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Make a career fair game plan!

The 2013 Engineering Expo is less than one week away! It can be an overwhelming event, so be prepared.  By following the simple steps below, you will be confident and ready to meet the employers.

Before the fair:

  1. Make sure your resume is up-to-date, error free, and formatted properly. Sample, employer-approved engineering resumes can be found here under the “ResourcesàDocument Library” section in Career Engine.
  2. Attend a Career Fair Success workshop: There are two more opportunities, Sept 16th (4:30) and Sept 17th (4:00). For an entire list of fall workshops and locations, click here.
  3. Spend some time on the EXPO web site: and see who is coming to recruit your major. Decide which companies you are most interested in. Familiarize yourself with the company’s profile and get acquainted their web sites.
  4. Apply to companies of interest in advance! Go to CareerEngine and apply if there are postings…if there aren’t, visit the company’s website and view the “careers” section to apply for openings.
  5. Get your clothes ready. Make sure that your business attire is pressed and clean for EXPO.
  6. Plan your 30 second introductory pitch. When approaching a company representative, give your name, major, and grad date. Let the employer know what you’re looking for ...a co-op, internship, or career. Lastly, include a statement of interest in the company, industry, products, and/or opportunities

During the fair:

  1. Arrive early. This will help you beat the rush and get more face time with recruiters. Remember:  if you buy your ticket on Sept 12 or 13, you’ll be granted early entrance to the fair – take advantage of this opportunity!
  2. Don’t talk to your dream employer first.  Nerves will be the highest at the start of the day, so ease into things by speaking to an employer that would be ranked farther down on your list.  This way, when you do approach your top company’s booth, you will be calm, cool, and collected.
  3. Have plenty of resumes on hand. Know that some employers collect resumes at the fair, while others do not. If they tell you to apply directly through their website, do so! Don’t be offended if they don’t accept your resume.
  4. After talking to each employer, take a few minutes to write down notes.  This will help you remember what you learned about the company and also help you remember the conversation you had with the recruiter so that you can write a thoughtful thank-you note (if you collect their business card and have their contact information).

After the fair:

  1. Follow up with the recruiters (when possible) by writing thank you notes. Recollect the conversation you had, and reiterate what value you will bring to their organization.
  2. Apply to any jobs that recruiters informed you of during your conversation
  3. Continue to apply for jobs through CareerEngine throughout the semester! Many companies who attend the fair will be back later for interviews, so make sure you are registered with ECS and your account information is up to date.

Best of luck! Here’s to a successful EXPO 2013!

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 
-Benjamin Franklin

About the author

Katy Arenschield

Katy Arenschield is the Engineering Co-op and Internship Program Manager.