Recruitment events are all the rage. In fact, the career fair is often one of the best things you can do for your career. Exposure to dozens of companies who are all looking for young professionals and a chance to practice your networking skills? Yes, please. But after the Career Fair and any other networking event, to get the most out of your experience, it’s important to reflect and take some additional steps. Although the Career Fair might have felt exciting, overwhelming, and more-than-enough professionalism for you for the next few weeks, it’s really important to spend some time doing the three things below.
- Send Thank You emails and follow-up connections to anybody you talked to, especially if it was a 1-on-1 meeting.
- If it had been a physical event, your padfolio might have a ton of contact info for the individuals you met and your pockets would have been full of business cards. Now, it’s up to you to take note of who you’re talking to and ask for LinkedIn and email information prior to the end.
- PRO-TIP: Send a quick thanks (it does not have to be long or stressful) or note of appreciation to that individual for taking the time to meet you. Following up with the employers and growing your LinkedIn network never hurts, either!
- Think about how you can use the experience you had and reference specific conversations, names, and terms in your future cover letters and interviews.
- Tailoring your application documents and specifically including the names of the recruiters you talked to in order to effectively show interest is truly a great strategy.
- PRO-TIP: Even better, include specific conversations that are relevant to the role you’re applying to. This will not only make your cover letter better, but will make the employer truly believe that you crafted a letter just for them and didn’t just use a template.
- Going forward, use your experience at the Career Fair to decide whether you like a company or not. Nothing wrong with not feeling it after meeting some representatives.
- In fact, the entire Career Fair experience may have helped you better narrow down where you want to apply and focus your energy. Not every company is going to be the right fit for you and that’s okay. Make sure you properly reflect on the Career Fair and decide what companies and roles to pursue.
- PRO-TIP: This doesn’t just have to be an evaluation process for companies, but even for your future goals. Listen to what people you talk to say about their everyday jobs – and think whether you would be down to do that in your life too. It’s important to see what kinds of conversations make you excited, because technical skills are relatively easy to teach, but not feeling passion for something can’t be a quick fix.