The Right Way to Follow Up After a Career Fair (Email Template Included)
If the anxiety about finding and applying for a new job hits you hard just by thinking about it – that means you are in the right place now!
Regardless of being jobless at the moment or you are looking to change the job you already have (or even a whole carrier pathway), this one is for you. Continue reading if you want to learn more about it.
We sing the praises to those who have absolutely zero problems when writing a formal e-mail to the potential employer! If you have no trouble with following-up after a job fair or interview at all – you are outnumbered.
That means that you have mastered the skill of writing a first-class e-mail that leaves the employer with no other choice but to call you.
Rejection? Never heard of it!
But everyone else without this talent just needs a helping hand when they are in this situation.
Why do we actually follow-up?
This is an important step that may ensure you get the job a.k.a. to seal the deal. It is crucial to do it after the career expo finishes. Or, to be exact, it is the ONLY thing you can do until you hear more from the company.
But even if it may sound, it’s not that easy to write a follow-up. Considering it is an e-mail that can lead to your new job position and paycheck, it has to be almost perfectly written!
There are a few steps and rules that you should follow, but don’t worry – we have everything sorted from ‘YES’ to ‘PASS’! Plus, after this guide, you will master a writing skill.
BEFORE YOU START WRITING
Let’s start with a career fair.
It is organized annually in capitols and almost every major city and usually lasts one day. Its purpose is to connect students and people who are looking for a job with potential and future bosses.
You can find more about well-known companies but also discover some smaller or local companies that you didn’t even know they exist.
It gives the tremendous opportunity to introduce yourself face-to-face, and do some Q&A about the company itself. Also to find out about its goals, expectations, and of course whether they have some open job positions or internships or not.
Hopefully, you’ve taken some notes and got some business cards (and some freebies, such as pens, keychains or reusable shopping bags with logos are always welcome).
It is very important to inform yourself on the spot about details such as working hours, shifts, free days, job positions, terms and conditions, salary, etc.
Of course, those pieces of information may not be very detailed until you get the opportunity to have a real job interview at the company’s headquarters. Nevertheless, we advise you to go well-prepared, because you never know if that conversation can turn into a highway to a job interview.
IT’S TIME FOR A FOLLOW-UP!
Hopefully, you found few companies at the career fair that have different open positions for jobs. Or maybe they offer an internship opportunity that matches your interest. And surely you made a connection or two on the spot. So after the visit, the next step is a follow-up! And what does that mean?
It means that you should write and send a decent email to your potential executive.
After your introduction at the job fair, you want to say thank you to your potential entrepreneur for the time he or she spent on you and your questions.
You want to stand out and remind him/her about yourself and your resume. Note: if you accidentally forgot to hand your CV over personally (which we hope you didn’t), make sure you attach it in your follow-up e-mail).
That isn’t just a regular e-mail. To get the spotlight, you have to focus on writing it so good and so professional that it catches the executive’s attention. And of course, you want to keep the conversation going, to get the job you want.
Sometimes the employers advise to follow-up online, through the companies’ websites. That’s also a good option. Nevertheless, if you choose to apply that way, don’t forget to send a thank-you note as well.
Some people choose to do a follow-up through a phone call. We don’t advise that, because there is a great chance that the recruiter will not pick up the phone if he/she is busy.
But even if you establish the call, that person may be occupied. It means that all of the boss’s attention won’t be focused on you and your words, no matter how hard you try. And after hanging up, everything you’ve said may vanish into thin air.
ALL GOOD THINGS TO THOSE WHO PLAN
Before you start typing, make a plan, and respect the process.
Begin by organizing all the contact you’ve got at the fair. Go through the business cards, flyers, your notes. Make a list based on your interests and priorities, along with your notes, impressions, and comments.
This is a very good step because before visualizing it, it all stays mixed in your head. After you write it down, you can see it clearly – all the ups and downs, likes and dislikes.
That is crucial for making a priority list, in which order you will send the e-mails – or maybe change your mind about sending to some of the companies.
The next you don’t want to miss is your e-mail name. We all got our first e-mail addresses when we were just teenagers.
Of course, we didn’t think about the proper name, and most of us cannot say that we named it by our first and last names.
So if it’s named email@example.com, create and use a different e-mail account when you apply for a job, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, if available.
Your e-mail subject line should show what it is about. It should be clear; John Jonas Career Fair Follow-Up or Munich Winter Career Fair are some good examples. Make sure you adapt it to your details.
Try not to sound desperate and ask for a job. By showing up at the fair and sending an e-mail, you clearly show that you are interested in working for that company.
WHAT (NOT) TO WRITE 101 – THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
Luckily, we’ve got you covered! From A to Z, here is an explanation of how it should look and what to focus on when writing it.
Remember that your goal is to get the job. So you should show how professional you are, and make sure they take you seriously as a candidate.
That means that your e-mail should look and sound different from the e-mail with memes you send to your friends regularly.
Here are some tips to succeed:
- Professional: Don’t start by saying ‘Hey Anna’, ‘Yo Mr. G’ or something like that. The way you address your future employer can have an impact on whether they will even call you or not. You should show some respect, and instead of the greetings given above, you can, for example, write ‘Dear Mr/Mrs. (Last Name) or instead of ‘Dear’ simple ‘Hello’ will be good enough.
- Thankful: As we’ve already said, the whole point of this e-mail is to show your gratitude for the opportunity you’ve had to introduce yourself, ask some questions and learn some new things about the company that you would like to work for. For example: ‘Thank you for taking the time to read my e-mail/for the opportunity to introduce myself…’
- Try not to be self-indulgent: It means, don’t write something like ‘As you know, I finished (Name of the Institution) school or University…; I am good/best at…; I can this/know that…’ It is considered as bragging, and you surely don’t want them to think that the whole world revolves around you; also they can assume that you are not a team player, which might be critical if you are applying to be a part of the team.
- Try with a different approach: You can mention that one of your skills or degree makes you a great candidate for the job position they are offering.
- Say bye-bye to personal details: If you thought for even a second about leaving a link to your social network profiles (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) to show how friendly you are – please don’t! You shouldn’t mix business with private life, so this wouldn’t be a good idea. The only link you can leave is the one to your profile on LinkedIn, if you have one, as an addition to your resume.
- If you aren’t familiar with it, LinkedIn is a social network where you can introduce yourself to a great number of companies by displaying your resume, and also search for jobs. It is free, but it also has a paid version. Its main focus is on career development and social networking.
- If you use it, make sure it is up-to-date. Otherwise, you will have the opposite of the desired effect.
- However, it is good to mention something ‘personal’, such as details of what you’ve discussed at the fair, joke or favorite sports team. This will trigger the employer’s memory and add put a smile on his/her face while reading, especially if you’ve had a good laugh together.
- Spelling Bee Champion: Even if you aren’t applying for a teacher’s position, it is very important to send an e-mail that doesn’t look like it’s written by a twelve-year-old. Seriously now – your sentences should be well-written and readable, so make sure your spelling, punctuation, and grammar are top-notch. Luckily, many websites can proofread instead of you, such as Grammarly.
- Sight for sore eyes: You surely don’t want your e-mail to look like an invitation to circus-themed kid’s birthday party. So don’t experiment with font styles and other additions. Your message should be readable, so keep the same font throughout the whole e-mail. It is recommended for font size and color, too. There is no need to highlight or underline any part of the text.
- Font styles such as Times New Roman or Calibri are a great choice.
- Bullet points are great, especially when you want to organize. Use it when you want to enumerate your skills.
- Bonus tip: Avoid using emojis and gifs in this type of text.
- Less to Impress: Classic Russian novels are great, but your follow-up e-mail isn’t if it has 5000 words in it. Try to say everything you need, but with a smaller amount of words. In this case – less is better. Keep it simple and short, brief, but comprehensive, or in other words – Wise & Concise.
- Ready and steady: Gather all the information that can be useful to the employer. First things first – your CV and resume, list of references, etc. Don’t forget to leave your contact information, such as phone number or link to your LinkedIn profile. These are all valuable materials to your recruiter.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO FOLLOW-UP?
Here you should consider a few things. First of all, if you come back home and instantly start writing and sending e-mails, while the potential boss is still at the fair – it might end up at the bottom of the big pile of e-mails. So you don’t want to send it too early.
Consider following up at the right time. That means during the standard business hours, from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Next in order – you don’t want to send too late either. That’s why the optimal sending hours are between 24 and 48 hours. Usually, people send it the next day, that’s about 24 hours after meeting, but if the fair took place on Friday, you might want to wait a bit longer.
This is a piece of useful advice because most of the companies don’t work at the weekend, so your e-mail can again be at the bottom of the full inbox, which means that it may stay unread.
In this case, that’s why some people decide to send it on Monday, approximately 48 hours after the visit.
Nevertheless, it isn’t recommended to send it after one week from the expo. But even if you find it stuck in the pocket of your jacket after two weeks – don’t hesitate to send it. It is better late than never!
EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT SHOULD (NOT) LOOK LIKE
- This is an example of not so good follow-up email. It is a good way to compare the good one with the not-so-good one. You can tell the difference right after you finish reading both good and bad examples, so grab a pen and paper and start taking notes.
Hey Mrs. Stevens,
thanks for talking to me at the carrier fair I can’t wait to come to work (if you accept me) haha lol. Byee! John Jonas
- As you can see, after reading such an e-mail, the recruiter couldn’t discover anything about ‘’John’’. More concretely, there are no pieces of information that may be useful to the company’s recruiter, nor any details that can jog his/her memory of talking to you at the fair. Spelling and punctuation are wrong, and this message has no formal format. The tone of it may sound desperate.
- Avoid using popular words, phrases, and acronyms you come across on social media, such as: hahaha, LOL (Laughing Out Loud), JK (just kidding), etc.
- The next one is just one of the many examples of a good follow-up e-mail. Always remember that you want to leave a good impression on your future employer, so it means you want them to see the best version of you.
- Nowadays, in almost every job you will have to write a few e-mails yourself now and then. Sometimes it is a bunch of them. Everyone knows how to write one, but the main difference is to know how to write a good one.
- Business e-mails are professional ones; they consist of a few important steps and rules, which must be followed. Sending a professional e-mail as a follow-up will be a great advantage for you because you will show that you possess this great skill, too!
Dear Mrs. Stevens,
Thank you for the opportunity to meet you at the Belgrade Carrier Fair on March 7th. It was a pleasure to speak with you and learn more about Delta Holding. I also appreciate getting to know a fellow colleague from the Serbian Writers’ Association.
I would love to connect with you concerning a potential career. I believe my Master studies at Belgrade Business College of Applied Studies, as well as 3 years of working experience, would make me a fitting choice for an open job position at Delta Holding.
I am looking forward to hearing from you in the future.
Thank you again for your time!
E-MAIL TEMPLATE – THE RIGHT WAY
- Here is the example of a good follow-up template. You can change it as you wish. This can just be your guide, or you can use it as it is. Just remember to fill in your information and delete unnecessary words.
Dear Mr/Mrs. [Last Name of the Employer],
Thank you again for the opportunity to meet you at the [Name and Location of the career fair] on [Date]. It was a pleasure to speak with you and learn more about [Details]. I also appreciate getting to know a fellow colleague from [Personal detail.]
I would love to connect with you concerning a potential career. I believe my [Your experience] would make me a fitting choice for [Company’s name].
I am looking forward to hearing from you in the future.
Thank you again for your time!
[Your First and Last Name]
WHAT IF I DON’T HEAR BACK RIGHT AWAY
If that happens – don’t lose it. Let’s assume you are not the only person interested in that job. So it probably means that more than just one person, including you, sent the thank you note. The key is to be understanding. Sometimes you don’t answer the message straightaway. The recruiter may be busy or on a business trip. Or even in the process of reviewing your resume at this very moment!
Going through a bunch of applicants’ e-mails is a very stressful (and boring, too) assignment for most of the recruiters. Remember: be optimistic and patient. There is a small chance that you won’t hear from them, but even if you get rejected, it’s not the end of the world. Hold your head high and send more than just one follow-up.
There is a possibility that your electronic mail did get lost in a big pile. If you think so, you can send another one again within a week. We don’t recommend you to send it for the third time if you don’t hear from them after the second thank you note.
It may mean that they either aren’t interested or simply don’t have an open position in the company for you at the moment.
CLOSING THE DEAL
You can now see that this is the only guide you will ever need for a follow-up. As we’ve already said, make sure that you follow each step and don’t rush into it. Take some time to make a plan for how it should look like.
Then write it and check the spelling and the grammar. After that, let it settle for a while then read it again. The goal is to write a fantastic e-mail, so don’t rush it.
Make sure you pick up what is good and avoid what isn’t when it comes to writing a formal e-mail. Remember to keep a professional e-mail format – Subject line, Salutation, Body, Closing, and Signature.
Respect the recruiter’s time and send it during the business hours.
Be patient if you don’t get a response immediately. You can check in one more time after a couple of days if necessary.
Now that you’ve followed each step from our super guide, and sent the e-mail, let’s hope for the best!
In the end, DO prepare yourself for the upcoming interview! Practice strong eye contact and master a firm handshake. You will need it because we believe that, after this guide, you are already halfway to their employees’ list!
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