How Can ChEs Get the Most out of Career Fairs?

Career or job fairs can be a great way to explore employment opportunities and learn about companies who are actively hiring chemical engineers.

For the February CEP Career Corner column, I'm writing about how ChEs can get the most out of a career fair.

Have career or job fairs been part of your job search strategy? I want to hear about it:


  • Which career fair did you attend?
  • Did the fair help you land a job?
  • Which career fairs are worthwhile for ChEs to attend?
  • What advice would you give others who are interested in attending one? What should they do before, during, and after a fair?

When you comment, please be sure to include your full name, city and state in your post, so that I can quote you in the article. Thank you!

Please share your career fair advice and experiences below.


Sarah Ewing's picture

Lorianne: I recently attended a career fair even though I currently have a job. I was mainly attending because i had not attended one since I was an undergrad, and I wanted to try out my "elevator speech" now that I have some experience and confidence under my belt. Man, what a difference it made when i was able to walk up and confidently say who I am, what I do and what I am looking for in my career. It was a huge confidence boost, and very informative to see the different opportunities out there. I used a lot of my experience for material for my networking workshop I gave at the 2013 Annual Student Conference in San Francisco. Love this topic for CEP. Would love to talk more with you on this. Sarah Ewing, Philadelphia, PA

Unfortunately the last career fairs I attended were all when I was undergrad and the main focus of the recruiters seemed to be GPA. It was always presented up front. Since graduating, all my job changes have been from networking, including the first one right out of school.

Thanks Sarah and EngFacts for your comments. Sarah, besides boosting your confidence, did having a better elevator speech at the Fair get you interviews? I think GPA is always going to be important as a screening tool at Career Fairs. Knowing someone or getting connected through networking can help get you past that initial screen of GPA.

Sarah Ewing's picture

Yes, i think having the elevator speech was VERY useful. Before I would just walk up to recruiters and hand my resume and wait for them to ask me questions. Now that i have more confidence and knowledge of what I want, I would walk up and immediately tell them who I was, wat my strongest skill sets were and what I was looking for in my career. I was amazed how many more interview offers i recieved just by doing this. I also definitely agree that for undergrads with no experience, GPA is a big factor used by recruiters to screen out candidates, but if you get a contact at the company and network your way in/get a good recommendation, you definitely have a better shot.