Dressing for a Career Fair: College of Design


Photo: Ryan Damman/Iowa State Daily

Colton Kennedy, junior in biological systems engineering and mechanical engineering, reviews his resume at the College of Engineering Career Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 21 in large tents constructed on the Iowa State Center courtyard.

Madison Pincombe

For Design 

Along with the many career development programs the College of Design’s Career Services provides, they also focus on helping students prepare and look the part for career fairs.  

Tiffany Atilano, Design Career Services director, says attire at a job for a student within the College of Design could be “all over the map.” 

Because of the broad spectrum of majors and careers within the college “it will depend greatly on the position and office environment or culture,” explains Atilano.

“There are some really creative jobs where they won’t wear dress up clothes at all when they work,” said Shellie Hosch, Student Services program assistant. 

Despite this flexibility and variation in the workplace, when it comes to apparel for a Career Fair, they both agree that “No matter what… dress up and dress professionally.” 

Atilano defines this as “business or business casual.” 

In general, Atilano said going with a suit is always a good decision for a career fair or an interview but adds that pants, colored shirts, skirts and ties work too.

Although the College of Design is a very creative and expressive atmosphere, Atilano said, “A career fair is an environment when you are interacting with somebody that could offer you a position, so I would still be conservative and formal in the way you approach attire.”

“You can still be creative but not over the top… you could add some color, but have a clean look,” Hosch said.

Both noted the importance of first impressions.

“Most of the time our students do dress up and dress professionally. Anyone who is going there with the intent to interact with professionals puts their best foot forward,” says Atilano.