How to Follow Up After a Career Fair

Whether you’re looking for a summer job, an internship, or your first job after graduation, career fairs are a great place to meet employers face-to-face. However, even if you put in an extensive effort and make a great impression at the fair, without follow-up that effort is wasted. Send a thank you note to anyone you speak to in depth within a day or two after the fair. After that, connect with the recruiters online and continue to express your interest. Staying in touch with the recruiter gives you a better chance of snagging that coveted position. Good luck![1]
EditSteps
EditSending a Thank You Email
Take a few notes after your conversation with the recruiter. When you send your thank you email you want to include something specific that you remember from the conversation. Given that you’ll likely talk to many recruiters over the course of the job fair, take a moment to reflect after each interaction and write down the key points in the conversation.[2]
If you told the recruiter you’d do something, such as apply for a job on the company’s website, make a note to do that as soon as possible.

Reflecting on the conversation may trigger new questions that you want to ask the recruiter. Write those down too – you can include them in your email.

Explore the company’s website to find information about the company. When you get home from the career fair, take some time to look at the websites of the companies you’re most interested in working for. Take notes of things that catch your eye. You may want to ask questions about them or express interest in them in your email.[3]
On the company’s website, look for a tab for press releases or recent news. This is an easy way to get up-to-date on what’s going on with the company.

Write down the names of managers or department heads who oversee the department you want to work in. You may want to connect with them later on.

Draft a professional and personal email. A thank-you email is relatively brief and has a relatively universal structure. You can use the same basic format for all of your thank you emails – just make sure you send them to the right recruiter. Here’s a basic template you can follow:[4]
In the first paragraph, mention the name of the career fair and something you talked to the recruiter about. If you promised to do something, such as apply for a job on the company website, let them know if you’ve done that. Your first paragraph should be 2 or 3 sentences.

In the second paragraph, ask any questions you have based on the conversation or information you gathered from exploring the company’s website. If you don’t have any questions, mention any particular things that interested you and explain why. Your second paragraph should also be 2 or 3 sentences.

In the third paragraph, restate the particular position you’re interested in. Mention 2 or 3 things that you think make you a strong candidate for that position, and note that your resume is attached for their reference. This will likely also be 2 or 3 sentences.

Include a closing line thanking them again. Let them know when you’ll check back in with them. Drop down two lines, then use a professional closing, such as “Best.” Drop down another two lines and type your full name.

Add a specific and professional subject line. If the recruiter can’t tell specifically what the email is about by glancing at the subject line, they may never even open it. Include the name of the career fair where you met them and thank them for their help.[5]
For example, your subject line might read “Thank you for your help at the Unicorn University Career Fair.” You might also write “Quick thank you and follow-up after the Unicorn University Career Fair.”

Keep your subject line brief and specific. There’s no need to include your name or mention that your resume is attached.

Use a more formal email address. The best email address to use for your job search is one with your first and last name, or your initials and last name. If you have a relatively common name that isn’t available on the major email services, add your middle initial or a professional descriptor, such as “sales” or “engineer.”[6]
If possible, make your email address all one word. For example, “SuzySunshine” or “LunaLovegood.”

Never use numbers in your email address. They could be construed as your age or the year you were born, and never look as professional.

Avoid separating your name with hyphens, underscores, and periods. These are difficult for recruiters to remember since they make your email address more complicated. Underscores may be difficult to see in some inbox layouts. A single period, however, is fine. For example, “Suzy.Sunshine” or “Luna.Lovegood.”

Attach your resume to your email. Take a moment to tailor your resume to the specific company where the recruiter works. Then make a PDF copy of that resume to send along with your email. If you already gave the recruiter your resume at the career fair, note in your email that you’re merely including it for reference.[7]
Save your resume file with your full name and the word “resume” before you attach it. If you use a generic filename, the recruiter may not be able to locate it again.

Send your email within 48 hours of the career fair. Ideally, you should send thank you emails within 24 hours of the career fair. However, it may take you some time to research companies and pull together your notes and information. As long as your email is thoughtful, polished, and professional, 48 hours is fine.[8]
If the career fair was on a Friday, you may want to wait until Monday to send your email so that it doesn’t hit the recruiter’s email account over the weekend.

Generally, it’s most professional to send your email during normal business hours (typically between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) Earlier in the morning looks better than later in the afternoon.

EditConnecting with Recruiters
Open a LinkedIn account if you don’t already have one. Many recruiters make extensive use of LinkedIn. The platform is designed to help you get your name out there and find a new job. You can open an account for free, then set up your profile page by adding information about your education, work experience, and skills.[9]
Keep the information and language on your LinkedIn profile professional. Use a picture of yourself in which you are well-groomed and professionally attired. If you have a recent school photo or graduation photo, that may work.

Take a moment to search for people on LinkedIn you might know, but keep in mind that LinkedIn is not a “social” network like Facebook or Instagram. Just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily add value to your network. On the other hand, connecting with former teachers, bosses, or coworkers is always a good idea.

Search for the recruiter on LinkedIn. The recruiter’s business card may have an address for their LinkedIn page on it. If not, you can use the LinkedIn search function to find them. Simply type their name into the search bar.[10]
When you find the profile for the right person, look over it briefly to get some more insight into that recruiter’s career history and their work at the company. You may find other things you have in common with the recruiter. For example, they might have graduated from the same school as you.

Send a brief message with your request to connect. Type a brief 2 or 3 sentence message mentioning that you met them at the career fair and would like to connect with them. Mention the name of the career fair specifically, along with the date it took place. You might also include detail about something you talked about to help the recruiter place you.[11]
For example, you might write “Hi Ronda Recruiter! We chatted at the Unicorn University Career Fair on April 1. I’d like to connect with you here to keep up-to-date with any opportunities that may open up in your organization. Thanks!”

If you simply send a request to connect without a message, the recruiter likely won’t accept your request. Most LinkedIn users don’t accept connection requests from people they don’t know or have a business relationship with.

Use your LinkedIn to follow companies you’re interested in working for. Not only do individuals have profiles on LinkedIn, but companies also do too. By following a company’s LinkedIn page, you can stay in the loop about new developments and job openings at that company.[12]
Many executives and business leaders are also “influencers” on LinkedIn. You can follow an influencer’s posts without sending a request to connect with them directly. Influencers often write posts about industry developments, ideas, and needs in the workforce. These posts can give you a lot of insight into your chosen field.

LinkedIn has videos and other resources that can teach you how to use the network to jumpstart your career. Go to https://university.linkedin.com/linkedin-for-students to get started.

EditWriting a Formal Follow-up Letter
Mark a follow-up date on your calendar to send a formal letter. It’s appropriate to follow up with a formal letter if you don’t hear much from the recruiter after you send your brief thank-you email. Wait about a month if you’re not looking to start work for several months. However, if you’re hoping to start work in the next month or two, send your letter 10 to 14 days after you send your thank-you email.[13]
You may also want to set a reminder a couple of days before the follow-up date so you have a little more time to draft your letter.

Format your letter in formal business style. Your word processing app likely has templates you can use to create a formal business letter. Address the letter to the recruiter you spoke to at the career fair.[14]
Use a conservative, readable font, such as Times New Roman or Helvetica, in 10- or 12-point size.

Use the information in your email as a starting point to draft your letter. Begin your letter by mentioning that you spoke with the recruiter at the career fair. Include the specific name of the career fair and the date it was held. You can also add the details from your conversation that you mentioned in your initial thank you email.[15]
If anything has changed since you sent the thank you email, add that information to the first paragraph. For example, if the recruiter recommended that you talk to a department head in the company, you could let them know that you reached out to that person.

Highlight skills and experience that would be valuable to the company. In the second paragraph of your letter, talk about how you would be an asset to the company in the position you’re seeking. Include soft skills, such as leadership or self-motivation, to round out this paragraph.[16]
For example, you might state that you are proactive and self-motivated, then note how you spearheaded a volunteer program to walk dogs in your local animal shelter as an example.

Close your letter with a “call to action.” For the last paragraph of your letter, let the recruiter know what you’re going to do next or what you want them to do in response to your letter. Provide a date by which you’ll follow up again.[17]
For example, if you’re anticipating an interview, you might let them know when you would be available by saying “I would like to discuss this opportunity with you in person. I am available Thursday and Friday afternoons after 2:00 p.m.”

Proofread your letter carefully before printing and signing it. If you send a letter with typos and grammatical errors, your effort may backfire. Reading your letter out loud can help you notice grammatical errors and spots where the phrasing is awkward.[18]
It can also help to have a friend, instructor, or school advisor read over your letter. They can give you tips on how you can make it stronger and more persuasive.

Enclose a copy of your resume. Read through the resume you previously sent to the recruiter and update it to account for any changes. Then give it another proofread before you print it up.[19]
Print your resume on quality resume paper. You can find this paper online or at office supply stores. You might also want to print your letter on the same paper.

EditVideo
EditTips
Organize all of the business cards, brochures, and other information you receive at the career fair so you can access what you need easily. Creating a spreadsheet of potential leads may help you keep track of the contacts you’ve made and when you need to follow up.[20]
Since handwritten cards are rare, a handwritten thank you note on professional stationery can really help you stand out from the crowd in the recruiter’s mind. Just make sure your handwriting is neat and legible or this idea could backfire.

EditReferences
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Today in History for 7th June 2019

Historical Events

1832 – Asian cholera reaches Quebec, brought by Irish immigrants, and kills about 6,000 people in Lower Canada
1905 – Norway dissolves union with Sweden (in effect since 1814)
1936 – Charles “Lucky” Luciano is convicted on 62 counts of compulsory prostitution
1965 – Sony Corp introduced its home video tape recorder, priced at $995
1979 – Portugal government of Mota Pinto resigns
2009 – French Open Men’s Tennis: Roger Federer wins his only French title, outclassing Robin Söderling of Sweden 6-1, 7-6, 6-4

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1897 – George Szell, Hungarian-born American conductor (Cleveland Orchestra, 1946-70), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 1970)
1910 – Bradford Washburn, American explorer and cartographer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 2007)
1927 – Martin Carter, Guyanese poet and political activist, born in Georgetown, Guyana (d. 1997)
1934 – Samuel Lipman, American pianist and music critic, born in Los Gatos, California (d. 1994)
1945 – Wolfgang Schüssel, Austrian People’s Party politician, born in Vienna, Austria
1946 – Jenny Jones [Janina Stronski], Canadian comedienne (Jenny Jones Show), born in Bethlehem, Palestine

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1654 – Giambattista Andreini, Italian playwright and actor (L’adamo), dies at 76
1667 – Thomas de Keyser, Amsterdam master builder/painter, buried
1847 – Adolph Gopel, German mathematician, dies at 35
1915 – Benjamin Lambord, composer, dies at 35
1961 – Robert Griffith, producer of Pajama Game, dies
1994 – Dennis Christopher George Potter, British dramatist (The Singing Detective, Karaoke, Midnight Movie), dies of cancer at 59

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Stretch New Shoes

If you’ve ever bought a pair of shoes that were too small, you probably didn’t wear them long before you started wondering if there was a way to stretch them. While you can’t change your shoe much more than a quarter- to a half-size, if you only need a little extra room, you may be able to stretch out the material enough to make them fit comfortably.

EditSteps
EditWearing the Shoes to Stretch Them
Wear the shoes around the house for an hour at a time. One of the easiest ways to stretch out a pair of shoes is just to wear them. Try wearing them for about an hour at a time, but if you can’t wear them that long at first, that’s okay. If you’d like, you can add a thick pair of socks to cushion your feet and help stretch your shoes even more.[1]
This technique will work for almost any type of shoe, but it’s best if the shoes are only a little too tight.

Keep in mind that if the shoes pinch or rub your feet, you might get blisters if you aren’t wearing socks!

As your shoes stretch, gradually increase the amount of time you wear them. Once they’re comfortable enough to wear for several hours at a time, they’re ready to take out of the house!

Wear thick socks and heat the shoes with a hair dryer for a fast stretch. Put on thick cotton socks, then slip your feet into your shoes. Set your hair dryer to medium heat and blast each shoe for about 30 seconds, moving the nozzle around as you do so. As the shoe is heating, wiggle your toes and bend your foot to help stretch the shoe. Then, continue wearing the shoes as they cool down.[2]
The heat will soften the shoe, helping it form to your foot. If you need to, heat the shoes again after they’ve cooled completely.

Heat can soften the glue used on some shoes, causing the uppers to separate from the sole, so don’t leave the hair dryer nozzle in any one place for too long. Do not heat plastic or PVC shoes—they won’t stretch and you could release toxic fumes into the air.

Spray the shoes with rubbing alcohol for a custom fit. Put on the shoes you want to stretch, then fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and saturate the outside of the shoes. Wear the shoes as the alcohol dries, and they should stretch out to fit the shape of your foot.[3]
You can also soak a thick pair of socks with rubbing alcohol, then put on the socks and shoes and wear them until the alcohol evaporates.

This is a great option for canvas or athletic shoes. However, it may not work as well for dress shoes made from stiff materials.

Because the alcohol dries quickly, it shouldn’t damage the shoe. However, it’s best to test the alcohol on an inconspicuous spot first if your shoe is made from a material that shouldn’t get wet, like leather or suede. If you’re not sure, try a different technique.

Try a shoe-stretching spray while you’re wearing leather shoes. If you want to stretch leather shoes, put them on, then spritz the leather according to the package directions. Wear the shoe while the spray dries, and the leather will stretch out around your foot.[4]
Shoe-stretching sprays are made to loosen the fibers of leather, allowing the material of the shoe upper to spread slightly. They may also work on suede, but be sure to read the product label carefully.

EditStretching the Shoes in the Freezer
Fill a resealable bag halfway with water and place it in the shoe. Stretch your shoes overnight by filling them with water, then freezing them. The easiest way to do that is to place a resealable plastic bag that’s about halfway full of water into the shoe. Make sure the bag is sealed tightly so you don’t spill any water in the inside of the shoe, as this could damage the insole.[5]
If you’re concerned the bag might break, use 2 bags instead, placing one inside the other.[6]
You can try this with any type of shoe, but it might work better for open-toe, peep-toe, or athletic styles. If the toe box on your shoes is very narrow, it might be hard to arrange the bag so it reaches all the way down into the shoe, and it might not stretch evenly.[7]

Place the shoes onto a tray and place the tray in the freezer. Leave the shoes in the freezer for several hours or overnight. Give the shoes enough time to make sure the water is frozen completely solid.[8]
Putting your shoes on a tray or a baking sheet will keep the bottom of your shoes from touching a surface your food might come in contact with. You can also place them into a large bag or on a sheet or parchment paper. However, you can just put them directly into the freezer, if you want.

Leave the shoes at room temperature for 15-30 minutes, then remove the bag. Once the ice is completely frozen, take the shoes out of the freezer. Leave them in a warm, dry place for about 15-30 minutes, or until the ice starts to melt. Then, wiggle the bag back and forth until you can remove it from the shoe.[9]
It’s better not to let the ice thaw out all the way. If there are any holes in the bag, the water could leak into the shoe and damage it.

EditStuffing the Shoes
Use a shoe stretcher to gradually widen leather shoes. A shoe stretcher is a device that’s made to wedge down into a shoe. Typically, they have a knob or a lever that you turn to gradually widen and lengthen the shoe stretcher. Over time, this will help relax and widen the shoe, making them up to a half-size larger.[10]
You can buy a shoe stretcher at most high-end shoe stores.

Try this in conjunction with a shoe-stretching spray for the best results. Dampen the shoes with the spray, then insert the shoe stretcher. Repeat this as needed until your shoes reach the size you need.

Roll up socks and stuff them into the toes of the shoes for a gentle stretch. Take a sock and roll it up tightly from the toes all the way to the top, then stick it down into the toe box of the shoe. Continue doing this until you’ve filled both shoes completely with as many socks as you can fit. Then, store the shoes overnight or until you’re ready to wear them again.[11]
While this method might not work as quickly as using heat, alcohol, or ice, it will gently stretch your shoes over time, making it an ideal option for leather, vintage, or otherwise delicate shoes.

This may not work as well for shoes with a stiff upper, like dress shoes. Also, shoes that are made from a flexible material, like mesh, might require direct heat or a method that saturates the shoe in order to stretch out the fibers.

Place wet newspaper into the shoes for more stretching power. Dampen a few sheets of newspaper, then ball them up and stuff them into the toe box of the shoe. Continue adding balls of wet newspaper until the shoe is full. As the paper dries, it will expand and harden, stretching out the shoe.[12]
Because this technique will form the shoe as it stretches, be sure to arrange the paper so it preserves the shape of your shoe.

Do not saturate the paper, or it could damage the inside of your shoe. Also, avoid using this technique on leather shoes.

Stretch the shoe with wet oats, grains, or rice for an old-fashioned approach. Fill a plastic bag with oatmeal, rice, or any other grain that will swell up when it gets wet. Add just enough water to cover the grains, then seal the bag and place it into the shoe, working it down into the toe box. Leave the bag in place overnight, then remove it and try your shoes on![13]
As the oats expand, the pressure will help stretch the material of the shoe.

EditVideo
EditTips
If your shoes are expensive or delicate, it may be best to take them to a professional cobbler to have them stretched.[14]
If a shoe isn’t made to fit your foot, there’s not much you can do to change its shape. Keep in mind that whenever possible, it’s best to buy shoes that already fit.

EditRelated wikiHows
Fit Your Kid for Shoes

Choose Comfortable Dress Shoes

Break in High Heel Shoes

Break in a New Pair of Shoes

EditReferences
EditQuick Summary
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