Career Services prepares students to attend career fairs


Over 160 organizations were represented at Iowa State’s spring Business Career Fair on Feb 7, 2018. Students from various majors in the college of business came to meet with potential employers.

Julia Benda

The Iowa State Career Fairs are kicking off this week, and Career Services is providing numerous opportunities for students to prepare for the career fairs.

Kellie Mullaney, program coordinator for Engineering Career Services, said the career fair will be set up the same as in the past, but there will be some companies that have not been to the career fair before, and many are returning.

Mullaney recommended students bring copies of their resume and notes about companies they are interested in.

“Any sort of notes that they have taken as they are researching and learning more about the company,” Mullaney said. “Bring those notes with them to the career fair; that way they can look at them before they go up and talk to a company to just give themselves a little bit of a reminder of the important things they want to talk about.”

There are several things Mullaney said she recommends students do before attending the fair.

“One is just doing a little bit of research on the companies they want to talk to,” Mullaney said. “So instead of just going up and introducing themselves and then not really knowing what to say and not having any questions prepared or anything like that, knowing just the basics about a company, like what they do overall, what types of positions they are hiring for, or where they are located, […] can really help students to have much more successful conversations at the career fair.”

Students can also prepare by having questions ready so businesses know that students have done research prior to attending the fair.

“Having some questions prepared so that they can learn a little bit more about the company besides what they could read online at the website,” Mullaney said. “And that can really help them to have better, more meaningful conversations while they are there.”

Mullaney said students should take a moment to reflect on their skills and experiences before they attend the fair. She said it is helpful to consider what kind of experiences and skills students need to apply to different companies.

There is no need to get too nervous about not having experience, Mullaney said, as it is more about communicating transferable skills students have gained so far.

“A lot of times, this can be more professional soft skills, like being able to work with a team or having great communication skills,” Mullaney said. “A lot of times, those are some of the most important skills that these companies are looking for.”

Students are able to get help with resumes, mock interviews or other preparation materials by visiting the Career Services Offices or looking at the Career Services online for tips and resources.

Visit the Career Services website at for more information and college specific office links.