What’s in it for me? | Career Fair Edition

What’s in it for me? | Career Fair Edition

Are career fairs genuinely beneficial? Should I attend even if I am not actively looking for a job? What is the point of a career fair? These questions are constantly floating around in students’ heads, and we are here to get the facts straight: what is in it for you when you attend a career fair?


Career fairs serve as networking events where job seekers and employers come together to explore potential job opportunities. It provides a platform for candidates to showcase their skills and qualifications while allowing employers to connect with a pool of potential hires and talk about the company they work for. Ultimately, the goal of a career fair is to form connections with the possibility of further expansion in the future.


Career fairs are great for practicing and enhancing your communication skills when engaging with employers. Interacting with recruiters in a professional setting can help you refine your elevator pitch and learn how to effectively convey your qualifications and career aspirations. These experiences not only boost your confidence but also prepare you for successful interactions in actual job interviews, making career fairs a crucial step in your professional development.


Along with good practice talking to employers, attending a career fair can provide numerous benefits. Some things you may gain include the chance to expand your professional network by connecting with employers, industry experts, and like-minded peers. They offer valuable insights into current job market trends and specific opportunities within your field of interest, helping you make informed career decisions. Additionally, you may secure job interviews, internship offers, or gain insights into potential employers, making career fairs an essential resource for advancing your career and securing future employment.


The College of Charleston is hosting its annual fall Career Exploration Fair on October 10th from 12-4pm at the Charleston Gaillard Center. At this event, there will be over 100 employers looking forward to talking about positions within their company and networking with students in the hopes of building a long-lasting connection.


So, what do you have to lose?

Kennedy Robinson | Marketing & Communication Intern

Why Should I Attend a Pop-Up Fair?

Have you always wondered what a career fair is like? Pop-up career fairs offer a plethora of benefits to job seekers and professionals alike, and on College of Charleston’s campus, there are a variety of Career Fairs and Pop-Up fairs each semester. One of the primary advantages is the opportunity to network with industry experts and potential employers. These events bring together a wide range of companies and professionals, starting connections that can open doors to exciting opportunities. Additionally, attending a pop-up career fair allows individuals to explore various industries and companies they may not have considered otherwise. It is a chance to broaden one’s horizons and gain insight into emerging career opportunities. These events offer invaluable insights, career advice, and skill-building opportunities that can enhance your professional journey.


Whether you have decided on a major or are still trying to determine what your future will hold, a Pop-Up Career Fair is for you. There are employers from all backgrounds and fields, serving as the perfect platform for you to get out there and explore all the possibilities there are to offer. As you navigate from one table to the next, you have the chance to connect with passionate professionals who can inform you about the intricacies of their given field. Whether it is technology, healthcare, finance, or any other sector, a pop-up fair provides a hands-on experience in understanding the roles, responsibilities, and cultures of different organizations.


At a Pop-Up Career Fair, there are various individuals in attendance, such as potential employers, students, industry professionals, and recruiters. Each attendee is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get to know you and share information about their company. To make an impression and ensure that these valuable connections extend beyond the event, consider carrying business cards or printed copies of your resume. This simple yet strategic step can pave the way for ongoing professional relationships even after the Pop-Up Fair concludes.


Considering working an internship or job in the near future? Now is your time to get yourself out there and start searching. Employers attending career fairs are on the lookout for individuals who not only possess the qualifications and experience needed for specific roles, but also exhibit a passion for the industry. Each booth represents a potential step to your next professional adventure, but it’s not just about securing a job; it’s about finding the right fit that aligns with your aspirations and values. A career fair is a space where connections are made and the first steps toward a fulfilling career path are taken. Pop-Up Career Fairs are a place that can lead to both immediate opportunities and long-term success in the ever-evolving world of work.


Now that you know why you should attend, let’s talk about how to prepare for a Pop-Up Career Fair. On Handshake, students can register to attend and view all participating companies and employers that will be present. Before attending, research companies that interest you and prepare questions. Walking into a Pop-Up Career Fair ready helps you maximize the benefits you receive in return. Along with being prepared comes dressing in professional attire. Good first impressions are key when entering the career field, so your attire can go a long way before you ever have the chance to speak a word. Finally, stay open minded. You never know what opportunities, connections, and conversations will present themselves at a Pop-Up Career Fair, so do not close yourself to anything that may come your way.

Whether you’re a student still working on your academic path or a seasoned professional seeking new horizons, these fairs cater to all. They provide a unique chance to engage with passionate professionals, expand your network, and gain invaluable insights and advice. By attending, you’re taking a proactive step towards shaping your future and uncovering opportunities that can lead to both immediate and long-term success in the ever-evolving world of work. So, prepare, dress professionally, stay open-minded, and make the most of these invaluable experiences at Pop-Up Career Fairs. Your journey to a fulfilling career begins here.

Interested in attending a Pop-Up Career Fair on campus?  Log into Handshake and sign up for our upcoming fair on September 19th TODAY!


Kennedy Robinson | Marketing & Communication Intern

The 5 must-haves on your Handshake profile!

Are you an active Handshake user? Have you logged in to Handshake before? If you answered no to both of these questions, we have some news for you. We recently hosted our Handshake University Relationship Manager, José Longo, on College of Charleston’s campus. He taught us the ins-and-outs of how we can better assist our students in understanding this platform while cultivating student engagement.

José Longo pictured with Karen Fritchman, Director of Employer Relations 

In this blog post, we will share what you should add to your profile TODAY to help you get the job you were destined for.

Want to quickly and easily increase your chances of finding the job you want on Handshake? Add your job interests to your profile.

When you fill in your interests, two really great things happen:

  • Handshake will send you better, more relevant job recommendations.
  • You’re more likely to have a recruiter message you directly! 80% of students who share their interests on Handshake receive a message from a recruiter. The more you include, the better your chances of having a recruiter find YOU.

That’s a pretty big return on not a lot of work. And the best part is – filling out your interests is as easy as sharing your opinion with Handshake. Who knows what you like and don’t like better than you?!

So, what even are job interests?

The “Your Interests” section of your Handshake profile is only visible to employers, and includes:

  • Job Hunt
  • Job Type
  • Cities
  • Roles
  • Industries

These are common fields that employers use to search for potential candidates – so including them on your profile is essential to getting recruited.

What are you looking for?

  • Job Hunt: are you actively looking for a job? Check the box so that employers can see that you are #opentowork.
  • Job Interests: select part-time job, full-time job, on-campus job, or internship. Looking for an on-campus job for now and an internship for next summer? You can select more than one job type, and Handshake will share recommendations for both.
  • Cities: choose the places that you would like to work in or near. There are thousands of employers on Handshake from every corner of the country, so we recommend being open to exploring jobs in a few different locations. You never know where your next opportunity could take you.
  • Roles: select at least three job roles that interest you. Handshake will give you suggestions based on your major, school and city. You can also search the job role pages to learn more about what you would like to do.
  • Industries: keep in mind that your major does not always necessarily have to equal your career. Add some industries that interest you based on your experiences, and Handshake will take care of the rest!

You might be thinking, “What if I don’t know exactly what I am looking for?” That’s okay. Handshake will give you some suggestions. And, like the rest of your profile information, you can always go back and change your interests later. Your Handshake profile is the key to finding jobs and internships that are the right fit for YOU, and getting recruited by the employers you want to work for. Did you know you can also view your profile from an employer’s point of view? This will give you an exact idea of what they will see when viewing your profile.

Ready to find the right job or internship for you? What are you waiting for?! Log into Handshake and fill in your interests TODAY!

What better way to bring this full circle than to attend the Career Center’s HANDSHAKE RELAUNCH PARTY by registering through Handshake! Want to dive deeper into the possibilities within this platform? Handshake is turning 5 on College of Charleston’s campus this year, and we want to take you to infinity and beyond providing you with the best opportunities. The key to that is understanding what Handshake has to offer. Will we see you there?

Brandon Mills | Career Coach