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I Went to the Job Fair—Now What?

You did it! You made it to the job fair. You put on your best business casual attire and brightest smile. You may have made a great first impression and found a company that you really want to work for. So what’s your next step? Whether you’re a senior looking for your first big girl job or a freshman just scoping out your options, it’s good to have some idea of what you should do after attending the job fairs. I talked to a recruiter at Deluxe Corporation in Minneapolis, MN, and got the scoop on what employers look for after the fact.

1. Follow up

This seems like a really obvious one, but it happens less than you think. If you are given a contact name, send them an email. A handwritten thank-you is a great idea if you want to stand out. Either way you decide to do it, keep it simple, thank them for meeting you at the job fair, and let them know that you’re interested in working for them. If you’re feeling bold, attach your resume. But that’s it. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Don’t be annoying

Some recruiters say that they’ve gotten an email a day for a while after meeting with potential candidates. While it does show you’re interested, let’s not forget that these recruiters are human, too, and will get very annoyed with you very quickly.

3. Organize

You will probably be getting a lot of business cards and pamphlets from potential employers. While your thoughts on each of them are still fresh in your mind, take a few minutes to get organized. Throw away the ones you aren’t interested in and keep the ones you are. Write little notes about what you liked about them and who you talked to, just so you can refresh your memory weeks later.

4. Clean up your social media

You should have done this before you attended the job fair, but if you haven’t, now’s the time to do it. Right after meeting potential candidates is the best time to search for them online. You know the drill, keep it professional.

5. Join their talent community

Companies like Target, Rockwell Collins and many others have, over the last couple of years, developed something called a talent community. If you are interested in working for a specific company, it’s a great idea to Google “(company name) talent community”. From there, it will take you to a section of their website dedicated to potential candidates. All you have to do is set up an account, select which department(s) you’re interested in, and you’ll get an email every time a job is posted in that department. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

6. Mention the talent community

In interviews, recruiters like to hear that you’re paying attention to what their company is up to, and the talent community is a great way to do just that. If, for example, you’ve seen that they’ve been posting a lot of marketing jobs lately, you could say something as simple as, “I see you’ve posted a lot of marketing positions lately. Are you expanding that department?”. This shows that not only are you paying attention to what they’re doing as a company, but that you have been actively looking at jobs with them.

7. Look up behavioral-based interviews

The interviews you’re going to have will probably not be like the ones your parents had when they were looking for jobs 20 years ago. Companies are now using behavioral-based interviews to see not only what you can bring to the table, but how you will react in certain situations. You can simply Google sample questions and practice them with a friend or even your roommate to be prepared for the next step.

 

Actually making it to the job fair is the easy part, but now it’s time for the hard part. However, with these easy tips you’re sure to stand out and win over a future employer.

Carly is a freshman majoring in Journalism with hopes of someday becoming the boss of the world. She grew up in Saint Paul, MN and left her heart there when she went to school 300 miles away in Iowa City. In her free time she enjoys blogging, eating good food, and being outdoors.
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