Image courtesy of Amy Hirschi
If you’re job searching, career fairs are a great place to start. You’ll get to learn more about dozens of companies, ask recruiters all of your burning questions, and the recruiters will get to put a face to your name.
But your work isn’t done after you leave the career fair. The most important part is ahead of you—sending a follow-up email to the recruiters post-fair. This is your chance to reiterate your interest and keep your name top-of-mind when opportunities arise.
When to follow up
Even if the company doesn’t have any immediate openings, you should still follow-up quickly with the recruiter to express your interest in future opportunities—within one to two days. That way, the meeting is still fresh in their mind, and you’ll be at the top of their inbox when they receive a flood of emails from job hunters.
If you don’t hear back immediately, don’t freak out. You aren’t the only one who sent an email (the competition is stiff) and/or the recruiter may be traveling or busy. Be patient while the recruiter sifts through messages, and follow the 3x3 rule—follow up no more than three times, at least three business days apart. Your goal is to be persistent, not annoying.
What to say
Your email should be professional, specific, and polite. In order to improve your chances of getting a response, mention how you met, restate your interest, and give them your contact information and resume again. And if you can, give them another reason to remember you, like a stellar portfolio, a one-sheet of your sales record, or links to articles that reference your work. Whatever you do, don’t bluntly ask for a job. And finally, make sure your email subject line is clear—something like, Jessica Brown Career Fair Follow-Up is perfect.
Two career fair follow-up email templates
Template #1 - Expressing interest in a specific position
We met yesterday at the career fair in Chicago. I really enjoyed meeting you and learning more about [Company Name]’s recent ventures and open opportunities.
I wanted to reiterate my interest in the entry-level [Job Type] position at [Company Name]. I really believe in [Company Name]'s mission to [XYZ], and I know that my background in editing and passion for storytelling would help me succeed in this role.
I’ve attached an updated copy of my resume, cover letter, and my portfolio. I’d love to discuss the position further and potentially set up a time for an interview. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and I hope you hear from you soon.
Template #2 - No open position
It was a pleasure to speak with you yesterday at the career fair in Phoenix. I learned so much about [Company Name] and all of the exciting things you all are tackling in the tech industry.
I know there aren’t any open positions at [Company Name] right now, but I would really appreciate it if you could keep me in mind for any future openings. I believe my six years of experience in tech and my passion for innovation would really help me succeed at the company.
I’ve attached a copy of the resume I left with you at the career fair, as well as a link to my online portfolio. Thanks again for all of your help, and I hope to hear from you soon.