What To Do After a Career Fair

You’ve attended a career fair, made a few possible contacts, and gathered a big stack of business cards. Now you’re trying to figure out what your next step should be.

(Image via Benjamin Franklin Institute Of Technology)

So you’ve attended Career EXPO; you spoke to employers, handed out resumes and learned more about the companies you want to work for. Now what?

Your small investment of time and effort — before, during and after — might very well turn into an opportunity you wouldn’t have otherwise had. In this article we will be highlighting some tips and advice on how to follow up with employers and recruiters after the job fair.

Write a Thank You Letter

Employers are used to getting follow-up emails and even calls, but a good old-fashioned handwritten thank you note can really set you apart from the crowd.Studies show more than 20 percent of recruiters won’t hire a candidate who doesn’t send a thank you note. Most job seekers fail to take this simple step, often losing out in the end to those who did express their thanks.

  • Be sure to mention something specific to jog the recruiter’s memory as to the conversation you both had at the job fair.
  • Taking the time to write and mail an actual letter will show the recruiter your drive.

Follow Up

As important as the career fair itself is, it’s the follow-up that can make or break an applicant for a position. Even if you made your conversations with recruiters as memorable as possible, when they head home with stacks of resumes, they’ll still need some prompting to keep you top of mind.

Employers struggle to remember even a few candidates during a single day of career fair. Imagine how difficult it is to remember candidates after a full season of traveling to numerous schools and attending numerous career fairs. Here are some tips on how you should follow up and as a result staying fresh in the minds of employers.

  • Email each of the people you met and thank them for their time.
  • Reiterate your interest in the company and your relevant skills and experience.
  • Re-send your resume and cover letter, while many will tell you they never read cover letters, many do. It’s not worth it to try and guess who does and doesn’t read cover letters, so just write the letter.

Even if there aren’t any current opportunities for you, there may be a chance that you’ll get a position down the line. Also, make sure when you reach out to other representatives, you mention names of specific recruiters of whom you met at the fair within your cover letter. Checking in on a regular basis will show the recruiter your commitment and help keep you in their thoughts long after other candidates have given up.

Connect online

In order to ensure that you continue to have access to the employers you spoke with, connect with them online through networking sites such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides a tremendous platform for connecting and sharing with potential colleagues, so be sure to follow a company’s LinkedIn page so that you can connect with employers. You will find that some employers will want to connect with potential candidates, so it’s important to have your profile set up before the event.

There will be few times in your life when employers will make an effort to get your attention. So when they participate in a career fair, such as Career EXPO or our upcoming Graduate and Professional Schools Fair, make the most of the opportunity to present yourself favorably, gather useful information and meet new contacts.

We hope this helps you all with your endeavors of finding a job or internship in the near future. Remember, career fairs aren’t just about seeking current jobs but future opportunities as well. Don’t let yourself be another face in an enormous crowd that is quickly forgotten. If you haven’t heard from the company, don’t be discouraged, focus your time and energy on approaching other companies. All in all, it’s always important to maintain connections with recruiters.

The University Career Center’s Graduate and Professional Schools fair will be held on Wednesday, October 4th. This is great opportunity for those of you looking to further your education in a graduate program or gain professional certifications. It’s also a great opportunity to utilize the tips you just read in this article.

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