The power of the follow-up

Aftestocksnap_aw1i0l8ydz-2r attending a career fair, you may feel really great about some of the interactions you had, you may have gotten helpful feedback on your resume from a recruiter or maybe you are enthusiastic about new internship or job opportunities.  The truth is, you probably are not the only student with these feelings.  So how do you make yourself stand out to these recruiters after the event?  Write a follow-up e-mail and keep the conversation going.  The steps you take to reconnect after the career fair are almost more important than what you did at the fair.  Making a follow-up phone call or writing an email will restate your interest in the opportunity and the employer.

To begin the process, start by organizing your contacts.  Go through the business cards and your notes to see which contacts and employers are most important and list them in priority order along with any notes you may have written down during your conversation. You should make your follow-up through a phone call or an e-mail and must be within one or two days of the career fair; no longer than one week.

In your follow-up, you want to discuss your enthusiasm in the position, something you talked about at the career fair, skills that match the open position and a thank you for the conversation. You could also attach an updated or more tailored version of your resume for their reference. This conversation or e-mail should not be casual but should show your serious interest in the position. Make sure you end with your contact information.

Depending on the response in the follow-up, you may want to send an e-mail or note occasionally to touch base and show your interest in the position. You can also ask them to hold onto your resume for future interest. After the follow-up, only contact them in moderation to keep the communication going.

Most importantly, remember that career fairs are one step to getting a job or internship. It is exciting to meet people who are passionate about the same things you are and it is important to make these connections. Following-up is a powerful tool to keep your connections made alive and your name familiar with recruiters.

By Arianna Aldebot
Arianna Aldebot Associate Director of the Career Center @ Engineering Arianna Aldebot