Monday, February 3, 2014

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up: The Key to Setting Yourself Apart!

You’ve just spent three hours networking and connecting with a room full of recruiters, now what?  The follow-up after an Internship or Career Fair is just as important as what happens during the fair. The recruiter is leaving the fair with a stack of resumes, business cards and notes highlighting candidate encounters.  Sending a well-crafted thank you note can put your resume at the top of the stack and add a positive impression to an already positive connection.

Don’t delay, write a follow-up thank you note sooner, rather than later.  Most experts recommend doing so within 24 to 48 hours.  However, if you’ve missed the 48-hour deadline, write anyway.  Your note can be handwritten or emailed.  Just make sure that you treat the email like a formal letter and not as though you’re writing a quick message to a friend.  If your hand-writing is hard to read, definitely go with the email.  Keep your thank you note professional and to the point, and remember to proof read it!  Show your passion and follow the guidelines below to write a solid thank you note:

1. In your first paragraph, express your gratitude – “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me at the Anderson Internship Fair on Thursday” or “I appreciate learning more about the position at ABC Company.”

2. In paragraph two, make it clear that you listened to the recruiter’s needs for the position and that you’re prepared to address them and add value.  Reiterate why you’re the perfect candidate for the job and the specific experiences, skills or abilities that you bring to the company.

3. In your final paragraph, reinforce your interest in the position and the company.  Let the recruiter know you’d welcome further discussion.

Don’t forego one of the most important aspects of a Career Fair, the follow-up! Hopefully these tips give you a good starting point as you maintain a positive, action-oriented attitude in your relationship with recruiters. You will always gain an advantage and differentiate yourself from the competition by writing thank you notes to interviewers, hiring managers and mentors.  Each and every connection and conversation is an opportunity to move you and your brand forward!

Natalie Mead is the Career Services Manager at the Anderson School of Management.  She is passionate about professional development and the opportunity to connect the talented pool of Anderson students with employers and recruiting partners.  Click here to contact Natalie.

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