By now you’ve probably amassed over fifty e-mails from the Fleishman Center or SOM Career Services about the Job and Internship Fair coming up on Tuesday, February 6th. Populated by recruiters, Binghamton Alumni, and students like yourself, the Job and Internship Fair is just the start of a week and a half full of professional opportunities for Binghamton‘s brightest. Between panels with different firms, alumni spotlights, resume critiques, and more, your calendar will be jam-packed with events to advance your career. To make the most of this exciting week, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

DO: Read all of your emails!

In a sea of Daily Notification Dashboard Summaries, the Career Center emails are giant waves, and you are a tiny little row boat. But alas, every email has the potential to open a door to a future employer. It may be a challenge, but be sure to read every single one of them! Set aside 15 minutes at the beginning and end of every day so you don’t miss the chance to meet with an influential alumni or recruiter. Mark the important ones that you’d be interested in learning more about!

DON’T: Wait until the Job and Internship Fair to learn about the employers!

There’s nothing worse than waiting 40 minutes in line to speak to a recruiter, telling them you’re “Really interested in *insert company name here*”, and having them realize you know absolutely nothing about the firm beyond what their banner says. The career center publishes a list of firms that will be attending the fair so that students can do their research prior to the event. Find out the different operations within the firm, its structure, some projects it has been involved with – anything that’s relevant and interesting to you and the world. This shows recruiters that you have a legitimate interest in being a part of the firm, not just getting a job there.

Do: Send recruiters Thank-You emails!

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Recruiters see hundreds of job-hungry students on a weekly basis from universities across the country. A simple email that thanks them for their time is always well received. Furthermore, thank-you emails are excellent opportunities to build upon a recruiter’s recollection of you, ask follow-up questions, and sometimes schedule a later time to continue a conversation. During your conversation with a recruiter, ask if they have a preferred contact through which you could ask any additional questions and reach out in the future. No more than 24 hours later, send a thank-you email. This shows recruiters that you care and that you have good etiquette.

Don’t: Take too much time from the recruiters!

Someone that is disrespectful of other people’s time is not the kind of person you’d generally want to work with. Keep this in mind when talking to recruiters! You may have tons of questions or want to make a great impression, but taking more than a few minutes of their time is unfair to the recruiter (who wants to speak with as many candidates as possible,) and to the other students (who deserve their shot at wowing the recruiter too.) In any case, remaining questions are a great way to start a conversation over email or set up a private discussion at a later time.

Do: Attend more than just the Job & Internship Fair!

There’s a reason it’s called “Career Week”! There are exciting activities and events happening all week. Recruiters will be hiring on campus for summer internships and more throughout the few days that they are in Binghamton. Make sure you are attending information sessions for these companies and alumni spotlights with people whose career paths interest you. Keep an eye on the Career Centers to make sure you don’t miss out on the gems during the week. A lot of people get jobs and internship offers from outside of the Fair during more intimate events.

Don’t: Stop preparing for your career after Career Week!

Career Week is not a last-ditch effort to be employed over the summer. There are hundreds of resources available year round. Let Career Week serve as the beginning of a conversation, not the end. Continue to engage with recruiters who’ve interacted with you previously and build a relationship that you can leverage both immediately and in the future. Expand your job search beyond the events center to job-search websites such as indeed.com, and don’t forget to check hirebing frequently. You never know when something will come up!

And finally, DO make the most of it, but DON’T take it too seriously. Career Week is designed to be mutually beneficial to students and recruiters alike, so make the most of it but don’t be overwhelmed. This is an opportunity, not an ultimatum. If you are prepared, respectful, and open to the possibilities, Career Week should be a great experience that you will gain a lot from, even if it’s not a job. Stay on the lookout for information from the career centers and get ready, because the Job and Internship Fair is right around the corner!


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Alex Reksten

Binghamton University student studying business and political science


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