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How to Prepare for the Upcoming Engineering Technology Career Fair

How+to+Prepare+for+the+Upcoming+Engineering+Technology+Career+Fair

On November 2nd, Fairmont State University will be hosting a career fair for Engineering Technology majors in the Colebank Gym, from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Mark your calendar! This event will provide a venue for students to meet potential employers and forge valuable connections. The career fair is recommended not only for soon-to-be graduates but for all students, as you may find opportunities for internships too! If you are a Civil, Mechanical, Electronics, or Occupational Safety major, here’s what you can do to prepare.

What Happens at the Career Fair?

            The representatives of employers will be sent up in booths at the Colebank Gym to share information and recruit students for positions. There will be a refreshments available for students throughout the entire event, and there might even be door prizes. Students who want to attend should pre-register for the event on Handshake and practice their elevator pitch and interview. On the day of the fair, students should bring multiple copies of their resume and dress smartly.

It is highly recommended that you interact with the employers present, rather than merely glance at the booths. If you are at all interested in the company, introduce yourself, saying at least your name, major, and when you expect to graduate. Try to engage in a productive conversation. Answer any questions the representative may ask you, and try to ask them a few questions, like what opportunities do you have available for students, what are you looking for in a candidate, and why is working for YZX a good career opportunity.

There also may be formal interviews available in separate conference rooms. Practice your interview skills and watch for updates regarding the career fair.

How to Register:

            First, register for the event on Handshake, a career networking service for college students. Just follow the QR code on the Engineering Technology Career Fair flyer or find the link to Handshake at the bottom of Student Links in your myFairmontState Dashboard. If you haven’t used Handshake before, the site will ask you a few questions about your academic history and preferences in an employer. Handshake can continue to be a resource for you through the rest of your college career. Once you’ve created an account, be sure to register for the Engineering Technology Career Fair, and then you’re all set.

            While not necessary for the career fair specifically, you can also consider creating a profile on LinkedIn or Indeed if you don’t already have one.

Dress for the Occasion – Business Casual:

The recommended dress code for the career fair is business casual. But what exactly does this even mean? Thankfully, you won’t have to run out and buy a new suit just for this event. You don’t have to dress formally, just dress smartly. Here’s a quick guide to business causal:

  • Wear slacks, khakis, or skirts with polo shirts, button-down collared shirts, sweaters, cardigans, or blouses, or a knee-length dress.
  • Close-toed shoes are preferred, including boots, loafers, pumps, or flats. If you wear tennis shoes, they should be very clean and not worn-out or scruffy.
  • Avoid T-shirts, tank tops, midriffs, sweatshirts, shorts, ripped jeans, athletic wear, flip-flops, baggy clothes, odd or bright colors and patterns, shirts with inappropriate messages, and overly tight or short skirts, as well as any clothing that is stained or dirty (including fake stains on a distressed piece of clothing).
  • Dark blue jeans or black jeans without holes are acceptable.
  • Choose neutral colors like gray, black, navy-blue, white and white-off.
  • A full suit or pantsuit is not required. Neckties, and jackets such as blazers or sports coats are optional.
  • Keep any jewelry, belts, or other accessories simple and professional.
  • Even if you can’t meet all these criteria exactly, the general idea is to present yourself as clean, tidy, well-groomed, well-dressed, smart, and professional.

Business casual is vague and has lots of wiggle room. Be sure to plan your outfit in advance rather than rummage through your closet on the day of the fair. When in doubt, overdress, if possible, to make a good first impression, especially when being interviewed.

Additional resources: https://emilypost.com/advice/business-casual-attire-guide and https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/starting-new-job/guide-to-business-casual-attire.

Prepare your Resume:

            Please be ready to bring several copies of your resume to the career fair. If don’t have a resume or need to polish your old one, don’t worry—the College of Science and Technology will be hosting resume workshops in advance of the career fair! Additionally, you can find resources through the Encova Career Development Center, including Hiration, a resume builder website that helps tailor your resume to a specific job description or field.

In general, here are some quick and easy tips to write your resume:

  • Include all relevant contact information, including your name in a larger font at the top of the page. If your current personal email address is something along the lines of, “[email protected]”, strongly consider creating a more neutral and professional email address for applying to jobs.
  • While other career paths, like graphic design, may sometimes encourage creativity in a resume, a conservative approach is most recommended for technical fields like engineering. Your resume should be on white paper and your text should be colored black in an easily readable font like Times New Roman or Calibri. If you decide to use any colors for headings and highlights, go for subtle, neutral colors like blue or green (not neon, of course).
  • Limit your resume to one page and include only the most recent and relevant information. Make the most of your space and fill out the page.
  • If you’ve only had a few jobs, you can list them starting with the most recent. If you haven’t been employed, you can list community service projects you’ve participated in with an organization, or simply leave it at your academic history. Do not put your GPA on your resume.
  • If you have had several jobs, only put the ones most relevant to the job you are applying for. If you’ve worked in some internships already, that’s great—go ahead and list those first (and leave your part-time job from high school off).
  • List any relevant skills, such as programming languages, computer-aided design software, proficiency with Microsoft Office, leadership skills, etc.
  • Consider including honors, awards, extracurriculars, community organizations, and any leadership positions held if relevant.
  • Always have someone (or preferably, multiple people) proofread your resume and offer constructive feedback.

Visit https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/10-resume-writing-tips for more helpful resume tips and do your own research at home too.

Prepare for Interviews:

At the career fair, employers may be offering interviews in private conference rooms separated from the main venue. Here’s a link to Career Center resources on how to study and practice for interviews: https://www.fairmontstate.edu/student-services/career-development/interviewing.aspx.

Also, look into how to give a proper elevator pitch of yourself at the booths. An elevator pitch is a brief, focused, professional way to introduce yourself and your goals. A practiced elevator pitch is also a good way to introduce yourself at the beginning of an interview.

Here’s tips on how to perform an elevator pitch: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/interviewing/how-to-give-an-elevator-pitch-examples

The College of Science and Technology will also be hosting interview and elevator pitch workshops in advance of the career fair. Stay tuned!

Good Luck!

            Employers set up will include the FBI, Marine Corps officers program, the Army Corps of Engineers, several government subcontractors, construction companies, and more.

Even if you aren’t looking for a job currently, the career fair can be an excellent opportunity to practice valuable networking skills. If you have any questions about the career fair, please contact: [email protected] or (304) 333-3670.

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About the Contributor
Emily Deal, Staff Reporter
Emily V. Deal is a senior from Ashton, WV, majoring in Electronics Engineering Technology. She seeks to someday publish a novel. Her hobbies including daydreaming, chasing chickens, cosplaying at renaissance faires, and collecting crystals, comic books, preserved animal specimens and wild golf balls fresh from the field.
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