Recruiting fairs are similar to career fairs. In fact, some organizations use the terms interchangeably. In general, a recruiting fair includes more options that are not directly related to jobs. When you go to a career fair, you will primarily see tables run by different companies looking for interns and employees. These same companies will be at a recruiting fair, but they will be joined by additional organizations that offer alternatives such as other education or volunteer opportunities.
Opportunities at Career Fairs
If you are organizing a career fair, you will want to invite organizations interested in hiring your students either as interns or full-time employees. The focus of a career fair in a college setting is to provide the networking opportunities students need to start their careers. A career fair may include workshops on writing resumes and answering interview questions, but the primary activity of the event will be providing ways for company recruiters to meet, and possibly interview, students. A career fair tends to be more formal and require preparation for students to be successful.
Additional Opportunities at Recruiting Fairs
A recruiting fair offers those in attendance the opportunity to explore a broader range of post-graduation options. Although attendees may find a job at a recruitment fair, the primary goal of the fair is to make people aware of opportunities they have not considered. Graduate schools and professional organizations may sponsor tables at a recruiting fair. Graduate schools may send representatives to answer questions about applications and graduate research. The American Actuarial Society may talk to students about careers in the actuarial field. Or the Peace Corps may set up a table to introduce students to volunteer opportunities. A recruiting fair is more exploratory than formal. Attendees can prepare, but the primary task is to ask questions and increase awareness.
In many ways, a recruiting fair is the same thing as a career fair. Both have the goal of providing job seekers opportunities to prepare for life after college. Many college career departments use the terms "career fair" and "recruiting fair" interchangeably. The difference, if there is one, is that a recruitment fair tends to be more general with a wider array of attending organizations. Visiting organizations introduce students to options including additional schooling, professional certification, or volunteer opportunities. In contrast, a career fair focuses more on the direct hiring process between students and organizations. Both types of fairs play essential roles in preparing students for successful futures.