Fall Career Expo 2018
You attended either your first, second, third, or fourth Career Fair -- now what do you do? Follow the tips from the list below to walk out of this professional experience successfully.
1. Have an organized notebook or padfolio with notes about who you spoke with, or interesting tidbits you gathered during your conversations with recruiters. Our memories are sometimes worse than we would like them to be, so having notes to reference later are an invaluable resource.
2. Keep your business cards together, or, even better yet, start a spreadsheet to keep an electronic record of your network. These emails can be referenced at a later point, especially if you want to reach out to a recruiter on campus, or to schedule an informational interview prior to applying to a position.
3. Send thank you emails. Nothing is more pleasant to a recruiter or company professional than receiving a sincere thank you note in their inbox. Use your notes during your conversation with them to craft a thank you email that includes what interested you about them/the company, your relevant skills and experiences, and any questions you have moving forward. These may be questions about internship positions, full time positions, or, if you’re an underclassmen, more questions about their role or if they are free for a brief informational interview. Keep track of the emails you’ve sent using your spreadsheet, and also note any important details they include in their replies. Don’t be broken-hearted or dejected if they don’t reply -- they are extremely busy people with multiple things to attend to at any given minute.
4. Apply to positions. I can’t stress enough how important it is to either set reminders in your phone about application deadlines, or to make events in your calendar -- but do not let those dates slip by unnoticed. Be mindful that you may receive follow-up emails after applying that could involve interviews or generic updates about the position you applied for. Keep these in a folder in your email, and add the information to your spreadsheet.
5. Seek out advice. Book appointments in the Center for Career Development to talk about your different options on the table, or discuss anything you might want to improve for future networking events or career fairs.
6. Remember to breathe. Even if your FCE experience was not the way you wished it would turn out, you can always learn for next year. Also, don’t underestimate the power of a cold email or LinkedIn message. Even if you didn’t directly connect with a recruiter at the FCE, do reach out over email (which can be found on GoIRISH or CareerShift). This can produce amazingly unexpected results, and also give you footing for upcoming career fairs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Crisman is a Career Assistant in her second year working with the Center for Career Development. She is majoring in Business and will graduate from Notre Dame in 2020.