Attending a Career Fair isn’t always enough. You have dropped your resumes and got the business cards. What is there to do now? Just sit and wait for a phone call or an email? There are actually steps to take after attending a Career Fair to ensure you stand out amongst the hundreds of students that attended the event as well. Here is a short list of the most effective ways to get that internship or job opportunity above the crowd:
1. Start Getting Organized
Networking with employers is in many ways a daunting task. Especially when you have just spoken to a handful of employers and recruiters. So the best way to stay ahead is to create a document that organizes what organization or business you spoke to. If you have a business card staple that to the document next to the corresponding name, or simply make note of the recruiter. It will also benefit you to write down anything you might have said that stood out during your encounter. This way you have a conversation starter during follow-ups.
If you grabbed a business card or two (which you most definitely should have) remember to give those recruiters a ring. Make sure to stay fresh in their mind and give them a follow-up call. There are really two general routes you can take when planning that conversation. Depending on the relationship you might have with the recruiter, it might be note worthy opportunity to call within 24-48 hours. If it was a recruiter whom you have never met before, realize that these recruiters travel from Career Fair to Career Fair and do not necessarily have the time to chat right away. A rule of thumb is to wait about a week and a half’s worth of time before following up. This is to give them time to sort through resumes and to catch them when they are not focused on recruiting during Career Fair events. Remember, a well-planned follow-up will show dedication and leadership.
3. Update and Professionalize LinkedIn
100% of employers look at LinkedIn; make sure they can find you! That is probably the most important aspect. But a professional account will put you in a different league than the competition. GET A PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOT! If you do not have one already, get one. No cropped pictures allowed and definitely make sure you have a picture of you in your best outfit uploaded. Not having a profile picture is the worst possible scenario on LinkedIn. This cannot be stressed enough! Make sure EVERY question/aspect of the profile is filled out to the best of your ability. This profile is your E-resume and should be treated as such, professional and complete.
4. Continue Practicing
Interviewing well is most certainly a skill. And like any skill when you don’t utilize it, you lose it. It will keep your skills sharp and ready for your next opportunity.
5. Reflect on the Experience
How do you think you did approaching recruiters? Here is a list of questions to ask in reflection on a performance:
• Did I prepare for the Career Fair?
• Did I make enough networks? More than 3?
• Did I give my 30-second elevator speech?
• Did I have any memorable conversations?
• Did I learn anything about a potential employer or myself?
• Would I do anything differently next time?
Hopefully your Career Fair experience was memorable and you gained some new networks. Sometimes the preparation for a Career Fair can be daunting in itself and you have to decide if all that preparation is worth it to find your career. I can tell you it most certainly is. These Post-Career Fair tips are just as essential, maintaining professionalism and taking initiative will put you ahead of the heard. Anything we might have missed? Do you have a follow-up experience to share? Let us know in the comments!
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7 Things You Need to Do After Attending a Career Fair. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
Focus on Follow-up – nationalcareerfairs.com. (2015, January 30). Retrieved October 4, 2015.