Career Services

PREPARING FOR CAREER FAIRS AND WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARRIVE


Design students should be prepared to interact with firm representatives in a professional manner during any ISU career fairs or campus events. Begin by researching the participating organizations and working on your resume and portfolio.

Before the event

Know who you'd like to talk to and learn about their organization ahead of time. This will help with conversation and will show representatives that you have taken time to learn about the organization and have a genuine interest. All participating employers are listed in CyHire with links to positions, web sites, and more. Also practice introducing yourself and speaking about your career interests, skills or projects.

Visit the students section of the Career Services site for resources related to cover letters, interviewing, networking and more.

What to wear

You should dress professionally and similar to how you would dress for an interview. For men, a suit, coordinated shirt, tie, dress belt and dress shoes is appropriate. Women should also wear a suit and coordinated shirt and dress shoes. When in doubt, overdress and dress conservatively. For more information, visit the section on interviewing

What to take

Bring copies of your resume and your portfolio. A padfolio will give you a place to keep your resumes, store business cards you collect, and take notes. Leave your backpack at home and your coat on the coat rack so you don't have to carry them around. 

When you arrive

When you arrive, you will check in using your ISU Card and a nametag will be printed for you. When you enter the fair, each participating organization will have a booth display and representatives will be standing at it. Students walk from booth to booth visiting with the representatives. 

Be ready to:

  • Introduce yourself and engage the firm representative in conversation about the organization and their work.
  • Provide a resume and portfolio (some organizations may prefer to see printed work, while some will expect that you will be able to send an electronic copy).
  • Discuss how your qualifications, experience, and professional interests fit with what the organization does. 
  • Inquire about employment opportunities that will utilize your skills and talents, but don't begin the conversation with, "Are you hiring?"
  • Keep track of who you met and what you discussed; ask for contact information or a business card so you can follow up after the event.