How To Write A Follow Up Email After A Career Fair

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 2, 2020

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“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

Whether you agree with it or not, this mantra is becoming a fact of life more and more. To get your foot in the door at your dream job (or just an okay job), you often have to have a connection within the organization.

This connection doesn’t have to be made at a country club or exclusive dinner party, though. One of the best ways to get face-to-face interactions with people on the inside of companies you want to work for is through a career fair.

In this article, you’ll learn about how to further solidify the connections you make at these events so that you can make the most of your time at a career fair.

What Is a Career Fair?

A career fair is an event where you can meet face-to-face with representatives from many different companies. These fairs invite several organizations, often in the same industry, to set up booths so that college students and other job-seekers can visit with recruiters and learn more about the organizations they work for.

Sometimes recruiters will simply offer basic information about what they do, but sometimes they will also talk about specific positions that they have open. They can also answer questions you might have and will often want to know about your goals and qualifications, so practice your elevator pitch and bring copies of your resume.

Recruiters won’t conduct an in-depth interview or give you a job right then and there. Still, they will go forward knowing that you’re an enjoyable person to talk to, knowledgeable about the industry, and passionate about your field. This can go a long way when it’s time for them to consider candidates.

How To Follow Up with a Recruiter After a Career Fair

So, now the career fair is over, and you’ve talked with people at several companies you’re interested in. Unfortunately, they also met with hundreds of other people, sometimes all on the same day, so they likely don’t remember much about you.

To increase your chances of getting an interview or even a second look at your resume, you’ll need to follow up to show that you really are interested in the position. Here’s how:

  1. Decide which positions and companies you want to contact. Follow up with a handful of recruiters you connected with, whether you think their companies will provide you with the opportunity for your dream job or not.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

    However, if you talked to any companies that you now know you never want to work for, though, don’t waste their time (or yours) by acting like you’re more interested than you are.

  2. Find the recruiter’s contact information. Ideally, you will have a business card with an email address on it, but you can also check the company’s directory for their email address.

    If both of these methods are unsuccessful, you can always try to look them up on LinkedIn. It’s not a bad idea to send them an invitation to connect anyway since seeing your name, photo, and resume highlights will help jog their memory about talking to you.

  3. Send a follow-up email. Send a polite message reemphasizing your interest in the company and any specific positions you discussed.

    You’ll also want to include some information about yourself and why you would be a great candidate for the position.

  4. Follow up again. If 10-14 days go by without a response to your follow up email, it might be time to send a polite nudge. Don’t be a nuisance about it because they probably have a stack of resumes to go through, but you also want to show that you’re serious.

    When you do follow up a second time, send your new message in the same chain as your original email. That way, they won’t have to go digging through their inboxes for your first message.

Optimizing Your Follow Up Email

Send It Sooner Rather Than Later

To make the most of your follow up email, you’ll want to send it within a day or two of the career fair. This way, the recruiter has a better chance of remembering you and will see that you genuinely are interested in the company.

Try to stick within regular working hours, if possible, but take whatever chance you can to shoot them a message, even if it’s on the bus at 9:00 at night.

Sending an email quickly isn’t enough, though. You’ll need to help the recipient put your name with your face.

Jogging The Recruiter’s Memory

Personalize your email and help the recipient remember who you are by including a unique detail about your interaction. Say something like, “I enjoyed connecting over our mutual love of seafood,” or “thank you for helping me pick up my papers when I dropped them.” If all else fails, say, “I was the one with the bright yellow raincoat.”

It may seem like an awkward thing to say, but recruiters will like the touch of personality and appreciate you making the connection for them.

Additional Tips for Writing a Follow Up Email

While sending your letter quickly and making yourself memorable are the two most important things to remember when writing your follow up email, here are some additional tips:

  1. Write a different email for each recipient. Your email should be personalized to the recipient. If you just send out five of the same email, recruiters will think that you don’t remember them either and aren’t really interested in the job.

    You can stick to the same structure for each one, but take the time to tweak it for each person.

  2. Say thank you. Thank recruiters for taking the time to talk with you at the career fair and for considering you further, even if all they do is read your email.

    A note of appreciation is also an easy way to open your message and establish a warm and professional tone, and then you can close your message with another “thank you for your time.”

  3. Attach your resume and any other relevant documents. Even if you already handed out your resume at the career fair, make recruiters’ lives easier and attach it to your email as well. This is also a great time to include some samples from your portfolio.

  4. Include your contact information. This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s surprisingly easy to forget to add your email and phone number to your email signature.

    You can also include your LInkedIn profile or any other contact information that seems appropriate.

  5. Keep it easy to read. Shoot to write an informative yet brief email. Be personable and include what you need to in order to stand out, but don’t rehash your entire work history.

    Pique their interest and then direct them to your resume and a future meeting with you.

  6. Be professional. Even if you really hit it off with a recruiter at the career fair, keep your email professional. You’re still trying to make a good impression, so avoid being overly casual and buddy-buddy.

    Start your email with “Dear Ms. Carmichael” or Hello, Alisa” instead of “Hey Jake” or just “Jake.” You can still be warm without sounding unprofessional, and in this case it’s better to be too formal than not formal enough.

  7. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Another major part of making a good impression is to check your email for errors before you send it.

    Read over it multiple times if you need to, or if you know this is one of your weak spots, have someone else look over it for you.

5 Example Follow Up Emails To Send After a Career Fair

Here are some examples of follow up emails that you can use to get started on yours. Remember to adjust your message to match your personality and work experience, though.

Dear Ms. Williams,

I was able to speak with you at the University of Denver career fair yesterday, and I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to tell me more about Advertising Co. and all that you do there. I really appreciate your insight about digital marketing strategies and the information you shared about your career path.

I also wanted to reiterate my interest in the internship position you mentioned. By the end of this semester, I will have completed the classes necessary to meet the requirements of the internship, and I would be able to work at the company all summer.

I have attached a copy of my resume and some samples of my work, and I’m happy to send a list of references if you’d like. I’ll plan to call next week so that we can set up a time to discuss this opportunity further. Please let me know if there is another time that would work best for you, though.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jace Hodges
234-576-8910
jaceh@gmail.com

Hello, Mr. Mayne,

Thank you again for talking with me during the Greenville Career Fair on Monday. I really enjoyed getting to discuss our thoughts on the newest design trends!

I also enjoyed hearing about Colbert Design and the work you do there. I too am passionate about creating a great user experience, and I believe this, combined with my twelve years of experience in graphic design, would make me a great fit for the company.

I would love to talk with you some more about potential career paths with Colbert Design.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to connecting in the future!

Sincerely,

Tom Hoffman
222-333-4444
tomh@address.com

Good morning, Ms. Jacobs,

I so appreciated getting to talk with you at the State Career Fair today. It was great to meet another Wyoming native!

It was also great getting to discuss the new changes coming to the East County school district and the jobs that are opening as a result.

In May, I will be graduating with my elementary education degree summa cum laude, and I will be able to begin working full-time immediately after that. I would love to be a part of the ECSD family, and I believe my skills would fit well there.

Would you be willing to talk with me some more about beginning my career at ECSD?

I’ve attached my updated resume as well as my transcript for your reference. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like any additional information.

Thank you again for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Amy Mills

222-444-2222
amills@school.edu

Hello Mr. Peabody,

Thank you for speaking with me during the Campbell College Career Fair today. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and talking about our shared love of linguistics classes.

It was so interesting to hear your perspective on Williams Recording and about the recent job opening for a studio technician. With my music production degree and three years of experience working in a recording studio, I believe I would be a great fit for this position.

I would love to connect regarding this position and a potential career at Williams Recording, and I look forward to talking with you in the future.

Thank you again,

Andrew McAlister
111-444-8888
andrewm@email.com

Hi Ms. Longburn,

I was able to talk with you at the Napa Valley Career Fair yesterday, and I just wanted to say thank you again for sharing about Better Construction Company and what you do there. I also appreciate your helping me find my way to that coffee shop! Your recommendation was spot on.

I wanted to express my interest in pursuing a career at Better Construction Company, as with my experience both as an architect and a project manager, I believe I would fit well with your organization.

I’d love to hear your advice on how I should go about this and discuss potential opportunities. Please feel free to give me a call at the number below at your convenience.

Thank you again, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Macy Short
323-555-3333
macys@email.com

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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