College of Engineering Career Fairs
Where Chicagoland's top employers and student talent meet!
SAVE THE DATE!
SAVE THE DATE: Spring 2020 Career Fair!
February 12th, UIC Forum, 12pm-4pm
Majors: Bioengineering, Chemical, Civil, Computer Science, Computer, Electrical, Industrial, and Mechanical Engineering
NOTE: If you need accommodations at the career fair due to a disability, please contact Jonna McHugh (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the fair with a description of what you will need.
How to Prepare for a Successful Career Fair Experience
Make sure your resume is polished and presentable
- Should be neatly formatted with relevant content. Examples: ecc.uic.edu/resume.
- Make sure to check for spelling and grammar errors. Visit us for a resume review if you need help updating.
- Resume paper is okay to use, but keep it simple and not too flashy (light color).
- Carry your resumes in a padfolio or nice folder.
- If your resume is two pages, print out both pages and staple (no printing on back-side).
Research the employers you plan on meeting
- Employers appreciate when you know about their business and hiring needs.
- Do your homework on the employers you plan to meet: view the list of registered employers.
- Besides visiting company websites, check LinkedIn, Glassdoor and news articles or blog posts to find up-to-date information on the companies you are interested in speaking with.
- The more you know about your target employers, the more confidence you will have when meeting them at the career fair!
Prepare an elevator pitch
- An elevator pitch (30-45 seconds) is what you say when introducing yourself to an employer during the career fair.
- An elevator pitch typically includes your name, your major, year in school, and 1-2 highlights about yourself (e.g. a technical skill you know, a recent internship you had, a current project you are working on, etc.).
- Practicing your elevator pitch will give you confidence when meeting employers at the career fair (and will also impress the employer).
Dress to impress the employers
- All students should wear Business Professional attire when attending a career fair.
- We realize many engineers will not wear suits on the job daily. But for career fairs, arriving in business professional attire will show employers that you are serious about obtaining a job or internship. Wearing sloppy clothes or casual attire at career fairs makes employers think that you are not serious.
- Definition of Business Professional attire: suits (blazer with pants, dress, or skirt), pressed blouses or collared shirts, ties, polished dress shoes, understated makeup & jewelry. Skirt/dress hemlines should be at or below the knee. Hair, including facial hair, should look tidy and well-groomed.
- Make your first impression with employers a positive one; attend the career fair looking neat, tidy, and smelling clean.
- Many employers attending the career fair will already have positions posted on UICcareers.com.
- If possible, apply to positions on UICcareers.com before attending the career fair. Employer will be impressed with your pro-activeness! It will also enable you to have a more productive conversation at the career fair (recruiters can’t tell you to apply online, since you have already applied).
Navigating the career fair
- Arrive early if possible. There will be a large turnout and you want to make sure you are able to meet with all of your target companies.
- Make sure to download the career fair app. It will contain the career fair map – which will show you where each employer’s table is located. If you do not have access to a smartphone or other similar device, we will have a limited number of printed maps available.
- Consider visiting with smaller companies first, then visiting with more well-known companies afterwards.
- Well-known companies will have long lines. If you arrive to the career fair early, try to meet with them first. If you arrive late, visit with smaller companies first, then stand in the line for the larger companies.
- Maintain professional behavior, as if you are in interview mode the entire time. You never know when an employer may be listening!
- Ask for a business card in order to follow up with the employer. No card? Get their full name and look them up on LinkedIn so you can follow up with them.
- SMILE! Employers notice how you carry yourself and your facial expressions say a lot.
- Stand out in a positive way by displaying sharing a memorable story in your elevator pitch.
- Ask questions! Employers love it when students ask questions, it shows that you are truly interested in the company
Follow up with employers. This is arguably the most important step.
- Use the business cards and names you collected and follow up with your target employers over email or through LinkedIn.
- A brief email or personalized LinkedIn invite shows the employer your strong interest level in them.
- Here are some tips on writing a follow-up thank you note.
- Be patient. Employers/Recruiters are busy and will get back to you if they are interested.