So what happens next? Career Fair follow-up!

Recently attend a career fair?  If so, you might be wondering what the next steps are to continue your job or internship-seeking momentum, and to stand out from the crowd.  


  • Different recruiters will have varying preferences as to how you follow-up – send an email, give a call, apply online, connect on LinkedIn.

While following-up, be appropriate in your communication and your timeline

  • When should I follow-up?
    Follow-up promptly, but give yourself enough time to craft a professional and intentional message.  Better to send a thoughtful message 48 hours after the fact than a hurried message 24 hours after.  To appear professional, consider following up during standard business hours (M-F 8am-5pm); but if the only time you can find to send an email is after work on a Thursday or when you wake up on Sunday, don’t let that stop you. Find that business card in your backpack three weeks later?  It’s not too late to follow-up, but again – be thoughtful, intentional and make the most of the outreach.
  • What do I say?
    Reference the fair at which you interacted with the employer, a couple elements of your conversation, and reiterate your interest in particular positions and opportunities. Include your resume (be sure it includes contact information!), and thank the recruiter for their time and consideration. College recruiters can be at multiple career fairs on multiple campuses each month – help them place where they met you.
  • What if I don’t hear back right away?
    Don’t fret – but also don’t spam.  Checking in 10-14 days after an initial interaction or after a follow-up message is an appropriate interval, as many recruiters are busy and traveling, and the process of reviewing resumes and interest also takes time.  The goal is to be enthusiastic – but not irritating.

Utilize LinkedIn!

  • Some employers to whom you handed business cards or resumes may be looking at your professional presence online. As such, you’ll want to be sure your LinkedIn profile a) exists and b) is up to date. Need help creating a LinkedIn profile? Attend one of our LinkedIn workshops or check out these great tips from LinkedIn.
  • Then use your LinkedIn account to follow companies of interest, connect with recruiters you spoke with, and get a sense of companies’ culture and opportunities.

Prep for an interview!

Land an interview post-fair?  Congrats!  Now be sure you’re ready – and treat a post-career-fair interview just like you would any other.  The opportunity at the other end is just as real, even if the initial conversation that led to the interview may have been less structured than a full online application.

What next?

While career fairs are a great place to make a connection, they aren’t the place that all Huskies will find their job or internship, and they’re often just one piece of a successful job or internship search strategy.  Looking for next steps after the fair? Use the myriad of other resources available to you to assist in making great connections with employers seeking UW candidates:

  • Workshops and other events – dozens of workshops and events are offered each quarter (including workshops specifically on prepping for a career fair!), affording you the opportunity to build your skills and/or connect with employers. The calendar is updated regularly, so is a great resource to bookmark and periodically return to.
  • Handshake– More than 10,000 jobs & internships are posted annually through this online portal that employers utilize exclusively to post jobs and internships for Huskies. Login today at
  • On-Campus Interviews – Several hundred employers access this program every year looking for talent – with the interviews happening right here in the Career & Internship Center! Hard to beat the visibility with employers and the convenience for your class schedule.
  • Not sure where to start, or what to do next? Always feel free to give us a call at 206.543.0535 or stop by Mary Gates Hall 134.