by Lauren Burmester
Now that the Industry/Career Expo has come and gone, what’s next? You spent weeks preparing by creating a strong resume, working on your interviewing skills, researching companies, etc., and in a matter of hours, it is all over. The excitement of speaking with company representatives and the prospect of working for one of these companies is starting to fade, but it doesn’t have to. Use the following steps to prevent post-Expo blues and keep moving in the right direction.
Keep the momentum going. Stay focused and motivated on your career goals. Even if you handed your resume to a company representative at the Expo, you should still apply for jobs that are posted on the company’s website. You may have only discussed one particular position while at the Expo; however, there are probably multiple positions on the website that you should pursue. Keep up with current events for the companies in which you are interested. This not only helps you stay excited about the companies, but when the time comes to interview, you are well prepared which shows the employer you are truly interested in working for them.
Extend your appreciation. Send a “thank you” email to the representatives you spoke with to show your appreciation and reiterate a key skill or accomplishment that further communicates your interest in their company. If you have a physical address, send a hand-written letter instead of an email. With today’s use of technology, most thank you letters are sent via email, so a hand-written letter is even that much more appreciated and memorable. Something as simple as a letter can make you stand out from the rest of the candidates in a positive way. Review a sample thank you letter on our website. Make sure to customize your thank you letter for each representative.
Follow-up or check-in. If you interviewed with a company at Expo, it is okay to follow-up or check-in with the employer if they gave you a timeline that has passed. Remember there is a fine line between checking in and harassing an employer. If an employer stated that they would be in touch with you in a week, it is acceptable to reach out to them if it has been over two weeks since you heard from them to check on your application or candidacy. You want to show interest but not seem desperate. If you do not hear back from the employer, avoid continually trying to contact them or start calling around the company to other employees. It is important to remain patient.
Move on and stay positive. If it has been several weeks since you heard from the recruiter or they are not returning your phone calls, it is time to move on and start looking for other opportunities. There could be a number of reasons why you did not get the job: the job opening was cancelled or put on hold, they decided to hire from within, they decided to go with a candidate who had more experience, etc. Remember it’s business, not personal. Use this as a learning opportunity and think about what you can work on or do differently next time. Continue to improve your resume and interview skills by attending Career Services focused presentations and industry conferences. Continue to network using both social media outlets such as LinkedIn or Facebook and in-person opportunities. While in school take advantage of the resources and services provided by your campus. Most importantly stay positive and don’t give up!
Lauren Burmester is new to the Career Services Office as a Program Manager. She has been an employee with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2006 working in Advising and Admissions. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Studies with concentrations in Aviation Safety, Space Studies, and Business Administration, as well as a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Safety Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, graduating with distinction. Lauren’s passion for the Aviation and Aerospace industry is instrumental in assisting students achieve their personal and professional goals.