Last week, I wrote a post on how to master the career fair. Doing all that stuff is a good idea, but there’s more to it than just what happens after the career fair, especially in today’s economy.
One thing students tend to forget about the public relations industry is that agencies and corporations rarely hire a set number of people each May when students graduate. Remember that agencies fill positions based on how their business is doing. If you read in PRWeek that Burson-Marsteller recently lost a big account, it’s probably not a good idea to contact the recruiter and ask for a job. However, if you see that Ketchum won a new account, don’t you think it would be a good ideas to send your resume and cover letter talking about your experience with that industry? I don’t think it would hurt.
All in all, remember to be patient and persistent. The job market is competitive right now, so just keep your eyes on the prize and don’t give up.
Here are some tips for following up after a career fair:
- Don’t send a follow up e-mail; send a handwritten, old-fashioned thank you note. Keep it to a maximum of four lines.
- Don’t think recruiters will contact you about job openings. You have to look on their Web site and watch the news to see how business is going.
- Don’t call daily or weekly. You don’t want to pester the recruiter.
- Follow up if the recruiter wants to you send samples or an e-mailed version of your resume.
- If your talk went well at the career fair, go ahead and see if you can schedule an informational interview. If the recruiter likes you but they don’t have an opening, it’s possible they might forward your resume on.
- Apply for a job with the company online, and be sure to mention who you spoke with at the career fair.
- Consider an internship post-graduation – it is the path to a full-time position.
The video below is another from MSU PRSSA’s YouTube Channel. It features Kelly Rossman-McKinney of Rossman PR talking about the skills necessary to be successful in PR and how to get a job in these challenging economic times.
Any other tips for following up after a career fair? Have you been able to find a job or internship because of a career fair?