Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs are meant to assist you with the general recruiting process, your rights as astudent, and the recruiter's perspective.  If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at career.services@austin.utexas.edu or 512-471-6700.

The General Recruiting Process:

1.    Who are third party recruiters?

2.    It doesn’t seem like there are any companies for my major at the CNS Career Fair. Why is this?

3.    Okay, so what can I do if the companies/departments/organizations I am interested in aren’t coming to the career fair?

4.    Is there some sort of timeline for recruiting?

 

Your Rights as a Student:

1.    What are “exploding offers”?

2.    What is a “Just In Time” offer? 

3.    How do I know that companies on Handshake are legitimate?

4.    I am an International Student, what should I do in particular to prepare for the CNS Career Fair?

5.    What’s the deal with paid versus unpaid internships?

6.    I want to take the CNS internship course.  What are the new rules surrounding this course?  Why have the rules changed?

 

The Recruiter’s Perspective:

1.    I have an on-campus interview scheduled, but I need to cancel.  What steps do I need to take now?

2.    I have never attended a career fair before.  What are recruiters expecting me to talk about?

3.    I have already accepted a job/internship offer, but now have another offer that has just been presented to me.  I kind of want to accept the new job offer.  What should I do?

 

The General Recruiting Process:

1.    Who are third party recruiters?

Third party recruiters are individuals who are engaging in placement or passing along resumes to companies that are hiring. They, themselves, are not directly hiring. 

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2.    It doesn’t seem like there are any companies for my major at the CNS Career Fair. Why is this?

Companies have a variety of recruiting/hiring techniques that they use based on their hiring needs at a given time. Some companies have resources and funds allocated for recruiting individuals to fill a large number of open positions. These types of companies may attend a career fair because they can meet lots of individuals and determine those best suited to fill their open positions.  Other companies may not have as many openings and/or the resources available to recruit via a career fair.  These companies may use other techniques such as direct referrals from current employees or faculty, networking events, and online job postings. 

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3.    Okay, so what can I do if the companies/departments/organizations I am interested in aren’t coming to the career fair?

No problem!  We know that companies engage in various hiring methods, so with a little planning, organization, networking, and persistence, you can tap into those companies and land a job that best suits you.  Please see our Job Search Strategies Guideline for detailed tips and techniques for job searching.  Additionally, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to get one-on-one assistance on creating a job search plan that will assist you in reaching your goals. 

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4.    Is there a timeline for recruiting?

Fall (focus is on full-time positions):

  • A week or two before the Fall Career Fair there are prep workshops and networking events among departments
  • Fall Career Fair (usually in early-mid September)
  • After the career fair there are information sessions where you can learn more about industries, company culture, and positions available at respective companies
  • From September to mid-November there are on-campus interviews
  • From mid-October to November companies will usually present job offers and engage in salary negotiation

Spring (focus is on internships): 

  • A week or two before the Spring Career Fair there are prep workshops and networking events among departments
  • Spring Career Fair (usually in early-mid February)
  • After the career fair there are information sessions to learn more about industries, company culture, and positions available at respective companies
  • From February to March there are on-campus interviews
  • From mid-March to April companies will usually present job offers and engage in salary negotiation

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Your Rights as a Student:

“Exploding offers” require a student to accept a job offer within a very short period of time or face having the offer rescinded or base salary diminished. Requiring a verbal acceptance in order to receive a written offer is considered an “exploding offer”. 

For those companies who recruit through us, The Career Services Office, via Handshake, we ask that students are given the maximum reasonable opportunity to evaluate and consider internship and job offers. Further, to ensure maximim fairness among employers, we ask that employers follow these guidelines along with the NACE guidelines, as doing so will give students a reasonable period of time to consider their career options, and should help minimize reneged job/internship offer acceptances.

Full-time Job, Internship, and Internship to Full-time Offers-

Prior to Graduation: Students should be allowed at least three weeks to consider and respond to offer.

After Graduation: Please allow new alumni at least two weeks to consider and respond to your offer.

You can find out more about Employer Recruiting Guidelines here.

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“Just in time offers” are offers to students that come after the standard recruiting timeline (after mid-November in the fall for positions starting in December/January and after April 1st for positions starting in the summer) that require the student to start in a time frame shorter than the allotted 3 week accept/decline time period. 

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For employers who wish to post on Handshake, our staff verifies the following:

  • Legitimacy of website
  • Pay status of position
  • A corporate address for company
  • Company offers legal requirements of workers compensation for employees and interns
  • A professional email address attached to the contact (no gmail, yahoo, etc. type of accounts)

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To prepare, check out which employers will be attending the career fair and find out what the hiring practices are for those particular companies.  Visit our Career Fair page and click on ‘Research the Companies Attending’ for the respective year and semester of the career fair you are interested in.  Take a look at the ‘Citizenship’ column of the document to find out what citizenship status particular employers require.  

Be prepared to discuss your work status in the U.S. with potential employers.  If you should need further assistance, please visit the International Office.

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View this video from the Department of Labor for information regarding paid vs. unpaid internships.

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There are multiple CNS Internship Courses available online and they are open to all CNS students. Career Services manages these courses and requires that enrolled students complete their internship concurrently.  This means that we no longer offer retroactive credit. This new requirement is meant to protect students by ensuring that each internship is a legitimate learning experience.  Career Services follows best practices as outlined by NACE (National Association for Colleges and Employers).

Read more about our internship courses here.

 

Engaging with recruiters:

1.    I have an on-campus interview scheduled, but I need to cancel.  What steps do I need to take now?

If you are unable to attend a scheduled interview, you must notify Career Services at least 24 hours in advance. Failure to do so may result in the loss of interviewing privileges. A cancellation on the same day of the interview is considered a "no-show".A first no-show will not result in any formal disciplinary action, but it is strongly recommended that you send a letter of apology to the recruiter whose interview was missed. After a second "no-show", your Handshake account will be blocked and you will be required to meet with the director of Career Services before being allowed to take part in any other on-campus interviews. Additionally, you must write a letter of apology to the recruiter of the company whose interview you missed before regaining access to Career Services resources. 

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2.    I have never attended a career fair before.  What are recruiters expecting me to talk about?

Tell the recruiter your name, year in school, and what type of position you are interested in (i.e. full-time, internship, etc.). Next, tell them your major, your career interests, and why you came to this particular company’s table. Do your research on the company beforehand. The recruiters want to see sincere interest in their company. Offer a firm handshake and have good eye contact. Be prepared to present your resume. 

Show the recruiters that you have the qualifications their company is looking for AND you are a good candidate for their company. 

Answer all questions honestly. If the recruiter asks for your GPA, tell them. 

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3.    I have already accepted a job/internship offer, but now have another offer that has just been presented to me.  I kind of want to accept the new job offer.  What should I do?

Reneging on an offer is unacceptable and comes with severe consequences. Honor your acceptance of the job offer as a contractual agreement with the employer. You should decline the other offer. Reneging on an offer will result in being reported to the office of judicial services, and require a letter of apology to the first company and a meeting with the Director of Career Services. 

It is unacceptable to continue interviewing or making office visits after accepting an offer, or to back out on an accepted offer. Students who back out (renege) on an accepted offer will be denied all future use of the career services including coaching and on-campus recruiting services. Please do not represent yourself as being prepared to accept an offer unless you are prepared to do so. An offer is considered accepted once the student and the employer have jointly agreed to the terms of employment.

Students must respond to every offer, whether they accept or reject it. Upon the acceptance of a job offer you agree to:

  • Notify all other employers with whom you are a job candidate and withdraw yourself from further consideration
  • Notify Career Services of your acceptance
  • Report all relevant offer information (e.g. company name, salary, bonus, location, etc.) for employment reporting.

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