ACF – Part 3: Follow Ups

We’ve come to the end of the road. This is the last part of Acing the Career Fair series. After talking about dress code, appearance and how to prepare to walk the walk, it is time to mention what to do next, once you leave the room. There is more, you ask. Yes! And this step can make a huge difference.

First, let me touch on how to organize your portfolio (the folder or resume portfolio that you use to carry your resumes in). Although I did not mention it specifically, resumes need a special section of their own. Make sure you get a nice looking folder or a nice leather portfolio if you can to store your resumes. You will look more professional and you will also be able to stay organized. The best method I found is the following: keep the right side of the portfolio for your resumes and the left side (hopefully it has a pocket) for business cards.

After you collected one business card, don’t just stuff it in the folder. Take one minute to quickly jot down a memorable thing about the conversation you just had with the person. Did you like them? Did they show interest in you? Was there anything special about the conversation you had? Although you think you will remember these details later on, do yourself this favor and write it down then and there. This way, you can easily create a memorable thank you follow up email. Think of this step as strategic planning. You will save a lot of time so you can attend the fun things you have planned for that day as well. Once you made your little note move on to the next person.

After you are done and you have seen everyone you wanted, plan for 15 to 20 minutes to sit down and write emails. This should be either the night before or the next day. If you take longer, recruiters might think you are not that interested and put your resumes in the “no” pile. Follow up is very important. I remember an incident from my previous job. My manager had interviewed a few candidates and the day after the HR representative stopped by to find out who followed up with a thank you email. She only called back for interviews the candidates that took the time to write and my manager recommended. My manager thought others were equally as good candidates, but she could not do anything about it. Our HR rep considered that they were not that interested in the position.

Ever since then, I make sure I write a follow up email. I try to keep it personal, hence the little notes on the business cards I mentioned earlier. Try to keep it enthusiastic yet professional. This template is a good start:

“Thank you for taking the time to meet with me at the (University Name) Career Fair today. I appreciate your time and attention in the midst of so many students seeking jobs.

I enjoyed our discussion about (Personal Note – if you have one).

I look forward to an opportunity to visit your office and speak with you further about (the company).

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

(Your Name)”

Go ahead and ace that Career Fair. You are all set!

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