With Career Fair Week in full swing at Carnegie Mellon University, I thought it an opportune time to share advice with attendees on how to make the event a success. In yesterday’s post, I focused on actions to take prior to the event – identifying a target list of firms and conducting research on those companies – and how to work a large career fair. Today, we close the circle and address the steps to take after the fair.
Before leaving the event, be sure you have all your materials and you have no unanswered questions for your target firms. It is best to revisit a booth and speak face to face to resolve a question than trying to get an answer via email. When you return to your dorm or apartment, make a list of follow-up items in order of importance:
1) Send a thank you and/or follow-up correspondence to the recruiters with whom you met. If there were any pieces of information they requested from you, be sure to include them in your correspondence. Do not wait until a couple of days later to act; strike when they still recall your conversation.
Thank you for speaking with me this evening at the Business Opportunities Conference on 9/19. I appreciated your advice/insight on (insert topic to help him remember you). I will be sure to apply for the marketing research internship in the coming day and I look forward to interviewing for this opportunity. Safe travels back to _____ and thank you again for recruiting at Carnegie Mellon.
Most career fair student attendees will not take the time to follow-up with individuals they met at the event. To set yourself apart, take the time to solidify the impression you made and build your rapport with recruiter.
2) Act on Applications, instead of waiting a week to apply for an opportunity, use the knowledge you have gained from the recruiter to tailor your resume and apply for positions. Also, be cognizant that although you may have given your resume to the recruiter, you may still need to apply through other channels (company site, TartanTrak campus module) in order to be considered an applicant.
3) Evaluation: Take some time to evaluate your experience and performance. Did you conduct enough research prior to the fair? Did you feel you made a good impression? Did any companies move up/down/off your A or B lists? If you had to go to another career fair next week, what would you do more of and less of?
With your career search, it is important to evaluate one’s progress after big events like a career fair or interview. Keep striving to improve your approach in order to be even more successful in the future career events.