Career Fair Advice for Employers

Ensuring a Successful Career Fair Experience

Multiple fairs are held at MIT annually, and are an excellent way to connect with MIT students and Postdocs and strengthen your company brand on campus. Details on upcoming events can be found on the Events Calendar or Annual Career Fairs page. Each fair will have its own instructions on how to register.

  • Build your booth’s audience before the career fair

    • Use Handshake to search for students that you think would be a good fit for your company, and send individual students a personal invite to speak with you at the fair.
  • Have more than one representative available to speak to students

    • Ideally, the representative should be able to answer questions about the work associated with the open position. Make information about which recruiters are attending in advance of the fair.
    • Increased booth staffing will eliminate long lines with can deter students from approaching your booth
    • Make sure you have enough representatives to ensure the booth is staffed for the duration of the fair, especially for longer fairs that may necessitate breaks for recruiters.
  • Make a splash at the career fair!

    • Bring company brochures, business cards, and other promotional materials. Students appreciate receiving useful information about your company or the position to help them in preparing for the interview and identifying if the company or opportunity is a good fit for their career interests and skills.
    • Use video displays, large banners, games — anything visual to attract students.
    • Display a challenge for students to solve and provide enticing prizes.
    • Provide information on the wide array of opportunities your company has to offer, not just engineering or computer science-focused positions. Many students have a wide breadth of interests and skills and would appreciate hearing about all the opportunities within your company.
  • Hand out “swag” or promotional items to continue to build your brand beyond the career fair.

    • Tip: The best “swag” items are useful or unique as MIT and its students are environmentally conscious.
    • Please note that we encourage distribution of swag that is more durable or long lasting rather than disposable, in order to cut down on the waste footprint our events create.
  • Talk with first-years and sophomores about your company and opportunities available to students.

    • Building your company’s brand at MIT starts with fostering good relationships with first-years and sophomores. Even if your company is only offering opportunities for juniors and seniors, it is strategic to speak with first-years and sophomores and educate them on your company and how they can possibly work for your company in the future.
    • Collect resumes from promising students — even if they do not qualify for your current positions or internships. Stay in contact with the students that you would like to hire in the future by inviting them to your information sessions, campus events, or local area events throughout the year.
  • Hold interviews soon after a fair, if appropriate, to the time of year and your recruiting needs.

    • Currently, on-campus interviewing is not available due to pandemic-based restrictions for on-campus recruiting, but you may still schedule virtual interviews through CAPD (listing in Handshake is complimentary; additional marketing at a fee).
    • When on-campus interviews and recruiting is available, companies can reserve interview space through CAPD’s on campus recruiting program.
    • Reservations for fall and spring recruiting fill quickly. Be sure to review the recruiting calendar to plan when you will set-up your interview schedule. Additional opportunities may be available to interview on campus through the organization(s) in charge of a particular career fair.
  • Collect resumes or have students check-in at your booth.

    • Use LinkedIn or some other online check-in method so that you can follow-up with students after the fair and reduce the need to collect paper resumes!
    • Many career fairs offer resume books or access to resumes for all attending candidates, either as part of your registration or for an additional fee. Please check with the specific fair’s organizers for more details
  • Virtual Career Fairs

      Many of the recommendations offered above apply for virtual career fairs as well. However, to be best prepared, please also review the Handshake Virtual Career Fairs page for helpful tips and advice for a successful experience.