When you are job searching, whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, career fairs can provide valuable opportunities to find a new position. It can be really difficult to connect with hiring decision-makers when you’re submitting online job applications. During the standard application process, it can feel like your resume and cover letter are dropping into a black hole. Sometimes, that actually happens, and you never hear back from the company you have spent time applying to.
Job fairs and career networking events allow you to get face time with recruiters and hiring managers on the spot. When you have an opportunity to chat with someone in person, it’s much easier to make a personal connection.
Take the Time to Introduce Yourself
If you introduce yourself to everyone you meet at the fair, it will be much easier to follow up afterward. Before the conversation ends, ask the company representative for a business card, so you’ll have all the information you need to keep in touch.
Follow Up With the Recruiters You Meet
If you have the chance to talk, however briefly, with recruiters from companies you are interested in working for, that's a priceless connection you can leverage in the hiring process.
It's always a good idea to follow up with employers you meet at job fairs, even if the company doesn’t have an immediate need for someone with your qualifications. Sending a follow-up letter or email message reiterates your interest in the organization and serves as a reminder of who you are to a busy recruiter who met with many, many competitive job candidates during the event.
Here is an example of a follow-up letter you can send to a recruiter you met at a job fair.
Job Fair Follow-Up Letter Example (Text Version)
Dear Ms. Grant,
We met two weeks ago at the Education Career Fair in Boston. I enjoyed speaking with you about ABC Charter School's mission and was impressed by the work you do with the students as a college counselor.
I wanted to reaffirm my interest in the counseling position at your school. ABC Charter School's goal of sending every student to college is one I strongly believe in, and I know that my counseling experience and passion for working with inner-city students make me a strong candidate for the job.
I have attached an updated copy of the resume I gave you at the Education Career Fair. I will call next week to see if we can arrange a time to discuss this position. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Following Up Via Email
If you send the letter as an email message, include your name in the subject of the message, so your contact knows who the message is from.
Your message will have a better chance of being opened and read if the recipient is aware of who you are and why you are writing.
Here is an example of a follow-up email you can send following an initial job fair introduction to a recruiter.
Job Fair Follow-Up Email Example (Text Version)
Subject Line: Evan Jones Job Fair Follow-up
Dear Mr. Williams,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me at XXX University’s job fair last week. I have tailored my academic studies in accounting in the hope that I might one day work at a Big Five firm, and it was exciting for me to get a glimpse of [Name of firm’s] company culture and mission during our conversation.
I’d like to reaffirm my interest in the entry-level accounting position you described to me. I will be graduating, magna cum laude, in June of this year and will be immediately available to assume the responsibilities of a full-time position with your firm.
I have attached an updated copy of the resume I gave you at the career fair and am happy to provide references at your request. I will call next week to see if we can arrange a time to discuss this position.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Establishing Connections on LinkedIn
In addition to email, adding recruiters you have met with on LinkedIn can be another valuable way to stay in touch. It's important to be active, not passive, on the social media platform; comment occasionally on company updates, send short congratulatory notes, and check in periodically, without being pesky.
Career fairs can give you the face-to-face contact you need to get your foot in the door. After making a meaningful connection with a recruiter or hiring manager, following up with a letter or email can refresh their memories and keep you “top-of-mind” for future roles. Maintaining contact can help you land a job with your dream company and get connected to new opportunities.