Maximizing results from a job fair depends on the follow-up that is done after the event. You spoke to various people about their opportunities and the possibilities that they had available to you and everyone else that passed by them. What happened after the fair? What did they do, and what did you do, to follow-up?
Perhaps you provided your information to someone at the fair and they called you afterwards. Maybe they wanted to meet with you and chat further about the possibilities that they have. Maybe they wanted to discuss some specific opening because they believed that you were a match. Did you speak with them or let the call go to voice mail? If it did, did you return the call to see what they wanted?
Maybe the person who called you wanted to set a date and time to meet for further conversation or an interview. Did you agree to the appointment, or did you say that you were not interested? If they called you for a follow-up meeting, why did you not want to have a further conversation? What did you have to lose? You must never turn an offer down before it is actually made to you.
If you agreed to meet, did you show up for the meeting? Not showing up for a meeting without calling first is rude. It is also negative marketing that might be the topic of later conversation between possible employers. You have wasted their time and yours and gained nothing for the effort. That is the same as taking yourself out of the market, and it is very negative karma.
Maybe you didn’t provide your information to the people with whom you spoke at the fair, but you have their names and contact information. Did you contact them to discover what possibilities they may have available? Maybe something opened up with them after the fair; maybe they are willing to discuss your abilities and experience even though you are not their exact candidate. You will never know unless you call.
If the prospective employer does not contact you or does not have your information, contact them. What do you have to lose? The possibility of making a successful contact should outweigh any “inconvenience” on your part. If they react badly, what have you lost? If they react positively, congratulations, you are networking and marketing yourself correctly. If you don’t succeed with them, they may refer you to someone.
Follow-up conversations might result in your being the perfect candidate for the person with whom you speak. You may not be their perfect match, but they might know someone else for whom you may be a candidate. It never is wrong to ask for that referral. However, unless you have the follow-up conversation, you never gain that advantage because they don’t know you, decide if they like you, or trust you.
Job fairs are very powerful tools for employers to use to fill their ranks of personnel. They can be equally powerful tools for candidates to market themselves. Both must do their follow-up and have those conversations after the fairs to learn whether they know, like, and trust each other. Information gathering works both ways and can benefit both parties. But both parties must follow-up to gather that information.
Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Appreciation Marketing applies both during and after job fairs. Utilize it to maximize your career search and eventual success. You have nothing to lose by trying?