Following up is a great way to get noticed by recruiters and representatives of companies, without too much work. Not only is the idea of following up very important, but methods of following up also have to be considered.
There are a few factors that go into whether you should follow up or not, such as what event you attended, what impression the company left on you, and how well you connected with representatives. If you had an interview, make sure to follow up with every person you interacted with within 48 hours of the interview, using a personalized email. Connecting on LinkedIn is not appropriate right after an interview, as there’s no guarantee that you will receive that position, and you don’t want to put anybody in an awkward position.
With recruitment or networking events, there’s more flexibility. If you’re in doubt of whether you want to continue communications with a particular company, just follow up. It takes a few minutes of your day and shows employers that you are interested in pursuing further communication. A simple message can go a long way and if you still have not accepted a job or internship, continue following up every time that you go to an event. For example, you don’t have to follow up with everybody that you met or talked to, but rather people who you really related to or want to learn more about. In these situations, LinkedIn connections are okay to follow up. Make sure to send a personalized invite when connecting and talk about relevant topics by perhaps expanding on the individual’s own career path. Make sure to connect quickly after the interview (24-48 hours is still a good rule to use) to keep the event or conversation fresh.
Where do interactions at the Career Fair fall into this? Ideally, you should be reaching back out to every company you communicated with, to thank representatives for their time in talking to you. Since this is often not realistic, considering the large size of typical career fairs and how many employers you talk to, make a priority list of companies that you are interested in. If it was a one-on-one conversation, I recommend emailing, and if it was a good one-on-one conversation, I recommend both emailing the individual and connecting on LinkedIn, as a double follow-up!
As always, check for spelling and grammatical issues before you send any email or message!
Here’s a short guide on when and how to follow up:
|After Attending:||Interview Process or 1-on-1 Call||Networking Event or Group Event|
|Follow Up Within:||24-48 hours (Always, without exception)||Ideally, 24-48 hours, if needed, within the next few weeks is adequate|
|Method:||Professional, personalized “Thank You” email with relevant topics discussed||LinkedIn Connection Request (with Personalized Message) or “Thank You” email asking for future communication|
|Length:||One or two short paragraphs, discussing several key points of your conversation||Several sentences of gratuity and opportunities to continue staying in touch|