Visiting relevant trade shows for your industry will help you stay in touch with what's going on, expand your professional network and demonstrate your presence and interest in the sector.
Buy the exhibition catalogue to study the list of exhibitors. Then you can those companies that might be interested in your application. Request a catalogue from the organisers before the show opens, or buy one on the day of your visit, but take the time to look through it before making your tour.
Pick up brochures and leaflets from the stands of companies you're interested in, and ask for the name of the manager or person responsible for the relevant department/area of work. If that person is present, try to speak to him/her, introduce yourself briefly, say what you can do and ask questions about the company's projects. Leave your business card with them. You can give them your CV as well but, as you won't necessarily know if you have left it with the decision maker, it's best to send your CV with a covering letter within a day or two, mentioning the person you spoke to. Follow up within ten days.
Job fairs focus on recruitment, and the companies taking part are there to find candidates, so take an assertive approach when marketing yourself. Do leave your CV, and remind them you've done so at the end of the show or send a follow-up letter to remind them of your application.
After each encounter, give yourself a short break to think about the contacts you've made, and make a note of anything that seemed important from your conversations, what you've learned, your personal impressions, etc. These notes will enable you to tailor your CV and covering letter to the company's needs. We recommend that you use the example provided on our website and to centralise all of your contacts.