How to Follow Up After a Career Fair
You did it all correctly. You went to the career fair, you shook hands, you introduced yourself, made your hiring materials like resume and links to online portfolios available, you were dazzling.
So, where are all the calls? Where are the e-mails asking for interviews? Why, oh why, is there nothing but the sound of crickets where there should be the sound of prospective employers banging on your metaphorical door?
Did you follow up?
Business today is not about passivity. You can not survive – let alone thrive – in today’s marketplace just sitting on your accomplishments to date. And that is one of the things that prospective employers are trying to weed out with the processes they use to locate and hire talent. TVI, like any other employer, is looking for people who seek out opportunity. And part of the way you display that spirit is in taking the initiative after you’ve made a business contact, such as a conversation with a possible employer at a job fair.
Be polite, but don’t be shy.
Make a phone call! This is one of the easiest and most appreciated ways to solidify a contact from a career fair (or from anywhere). A quick call after a day or two, just to say, “I enjoyed meeting you, I hope we have an opportunity to talk more, I thought your company sounded very interesting.” By doing this, you have already separated yourself from the pack in a very big way.
Also, an e-mail saying much the same thing can make a huge impression on people. Make sure the e-mail sounds personal though. People in the business are used to analyzing written language, and know a form letter from a personal note. “I’ve been thinking about what you said about digital agencies in the modern marketplace. I wonder if you’ve ever thought that…”
Don’t be afraid to start up – or continue – a conversation. Showing yourself to be an organized professional who has the initiative to reach out to others is a great step. Showing yourself to be a three-dimensional person with ideas and an actual interest in the people you’re looking to work with is a fantastic step. Tweet, post on Facebook, get creative and stand out in every way you can.
If you like the company so much, submit an application. Then send that e-mail, or make that call. “Hey there, just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed meeting you the other day, and I was excited about the opportunities you’re offering, especially that internship program we talked about. I went ahead and submitted an application through your website, but wanted to reach out to you personally, as I’m sure you have a lot of interest in the program, and I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle.” If you’re e-mailing, it’s not out of line to put a link to your online portfolio in the body of the message.
If you’re calling on the phone, be polite to everyone you speak to, and take what you’re doing, and the people you’re interacting with, seriously. If you are e-mailing or applying for a position, double and triple check all of your written materials for typos. A good review of these processes can be found here on 10 ways to not land a job at TVI or if you’re seeking a design position learn how to get that design position you’ve been eying.
But whatever you do, don’t go to a job fair, introduce yourself, show off your fantastic portfolio, make people laugh with your sparkling wit, shake hands and create warm impressions – and then go home and sit in front of the TV, waiting for the phone to ring. Because it probably won’t.
TVI has one of the best internship programs there are, we put a lot of energy and care into it, and want it to be a launching pad for the people we invite to work with us. The candidates who separate themselves from the pack and show real interest are going to be miles ahead of those who passively wait for opportunity to come knocking.
Don’t make us come looking for you. Don’t wait for opportunity to knock. Knock first – it’s how you open doors and how to follow up after a career fair.