What Are Employer Information Sessions?
- 1- to 2-hour events hosted by employers interested in hiring U of T students
- Typically, a combination of seminar style and networking
Benefits for Employers
- Opportunity to promote their organization and career opportunities
- Ability to meet with potential candidates before receiving a resume
- An effective screening tool as they can observe potential candidates’ professionalism and interpersonal skills
Benefits for Students
- Information sessions are an excellent opportunity to gather information about a company and make contacts who can help you to get ‘in the door’
- A chance to tell recruiters about your qualifications and show that you are genuinely interested in the company
- Information gather ed can also help you decide whether or not to pursue employment with the organization
- Many employers will not consider you for an interview unless you attend their information session
What Happens at Information Sessions?
- A presentation by the employer which usually includes an overview of the company and specific information about the positions advertised on the Career Learning Network (CLN): cln.utoronto.ca
- A group question and answer (Q&A) session usu ally follows the presentation
- Refreshments are served by many companies after the presentation and question period
- At this point in the session, students have a chance to speak with company recruiters individually or in small groups
How Can I Attend an Information Session?
You can to register on the Career Learning Network (CLN) for any session. Look for Info Sessions on St. George Campus as well as at Scarborough.
Dress code is usually business attire (shirt-and-tie) unless otherwise specified. Note: any session organized by the MBA or Commerce Career Development Centre has a mandatory business formal (suit-and-tie) dress code
You are expected to be on-time for any session. We recommend arriving at least ten minutes early. Arriving late makes a poor impression.
Graduating This Year?
Attend a Jobs for Grads Orientation to get access to the full-time job postings and prepare yourself with strategic work search strategies. Learn about information sessions and special events. Do both on the Career Learning Network (cln.utoronto.ca) under Events and Workshops.
How to Be Prepared
- Read the job postings for that company on their website and in CLN, looking for skills and qualifications that you possess
- Research the company thoroughly (see Company Research tip sheet)
- Prepare questions to ask in the group and with individual recruiters
- Bring copies of your resume with you in case the recruiter asks for it
When you attend an information session, you are representing yourself and other UTSC students. It’s important to represent yourself professionally at any event with employers.
- Arrive 10 minutes early; arriving late will disrupt the session
- If you arrive late due to unforeseen circumstances, be mindful of others. Take your coat off before you enter the room and choose a seat where you minimize dis ruption
- Turn your phone off
- Dress for an interview, unless the employer specifies casual dress. For MBA and Commerce - organized information sessions, formal business attire is mandatory
- Pay attention during the session. Texting or browsing can be distracting to the employer and to other students
- If you need to leave early, do so quietly so that you do not disturb any other studen
- Discuss what you learned at the information session on your cover letter. If you had a detailed conversation with one of the recruiters, you can mention their name
Tips for Speaking with Employers
- Greet the employer with a friendly smile
- Have a 30-second response to “Tell me about yourself” ready
- Avoid memorizing a speech – focus on the key points
- Modify what you say based on your research on the organization
- Ask questions that you prepared in advance
- If you are in a line, wait patiently (and stay off your smartphone); don’t interrupt
- Don’t monopolize a recruiter’s time; know when to move on
- Don’t ask a recruiter how to apply; you should already know
- When you ask a question, listen carefully to the recruiter’s response
- When you end a conversation, be sure to thank the recruiter and ask for their business card
- Wait until the employer invites you to take food
- NEVER take food and then leave the information session
- Do not take food or eat during the employer’s presentation
- Take small portions, rather than loading up your plate
- If drinks are served, avoid alcohol
- When holding a drink, use your left hand. This way your right hand will be free if you are shaking someone’s hand
- Avoid the messy stuff (sauces, soups, tacos, and similar)
Send a Thank You message to any recruiter who gave you their business card within two business days. Be sure to mention where you met them and any specific information they asked you to provide, as applicable.
Last update: September 2014