Newcomers: your network, the key to accessing the labour market

Are you a newcomer in Quebec looking for a job? A good starting point is to build up a professional network to make yourself known to employers. Here are three tips from Interconnection Program advisors.

What is a network?

A network is your directory of professional relations and contacts. You can build it digitally, for example, through your activity on LinkedIn, or in face-to-face encounters during events where you can converse with people closely or loosely linked to your field. A network’s goal is to make you known in the Quebec labour market by getting closer to the right people and organizations to fulfill your career goals.

Know how to create opportunities

The trick is to be social. Networking requires you to be open-minded. Show off your expertise instead of your desire to find a job as soon as possible. Show interest in those you’re conversing with and keep in mind that they could put you in contact with your future manager or potential clients. And so, even if your conversation partners don’t work in your field, some of their friends or old colleagues might have a closer link to it. One connection can create another! Afterwards, do a good follow up to make sure that you’re remembered.

The most important tool for converting your networking into business development is your follow-up.
» How to follow up on business meetingsHow to follow up on business meetings

Tip 1: Maintain your LinkedIn network

Today, 94% of employers look at candidates’ LinkedIn profiles. This is your digital CV. That’s why you need to pay close attention to the details. Your information must be up-to-date and reflect your career goals. Don’t forget to add a professional photo to your profile.

The benefit of LinkedIn is the access it gives you to a pool of professionals that can guide and point you towards job offers in their company or network. To increase these opportunities, start from the base: connect with old colleagues, bosses and clients, even if they’re abroad. Don’t hesitate to ask them for recommendations to improve your profile. Also, each time that you meet a professional in your field or someone who shares your interests, invite them to join your network. Finally, don’t forget to maintain the relationship by posting messages accordingly (sharing articles, commenting on a publication, etc.).

Think about joining discussion groups! These online meeting places will help you update your acquaintances, talk with your peers and show off your expertise in Quebec’s job market.

Tip 2: Participate in activities

It doesn’t matter if the activity is a networking event or a conference in your field. There are many of these opportunities in the region of Montréal and most are free or low-cost. Make sure you choose those that fit best with your career goals.

Activities offered by the chambers of commerce :
The Interconnection Program of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal
The ethnic chambers of commerce (Latino-American, North African, African, etc.)

Other activities :
Montréal 5 à 7

Work on your elevator pitch

Developing your network also depends on your preparedness when you participate in this kind of activity. Learn how to present yourself clearly in only a few seconds: the key is to master your elevator pitch.

How can you pique your conversation partner’s interest immediately?
» Selling your elevator pitch in 30 seconds

Finally, if an employer seems interested in your profile, make your answers precise, especially concerning which position you are aiming for. Show your determination when speaking about your professional objectives and demonstrate flexibility and openness to leave a door open during the conversation.

Tip 3: Don’t forget your personal

This includes the people you meet in casual situations at the edge of your professional life. These are, above all else, your personal contacts. But they also have their own network and can help you find business or job opportunities! That’s why we are encouraging you to go out and have fun.

Coming to a different country isn’t always easy. There are many things to take in… but also to discover! Your curiosity will be your greatest ally in integrating yourself well. It will be essential to have if you want to apply the three tips we gave you.

Discover our free professional support activities!
>> Contact the Interconnection Program advisors
514 871-4200

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