work authorization, or even practice your self introduction. We also recommend that you join the ISSS CPT/OPT Information Session, offered online, on Friday, February 25th from 10am-11am CT.

*Apart from this time, ISSS is here to support you in understanding your work authorization options, we encourage you to reach out via their contact form: https://isss.umn.edu/office/hours.html

Career Fair Checklist for International Students

  • 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."

Accommodations

What to Expect & Quick Tips

Tips from 2021 That Still Hold Up