Next Tuesday, October 8 from 9 am to 3 pm the Lied Recreation Center will be filled with organizations from across the Midwest as well as hopeful students searching for internships and jobs. The CALS Career Day is the largest career fair of its kind in the country. Career Day can be a little intimidating when it is student's first times attending. There are various tips and tricks that are likely to make the day go smoother when stepping into such a large fair.
One of the first steps to success is creating a resume. A resume should include information such as your education, work experience, involvement, contact information, and references. Feel free to get creative with the format of your resume so it represents you! After your resume is completed, it is a good idea to print about 10 copies to bring with you to career fair so you can give them out to the representatives at the companies you are speaking with. It is also a good idea to invest in a padfolio to carry around with you. This will hold all your resumes as well as notes you have on the companies you are interested in. For more resume building tips: https://www.career.cals.iastate.edu/resume-tips
Dressing for success is also an important piece to Career Day. Men should wear dress pants, a nice collared shirt, tie, and blazer along with dress shoes. Women have the choice between skirts, pants, dresses, nice shirts, and blazers. Dress in what you feel comfortable in and would be considered business professional. Women should also be cautious about the shoes they wear. Sometimes wearing heels isn't the best idea if you are going to be walking around all day, so a comfortable pair of flats can be a good option.
Before Tuesday you need to do some homework. Look at the list of companies attending Career Day: https://www.career.cals.iastate.edu/cals-career-day Pick out the companies that you are interested in and take notes on the positions that you would like to learn about. Knowing what you are interested in and a little background on the company is helpful when entering such a large fair. Notes will also make you feel more prepared and will jog your memory before you go up and speak with the companies.
When entering Lied, begin by speaking with a company you are familiar with or one that you aren't as interested in. This will help you to get your feet wet and get out some of the nervousness before approaching your top companies. Remember to ask representatives questions and tell them about yourself. They are there for you and want to learn about you and why you would fit with their company. Don't be afraid to show off!
After you leave Career Day, it is a good idea to reach out to the companies you spoke with, especially your favorite ones. Thank them for their time and ask any additional questions that you may have. It also doesn't hurt to include a pdf version of your resume.
Career Day may be intimidating, but it is a very exciting opportunity and can be the next step in your future plan. Preparation is key to a successful day. Good luck at CALS Career Day!