Writing a cover letter that accompanies your resume for a specific position usually states your interest in the job as well as a statement or two that shows you've studied the organization and respect its work or reputation. However, a career fair cover letter is akin to a letter of introduction that contains specific information about you and your career but doesn't include company-specific information.
1. Construct an introductory paragraph that succinctly describes your expertise level, an accomplishment or two, your personality and the types of career opportunities or organizations for which you believe you're best suited. For example, write "I'm an enthusiastic recent graduate of microbiology from the University of Arizona looking for an entry-level career role in research and development. I have significant work expertise through internships with two major research laboratories and am excited about joining an organization that rewards forward-thinking researchers with opportunities for professional development and on-the-job learning. I'm available for relocation anywhere in the United States."
2. Write one or two sentences about your attendance at the career fair. Include the precise name of the fair, its date and location. The reason you want to mention this is because many employers track applicants and how they learn about vacancies with their companies. When you identify that you're a career fair attendee, it's easy for the company to track interest in the organization. In addition, you might receive recognition as a career fair attendee that you might otherwise not have received simply because of the effort to make an in-person appearance instead of simply sitting at home dispatching cover letters and resumes via email.
3. Write one to two paragraphs about your functional expertise and specific accomplishments. If you've worked for organizations with excellent reputations in your industry or field, feel free to include their names. Prospective employers may look twice at applicants who have worked for companies that are known to have strict criteria and a reputation for hiring only the best professionals.
4. Describe your functional expertise, clinical experience or job skills in specific terms, using concrete examples about your work history. If you are a recent graduate, use your internships and college projects to describe your expertise. If you're a mid-career professional, briefly describe how your job skills and expertise have progressed through the years. For example, an accountant who started in an entry-level position and received promotions to become department leader might describe his work history as, "In the 11 years since I joined my current employer's accounting department as an accounts payable clerk, I completed my undergraduate degree while working full-time. Within two years, I was promoted to junior accountant and given increasingly responsible assignments over the next seven years. Two years ago, I successfully passed the CPA exam and am now the department manager."
5. Conclude your cover letter with information about your career interests. Research the career fair to determine if a particular industry will be represented. For example, some of the Big Four accounting firms recruit during college campus career fairs. Other career fairs might focus on federal government employers or industry-specific areas such as food and beverage, hospitality or engineering. If you're attending a targeted career fair, state your interest in the industry and ask for favorable consideration of your qualifications.
- Create your own application packages for the career fair. Make several copies of your cover letter, resume, list of references, writing samples and portfolio examples to hand to prospective employer representatives.
- Dress for the career fair as you would for an interview. Many companies send their recruiters and hiring managers to conduct on-the-spot interviews. Use your appearance and application materials to convey a message to recruiters and hiring managers that you're prepared to accept a position.
About the Author
Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
Suggest an Article Correction
Given that job fairs are open to all—from students to seasoned professionals, assume that your job search is going to be a tough battle. It is usually a one-day event where you should strategize to outshine other hopefuls. And what’s the best way to beat them? A cover letter for job fair can do wonders.
Should you bring a cover letter to a job fair?
While cover letters aren’t required, no rules restrict you from handing one. Actually, presenting it along with your resume helps you to stand out in job fairs. This way, you imply having the strong intent for the position.
Tips on Making Cover Letter for Job Fair
How can you make a good cover letter to bolster your hiring chances? Heed these tips.
1. Use proper heading.
You should place a heading to show a professional image. You can use the same header you used in your resume. Be sure that your header contains your contact information so hiring managers can reach you. Then, use the usual letter format that contains vital parts: date, salutation line, and your message.
2. Make a strong opening piece.
Create an initial remark that describes your expertise. You can cite an achievement, personal belief, values, or sort out the career that fits you. For instance, you can write, “I am an aspiring chemist who graduated from University of Texas looking for an entry-level role. I look forward to be part of your reputable company that, in my belief, will give me professional progress and on-the-job learning.”
Alternatively, your opening paragraph may contain information that presents reader with focused details about the post you pursue.
3. Show that you have researched their company.
Exemplify that you took extra effort to visit the company’s website. Doing this signifies you prepared hard to know them well just to get a job. When employers find these things, they see you as someone who has diligence, and they will trust you. To leave a good mark, you can say, “Being in the industry for a decade, I believe your company can help advance my career and sustain my personal growth.”
4. Tailor it based on the company’s needs.
After your research, you sure know the company’s vision, mission, and corporate values. That allowed you to learn the nature of the business, and the kind of employees they need. So your cover letter for job fair should respond to their needs. This way, you’re conveying not just your interest to work in their company but your qualification as a perfect candidate. For instance, you want to pursue a career at an oil company. Write, “As a new breed of chemical engineering graduate, I have the potential to support your company’s endeavor to use advanced technologies. I am equipped to take on an innovative approach to help build a sustainable energy in the future.”
Want the best cover letter to succeed in your pursuit? Seek help from expert writers. Resume Professional Writers offers resume and CV writing services that come in packages, some of which already include cover letter. Since we treat each project unique and we intend to give each resume a good branding, we ditch templates in writing cover letters. Our expert writers will make a draft right from the scratch. To know more information about our services and their inclusions, contact us now!
Sources: workitdaily.com, thebalance.com