One of the many resources Iowa State has to aid students in job placement after graduation is the career fair! What is the career fair you ask? Why, the career fair is an event where hundreds of employers come to Iowa State to speak with Iowa State students about internship and job opportunities. Now, you may be thinking this sounds intimidating, but fear not! If you keep reading this blog, I will give you helpful tips on how to best prepare for the career fair so you can get the most out of this amazing opportunity.
Career Fair Prep Sessions
The college of Liberal Arts and Sciences understand the importance of preparation for the career fair so they assist students by hosting sessions to aid students in getting ready. These events are hosted by Career Services and range from what to expect at the career fair to interview prep! Last semester, I visited almost all of these sessions before attending the career fair to ensure I was prepared to make a positive impression on my future employers. Just follow the link in the title of this section to look at the upcoming career fair prep sessions being hosted this semester.
If larger settings aren’t your style or you feel you need more help preparing for the career fair, don’t worry! You can sign up for an advising appointment from career services. Taren Crow and Tabatha Carney are the two wonderful women in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Career Services Center that will help students with resume touch up, mock interviews, and interview strategies. To schedule an appointment, simply login to Cyhire and go to the link to schedule an advising appointment to get started.
Planning for the Career Fair
So now that you have refined your resume and perfected your networking skills thanks to career services, you are almost ready for the career fair! Almost? But I thought I was ready? you ask. You may be ready in terms of material when speaking to potential employers but who are those potential employers you are looking for? Cyhire has all the information to finish your preparation for the career fair. Under each individual career fair link is the list of employers that are coming to look for Iowa State students. Further information about the company, like what they are looking for and where they will be located in the career fair can be found by following that specific company’s link. The Cyhire website allows you to filter through results to narrow the results down to companies that are of interest to you as sifting through hundreds of companies is very time consuming!
So you have logged in to Cyhire and found about 10 companies you want to speak to. Now what? I recommend making a list of order you want to speak to each company and mapping out your route. You may not want to start with your number one company since you are so eager to speak to them but I’d suggest starting with another company you aren’t as into to help get the initial nerves out. This will help you get warmed up and ready to speak to the company you like the most. As for the mapping comment I made, you don’t have to do this but it is very useful as it helps to stay on track for who you want to talk to. You may not have the whole day to spend at the career fair so really planning who you are speaking to and when and where they will be will help streamline the process of the career fair so you can get the most out of it.
Wow that was a lot about preparing for the career fair. There are career fair preparation sessions to help you be the best you can be. It may seem like a lot of work to prepare and it is! But these people could be your future employers and we are in college with the goal of getting a job so it will take a bit to fully prepare yourself for the future. Not everyone prepares in the same way and that’s fine. I know not everyone color codes their map like I do, so find a system that works for you. If you are still worried, don’t forget about Career Services and how happy they are to help you prepare for the upcoming career fair! Good Luck!
Posted by: Lauren Walker