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Classroom to Careers: Career Fair Myth Busters

Taren Crow, LAS Career Services Director, debunked some of the top career fair myths that have come through the LAS Career Services office. Are these the myths holding you back? Check out Taren’s myth busting answers!  

Myth 1:Career Fairs are just for seniors. 

Career fairs aren’t just for job searching! There are also many internships available for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Career fair is also a great place to learn more about careers options, potential future employers and practice professional skills. I would highly recommend going as a freshman to ask employers about opportunities and what they look for in candidates so you can plan ahead. 

 Myth 2: I don’t have any previous experience so no one would hire me. 

Always keep in mind that everyone has to start somewhere! You can also talk about experiences you’ve had volunteering, participating in student organizations, working on class projects or group work, etc. If you’re not sure what kind of experience employers are looking for, ask! 

 Myth 3: I have to go out and buy a new wardrobe to go/Professional Dress doesn’t matter much. 

You don’t have to spend lots of money to look polished and professional at the career fair. There are lots of stores in Ames and even secondhand stores with plenty of low-cost options for dress shirts, pants, jackets, and shoes, as well as conservative dresses and skirts. There are also free pop-up shops around campus – check out our LAS Career Services Instagram page for details. Head to this link for more tips on professional dress! You can always come to Career Services with questions about what to wear or how to find affordable, professional clothing. 

 Myth 4: The last time I went employers told me to apply online, so there’s no point in going. 

Nothing beats a personal connection! Making the effort to talk to an employer at a career fair shows that you’re serious about the position and willing to go above and beyond. Even if you apply online, meeting you in person can really tip the scales to help you get an interview. 

 Myth 5: The companies attending aren’t looking for my major. 

How do you know unless you ask? The information employers provide on CyHire about the majors they are looking for is really just a rough idea. New opportunities may pop up between the time they register and attend the career fair! Never hesitate to stop into Career Services for help finding employers you’re interested in. I’m always surprised by the number of opportunities available for different majors!  

 Myth 6: I haven’t heard of many of the companies, so it’s probably not worth going. 

When I started working in Career Services I hadn’t heard of most of the organizations that attended the career fair either. However, in my time here I’ve learned about so many organizations with amazing opportunities. Be sure to look past the names and research what the organizations do! Also, keep in mind that there are lots of different positions within each organization and they need all kinds of talent to succeed. 

These are just a few of the myths we have heard at the LAS Career Services office. Do you have more myths and questions for us to debunk? Stop by our office at 131 Carver Hall between or Drop-in Hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1-3pm or schedule an appointment on CyHire today!