Fantastic Job Fair Follow-up

Set the stage for fantastic job fair follow-up while you are still at the job fair. As the conversation is coming to a close, ask for the company representative's business card. If he or she doesn't have one, ask for their name, title, and best way to reach them. Write that information down in your notebook. Thank them for their time and re-affirm your interest in the company and position.

Back home, sort through the business cards, company literature, and notes that you made. Prioritize them for follow up.

SET YOURSELF APART FROM OTHER CANDIDATES by sending a thank you note that reminds them who you are and what you have to offer. Express interest in the position that you discussed and mention why you are such a good match. Request an opportunity to meet with them again. Let them know that you will contact them later in the week. Remember, recruiters often see hundreds of candidates at a job fair. It is often hard for them to keep track of who's who so do your part to help them remember you!

PICK UP THE TELEPHONE. Ninety-five percent of job candidates never follow up. They wait for the employer to call them. Set yourself apart from the competition. Pick up the telephone and make that follow up telephone call. After small job fairs, follow up within three days; unless they suggest you follow up sooner. It is generally a good idea to give employers a few days to catch up on their work and sort through the piles of résumés and applications they collected during the job fair.

HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE RECRUITER OR MANAGER WANT TO TAKE YOUR FOLLOW-UP CALL? Do your research before you pick up the telephone. Then, prepare a couple of job-related questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company and interest in the position.

Don't call during their busy times-usually Monday morning and Friday afternoon. Treat whoever answers with courtesy and respect. That person may be the one who decides whether or not your call goes through to the right person.

WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU GET THEM ON THE LINE? "Hi this is Sally Smith. We met at the job fair last Monday. I know you must be busy; I have a couple of quick questions about X position. Do you have just a few minutes?" Be benefit driven. Keep the focus on what's in it for them! Remind the person who you are and what position(s) you discussed. Then ask the questions you prepared. Listen to their responses. Express your interest in the position and wrap up by asking about next steps in the interview process. If they are not ready to schedule interviews, ask about the best time to check back with them.

FOLLOW UP AT APPROPRIATE INTERVALS. The general rule of thumb is no more than three contacts (phone, e-mail, mail) within ten days.

Apply these fantastic job fair follow up tips and you will be certain to shorten your search and experience job hunting success!

Mary Jeanne Vincent is the author of Acing the Interview tip cards featuring answers to the top 20 "killer" interview questions. Also included are tips for interviewing in the new economy, ideas for responding to illegal and trick questions, and suggestions for avoiding 10 deadly interview mistakes.

Go to for free job search articles and to sign up for the free WorkWise e-zine. For information on individual job and career coaching or to find out about other practical, easy-to-use career tools call Mary Jeanne at 831.657.9151.

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