York University is committed to providing students with an eye-opening education that not only develops your expertise and knowledge of the world, but prepares you for your future career. Students can gain professional skills by participating in York U’s experiential learning and networking opportunities and by utilizing the Career Centre.
The Career Centre offers excellent professional development resources including workshops, individual advising appointments and networking opportunities, and hosts a Career Fair each term to help students find full-time, part-time and summer employment opportunities as well as internships. Company recruitment representatives from a range of different industries come out to meet students and talk about the positions they have available.
This term, the Career Fair is taking place on Thursday, January 18 from 10am to 3pm. No student registration is necessary and there will be many employers eager to meet potential applicants. This term, 70+ companies will attend the Career Fair, including the following:
- Aviva Canada
- Canadian Forces Recruiting Center
- EMCO Corporation
- FDM Group Canada Inc.
- GM Financial
- Hitachi Consulting Canada
- The Co-operators
- Vital Link Ice Cream and Event Marketing
- William Osler Health System
- YMCA of Greater Toronto – Summer Work Student Exchange
- York Region District School Board
- York University
Take a look at last term’s Career Fair video to get a sense of what you can expect at this year’s fair.
Why Should I Attend the Career Fair?
The Career Fair is a can’t-miss event for York U students. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the companies that interest you and explore other career options you may not have considered. You can learn more about the fields that interest you and get a sense of the types of positions you would like to apply for. This event is also valuable for current students who are looking for full-time, part-time and summer employment opportunities as well as internships.
Success tip: Visit the Career Fair to get personalized advice from a career professional! There will be a Career Advising Station at the fair located in Room 1014 in the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building.
The Career Fair is also an excellent way to connect and network with established industry professionals. By speaking with representatives of companies that interest you, you will get a better sense of what they are looking for in potential employees. Employers often list specific qualifications, skills and experiences needed in order to gain a position with their company. By attending the Career Fair, you might leave with a lead regarding a job in your desired field or you could learn more about how you should prepare for future interviews and the skills needed to work in your field.
Success tip: If you can’t attend the Career Fair, consider participating in the Take A Student To Eat (TASTE) program hosted by the Career Centre. This program connects students with alumni who have similar career trajectories. Visit the TASTE website to learn more about this mentorship opportunity! You can also take a look at our previous #YUBlog post, “Preparing for Your Career While at University.”
How Can I Prepare for the Career Fair?
There are a few different things to do before attending the Career Fair. You don’t want to show up the day of the event unprepared, which may make you seem unprofessional. To help you put your best foot forward, I have listed a few things to think about ahead of the Career Fair:
Your first task to prepare for the Career Fair is to outline the specific goals you want to achieve by attending this event. For example, do you want to meet at least three hiring managers and exchange contact information? Do you want to learn about positions for which you are qualified? Do you want to identify companies that need applicants with skills that you possess? Develop a plan that specifies how you will accomplish these goals. For example, if you want to learn about the specific skillsets employers value, list the employers you would like to approach and the questions you will be prepared to ask their hiring managers.
Do Your Research
After you figure out the specific goals you want to achieve during the Career Fair, research the event on the Career Centre website and the companies you are interested in joining. Hiring managers are often impressed when an applicant has shown the initiative to research the company’s history, mission, the nature of its work, short and long-term priorities and even challenges they currently face.
Bring Your Resumé
It’s always a good idea to review and update your resumé before attending a Career Fair. It can also be beneficial to target certain jobs that you believe you are the best fit for and tailor the skills section on your resumé to match those the position requires. Make sure to bring extra copies to the event! Additionally, students can drop in to speak with a career professional in the Red Zone at Vari Hall on Tuesdays from 10am to 12pm and in the Learning Commons at Scott Library on Thursday, January 11 and 25 from 1pm to 3pm to get resumé feedback.
Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
On the day of the Career Fair, you will likely only have a few minutes to speak to potential employers and demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate for the job. You should prepare an “elevator pitch” to make sure that you make the most of a short introduction. An elevator pitch is your short summary (30 to 60 seconds max) of who you are, your educational background, what you can do for the company or what you have already accomplished and some of your skills and experiences that relate to the current position. A strong elevator pitch is the best way to maximize your time with a potential employer: your focus and determination will make a big impression!
Finally, make sure that you present yourself professionally and respectfully at the Career Fair. Your overall presentation, including your clothing, hygiene and attitude can say a lot about what kind of applicant you are. It’s always a good idea to show up looking professional in appropriate clothing (think a button down, dress pants or a blazer if you have one).
Success tip: It can be useful to follow up with recruiters after the event to show that you are serious about their employment opportunities. Consider connecting with companies on LinkedIn (make sure you polish your profile ahead of time), sending follow-up emails to hiring managers you met during the Career Fair and apply for roles you learned about at the event.
Good luck at the Career Fair, Lions! Be sure to utilize this key professional development resource, and if you have more questions about the Career Fair, check out the Career Centre website to learn more.