A career fair is a great way for students to meet potential employers. In Handshake, we provide the flexibility to allow you to create the parameters of the size and scope of your career fairs and to choose which students and employers to invite.
If your institution is planning to host both in-person and virtual fairs, check out our resource, Best Practices: Hybrid Fairs!
1. Click Fairs on the left navigation bar to get started. You'll be taken to the Fairs overview page where fairs your institution has already created or been invited to are listed.
2. Click the New Career Fair tab in the upper-right corner of the page.
- Career Fair Name
- Career Fair Logo (for our image size guide, refer to Handshake Image Size Guide)
- *Career centre (this will only appear if you have more than one career centre configured for fairs)
- Point of Contact for Students (select from an existing contact or create a new one)
- Published: visible to students and employers
- Drafting: only visible to career service users
The following steps are for an in-person fair. If you're creating a virtual fair, refer to Virtual Fairs: Creation.
Is this career fair in-person or virtual?
- In-person (select In-person)
Is this career fair facilitated on Handshake? (select one–for in-person fairs, you can select either option with no impact on the fair)
- Student Registration Link (add link to textbox if external)
Location (enter the address for your in-person fair)
- Note: Handshake doesn't currently support multi-location fairs. We recommend creating separate fairs for each location and adding the specific location number (ex: #1, #2, etc.) within the title of the fair.
Dates and Times
- Time Zone (confirm the time zone from the dropdown)
- Student RSVP Limit (the maximum number of students that may attend - leave blank for no limit)
- Start Time & End Time (click the calendar icon to the right of the box to select the date and time)
- Focus Area (if your career fair has several dates and times, you can add a focus area for each. For example: Engineering Students, Companies Hiring Designers, etc.)
- Industry focus (select employer industries that you'd like to be represented at the fair, if you aren't sure, select All)
- Booth Map (click Choose File to upload your map. You can always add this later)
Add new date and time (formerly called sessions)
- If you choose to add more than one date and time, you'll need to enter information for each session individually (Start time, End time, Focus Area, Industry focus, and Booth Map)
- Career fair is invite-only (check the box if only invited students should attend)
- Student registration start and end dates and times (click the calendar icon to the right of the box to choose)
Registration Limit (check the box if you would like to limit how many students can register for this fair)
- (Enter the number below for the number of students that can register for this fair)
Waitlist (this option is available if there is a Registration Limit. Check the box to enable a waitlist that students can join after the registration limit has reached maximum capacity. Learn more about waitlists here Waitlists for Fairs & Events)
- Automatically move students off the waitlist in the order they joined (recommended) (check this box to set up your waitlist to automatically transfer students from waitlist to registration when a spot opens up)
- Manually move students off the waitlist (check this box to move students from the waitlist to registration manually when a spot opens up)
- Estimated student attendance (enter the number of students that you expect to register for this career fair)
- Student registration survey (add a survey from the dropdown you'd like students to complete as part of registration. If you aren't able to locate the survey you want to include, create it by clicking the link.)
- Make available to ALL non-Handshake institutions (check the box to allow any student on Handshake with a non-partnered institution, and/or community members, to view and register for this fair)
Hide this career fair from employers (check the box to hide the fair)
- Note: if the fair is hidden, employers won't be able to discover the career fair unless you share the employer preview link with them.
- Employer registration start and end dates and times (click the calendar icon to the right of the box to choose)
- Estimated employer registrations (enter the number of employers you expect to register for this fair)
- Employer instructions (enter any instructions that should be displayed to employers on the registration page, not visible to students)
Employer payment methods (select one or both)
- Credit Card (payments have to be enabled at your institution to select Credit Card)
- Payment Instructions (enter any payment instructions. These are sent to the employer within the invoice notification email and will also appear on the employer invoice if you allow "Other" as a payment method)
- Approve employers before invoicing (check the box if required)
- Employer refund policy (enter the refund policy for the fair. These instructions are sent in the invoice notification email and are on the invoice if you allow manual payments.)
- Company description limit (enter the maximum character length of the company description–the default is 750 characters)
- Allow all courses (check this box if you want employers to specify that they accept all courses on registration)
- Choose courses (click the Choose Courses button if you want to restrict the courses employers can select from)
- Employer registration survey (select a survey you’d like employers to complete as part of registration, or create a new survey if needed.)
- Survey title (this title appears as the heading for your employer registration survey. If you leave this field blank, the title will default to "Extra Questions.")
- Student description (enter the career fair description that's shown to students)
- Student welcome message (enter a message that's emailed to students after they register for this career fair)
- Employer description (enter the career fair description that's shown to employers)
- Employer welcome message (enter a message that's emailed to employers after you approve their career fair registration)
- Default invoice message (enter a message to invoice a registered employer — you'll be able to add a custom message when sending the invoice as well)
- Name tag printing (check this box if attendees will be able to print name tags from the check-in kiosk)
Name tag label XML (add the XML for the name tag label. Only Dymo label printers are supported. Label fields named 'Name', 'FirstName', 'LastName', 'Course', 'GradDate', and 'CourseGradDate' are supported.)
- For assistance with XML formatting, check out Name Tag XML Formatting.
Click the green Create Career Fair button in the lower-right corner of your page to save your setup!
Next Steps: Configure Details
You've now created the basic structure of your career fair — now it's time to configure additional details for your fair!
When the fair has been created, you'll be taken to a page where you can edit the basics you just created and add more details. The default view will be on the Details tab, and you can use the boxes on the left side of the page to navigate:
- Create Registration Types
- Add Extra Item Options
- Create (and Apply) Discounts
- Set Student Qualifications
- Add Invited Institutions
To view what the registration process looks like from an employer's perspective, refer to our employer article Registering for a Career Fair (Employers).
If you need to complete a registration for an employer, refer to Acting on Behalf of Employers: Registering for a fair.
To view what the registration process looks like from a student's perspective, refer to our student article Registering for an In-Person Career Fair (Students).
For more information on the full virtual career fair offering, check out our blog posts linked below!