Types of Career Events and Activities

Penn State offers many different types of virtual and in-person career events and activities for engineering students, including information sessions, recruiting days, résumé reviews, networking receptions, and career fairs.

Read on to learn more about these options and how to prepare for them. You can find out when specific events are coming up on our Upcoming Events page.

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. There may also be opportunities to chat with recruiters after the presentation.

For in-person sessions, attire is usually informal—what you would wear to class—unless the employer specifies otherwise. Take three to five copies of your résumé in case a recruiter requests one, along with any questions you have for the recruiter(s).

For virtual sessions, you should look presentable on camera. You may be asked to upload a résumé prior to the start of the event.

Recruiting Day

A recruiting day is a "mini career fair" featuring only one employer. Students are invited to drop in and chat with recruiters to learn more about the company or organization and available job opportunities.

For in-person recruiting days, recruiters usually bring some type of booth or display and/or brochures or other materials. Attire is usually informal—what you would wear to class—unless the employer specifies otherwise. Take three to five copies of your résumé in case a recruiter requests one, along with any questions you have for the recruiter(s).

For virtual recruiting days, you should look presentable on camera. You may be asked to upload a résumé prior to the start of the event and you should be prepared with any questions have for the recruiter(s).

Résumé Review

A résumé review may be provided by peers (including Engineering Career Envoys), members of our staff, employers, or engineering alumni to give you individual feedback or advice on your résumé. Résumé reviews are usually offered just prior to a large recruiting event such as a career fair. You may be required to sign up in advance for a time slot to have your résumé reviewed. Attire is informal.

For in-person résumé reviews, take a printed copy of your résumé, along with any questions you have about résumés or presenting yourself professionally.

For virtual résumé reviews, you may be asked to upload a résumé prior to the start of the event and you should be prepared with any questions you have about résumés or presenting yourself professionally.

Networking Reception

A networking reception connects recruiters and job seekers for chats about industries and career paths. Networking receptions are usually less formal than career fairs and offer more intimate opportunities for students and employers to interact.

For in-person receptions, attire is typically business casual. Take three to five printed copies of your most recently updated résumé, with an electronic version on a thumb drive, and any questions you have for the recruiter(s). Be aware that not all employers are willing or able to accept résumés at career events and may ask you to apply to jobs online instead.

For virtual receptions, dress in business casual attire from the waist up. You may be asked to upload a résumé prior to the start of the event and you should be prepared with any questions have for the recruiter(s).

Before Any Networking Reception

  • Do your research! Find out which employers are participating and recruiting students in your major so you know whom to target during the event.
  • Practice your 30-second introduction—also known as an elevator pitch—including your name, student status, major and minor or area of concentration, professional interests and goals, and reasons for interest in the particular employer.

During The Event

  • Try to participate early in the event, if possible, before recruiters get too busy and tired.
  • Initiate recruiter conversations with your 30-second introduction. Be confident so you can make the best possible first impression.
  • Remember to smile and make eye contact during your interactions. Don't spend more than 5 minutes with each recruiter, especially if other students are waiting.
  • Sell yourself! Highlight two or three of your skills or experiences that would be relevant to the employer.
  • Thank each recruiter for the time spent with you. Request contact information for recruiters, if appropriate.
  • If you are invited for an interview following a chat with a recruiter, be sure to confirm the date, time, and location. 

Career Fair

A career fair is usually a large-scale recruiting event at which recruiters representing a wide variety of employers host tables or booths where job-seekers can learn about career opportunities. Penn State offers many career fairs every year, including virtual fairs and in-person fairs both at University Park and at other campuses. Some career fairs are open to students from all colleges and majors whereas others cater specifically to students in one college or major.

Attire for career fairs is always business professional.

For in-person career fairs, take your Penn State student ID card, 15-20 printed copies of your most recently updated résumé, with an electronic version on a thumb drive, and any questions you have for the recruiters. Be aware that not all employers are willing or able to accept résumés at career events and may ask you to apply to jobs online instead.

For virtual career fairs, dress in business professional attire from the waist up. You may be asked to upload a résumé prior to the start of the event and you should be prepared with any questions have for the recruiter(s).

Before Any Career Fair

  • Do your research! Find out which employers are participating and recruiting students in your major so you know whom to target during the event.
  • Practice your 30-second introduction—also known as an elevator pitch—including your name, student status, major and minor or area of concentration, professional interests and goals, and reasons for interest in the particular employer.

During The Event

  • Try to participate early in the event, if possible, before recruiters get too busy and tired.
  • Initiate recruiter conversations with your 30-second introduction. Be confident so you can make the best possible first impression.
  • Remember to smile and make eye contact during your interactions. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes with each recruiter, especially if other students are waiting.
  • Sell yourself! Highlight two or three of your skills or experiences that would be relevant to the employer.
  • Ask questions about the company or organization.
  • Thank each recruiter for the time spent with you. Request contact information for recruiters, if appropriate.
  • If you are invited for an interview following a chat with a recruiter, be sure to confirm the date, time, and location.
 
 

Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032