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- In-person or telephone interview with one of our HR experts;
- Help with writing your résumé;
- Expert advice on the job market, employment possibilities, current salaries, etc.
- Exclusive access to a secured Job Portal;
- Possibility of receiving Job Alerts or Conference Announcements;
- Preferred rate to attend our career management conferences throughout the year.
- Build your contact network through reference interviews
- Establish contact and summarize the goal of the interview and how it is conducted
- Provide your vis-à-vis with information on your professional experience
- Facilitate dialogue
- Conclude the interview and decide on the next step
- Follow-up; draft a thank you letter.
- Establish contact and how the interview will be conducted.
The first step in the reference interview consists in making contact and establishing the content of the meeting, followed by the goal. During a business meeting, the chair usually prepares and distributes the agenda and begins the meeting by specifying the goal of the meeting and the issues to be addressed. In the reference interview, you should prepare a similar approach by providing at the beginning an overview of your experience and the purpose of the meeting. Be prepared to recognize that your vis-à-vis might be unsure, even uneasy, about this meeting since he or she does not know your motivation and does not know what is going to happen. Explain your intentions to him, your plan, and your expectations so that he fully understands what the meeting means to you and how it will be conducted.
- Provide information.
The second step in the reference interview consists in providing information. In a business meeting, the chair or a delegate will usually begin by reading the minutes of the last meeting, by summarizing what has been accomplished, and providing an update on the latest developments. That provides an operational perspective, especially for those who have just joined the group.
Before the reference interview, you probably sent your vis-à-vis a résumé and a cover letter, but you should take the time, early in the meeting, to provide details about yourself and your goals. Summarize your career goal and your relevant success factors, your experience, your training, and your achievements. Explain that you have targeted certain industries and that you are studying the options available to you. Say that you have met other people to learn about their vision and that you are now seeking advice to gather additional information and ideas regarding your career path.
- Facilitate dialogue.
Facilitating dialogue represents the third step in the reference interview. In a business meeting, the chair’s role is to lead the forum by stimulating dialogue, inviting comments, and encouraging full discussion of important issues. The meeting is a success when the objectives are met in an environment of free communication.
The reference interview has two goals: provide and receive information. You should facilitate a rich dialogue during which information is exchanged. If it appears to you that the information is flowing towards you and that there is little reciprocity, the interview might not yield serious results.
Since the reference interview is a meeting aimed at gathering information and advice for your marketing campaign and your career development, the logical starting point of a conversation is your career goal and then your areas of expertise. Most people whom you meet would like to know what you have done and what your objective is. Talk about the achievements presented in your résumé to illustrate your areas of expertise.
When you are sure that your vis-à-vis has understood your goal, ask your other questions. Ask short clear questions and be sure to leave enough time for a reply. By prompting people to talk, you also prompt them to think about and get involved in your marketing campaign.
- Conclude the interview and decide on the next step.
The fourth step in the reference interview consists in concluding and deciding on the next step. Before the end of a business meeting, the manager reviews the action to be taken, by whom and by when. Your reference interview should follow the same model.
To conclude the interview on a positive note that leads to action, ask your vis-à-vis to suggest one or two people to whom you can talk to obtain more information and advice about your marketing campaign. Your success here will depend usually on the dynamism and quality of the earlier stages in the interview. If it is appropriate, ask for references within your areas of interest. The references should be requested only at the end of the interview. Once again, it should be remembered that we all achieve our goals with the help of others. Professionals in all walks of life recognize that fact. Simply by meeting and talking with you, they are implicitly showing that they are willing to help you.
At the end of each reference interview, ask your vis-à-vis for permission to keep you informed about your marketing campaign. They will surely agree, but the idea will be appreciated. Each interviewer, now that he or she is a member of your network, will be interested in your success. Everybody likes the idea of helping others succeed. With time, the people you have consulted will keep reflecting and might have other ideas to share with you, that is as long as you have established a good tie and communication links with them. To start up the exchange, you must take the time to write a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview.
- How to write your résumé
Include only the information relevant to the position you are applying for;
- Begin with your career objectives and then in a short paragraph with what distinguishes you, i.e., your main skills and aptitudes;
Present your experience chronologically starting with the most recent. If you have acquired many years of experience, leave your first employment experience out or condense it into a short paragraph. Hear is how your experience could be presented: Company name (month and year you started and month and year you left) Your title Your role and responsibilities Your achievements
If you have little experience, indicate your education at the beginning of your résumé, otherwise present your education at the end and complete it with your complementary training;
If you present your experience as supplementary information, add an appendix.
Example: You can chose to present your experience by areas of expertise or areas of activity. You should realize that it does not help to give in to trends and try to follow a résumé model blindly. The best approach is to adapt this personalized document to your specific needs.
- The strategy behind your job search
- Salary negotiation: do’s and don’ts
- Six basic principles when preparing for an interview
Reference interviews with decision-makers represent the best resource for finding positions that can be, and most likely will be, filled without any competition. In addition, these meetings help avoid the frustration of traditional methods that involve intense competition, i.e., Career pages, Internet, recruitment firms.
You will use the reference interview to keep building your contact network by requesting one or more references. When people have understood who you are, what you can do, and where you are headed, the will want to help you achieve your goal. In most cases, you will leave the interview with the names of other people you can contact and with suggestions on how to pursue your marketing campaign.
Exceptionally, the interviewer might consider your candidacy for a position in his or her company.
The progress of your marketing campaign will depend largely on your effectiveness in the five steps in each reference interview.
Your résumé is often the first document or the first element used to make yourself known to a possible employer.
It is your calling card. In marketing terms, it is your promotional brochure. It is a sales tool that should introduce you and explain how you can help the company to achieve its corporate goals.
Your résumé should indicate what you believe is necessary to achieve your goal. Avoid exaggeration and put yourself in the place of the person who reads it.
There is some discussion about résumé length. The trend is to aim for a résumé of no more than two pages. If you have just left university, a two-page résumé is likely to be enough. If you have twenty years of experience, it is perfectly normal to use three to five pages to present your professional career. Here are the broad principles that should guide you in preparing your résumé:
Your job search can be compared to a business seeking customers for its product. As a candidate, you are a commodity product on the employment market. Understanding and accepting that will help you in your search and to rationalize something that could potentially become too emotional.
It is also important to understand that an employer is above all a person who will try to place you within a network of known reference points. Most operate in the same manner. They have positions to fill and they try to determine which position you will fit into. They also tend to analyze your candidacy based on their own vision of the world and on the broad lines presented in your résumé. You must be very clear and quickly promote your strengths, knowledge, and areas of expertise to the person you meet.
1. You are a commodity
With this premise in mind, you should know the features of the commodity. This crucial stage will drive all the other stages in your job-hunting activities.
2. Features of your commodity
You should take time to establish clearly who you are, what motivates you, and what you like. In other words, knowing yourself better will determine what kind of environment you wish to work in and the type of position that appeals to you. You should also know your strengths, your areas of expertise, and the type of work that will enable you to make the most of them.
3. Target market
As with any market positioning, the target market has to be identified. You can take a horizontal approach to target a position level amongst all companies and all market sectors. You can also target appealing companies in certain market sectors and then determine which positions in those companies you can hope to be hired for.
4. Your professional marketing brochure
Your résumé is your foremost marketing document to introduce yourself to a potential employer. It must therefore present as accurately as possible the features of your commodity and be devised as a function of the market you have targeted. This aspect is dealt with under another heading entitled “How to develop your résumé” and is also available on this website.
5. Your sales campaign
Once you have established your target market, you must determine how to approach it. There are two ways. The first consists in replying to job offers (job postings). This way can provide results but it is very impersonal and can often lead to frustration because of the lack of replies to the interest you show for the job. The second way is to use your network of contacts to reach people who do the hiring. This way can be very effective and, above all, less frustrating. For this method, you have to take part in reference interviews that are not employment interviews in that your contact is under no commitment. However, they do make it possible for your contact person to refer you to others. This will enable you to enhance your network exponentially and reach people who might otherwise have been inaccessible.
These two approaches are not mutually exclusive. In some cases, they should be combined so as to increase your chances of being recruited.
Every interviewer aims to assess the candidate’s attitude, personality, and behaviour. The interview is not a catechism but rather an opportunity to distinguish oneself. There are as many possible answers as there are people. Once again, be yourself. Respond in accordance with your own personality, your way of communicating, your strengths, and your experience. To help create the best impression and minimize the difficulties that might arise as a result of careless answers, remember the following basic principles:
Listen to the question or statement. Understand exactly what is being asked. If you have any doubts, ask for a clarification.
Take time to think about all the facts that apply to your response.
Provide POSITIVIE INFORMATION in direct replies and get straight to the point. Only address facts that are relevant to the subject under discussion so as not to open debate on delicate issues. Be authentic, but without feeling obliged to provide unsolicited information that could clash with the image you wish to project.
Keep in mind this useful strategy: your answers don’t have to be perfect; they only have to be accepted by the interviewer and do not have to put you in a difficult situation.
Try to emphasize and draw attention to your success factors and related achievements. Show how they will be useful in the position you are applying for. Remember that the interviewer seeks above all to reply to the basic question: “How can this person provide added value to may business?”
Consider this model response (applicable in all interview situations): competence – application – achievement. If you apply this model, you build a bridge between the question asked and your talent, you will reinforce the value of your experience and you enhance your credibility level.
For personalized coaching in career management, please contact us: 1-866-RECRUTE.
The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec in collaboration with several organisations can help you have your qualification recognised in order to obtain a permit that will allow you to practice as an engineer in Quebec. Here is an overview of the information that you will have to submit with your application:
- A copy of your birth certificate;
- A recent passport-sized photo (5 cm X 7 cm), bearing your signed certification that it is of you;
- All university degrees supporting the application or certification of their award;
- Official transcripts for each of the degrees submitted in support of your application;
- A detailed summary of your relevant on-the-job experiences since the completion of studies leading to the engineering degree, as well as certifications for each such experience;
- Certifications of participation in training or professional development activities since you were awarded your engineering degree.
To obtain more information, please visit the website of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec by clicking on the following link:
Commission des titres d'ingénieurs (France)
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (United States)
Engineering Council of South Africa (degree holders as of 1999)
The Engineering Council (United Kingdom) (degree holders as of 1989)
The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (degree holders as of 1995)
The Institution of Engineers (Australia) (degree holders as of 1989)
The Institution of Engineers of Ireland (degree holders as of 1989)
The Institution of Professional Engineers (New Zealand) (degree holders as of 1989)