When you show up to a career fair, they just give you a job, right? If only it were that easy. While career fairs serve up great introductions to companies, recruiters, and career paths you may choose to follow, it’s still on you to leave a lasting impression that inches you ever-so-closer to landing a real interview—and a great job.
After all, recruiters attending career fairs often end up meeting dozens of quality candidates—and it might be weeks or even months before they actually fill an open role or internship position. A great thank you email not only highlights your interest in the company and demonstrates good business etiquette, it ensures you stick in the recruiter’s mind.
So what do you say to make yourself memorable? Use these super easy tips to craft a perfect career fair follow-up email. We’ve even got a template you’re free to copy and paste, along with an example!
Aim to send your career fair follow-up email within 24 hours of the event. Why? Recruiters are perpetually inundated with email and don’t always have time to respond to every connection or follow up. That’s especially true after a career fair ends. Typically, it takes a couple of days for a recruiter to sit down and sort through the mountain of messages they received as a result of the event.
But if you can make it into the first batch of emails to hit the recruiter’s inbox, you’ll have a better chance of staying top-of-mind as the recruiter starts connecting with candidates—and even more so when weighed against those who chose not to follow up at all.
Keep It Simple—and Short
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. As with any great thank you note, you should simply thank the recruiter for their time and express a desire to connect down the line. The recruiter should already have your resume, so there’s no need to attach it, says Muse Career Coach Victoria Morell, Associate Director of Miami University Farmer School of Business Careers—though if you’re worried and want to attach it anyway, it won’t hurt.
“Keep it light, nice, short, and to the point, but include something that makes them remember you or read a little bit further,” Morell adds. Referring to a personal connection from your meeting, such as a common hobby or interest you discussed, can help remind the recruiter of your initial encounter.
Even though it’s just a brief thank you email, that doesn’t mean it’s an opportunity to act casual. Pay attention to the tone of your email so you don’t seem flippant, nonchalant, or unprepared for a professional work environment.
For instance, don’t open your message with a casual greeting like “hey”—always choose a proper introduction, like “hi” or “hello,” to set a courteous and professional tone. It also doesn’t hurt to err on the side of formality in how you address the recruiter—think “Mr. or Ms. [Name],” rather than a first name, unless you know for sure that the company is super casual.
“At this stage in the recruitment process, you’re still trying to impress them,” notes Morell, likening the tone of a thank you email to a job interview. “Even if you know it’s a casual dress code, you’re still going to dress well for the interview to show you’re serious.”
Try this email template to put it all into practice:
Hello [Name of Recruiter],
Thanks again for the opportunity to meet you at the [name/location of career fair] on [date]! [Personal detail.]
It was great learning about [detail from meeting], and I believe my [relevant, personal experience] would make me a great fit for [Company].
I would love to connect regarding a potential career with [Company] and look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Thanks again for your time!
Hello Mr. Minnick,
Thanks again for the opportunity to meet you at the Michigan State University IT Career Fair on March 16. I also appreciate getting to know a fellow Alpha Psi Omega member!
It was great learning about your vision for the future of web development, and I believe my experience studying and coding HTML5 with modern web design standards would make me a great fit for DataWorks.
I would love to connect regarding a potential career with DataWorks and look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Thanks again for your time!
Photo of person writing an email courtesy of jacoblund/Getty Images.
Greg Ott (@_gregott) is a Brooklyn-based writer, producer, and comedian. His freelance writing has appeared in HuffPost and Chicago Tribune, for clients in the recruitment and technology space, and on stage in plays like “Shark Tank: The Musical.” His website, only available online, is greg-ott.com.More from this Author