If there is one question I can always count on this time of year, it is how to followup with recruiters after Career Fairs. Congratulations to job candidates wanting to take their conversations and build on an initial connection with a prospective employer. Recruiters struggle to remember even a few candidates during a single day of Career Fair. Imagine how difficult it is to remember candidates after a full season of traveling to numerous schools and attending numerous Career Fairs. Before you decide it is a waste of time to attend a Career Fair after that statement, never fear. I share with you a few tips on how to maximize your Career Fair experience and move to the head of the class so to speak.
- Thank you notes: Most recruiters do not distrubute business cards at Career Fair for obvious reasons. They do not want to receive hundreds of notes from candidates that are not really interested or qualified for their positions. What a job seeker can do, however, is write down a recruiter's name from their namebadge or your conversation. It is not that difficult to find a company representative's email address. A recruiter not giving out business cards can end up being to your advantage.
- LinkedIn: Connect with recruiters and employers via LinkedIn. You will find that some recruiters want to connect with potential candidates. Be prepared that some will not though. In addition, be sure to follow a company's LinkedIn page. LinkedIn provides a tremendous platform for connecting and sharing with potential coleagues. I always refer to LinkedIn as an online rolodex.
- Twitter: Twitter is where its at folks. Twitter is growing faster and faster everyday, and businesses are effectively using this tool. Job seekers are making a huge mistake by not taking advantage of Twitter. 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. What a great way to share information.
- Cover Letters: I would be remiss if I did not mention the good ole Cover Letter. Anytime you send a resume to a potential employer, you should include a cover letter. Followup with recruiters after a Career Fair by resending your resume and cover letter. While many will tell you they never read cover letters, many do. It's not worth it to try and guess who does and doesn't read cover letters, so just write the letter.
- Other company representatives: Believe it or not, your booth visits at Career Fair can really pay off when reaching out to other representatives of the company. Use the story as a lead in for cover letters, conversations or interviews to show your effort in connecting with an employer.
However you choose to followup with a company after Career Fair, be sure to extend your connections beyond the few minute conversation at the Fair itself. Use those conversations as a foundation for a future relationship with a potential employer and colleague.
Career Fair isn't just about seeking current jobs but future opportunities as well. Don't let yourself be another face in an enormous crowd that is quickly forgotten. Take notes after each conversation and use that information to leverage your experience and enhance your job search strategy.