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Yesterday I attended my university's career fair and I'm now in the process of writing cover letters and applying to the companies I talked to online. For one particular company that I'm interested in, I spoke with a representative who was particularly interested in me based on my experience, resume, etc... so I really want to address her specifically in my cover letter, but I foolishly forgot to ask her for her name! She introduced herself with only her first name so I know that much, but it didn't even occur to me until after I'd left the fair that I never caught her last name. None of the handouts she gave me for the company said her name on them, they were all just general info for the company. I searched for her name online, but wasn't able to find anything at all.

So I'm a little unsure on what the best approach to this would be. Right now my plan is to address the cover letter to the head of the human resources department (which I was able to find online) and then mention the recruiter by first name in the letter. Would this be a good idea, or is there a better approach?

  • I searched LinkedIn, the only person that showed up for the company with that first name didn't have a photo and the text description didn't line up with the person I met. – Andrew Bischoff Feb 17 '16 at 23:44
  • unfortunately I tried that too, due to legal issues they are not allowed to reveal employee names over the phone. – Andrew Bischoff Feb 18 '16 at 1:23
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    For future reference, not an answer to the current question, if you might want to communicate further with someone you meet e.g. at a job fair, ask for their business card. – Patricia Shanahan Feb 18 '16 at 17:09
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Ask for your application to be given to her.

You have enough information to allow the identification in the company of the recruiter. Explain your situation, apologize for not asking her name, mention that you wish to continue discussing with her about your application and append resume and cover letter.

In the cover letter, explain what interested you in the company during the exchange at the career fair, do not use her given name in the cover letter but refer to her as "the helpful recruiter".

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The career office may know the names of the company representatives who were present. If not, they will know who's in charge of ghat recruiting team and you can address the cover letter to that person.

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There's two possible situations: She gave her full name, or meant to, for example by having a stack of personalized business card or her name printed on the material etc. In this case you can try to find her name.

But in the case your mentioning, it seems to be the policy of the company not to give personal contact at the career fair. Seriously, I cannot see someone attending a fair and not having a BC handy to give if they wanted to. It's basic stuff, it's the main reason why BC still exists: to give at trade show/career fairs.
Just send your application as is.

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You can do a little bit of legal corporate espionage. If you can get the main number of the company, you can try getting her full name through the company directory.

You can also try calling the HR department and ask to speak to "First name", thank her for her time, and tell her that you wanted to send her a quick thank you email for all the time she spent with you. Then ask her for her email address. Her last name will be in the email address, as most companies have the corporate emails as John.Smith@company.com

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