How to network to find a job in B.C.
When you are looking for a job in Canada it is often personal contacts that will make the difference. It is generally not enough to submit your résumé to the job boards and agencies and just wait for the phone to ring.
I cannot guarantee that these tips will find you work, but at the least you will get to meet a lot more people. That in itself will help you settle in and begin to feel a part of the place.
How to network
Choose the tips that you are most comfortable with at first. As your confidence grows you will probably find a lot of other ideas that you can adopt. (Let me know of any suggestions you have and I'll add them.)
Hand deliver your résumé
This is the way that many candidates deal with submitting their job applications. Turn up and ask to see the person hiring. If you don't know their name, then ask the receptionist. Or call up and ask for a name first of all.
When you do get to see the manager, then do not take too much of their time. You just want to make an impression as someone who is keen and you can do this by being friendly and asking a few good questions about the job.
Start off by shaking hands and thanking them for sparing the time to see you. Make sure that you appear confident and relaxed (even if inwardly you are not). You need not be too business-like as it seems that Canadians often ease themselves into the main topic of business by general small talk.
It is part of the Canadian way to volunteer and community work is often valued. (In fact high school kids are required to do community hours as part of their graduation requirement.) So whatever you do in a volunteer capacity will be something you can add to your résumé.
You can use a volunteer post as a way of demonstrating your skills. And you can also find yourself developing new ones.
There are many places to find volunteer positions:
- schools often need volunteers
- charities and not-for-profit organizations
- volunteer centers
- check the local papers
Join professional bodies
Membership of professional bodies or trade associations is going to help you with your job search in more than one way. Being a member is a good thing to show on your résumé, but the chance to meet others in your industry is also valuable.
Look out for meetings in:
- Business in Vancouver
This is a worthwhile publication to subscribe to if you are interested in working for yourself.
This caters for the technology sector, computing, bio-tech etc.
This is for the self-employed entrepreneur mostly, but there are opportunities to meet employers too.
This is the Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre. They have job postings as well as events.
This site has a huge number of different groups catering for every interest! Choose local and wisely.
Other networking opportunities
This online social community has become a very useful way of getting in touch with potential employers. Sign up, add contacts, join relevant groups and contribute too. You can connect with us too.
- Job fairs
From time to time you will find job fairs held in hotels, convention centre's etc. Look out for adverts in the local papers. Be sure to take enough copies of your résumé along and be ready to talk to potential employers.
- Newcomer clubs
These are a great way to meet others who are new to the area. They can be Canadians from other provinces.
- On-line groups and forums: