Career Events

Here are some of the types of engineering-related career events that Penn State offers. You can find out when specific events are coming up on our Events site. Alumni who live in the State College area or who are visiting campus are welcome to attend career events.

Information Session

An information session is a presentation or talk given by one or more recruiters from a particular company or organization.  The session usually covers topics including employer history, products or services, and current job opportunities, and there is often a chance to talk one-on-one with a recruiter afterward.

Attire is usually informal unless the employer specifies otherwise.  Bring three to five copies of your résumé, with an electronic version on a thumb drive, and any questions you have for the recruiters.

Recruiting Day

A recruiting day is a "mini career fair" featuring only one employer.  Recruiters usually bring some type of booth or display and you can drop by between classes and learn more about the company or organization.

Attire is casual.  Bring three to five copies of your résumé, with an electronic version on a thumb drive, and any questions you have for the recruiters.

Networking Reception

A networking reception brings recruiters and job seekers together to talk about industries and career paths.  Networking receptions are often held prior to career fairs and offer a more intimate and less formal occasion for students and employers to meet.

Attire is business casual.  Bring five to ten copies of your résumé and any questions you have for the recruiters.

Before a networking reception:

  • If possible, find out which employers will be there.
  • Prepare and practice a 30-second introduction, including your name, professional interests and goals, and reasons for interest in the particular employer.

During the event:

  • Identify employers with whom you want to connect.
  • Initiate conversation with a recruiter who is standing alone or with another recruiter; wait your turn if a recruiter is busy with someone else.
  • Use a firm handshake, smile, and make appropriate eye contact.
  • Ask questions about the company or organization to indicate your interest.
  • Ask for business cards from recruiters so you can follow up.

After the event, be sure to send thank-you notes to recruiters from companies or organizations where you’d like to work.

Career Fair

A career fair is a formal event at which recruiters staff tables or booths where job-seekers can stop by and learn about career opportunities.

If possible, find out which employers will be in attendance and which ones will be recruiting for your major or area of study so that you can focus your time and efforts on those employers. Practice your 30-second introduction, including your name, a summary of your professional experience, professional interests and goals, and reasons for interest in the particular employer.

Attire is business professional. Bring 15-20 copies of your résumé, with an electronic version on a thumb drive, and any questions you have for the recruiters. Try to arrive early in the day, before the recruiters get too busy or too tired. Before you enter the venue, turn off your cell phone or at least set the ringtone to vibrate.

During the event:

  • Approach recruiters confidently and introduce yourself; eye contact, a smile, and a firm handshake will help you make a good impression.
  • Offer a copy of your résumé, but don't be discouraged if a recruiter can't or won't accept it or if he or she asks you to go the company website instead. Many companies have fair hiring policies that require all applicants to submit résumés or apply for jobs online.
  • Ask specific questions of each recruiter regarding career opportunities and the kinds of skills the company or organization is looking for. Emphasize your own skills and how they would mesh with the employers' needs.
  • Be conscious of the amount of time you spend with each recruiter if other people are waiting. About five minutes is the maximum time you should spend with a busy recruiter; two to three minutes is ideal.
  • Ask for business cards. After each conversation, take a moment to jot down a few points you discussed with the recruiter on the back of his or her card.

Within 24–48 hours of the event, send a thank-you note or email message to each recruiter with whom you talked at any length, thanking him or her for his or her time. Be sure to mention the date and location of the event as a reminder, along with any specifics you discussed.

 

Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032