Online Networking: Tips for Creating Job Leads in Canada
I regularly receive online connection invitations from job-seekers who are not in Canada. More often than not, these invitations break the rules of online networking etiquette, and I question how successful these eager professionals are at establishing job leads with Canadian companies. To be completely honest, many Canadians are also guilty of such etiquette faux-pas!
The following are tips for creating job leads in Canada before you arrive.
1) Your Profile Photo
While a Canadian resume should never have your photo on it, LinkedIn encourages professionals to include a profile image. Having a photo makes you more recognizable, more memorable, and indicates to fellow members that you have put some time and effort into your profile. Be sure to give a good first impression by dressing professionally, looking at the camera when the photo is taken, and smiling. People do business with people they like, and these three aspects of your photo will indicate to Canadians that you are approachable.
2) Spelling and Grammar
Just like a Canadian resume, your LinkedIn profile should be absolutely free of errors. While English may not be your first language, spelling mistakes on your profile can harm your professional appearance in several unintended ways: Other users may think that you are careless, disorganized, and even question your literacy. Be professional by having a proofread profile.
3) Quality is more important than quantity
One of my biggest pet peeves at live networking events is being approached by the ‘serial business-card trader.’ These individuals approach, hand me their business card, and barely stop to shake hands or say hello. While literally hundreds of people will have this person’s contact information at the end of the night, almost no-one will know what this person stands for, nor what benefit there is in having a professional relationship. In fact, many people (including me!) will have the impression that this person is careless and does not invest time into completing a task effectively (in this case, building a business relationship). If LinkedIn were a business event, the ‘serial business-card trader’ would be the stranger who sends a generic ‘I’d like to add you as a connection on LinkedIn’ message to introduce themselves. Creating meaningful job-leads requires crafting a more thoughtful invitation. Not sure what to write? Try to answer the question, ‘Why do I want to connect with THIS particular person?’ Your message should be brief, personalized, and demonstrate value-add for both parties.
Would you like some help? My Canada Plan has helped many newcomers to build meaningful job leads in Canada by proofreading their online profiles and helping them to network more effectively online.