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Job fairs make for excellent opportunities when it comes to meeting prospective employers. Often, screening processes are streamlined so that your resume and cover letter will be quickly reviewed and you might be interviewed on the spot. Or, employers sometimes schedule interviews for job fairs to maximize the number of candidates they can meet. Unfortunately, the downside of job fair meetings is their sheer number. Without effective follow-ups, you risk becoming one of hundreds of likely candidates passing by the employer’s table at the job fair.
Get That Business Card
Following up after a job fair interview is so crucial, the first step begins right at the employer’s booth: requesting her business card, according to Oregon State University Career Services. Asking for the card demonstrates that you’re proactive and professional, and will provide valuable information about different ways to contact the representative after the fair. Keeping track of employers can be daunting on a busy job fair day, so make a mental or written note of something memorable that happened during your verbal exchange when stowing the business card away. This will help trigger your memory, and hopefully the interviewer’s memory, during follow-up steps.
Say Thank You
Thanking your interviewer after the job fair meeting is a top priority. Even if the interview didn’t go well and you have more interest in other employers, send a thank-you email to indicate gratitude for having the chance to discuss your qualifications. If you don’t want the job, you’ll still want to contribute to your overall reputation for professionalism and social finesse. If you do want the job, a thank-you note can be a subtle way to remind interviewers why you’re the best pick for the job. Keep letters brief, polished and to the point. Thank you notes also serve the important function of reminding interviewers how to get in touch, so provide your contact information.
Because job fair recruiters meet with hundreds of candidates, it can take more than one try to reconnect with a potential employer. Perseverance can help you stand out from other candidates, even if the employer has already made a hiring decision. You don’t want to inundate or annoy company representatives with intrusive communication, but regular respectful contact indicates interest. Checking in once a month is acceptable, and provides you with the opportunity to let employers know about new skills or certifications you acquire as time passes.
Use Professional Sites
Career Perfect recommends that job hunters connect with company representatives online after job fair meetings. Be selective about which social networking or other networking platforms you’ll use to connect with interviewers, however. Stick with professional sites and keep your communication tone formal and respectful. Once you’ve connected with job fair representatives online, it becomes easier to relay updates about your qualifications and references.
Morgan Rush is a California journalist specializing in news, business writing, fitness and travel. He's written for numerous publications at the national, state and local level, including newspapers, magazines and websites. Rush holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego.