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Career Fairs and Networking Events

A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating career fairs and networking events can open doors for creative students, providing invaluable opportunities to connect with potential employers, gain industry insights, and chart their career paths. However, mastering these events requires more than mere attendance—it demands preparation, confidence, and strategic networking skills. In this guide, we’ll explore actionable tips and strategies tailored to help students maximize their opportunities at career fairs and networking events, whether they’re in-person or online. 

Preparing for Success

Research participating companies: Before attending the event, research the list of companies and organizations that will be present. Identify those relevant to your field of study and career interests. For example, a film production student might target production companies like Paramount Pictures or Warner Bros. 

Tailor your resume and elevator pitch: Customize your resume and prepare a concise elevator pitch that highlights your unique talents, experiences, and career aspirations. For instance, a screenwriting student could emphasize their storytelling skills and passion for crafting compelling narratives. An example elevator pitch could be: “Hi, I’m [Name], a recent graduate from Toronto Film School with a specialization in screenwriting. I thrive on bringing characters to life and captivating audiences with gripping stories. I’m eager to collaborate with visionary filmmakers to create impactful cinema.” 

Find an elevator pitch template here

Bring resumes and/or portfolios: Ensure you have multiple copies of your updated resume or portfolio to share with potential employers or industry connections. Having tangible materials on hand allows you to showcase your creative work and leave a lasting impression.

Dress the Part: Choose attire that reflects your personality while still maintaining a professional appearance. Consider industry-appropriate outfits that highlight your individual style and creativity, ensuring you stand out while remaining approachable.

Maximizing Your Time at the Event

Develop a game plan: Create a strategic approach for navigating the event, including which companies you want to prioritize and how much time you’ll allocate to each booth. Plan to attend networking sessions and informational workshops relevant to your career interests.

Approach booths confidently: Approach company representatives with confidence and enthusiasm, showcasing your passion for the creative industry. Introduce yourself, offer a firm handshake, and express genuine interest in learning more about their company and potential opportunities for collaboration.

Ask thoughtful questions: Prepare a list of insightful questions to ask recruiters or industry professionals about their company culture, project opportunities, and creative vision.

  1. What values does your company prioritize in its culture? 
  2. Can you explain the process of completing a creative project at your company, from ideation to execution? 
  3. How does your company support employees in pursuing further education or certifications? 
  4. Can you walk me through the application process for entry-level positions at your company? 
  5. What qualities or experiences do you typically look for in candidates? 
  6. How would you describe the company’s leadership style and approach to employee feedback? 
  7. What do you enjoy most about working for this company? 
  8. Are there any upcoming creative projects or initiatives within the company that you’re particularly excited about? 

Building Meaningful Connections

Network strategically: Engage not only with recruiters and hiring managers, but also with fellow students, alumni, and industry professionals attending the event. Networking with peers can lead to valuable collaborations, mentorship opportunities, and potential referrals.

Follow up promptly: Send personalized follow-up emails within 24-48 hours of the event to express gratitude for their time and reiterate your interest in connecting further. Attach your updated resume or portfolio for their reference.

Conclusion: Career fairs and networking events offer creative students at Toronto Film School a platform to showcase their talents, connect with industry professionals, and embark on their professional journeys. By approaching these events with preparation, confidence, and strategic networking skills, creative students can seize valuable opportunities, explore diverse career paths, and advance their aspirations within the dynamic world of film and media, whether in-person or online.