An engineering career fair is an excellent way for engineering students and professionals to make contacts and meet potential employees. This important employment venue can lead to an exciting new career frontier, so it is important to come adequately prepared. Registering early, researching the attending companies, creating a polished resume, and developing a professional demeanor can all help an enthusiastic person stand out at an engineering career fair.
Many career fairs require participants to pre-register in order to attend; some may have registration caps that fill up months before the event. In order to ensure a spot at an engineering career fair, register as early in the process as possible. This may be a cost-saving maneuver as well, as many career fairs offer “early bird” discounts during the first few weeks of registration.
Event organizers want participants to have the greatest possible chance of landing a job at a career fair, and may publish lists of attending businesses months before the event. Requesting a list of participating companies can provide an excellent resource for career research. Doing personal research on the available businesses can help a fair-goer determine where he or she would like to work. Since time at the fair is limited, it is important to approach only those companies that look like a good career match.
A clean, polished, and efficient resume can help create a favorable first impression with employers at an engineering career fair. Resumes are usually organized into categories such as work history, education, and references, and should be carefully proofread and spell-checked before being handed to employers. Look up examples of engineering resumes online to get ideas for format and content, and consider buying high-quality paper to print out final versions. While attending the fair, keep resumes from getting crumpled by keeping them in a heavy folder.
On the day of an engineering career fair, it may be important to look and act like a professional. Some fairs recommend that attendees dress in business clothes, but at the very least, clothes should be clean and well-pressed. Many fairs include social events during or following the main fair, which present excellent opportunities for networking and creating friendships. It is important to remember that these social events are essentially business-oriented, however, and care should be taken to remain professional. Consider avoiding alcohol at fair-sponsored events to be sure that the brain is firing on all cylinders for the duration of the fair.