Send a thank-you note: Use the notes you took after leaving each table to compose a brief, tailored thank-you note. You can send it by email or mail but make sure it reaches the Recruiter within 2-3 business days of the fair. Be sure to indicate the position(s) in which you are interested and your availability to meet for additional interviews.
Consider leaving a voice mail: If you had a particularly good interview with a Recruiter, call their office that afternoon to leave a message thanking them for their time and attention. Follow-up on this call with an email.
Check back in: Email a week or so after the fair to follow-up again and reaffirm your interest. If you don't hear back, you can be sure that you stay in the Recruiter's mind by following-up by email every month or so.
Just because you weren't interested in a particular opportunity doesn't mean you shouldn't follow-up. In fact, it may be just as important that you secured a solid contact. In fact, you may impress the Recruiter so much that you are recommended to a colleague! Such a referral can (in the long run) be just as valuable as an offer or second interview.
So follow up with the Recruiter to thank him or her for their time and consideration and reaffirm your interest in the company while gently indicating the position in question may not be a good fit. You will impress them with your professionalism while keeping the door open for other opportunities.
Between the company information, Recruiter business cards, professional development program fliers, and names of people you met while standing in line, you will likely have a great deal of information that won't make any sense when you come back to it in a week or two. It is important to organize the information while you can still put faces to names to make sure that these resources continue to support your job search.
Keep company information and recruiter information together: This ensures that you remember who to contact regarding opportunities at the company.
Connect with your contacts online: If you use Facebook or LinkedIn, you can use social networking sites like these to connect with and sustain your new contacts, whether Recruiters you met at the table or fellow job seekers you met in line.
Prioritize the information for follow up: Make a schedule, day by day, of what you need to do to follow up on your contacts.
If you discovered that some aspects of your skill set are in need of updating — or if you learned that you lack key qualifications for a career change you are exploring — take the time to research the Websites of the professional development organizations you contacted at the career fair. Assess their ability to meet your needs for things like cost, payment plans, financial aid, relevance of program, classroom versus field learning, and online versus traditional options. Chances are that there is a program out there that fits the needs of your life and budget.