Network To Get Work

Advice For The Internationally Trained Professional

To look for work in Canada, you must use every resource at your command.

Many people traditionally look through newspaper or Internet job postings for opportunities. But did you know that a mere 10-15% of jobs are posted on the Internet? Even fewer jobs, 1-5% are listed in the newspapers. (Source: Ontario Works in Peel, 2000) So how does one get to know about job postings that aren’t listed anywhere?

One of the most effective methods of obtaining employment is networking. Networking is about making contact, presenting yourself to everyone and anyone who may potentially be able to connect you with a friendly face, supportive advice, or a job. Networking is so effective that up to 85% of employment is found by simply connecting with other people.

Successful networkers make connections for acquiring information and leads by using the telephone & Internet, meetings & social gatherings, and writing letters and email. They build relationships by arranging information interviews and following up on leads. And finally, they nurture their relationships by staying in touch with their connections.

For the internationally trained professional, having the right attitude and approach is crucial in implementing a fruitful networking strategy.

N – Being NEW to Canada means you need to build your contact list. Start with your own personal network of friends and family. Let them connect you to others who may be able to help you. Reach out to professional associations to build professional relationships and acquire information. Expand to your community including religious institutions, community centres, schools, voluntary groups, etc. Don’t forget to include the Internet in your network particularly on-line discussion groups, bulletin boards, and other on-line forums.

E – EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION is the key to success. Cold calling people through the telephone is a very effective method of expanding your network. Know in advance what your goals are and develop a script that will help guide your conversation. Be clear, concise, and organized.

It’s important to make a good impression when you network. Project a positive image by smiling when you talk, even if you’re having a telephone conversation.

Using the Internet to support your networking activities is strategic as it will provide you with ready access to information as well as millions of users. However, be careful not to let it replace personal contact. Try to keep a healthy balance between personal and electronic networking.

Recognize that cultural differences exist and be adaptable. It is important to gain an understanding of the Canadian business culture. For instance, in Canada, it is customary to look someone in the eye when conversing with him or her. If you do not, you may be perceived as not telling the truth.

T – TALK to everyone. Never be afraid to tell people that you’re looking for an employment opportunity. Until you secure employment, your goal is to increase your visibility among people in the industry who may have the power to help you. At all times, be ready to explain your qualifications and skills to everyone.

Think of networking from a marketing perspective. Do not expect to receive a job offer at first contact. This is not realistic, and it is not your goal. Your goal is to build visibility so that when people in your industry have, or hear of an opening, they think of you.

W – WIN PEOPLE over. Sell what your contacts want to “buy” by establishing and understanding what they want to have, what they want to accomplish, and what they want to avoid. In part, this establishes a win/win situation where you and your contact equally benefit. For example, it is crucial for employers that their employees deliver results in a timely manner without error. Recognize that need and state your accomplishments in that regards, voluntary groups, etc. Don’t forget to include the Internet in your network particularly on-line discussion groups, bulletin boards, and other on-line forums.

O – Take advantage of every OPPORTUNITY. Opportunities are more readily available when you network with people. The competition is less for these jobs simply because there are fewer people who know about the openings.

Be ready to network with anyone, anytime, any place. So many opportunities come out of chance encounters.

R – RESULTS will come from your efforts. Greater success is given to those who persist and persevere. Set a daily target for yourself regarding the number of contacts you will make. For example, every day, you may want to focus on 10 corporations or small businesses. The more contacts you make, the more information you will have, resulting in a greater chance of success. Don’t be put off by any negative remarks or comments. If you did not receive the desired answer, be ready to try again later.

K – The KEY to your job search is networking. Networking allows you to systematically develop your interpersonal network and get support in various aspects of job search, career advancement, and personal life. Stay focused and targeted and remember what your objectives are. This leaves you motivated because you see a direct relationship between making contacts and achieving what you want.

Communicating with people over the telephone or in person is an art, particularly when we are dealing with diversity. It is vital that when we set out to make contact with employers specifically, we do so with confidence. Communication skills in our day- to- day life create the difference between success and defeat.

Now that we have reviewed the important elements of networking, it is important to take ACTION. Make a list of people you want to contact and establish methods that you could use to develop your network. Visit a community centre, take a class, go to social gatherings and don’t be shy about telling people that you are searching for employment opportunities. Get out there and let people know about you.

The best time to start is NOW!!!

The Centre for Foreign Trained Professionals and Tradespeople (CFTPT) offers a unique program that assists foreign trained professionals and tradespeople in finding work related to their skills or professional background. Clients are given the opportunity to establish work search strategies, while receiving ongoing support. This intensive, hands-on, four-week program uses structured activities and a group support system
for a customized work search.
CFTPT is available at two locations in Toronto:

1620 Albion Road, Second Floor
Telephone: (416) 745-0281
Fax: (416) 745-5718
700 Caledonia Road
Telephone: (416) 789-3420, ext.244
Fax: (416) 789-5937
These projects are funded by the Government of Canada