Career Fair System Setup Checklist and Testing Guide

Tawnya -

There is a lot that goes into running a career fair, this guide is to help you prepare for a successful fair for employers and students. After configuring your settings, follow the steps to test managing a career fair well in advance of your event.

Step 1: Create and Configure Your Career Fair in Handshake

Create the Career Fair

  • Create your career fair and configure all fair-related settings. Click here for more information and guidance on creating your career fair.

Best Practice: Create all relevant surveys to add to your fair for students and employers, before creating your career fair. Click here for help creating surveys

  • Payment Options within Career Fairs: There are two ways to handle payments for your career fairs in Handshake, credit card and manual payments:

Credit Card: In order to use credit card payments you must integrate with Stripe, TouchNet or CASHNet and have your “Payment Preferences” school settings configured. See Payments System Setup and Testing Guide for a step by step guide to setting up payments.

Manual: You can specify instructions for employers to be able to pay with cash, check, or link to external payment method, like PayPal.  If you use this option you will manually need to mark employers as paid in Handshake as you receive their payment.

Best Practice: Set Your Default Invoice message: This is the message that employers will receive along with their invoice.  This will prevent you from having to type out this message multiple times when creating & sending invoices.

Best Practice: Select “Automatically invoice after approving” for career fairs and events.  This will allow you to automatically be prompted to create and send invoices for your employer once you mark their registration as approved.

Configure Your Fair’s Booth Options

  • Set booth options that employers will be able to select and register for.*Note: Until booth options are created employers will not be able to register.

Need further explanation on creating your booth options? Click here!

Want to add a booth map for each session? Click here!

Best Practice: If you would like to have “Early Bird Pricing” for career fairs, we recommend setting up separate booth options for Early Bird, Regular, and Late, add the appropriate amount of each type, and have the booth options available during the correct time frame.

Best Practice: If you want to charge different prices for employer types such as sponsors, non-profits, etc, then you can configure your booth options to have different prices and be named accordingly “Non-Profit” or “Employer Partner / Sponsor”.

If you want to print student name tags during your career fair, configure kiosk and name tag printer

Important: Go through the kiosk and printer checklist for setup details and step-by-step guide.

Setting Student Qualifications, Invite Only, and Waitlists

  • Student Qualifications allow you to filter what students will be able to sign up for the fair. Qualifications can be set by school year, GPA, major, college or any labels. If you would like all students to have the opportunity you can disregard this step!  If you use qualifications, all students can still see the fair but only those who are qualified can sign up 
  • Invite Only will make your fair invite only, you will then need invite students on the “student invite” tab. Only these students will be able to see and sign up for the career fair in Handshake.
  • Student Session Limit will allow you to designate a maximum number of students that may attend that session. When registration meets capacity, students will have an option to join the waitlist. Read more on this here

Send Invite to your Employers

Click here for a step-by-step guide to inviting employers

Your career fair has been created and settings have been configured, it’s time to invite employers!

Be ready to approve employers that request to attend the fair. Similar to managing employers and jobs, setup saved searches to filter requests

Step 2: Think you’re ready for Career Fairs? Time to test!

Before Getting Started: Make sure you’ve gone through the Payments checklist first to configure and integrate your payment system

Sign up as employer

1. Create an employer account linked to your career services account: Follow these steps to create an employer account

2. Create a test fair

3. Publish Fair as “Hidden”


4. Copy Employer Preview Link


5. Switch to your employer account and paste link, then request to sign up


6. Switch back to your Career Services account to approve requests and assign booth number

7. Receive invoice and make payment if you would like to make sure payments go through

8. Generate new invoice if change is made

*Note: Registration is source of truth for payment status

Signing up as student

1. Create a test student account

2. Set-up fair as invite only

3. Invite test student account: To do this, start typing the student's name. When you start typing a students name you will see the number of students invited start to narrow down. When you hit "1" you are good to go!

4. Switch to student view and sign up


Click Here for a more detailed testing guide of the check-in kiosk and name tag printer

1. Launch kiosk for the career fair:


2. Check-in as a student, using an email address or card if you've configured card swiping

3. Print name tag


Step 3: Workflows and Managing Your Career Fair

Approving employer registrations: Decide what criteria will be used in determining whether or not an employers registration will be approved and the workflow of approving registrations

Assigning booths types and number to EmployersGo to “View Booths” and click "open booths only" to see a list of all your unassigned booths.  Next, click on a specific row that does not have an employer assigned yet.  Find your specific employer in the drop-down menu, assign a specific booth number, and add a specific room if needed.  Assigning booths and numbers to your employers will allow students to find employers on the career fair map.editbooth.pngCommunication with your students: You can send updates and reminders about your fair to students by using the “Email Student Attendees” feature. This feature can also be used to market your career fair by sending emails to students that are “Invited but not registered or Checkin In.” This feature also makes it easy to send a message to those students that registered but have yet to check-in!emailstud.png

Additional Resources:


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