The Recruiting Process

What You Need to Know About the Recruiting Process

Everyone’s career path is unique, what works for a friend or family member might not work for you. There are a few constants in the recruiting process that are important for you to know, however, click on a topic below to learn more about each item.

Recruiting Timeline

Following is a general recruiting timeline for the fall and winter semesters:

Fall Recruiting Timeline

Early September

  • Recruiting activity begins
  • Schedule and ECRC career advising appointment to get ready for recruitment season
  • Apply for positions posted in Engineering Careers


  • Peak volume for campus recruiting activity
  • Attend fall engineering career fairs and other networking events
  • Continue to apply for positions
  • Schedule interviews


  • High volume campus recruiting continues
  • Attend career fairs and other networking events, including information sessions, tech talks, coffee chats, etc.
  • Continue to apply for positions
  • Schedule interviews


  • Reduced campus recruiting activity
  • Continue to apply for positions
  • If you received a job offer, consider scheduling an “evaluating offers” career advising appointment
  • Note – December is a quiet month for recruiting

Winter Recruiting Timeline


  • High volume of campus recruiting activity
  • Schedule and ECRC career advising appointment
  • Attend Winter Engineering Career Fair
  • Apply for positions posted in Engineering Careers


  • High volume of campus recruiting activity
  • Attend employer events such as information sessions, tech talks, coffee chats, etc…
  • Attend Company Days
  • Continue to apply for jobs
  • Schedule Interviews


  • Recruiting slows down
  • Campus recruiting continues for “just in time hiring”
  • Meet with an ECRC adviser to refine job search strategy if still job searching


  • Minimal recruiting activity
  • If looking for a job during this time, focus on independently networking through resources like LinkedIn
  • Note – recruiting activity slows in the summer months

Job Offers

Once you receive a job offer, consider the following before you make a decision.

  • Consider what is important to YOU about the job:
    • Salary & Benefits
    • Geographic Location
    • Organizational Culture
    • Professional Development Opportunities
  • Evaluate the offer:
    • Response timeline
    • Salary
    • Start Date
    • Relocation Assistance
    • Sign-on Bonus
    • Benefits
  • What Questions can you ask employers after you receive an offer?
    • Clarification on anything related to the job or the offer including: compensation, benefits, or the job description.
    • Prepare questions ahead of time and reach out to the recruiter/hiring manager you’ve worked with throughout the process to ask your questions.
  • If you plan to accept the offer:
    • Stop interviewing with other companies and cancel any future interviews.
    • Stop applying to other jobs.
    • Read the ECRC’s Offers and Acceptance of Employment Policy.
    • Schedule an appointment to meet with an ECRC Career Advisor to talk through any questions you have.
  • Offer Deadlines
    • The ECRC highly recommends that employers extending full-time and internship offers remain open until November 30 and for at least a period of three weeks.
    • Please note that this is a guideline and not a strict policy. Additional information can be found here.

Reneges on Job Offers

Thinking of changing your mind about a job offer? Consider the following first:

What does it mean to accept a job offer?

  • When you have agreed to the terms of a company’s offer of employment and communicated to them your acceptance.

What does it mean to renege on a job offer?

  • When you back out of an accepted job offer/agreement with a company that you previously committed to.

You may have heard conflicting information from your peers, parents/guardians, the internet, etc. about reneging on a job offer you have already accepted. It is advised that you speak with an ECRC Advisor before making a decision.
You can schedule an advising appointment through Engineering Careers, by 12twenty.

What could happen if you renege on a job offer?

You are taking away an opportunity from another student by reneging

  • Companies interview many students for their available positions.
  • Your ‘second choice’ could be another student’s dream job.
  • If you are unsure about an opportunity, say no so that it gives others a chance at their top choice.

It costs companies money to make you a job offer. If you renege, they lose money

  • It takes time for companies to plan recruitment activities and engage with students.
  • When you renege you waste a company’s time.                                                                                  

It may tarnish your reputation

  • It may also tarnish the reputation of the College of Engineering at U-M.
  • The company may decide to discontinue recruiting at U-M because of reneging trends and this may cost future wolverines great opportunities.

It is likely you will not be able to work for that organization in the future

  • Additionally, recruiters tend to change companies within similar industries, so it is likely that your name would travel with them to a different company you could be interested in in the future.

While the recruiting process and timeline is never perfect, it is up to you to conduct yourself in the most professional and ethical way possible. This ultimately means making tough decisions.

If you commit to an internship, co-op, or full-time job offer you can avoid a situation in which you may renege by canceling all additional interviews and recruitment events you have planned. This also means putting your job search on a temporary hold and discontinuing applying to new positions.

Find the value in your upcoming experience!

Each experience you engage in will contribute to your professional growth and will contribute to you learning the skills needed to be successful in the workplace.

  • Use your time as an opportunity to network
  • Build transferable skills
  • Master your technical skills