EDITORIAL: Cyclones get ready for career fair

Thousands of Iowa State students seeking jobs and internships will attend the first career fairs of the fall semester this week.

Three career fairs will take place at Iowa State this week. The Engineering Fall Career Fair was first. It took place in Hilton and the Scheman Building from noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 19.

On Wednesday, the Business, Industry and Technology Career Fair (at Hilton), and the People to People Career Fair (at Scheman) will take place from noon to 6 p.m. as well.

The career fair for Agriculture and Life Sciences will be held Oct. 17 at Lied Recreation Center. The doors to the event will be open at 9 a.m. until closing at 3 p.m.

Career fairs not only provide the opportunity to seek out jobs, but also the chance to network and establish relationships with employees and their representatives. Students can exchange contacts, educate themselves by learning from their surroundings at these fairs and learn about the potential avenues these employers are recruiting for. 

Remember, these career fairs are just the first step of your job seeking endeavor; however, students can land on their feet with some preparation and professionalism.

Iowa State Career Services provides students with a “wide array of trainings and services encompassing multiple workshops and information sessions for undergraduate and graduate students” which students can attend prior to their career fairs in order to feel more prepared.

Career Services also provides a complete list of companies attending the fair. This list includes a description of the company, positions they are looking for and maps indicating their booth locations at the venue. This is a great source for students to utilize in order to be prepared before they even get to the fair. 

While attending the career fairs, dress appropriately to look professional during the event. Remember, “The first impression is the last impression,” and the employers’ representatives will remember the way you appear when you first meet them. 

Along with looking proffesional, remember to also communicate professionally. This is the best time to promote yourself. There will probably be many other students who are interested in the same jobs that you are, but you need to stand apart from the crowd. Remember, a major part of professional success comes from your personality and the way you communicate, negotiate and lead.

Research your target employer beforehand and prepare exactly what you want to ask them as well as what you want to tell them about yourself. Your preparation will show your interest in the company as well as respect for their time. After you leave the fair, remember to follow up with a “thank you” email to stay in contact.

And remember to not underestimate career fairs. These events provide an amazing experience to see first hand what the job competition looks like now and is a great opportunity to learn career skills which may not be taught in class.