However you choose to follow-up with a company after a career fair, be sure to extend your connections beyond the few minutes of conversation at the fair itself. Use those conversations as a foundation for a future relationship with a potential employer and colleague. Career fairs aren’t just about seeking a future job, but also future opportunities. Don’t let yourself be another face who is quickly forgotten in an enormous crowd. Take notes after each conversation then use that information to leverage your experience and enhance your job search strategy. You should also consider the following:
- Thank You Notes: Most recruiters do not distribute business cards at career fairs for obvious reasons. They do not want to receive hundreds of notes from candidates who are not genuinely interested or qualified for their open positions. What a job seeker can do, however, is write down a recruiter’s name from his or her name badge. It is not difficult to locate a company representative’s email address. A recruiter not giving out business cards can work to your advantage.
- LinkedIn: Connect with recruiters and employers via LinkedIn. You will find that some recruiters want to connect with potential candidates, however, some will not. In addition, be sure to follow a company’s LinkedIn page. LinkedIn provides a tremendous platform for connecting with potential colleagues. You can always refer to LinkedIn as an online Rolodex.
- Twitter: At the rate Twitter is growing, businesses are using it along with other social networking as an effective tool. Follow a potential employer’s Twitter feed. Many companies have a special account just for their career division. A number of recruiters have Twitter accounts themselves, which is a great way to share information.
- Cover Letters: Anytime you send a resume to a potential employer, you should include a cover letter. Follow-up with recruiters after a career fair by resending only your resume. While many will tell you they never read cover letters, others do.
- Other company representatives: Believe it or not, your booth visits at career fairs can really pay off when reaching out to other representatives of the company. Use the event as a lead in for cover letters, conversations or interviews to demonstrate your efforts toward connecting with an employer.