Recruiting Best Practices (Students)

Career fairs, meetups, and industry insight events are a great opportunity to gain exposure to a specific industry, job function or sector. At Wellesley, each of our events specialize in a particular area or multiple areas. In other words, rather than having a large and general career fair, we have smaller ones that focus on tailored industries such as: (1) business, consulting, finance, and marketing, (2) STEM, and (3) government, law, and international affairs, (4) education, nonprofit, and social impact. Depending on recruiting timelines, fairs, meetups or industry insights occur in both the fall and spring semesters.


Before the Career Fair, Meetup, or Industry Insight Event

  1. Log in to Handshake to sign up for the event
  2. Browse the list of companies that are attending
  3. Research the company and its current openings
    • Tip #1: Companies that attend our career fairs typically have postings already listed on Handshake.
    • Tip #2: Helpful websites to visit to learn more about a company include (1) the company’s website, (2) LinkedIn, and (3) Glassdoor. It also never hurts to search the company on Google or a similar platform to see if it’s been in the news recently!
    • Tip #3: Many companies that come to a career fair hold employer connection events beforehand. This is a great way to gain knowledge before formally talking to a recruiter.
  4. Print out copies of your resume
    • Tip #4: It never hurts to print out more copies of your resume than needed, but you don’t want to run out.
  5. Prepare a folder, notepad, and pen
  6. Wear attire that is most appropriate for the industry of the fair
    • Tip #6: Some industries (e.g. consulting, finance, and business) dress business casual or business formal, while other industries (e.g. technology and marketing) dress more casually.


During the Career Fair, Meetup, or Industry Interest Event

  1. Sign in with Career Education at the beginning of the event
    • Tip #7: Signing in not only enables Career Education to track your email in case an employer sends out a message post-fair, but also prints you a name tag and gives you an updated pamphlet of all companies/types of open positions.
  2. Approach the tables of the companies you researched/are interested in
    • Tip #8: If there’s a long line at one company but not another, it doesn’t hurt to use the opportunity to speak to an available recruiter to learn about a different employer.
  3. Conduct yourself in a professional manner
    • Tip #9: It never hurts to smile and give a firm yet friendly handshake!
  4. Deliver your elevator pitch/ask the recruiter if you can hand over a copy of your resume
    • Tip #10: This should be no more than one minute long, especially if there’s a line of students behind you. Themes to cover include: (1) your name, major, and class year, (2) why you’re interested in the company, and (3) questions you hope the recruiter can answer about the company.
       Example: Hi, nice to meet you! My name is Jane, and I’m currently a junior who is majoring in economics and psychology. I’d love to learn more about the Management Development Internship (MDI) at Bob’s Donuts. Since my first year of college, I’ve been very interested in culinary management. I believe the MDI aligns with many of my existing skills and provides an unparalleled opportunity for growth. I’m especially excited for the three team rotations that interns complete, and the chance to be mentored by an employee who’s gone through the program. Do you mind if I ask you a few quick questions? I’d love to learn more about the Operations rotation and the company’s recent initiative to transition to plastic-free packaging
  5. If necessary, ask the recruiter, alumna or company representative for his/her business card
  6. Thank the representative for his/her time
  7. Collect relevant company materials (e.g. pamphlets, brochures, swag)


After the Career Fair, Meetup, or Industry Interest Event

  1. Sign in to Handshake to apply for the roles you’re most interested in
    • Tip #11: If a job requires a cover letter, it’s helpful to mention that you connected with a recruiter, alumna, or company representative at a career fair and learned about X, Y, and Z (the more personal and specific, the better). Many of our recruiters admit that knowing someone in the company pushes your resume to the top so mention any names you were able to collect.
  2. If necessary, email and thank the recruiter, company representative or alumna
    • Tip #12: You should only do this if you had a memorable conversation and hope to stay in touch, or if you have follow-up questions. If it’s the former scenario, you should send an email after applying to the company’s opening on Handshake. This way, you’ve indicated your interest and commitment.

Some internships and jobs may not be available to certain class years, but all of these steps will prepare you for success when speaking to an employer. If you are ineligible for a role, thank the recruiter for his/her time, or ask about a different position that may better match your qualifications. Many times, the recruiter will be happy to put you in touch with others at the company that recruit for your specific interest area, so it doesn't hurt to ask!

Remember: It’s important to treat employers with respect by researching a company in advance, dressing and acting professionally, and connecting your interests to an open role. If you have any questions during the fair, advisors and mentors from Career Education are always available. If you have questions before or after the fair, you can schedule an appointment with your advisor or mentor on Handshake.

The Career Education team will be sending the attendance list with all the attendees’ names, emails, and majors, to the employers after the session. Employers may also request resumes so it is important that you keep your updated resume visible on your Handshake profile.


What do I do when I receive a message on Handshake or an email from an employer?

When you sign up for a career fair and/or employer-specific event, or make your Handshake profile public to employers, certain companies may directly contact you. It’s important to note that you are not obligated to respond to these messages.

If you receive a direct message on Handshake:

  • Consider whether this is a personal or generic message. Most messages sent via Handshake invite a student to visit an employer’s booth during a career fair, or suggest that a student apply for a specific job/internship on Handshake. If you are interested in conversing with the employer, feel free to respond. Otherwise, especially in the case of a mass message, you do not need to reply. If you are receiving repeated unwanted messages from the same employer, please let Career Education know and we will notify both the employer and Handshake administration.
  • Handshake is enabling employers to reach out to students directly in the hopes that employers will be able to diversify their applicant pool and reach more students for their opportunities. Therefore, talking to recruiters on Handshake can create beneficial exchanges for both students and companies.

If you receive an email in your Wellesley inbox:

  • Perform due diligence to ensure that the sender has a credible email address and is from a credible company. Most companies that discover your profile on Handshake will directly contact you via the platform. Therefore, be cautious when you receive a direct email in your Wellesley inbox, especially if you have not been giving out your contact information.
  • Checking whether or not a recruiter/employer is credible can be as simple as searching the email address of the individual who reached out to you on Google. You may also want to search the recruiter/employer on LinkedIn. Be careful: Fraudulent recruiters/employers often deceive students with subtle devices, such as misspelling an email domain by just one letter.
  • Finally, if you receive an email in your Wellesley inbox, you do not need to respond. If you have a question or concern, please forward it to We can provide guidance on whether this is a legitimate or fraudulent message.


How do I spot a fraudulent employer on Handshake? What happens if I get caught up in a fraudulent situation?

While Handshake allows students to access thousands of employers and vice versa, it unfortunately is also vulnerable to fraudulent activity, even with current protocols in place. At Wellesley, our Employer Engagement team conducts thorough checks before allowing an employer to post jobs that are visible to students. However, even with extreme diligence, fraudulent activity may not always be detected. Therefore, as a student who is interested in a particular company or role, it’s important to perform your own due diligence. Here are a few precautionary steps:

  1. Review a company’s role and job description on Handshake, then search the same information on the company’s own website. Is the position also posted? Do the descriptions match up?
  2. Click on the company’s Handshake profile and check out the “Contact Information” box. Do all of the links work/connect to a legitimate website?
    • Tip: Helpful links to visit include a company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and/or Twitter account.
  3. Look up the company on Google to see what kinds of results come up. Are there any concerning articles or accusations of fraudulent activity?

Aside from conducting your own due diligence, be aware of the following practices:

  1. Never give money (i.e. cash, check, or bank account number) to any employer. You should never pay to be considered for a job on Handshake. This is a sign that the “company” you are dealing with is fraudulent and scamming you.
  2. Be hesitant if a company is willing to hire you based on your resume alone. Also, be suspicious if a job “feels too good to be true”. Almost all reputable companies conduct phone/in-person interviews, while full-time jobs often perform a background check as well.



If you a spot a fraudulent employer, please contact as soon as possible. A fraudulent employer poses a threat because students are submitting personal information (e.g. a resume with a physical address, email address, and phone number) when applying for a role. You can learn more about protecting your personal information from fraudulent employers here.

If you find yourself in a fraudulent situation, take the following steps:

  1. Report it to at Career Education immediately.
  2. Learn how to flag an employer in Handshake.

Fraudulent activity is not taken lightly and should be reported as soon as possible.