How to Create a Career Fair

Tawnya -

A career fair is a great platform for your students to meet potential employers.  In Handshake, we provide the flexibility to allow you to create the parameters regarding size and scope of your career fairs and to select which students and employers to invite.

You can create a new career fair from any page in Handshake.  Click Fairs on the left hand navigation bar to get started.  You’ll be taken to the Fairs overview page where you’ll see any career fairs your school has already created.

Click New Career Fair on the upper right hand corner of the page.

  1. Begin by giving your career fair a name.  
  2. Next, select Published or Drafting to indicate the status of the career fair.  

Tip:  We recommend selecting Drafting while you are setting up the fair as this will allow you to work on the career fair without it’s being visible by students or employers.  You may then change the status to Published once you have completed all steps of the registration process.

  1. The next section of the form will help you restrict which students and employers are able to register for the career fair.
    • Check the Public checkbox to allow students from other institutions to be able to attend the fair.
    • Check the Hidden checkbox if you would like this fair to be hidden from employers searching for career fairs.  If this box is checked, only employers who have the fair’s Employer Preview Link will be able to access and register for this fair.  
    • Check the Invite Only checkbox if you’d like to restrict this career fair only to students who are invited to attend.
  1. If you choose, you may add your Logo to the registration form. Please note the suggested image size requirements when choosing the right image: Handshake image sizes (additionally, logos cannot be deleted once uploaded, only replaced).
  2. Now you must enter Location which is the location where the fair will take place on (or off) campus.
  3. Next enter Contact for the career fair. This will be the main point of contact for employers and students who have questions about the fair. If you leave this field blank, the contact will default to the person who created the fair.
  4. Next comes an option for invoicing. You have two options:
    • If you want to invoice employers immediately after approving their fair registration, check the Invoice after Approving box. (You will be able to review the invoices and confirm them before sending.)
    • If you want to send invoices manually (before or after approving the registration), leave the Invoice after Approving box unchecked.  

To learn more about Career Fair invoice options read What does "Invoice After Approving" mean and should I check that box? 

  1. You must then select your preferred payment method(s) using the Employer payment methods check boxes.  
    1. If you check the Manual box, registering employers will be able to pay fair fees using any payment methods you accept (for example checks, money orders, wire transfers, or in-person credit card).
    2. If you check the Credit Card box registering employers will be able to pay fees by credit card right in Handshake.  To learn more about how credit card payments are processed in Handshake, read How does Stripe work and how do I set up a Stripe Account on Handshake? 

You must check at least one payment method box and you’re welcome to check both.  Most schools find it most convenient to only allow employers to pay fees with the Credit Card option. If you’re concerned that an employer may not be able to use this method, you’ll want to allow Manual payments as well.

  1. If you’re allowing Manual Payments, you can use the Payment Instructions field to provide information that will be included with the employer’s invoice.  For example, you may want to include the address where payments should be sent, or to whom checks should be payable.  
  2. If you’d like to charge students a fee to attend a career fair, enter a dollar amount in the  Student Cost field. Leave the field blank if there is no cost to attend.  
  3. You may limit the number of students attending the career fair.  Enter Student Limit if any, or enter 0 if there should be no limit.  
  4. If the career fair is being managed externally, you may enter an External Link. Students will be redirected to this page once they register for the career fair in Handshake.  
  5. Next you will set up the schedule for your career fair and its registration dates by using the Career fairStudent registration and Employer registration sections of the form.  Even if you’re not requiring students to register for the fair, it’s helpful to make their registration end date the day of the fair so any student looking at the fair will know they’re still able to come.
  6. Check the Allow all Majors box if you’d like to allow employers to recruit from all majors.  If left unchecked, employers will need to specify what majors they are recruiting for at the fair.
  7. In the Allowed Major Groups field, you may select major groups in Handshake or specific majors at your school who may attend the career fair.  You’ll want to select major groups if you’d like to specify majors and are inviting other schools to attend the career fair. To learn more about Major Groups, read What are Major Groups and how will I use them?
  8. You may enter Employer Instructions, which is any specific information you’d like Employers to see on the registration form when they register for your career fair. This might include the size the table they’ll have and any table covering that’s included, the number of chairs they’ll have, or whether or not they’ll have to pay for parking or lunch for example.
  9. Enter Student Description which is information students will see when viewing your career fair. You may want to include information about the fair’s major focus (if there is one), companies you know will be in attendance, the number of companies you’re expecting, appropriate attire for the fair, and anything else that will help encourage students to attend and to be successful when they do.


Here’s an example of a comprehensive Student Description:  “Held each semester, this event is for students and alumni seeking a full-time job,internship, co-op or part-time experience in the field of engineering.  A job fair is an opportunity for you to present yourself professionally in person to a potential employer, while showcasing your communication skills.  The keys to a successful job fair experience are preparation and follow up. Here is a checklist to help you get prepared!


Research the list of participating employers through Handshake

Attend the Preparing for the Job & Internship Fair Seminar

Get your resume reviewed  (see below for hours)

Prepare your 30 second introduction

Make sure you have a suit, padfolio, and copies of your resume!

Don't forget to ask for business cards at the job fair so you can follow up with thank-you notes.

Resume Review Hours1:00pm - 4:00pm

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday (walk-in)

Friday (by appointment ONLY)


  1. Similarly, enter Employer Description which is what employers will see when viewing your career fair. This is an opportunity to sell employers on why they should participate in this fair. You might want to share appealing information about your students, the fair location, other companies attending, or promotional opportunities.

Here’s an example of a comprehensive Employer Description:

Held in both the fall and spring semesters, the Engineering Job & Internship Fair is ideal for employers looking to filli nternship, co-op, part-time and full-time opportunities in the field of Engineering.

Before the event begins, our College of Engineering & Applied Sciences (CEAS) pre-professional societies (i.e.SHPE, NSBE, SWE, etc.) host a networking mixer. The mixer provides employers with the opportunity to network with our exceptional student group leaders and their members in a smaller, more intimate environment before the fair begins at 12pm.  You will also have the opportunity to connectwith professors during our Faculty Networking Luncheon from 11am - 12pm.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking to hire software engineers, or for other information technology (IT)-related roles, the IT/Computer Science Job & Internship Fair is ideal for you - see date below.  Those looking to hire engineers outside this area (i.e. civil engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.) should attend this event.


  1. Enter Student Welcome Message which will be automatically emailed to students when they register for your career fair. You may want to include reminders about items the students should bring, appropriate attire, or the importance of researching participating companies.
  2. Please list your school’s Employer Refund Policy.  You’ll want to be specific and include cancellation dates and amounts eligible to be refunded, if any.  
  3. When a company registers for a career fair, they have the option to fill out a company description.  Enter Maximum Company Description Length to set the limit on how many characters (including spaces) a company’s description may be.  The default is set at 750 characters.
  4. The survey section allows you to add questions (using Handshake surveys) that students and/or employers will see on their respective registration forms.  To learn more about how to customize the registration form using surveys, read How do I create a survey?    
  1. If you have filled out all the required fields, you are ready to launch your career fair. Click the Create Career Fair button on the bottom right of the page.

Tip:  Once your career fair has been created, at any time you may change its status from Drafting to Published (explained in step 2 of this article).  When you are ready for your fair to be seen by students and employers, click Fairs.  You will see any upcoming career fairs your school has created.  Select the fair you’d like to edit.  Click edit in the upper right hand corner.  Select Published and click Update Career Fair in the lower right hand corner.

At this point, you’ve created the basic structure of your career fair.  Now it’s time to configure the details of your fair.

You’ll now be on a page where you can edit the basics you just created and add more details.  

Use the boxes on the left side of the page:  


  1. Select Booth Options and then click Add Booth Option in the upper right hand corner.  Here you can define one or more booth types available to employers.
    • Give the booth a Name (for example “Small Booth” or “Large Corner Booth”)
    • Check the Hidden checkbox if you’d like this booth option to not be visible to employers. (You might use this feature if you’d like to keep some of your booth inventory reserved for non-profits, or for last minute VIP registrations for example).
    • To describe the booth and provide details you enter a Description.
    • Enter Price which is the cost of the booth.
    • Enter Count to specify the number of booths of this type that are available. Handshake will automatically ensure that the booth type does not over sell.
    • Click the Create Booth Option button to make this new booth available.
  2. Use the Extra Items Options button to define add-on purchase options.  To learn more about Extra Items, read What are Career Fair “Extra Items”, and how do I add them to my fair? 
  3. Use the Select Discounts button to define discounts available to employers who meet certain qualifications (ie, non-profits, companies with multiple registrations, etc.).  To learn more about Discounts, read How do I apply a discount to a Career Fair? 
  4. The Student Qualifications section allows you to choose certain requirements that students must meet to be eligible to attend this career fair.
    1. Select School years to select the year of students eligible to attend.  You may pick as many years as you’d like.
    2. Check Department GPA Required? or Cumulative GPA Required? if you’d like to allow only students who have met certain minimum GPA requirements to be eligible to attend.  Then enter the respective minimum GPA requirements you would like eligible students to have.
    3. Next you may select Major Groups if you’d like only students with certain majors to attend.  If you don’t select major groups, students from all majors can attend.
    4. The next field allows you to filter students by the college they attend (ie, College of Business, College of Medicine, etc.).  Choose from a drop down menu the Colleges you’d like to select, if any.
    5. Institution Labels are tags that can be attached to a student’s profile at your school using Handshake Labels.  You can use these pre-determined tags to filter students who may attend this career fair.  These tags can range from “honor student” to “frequent visitor” and beyond.  
    6. Finally, check the US Work Authorization checkbox if you require attending students to be authorized to work in the US.
    7. Click Update Qualifications to complete this section.
  5. The final section allows you to invite selected schools to attend the career fair.  To invite a school click Add School, and from a drop down menu select the school and click invite.


*Note: To see what the registration process looks like from an employer's perspective, you can check out our employer help center article on registering for a career fair.

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