A young man working at a laptopWhether you’re looking for an internship or a job after graduation, career fairs are a great way to connect with companies that are hiring. But when a career fair ends, what’s next? There are proactive steps you can take to continue making progress in your search. Here are three things to do after a career fair.

Follow up 

If you received contact information from a company representative, send them an email after the career fair. Reintroduce yourself (they will chat with many students at the fair) and thank them for their time. Use your notes from the conversation during the fair to recall something that you discussed, and let them know you’re interested in moving to the next step in the process. You can also try to connect with employers on LinkedIn or at least “follow” the companies you are interested in so that you will receive company updates in your newsfeed. 

If you received application instructions from an employer, be sure to follow the instructions. Even if you gave the employer a resume at the fair, you may not be considered an applicant until you officially apply. Most companies require that you apply for positions online via Handshake or their website. 

Prepare for interviews

Even if you haven’t been contacted yet for an interview, you can still prepare by developing responses to commonly asked interview questions. Review the list of questions and write out your responses with key points you want to communicate. To make a lasting, positive impression, be sure to include concrete examples that highlight your talents and transferable skills. 

Incorporating stories into your answers can help demonstrate your strengths and offer a unique and memorable response to commonly asked questions. For example, rather than saying you are very organized, you could share how you helped your student organization plan and host an event and what the outcome was.

To do this, try forming your responses with the STAR method:  

  • Situation: Provide an overview, being specific and succinct.
  • Task: Describe the goal you were working on.
  • Action: Describe your actions and the steps you took.
  • Result: Describe the outcome, if possible. This is your time to take credit for your work or show what you learned.

For more tips, review our interview prep checklist to help you feel ready when you have an interview scheduled.

Maintain momentum in your search

It may be tempting to take a break from your job or internship search and wait to hear back from someone you met at the career fair, but keep applying and networking to maintain momentum. Set goals for a number of applications and networking contacts per week, rather than waiting to hear back from one company at a time. If it’s helpful, you could ask a friend to help keep you accountable and motivated. 

For more job and internship search tips, check out weekly workshops offered by Career Services. Workshop topics include resume best practices, job market trends, tips and tricks to find an internship and more!