You've gotten through your first career fair and you've got a nice stack of business cards. Now what? To make your time at a job fair worthwhile, you need to follow up with the companies you met with. Many students are unsure of how to begin this process or what to say. Follow these tips to make a lasting impression and develop a solid connection with these employers.
Do it in a short period of time It's important to follow up with recruiters within a day or two of the event.1 The job market is competitive – you won't be the only one sending a note. Don't wait – the longer you do, the more likely they'll forget their conversation with you. If you wait a week and other interested people follow up sooner, you may be overlooked or considered lazy. There are a few ways you can reach out to a company: an email, a phone call or even a letter.
Keep it formal Regardless of how much you connected with a person, do not be informal in your email.2 Beginning an email with “Yo, Johnny!” isn't a smart decision. Instead, look into the company website. Find out what positions are available and determine which ones you might be interested in. Note your enthusiasm about these positions and the company as a whole. Mention the skills that you have that might make you a viable candidates for the position. However, don't be too pushy. Let the recruiter suggest an interview and go from there.
Stroke their ego In the follow up, it's also important to compliment the employer and the business a little. Don't overdo it – a little can go a long way. Let them know why you're interested in their company and not in others. Mention what makes them different. State that you were excited to speak with them and truly valued their opinion and conversation at the event. These kinds of compliments can help get you in a strong position as an excited candidate.
Make it short Though you should include all these things, don't make your follow up a saga. No employer or recruiter has the time to go through a lengthy email or letter. If it's long, they may just stop reading after the first paragraph. Instead, stay succinct. Keep your note to around three paragraphs long. Use points that were in your conversation as a guideline to help keep the letter focused. These mentions should indicate that you were listening to the employer during the discussion.
Edit Don't just write an email and send it along. Be sure to read it meticulously to spot any grammatical or spelling errors. Better yet, use a second pair of eyes. Ask a friend to look it over or read it aloud to him or her. That way, you can get their opinion and make sure that you don't sound too brazen or informal. Follow ups with errors are a complete red flag for employers. It'll seem like you don't pay attention to detail or wrote the letter too quickly.
Follow these tips to impress the recruiters you met at the career fair and establish some solid connections.