I Attended the Spring Career Fair, Now What?

You polished your resume, practiced your pitch, cleaned and pressed your best suit, and made a killer first impression with recruiters at the Career Fair.  However, your work is not done.

First you need to send a thank you note to each recruiter you spoke with at the Career Fair.  This simple gesture, can improve the impression you made and set you apart from the other candidates.  Who doesn’t like being thanked?  In an Accountemps 2012 survey of Human Resource Managers, 91 percent reported that they appreciate receiving thank you notes.  Moreover, 59 percent said it was “very helpful’ for a promising candidate to send a thank you note following the interview.

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A simple email that is short and to the point will do the trick. Highlight the conversation that you had with the recruiter, and comment on something the recruiter shared. Also, express and reiterate your interest in the employer, and your suitability for the position in question. Wrap it up with by stating it was a pleasure meeting and speaking with you, and your desire to talk more. Keep it brief and most importantly, error free. That’s all there is to it!

Secondly, make good use of your Career Fair Program Guide.  All participating employers were carefully vetted to ensure they were actively recruiting for available opportunities.  Translation – they are hiring now!  Perhaps there are employers you may have missed or know little about, or perhaps you were unable to attend the Career Fair?  Click here to visit the participating employer websites to learn more about them and their open job opportunities.  If submitting a resume through their website and including a cover letter, be sure to mention UMUC and the career fair to leverage the university-employer relationship.

Now is also a good time to begin preparing for those interviews that will inevitably come.  Reassess your current skills, abilities, strengths, interests, and work values.  Re-examine accomplishments and achievements, and get comfortable talking about them.  Think of some stories which demonstrate your achievements and can be used to show all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgment, initiative, teamwork or leadership.  Ideally you should have three or four good examples of your work experience firmly in mind that can be adapted to answer a variety of behavioral-based interview questions.

To help you with interview preparation, the University’s interactive InterviewStream tool enables you to stream and record virtual mock interviews, providing a great source for practice and feedback.  You can find the InterviewStream link on the CareerQuest landing page after you log into your account.  And while you’re on CareerQuest don’t forget to keep your resume and profile updated so that interested in employers can find you.

Congratulations on the great job you all did at the career fair, and good luck in your follow up as your pursue your next career opportunity. If you still would like additional tips and tricks on Career Fair follow up techniques, please view the recording of the “I Attended the Career Fair, Now What?” webinar. Click here to view today!

Ann Martin is a Career Services Advisor at  University of Maryland University College where she has worked for more than five years. She holds a master’s in mental health counseling from Bowie State University.  As a mid-life career changer, she feels uniquely qualified to assist adult students in transforming their lives and finding their place in the workforce.

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