By Kiernan King, Toppel Peer Advisor
Attending a career fair allows you to explore a variety of career options that you wouldn’t normally have thought about. In doing so, you allow yourself to connect with many employers from a variety of companies and have an opportunity to network and even practice that elevator pitch.

You had your résumés off to countless HR representatives and then…that’s it?
Wrong.
What you do at the career fair is almost more important than what you did while you were there. Here are some steps to follow!
1. Get Organized
Since you probably spoke with many potential employers, it’s important to stay organized and keep track of all your job leads. Did you collect business cards, informational brochures and packets? Can you read that e-mail address that you frantically jotted down after someone said they knew someone better suited to help you with your career goals? Create a document that helps you keep track of everyone you spoke with and some highlights of the conversation you had with them.
2. Follow-Up
You probably gathered as many business cards as you could, now it’s important to follow up with the contacts you met. Send an email, thank you letter or make a phone call. 
Make sure it is well-written and free of grammar errors. Make note of something the employer said they’d help you with, chances are they spoke with many people and don’t remember anything they told you. 
Don’t make this casual. Go to the organization’s website and find specific positions you could apply for, tie your skill sets to match the open position, let them know you’re excited about the opportunity and that you value their input from speaking with them at the event.
3. Make Necessary Changes to Your Resume
If you received any critiques at the fair, be sure to make those changes now. It’s important to keep this document up-to-date, as your skill set changes with each new experience you take on. If needed, come to the Toppel Career Center for walk-in advising Mon-Thurs from 10:00-4:30, a peer advisor will be more than willing to help you out!
4. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Continue to practice your interviewing skills. Everyone claims they are good at interviewing, but are you really? You want to stay sharp and not be nervous before you interview for your dream job.
5. Reflect
It’s important to see how you managed yourself so you can prepare and make any improvements next time. Were you shy? Awkward? Confused? Did you seem to make a fool out of yourself or did you make a joke that left the employers with a good impression? What’s something I would do differently? What worked?
There is always plenty to do once you leave a career fair, just remember to give yourself props for attending one and know that it is never too early, or late, to go to one!