What to do after attending career events

Reflect on your experience

Attending a career fair is one step towards cultivating a strong professional network and a career that matters to you. Take time to consider what you learned and what your next steps might be.

  1. Revisit any goals that you set. What went well? Where were you challenged?
  2. What did you learn about your career options and employers or industries that interest you?
  3. What will you do differently at your next event?

Stay connected with employers

Maintaining contact with your new connections can feel hard and uncomfortable. As you cultivate your network, practice quality over quantity. If you had a good conversation with an employer who seemed to be engaged, reach out to them on LinkedIn, other social media or by email to remind them of that conversation and thank them for their time. Let them know what you appreciated about the conversation and that you’d like to keep in touch.

As time passes, try to consider how you can add value to their world. Did you come across an article related to their work? Forward it to them. Did they announce a major change on LinkedIn? Acknowledge their efforts and accomplishments. You can learn more about maintaining your network below.

Consider that cultivating professional relationships doesn’t have to be much different than cultivating friendships. You don’t have to develop strong friendships with your professional contacts but many of the same principles apply, including the following:

  • Value should be reciprocal. In other words, it’s not just about you getting a job. 
  • Engaging with one another should be enjoyable.

Remember, building professional relationships, or networking, is an essential career building activity. Think of it as a long-term investment in your future that can help you with the following:

  • Access opportunities
  • Improve your industry knowledge
  • Consider your interests and identify your career goals
  • Gain referrals and recommendations

Connect on LinkedIn

LinkedIn notifies you if someone has a work anniversary, job change, or birthday. This is a great opportunity to stay connected with your new contact and reach out to them in casual and formal ways. You can also check out their profiles to find pages and people worth following.

When you request to connect, make sure you include a personalized introduction email so that they don’t think you are spamming them. Remind them of your previous meeting and let them know you value their time and experience.

Join the UBC Hub of Ten Thousand Coffees

With the UBC Hub of Ten Thousand Coffees, sponsored by RBC Future Launch, having career-driven conversations is easy. You'll receive one introduction per month to a fellow student or alum based on your career interests and goals.

Read the platform's Terms of Use (pdf) before signing up.

  1. Create a free profile on The UBC Hub.
  2. Select your area of study or industry, interests, and goals.
  3. Each month the Hub will introduce you to a new contact that you have something in common with.
  4. Browse thousands of member profiles and connect directly through the message feature.

Once you sign up to the platform, matches are made automatically and optimized to your preferences. You are even given suggested talking points!

Set up an informational interview

If you’d like to have a follow-up conversation with someone you met, request an informational interview. Review the informational interviews guide to learn more.

Find more people to connect with

Your new contact may be able to introduce you to others in your field of interest. If you feel it is appropriate, ask if they know anyone else you should talk to. When  they make a suggestion, ask if they can introduce you directly. If this isn’t possible, name them as your referral source when you reach out to the potential new contact independently.

Tips to maintain your network

It’s important not to overwhelm your new contacts by asking for too much. Consider what you can offer that they would benefit from or enjoy. Remember, relationships that are mutually beneficial are the most successful. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Send them a note if you’re attending an industry event.
    If it’s a popular event for their industry, send them a quick note to let them know you will be attending and hope to see them there.
  • Keep them in the loop and acknowledge their support.
    Sharing your successes will fuel their interest in keeping in touch, and if they’ve helped you in any way, let them know.
  • Ask for their advice.
    If you have a specific question, ask for their advice via LinkedIn messaging or email. Be as specific as possible in your question and ensure you remind them of who you are and what you talked about during the event.
  • Offer them professional or personal leads.
    If you know of a project or event that would be of interest to them, or have met someone they might value speaking to, make an introduction. This doesn’t have to remain in the realm of work but can be connected to known hobbies and interests as well.

Additional resources