What you'll need for your meet-up

To participate in the first Snapp pilot, you will need a device that you can use to conduct a phone or video call with your matched partner.

You and your matched partner are invited to set up a call using whatever platform that suits your technical and personal preferences. Some options include: Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime, and of course a regular phone call.

If you prefer, the Snapp team can set up a video call link for you, just ask us at snapp@peacegeeks.org. Please test your audio and video before your meet-up to ensure that you are able to connect.

How to approach your meet-up


Treat the meet-up like an informational interview


An informational interview is a casual chat with someone working in a field that you'd like to learn about. The goal is to meet with someone who works in a particular industry or company, to get information about their job, career path, work culture, challenges, industry, or company. This is not a job interview. Local professionals are asked to share advice and experiences, not job offers.

Even though it is a casual chat, we encourage you to use professional communication, and use email unless you have expressed consent from your matched partner to use other communication channels. Please keep confidential any personal or professional experiences shared by your matched partner.

In setting up your meet-up, be mindful of time. Be sure to communicate with your matched partner in a timely manner, and show up on time for your meet-up. Make sure to keep your number of questions to what is answerable within the suggested 1 hour timeframe.

Conversation tips

For newcomers

  1. Lead the conversation: Prepare to introduce yourself, where you are in your employment journey, and why you're participating in Snapp. Remember, you've been matched with this person because they are eager to support you. By providing them some context on what information you are looking for, you help them understand how they can support you.
     
  2. Prepare questions: You are matched with your partner to discuss specific employment advice areas. Prepare questions before the meet-up to help you dive into these areas. You may want to email your questions in advance. Below are some sample questions. For certain advice areas, you can ask if your partner would like to help review certain documents (eg. resume, cover letter, etc.). You may want to share these supporting documents in advance.
     
  3. Thank them for their time: Thank your matched partner for taking the time to share insights with you, and complete the feedback survey on what they did well and what they can work on. This helps them to also learn from the experience!

For local professionals

  1. Start by asking: Conducting informational interviews or coffee chats can be foreign and nerve-wracking. You can make the conversation feel safe with open-ended questions like "What can I do to make this meet-up helpful for you?" or "What interests you about my field?" Also, ask permission before providing feedback, eg. "You mentioned... May I provide some feedback?" In advance of the meet-up, you can also ask your matched partner if they have questions they want to discuss for the meet-up.
     
  2. Be curious about the differences: Because we all come from different cultures, some accepted practices from one's workplace may be entirely new or different from another's. It can be helpful to uncover blind spots by checking in with your matched partner about what work culture is like from their country of origin and how it compares to what you know.
     
  3. Share resources: When you complete the feedback survey after the meet-up, you have the opportunity to share any additional resources or tips with your matched partner. This helps them to get even more out of the experience!

Sample questions


Stuck for what to discuss with your matched partner? Here are some ideas to get you started:
 

General conversation starters:

 

For the newcomer

  • What is your typical workday like? How would you describe your workplace culture?
  • What do you wish you had known when you were job-seeking or starting out?
  • What do you recommend I do or read to stay current in this field?
  • What might I be missing?
 

For the local professional

  • What would you like to accomplish?
  • What have you tried so far? What progress have you made? What do you think is stopping you?
  • What do you think you need to do next? What could you do differently?
  • How will you go about it? What resources can help you?

Employment advice areas:


Resumes and cover letters

  • In your field, what qualifications are you typically looking for in a resume or cover letter?
  • What are some key skills I should highlight?
  • What are the important keywords to include in a resume or cover letter when job hunting in the field?
  • Which of my skills are strong compared to other job seekers?

Interviews

  • What are some common interview questions or formats? How do you recommend preparing?
  • Can we run through some mock interview questions? How would you respond to [this interview question]?

Where to find jobs

  • How do most people enter this profession?
  • What types of roles do you think my experience would it qualify me?
  • What are some common job titles I should be searching for?
  • What companies or industries do you think I should target?
  • Which companies have the best track record for recruiting and hiring newcomers?
  • When is the hiring season?
  • Where are job listings found?

Recertification and foreign credential recognition

  • What steps are necessary to break into this field (eg. exam, union membership)? How important are certain certifications or association memberships?
  • What is the recertification process like? How much does it cost? What do you recommend?
  • What are some related or alternative occupations?

Networking opportunities

  • What events or groups to you suggest I check out? What professional organizations or groups should I follow?
  • What do you recommend for meeting other professionals in this field?
  • Can you suggest others who might be valuable sources for me?
  • How do you approach networking? What are your best practices for getting the most out of networking events?

Courses and resources for upgrading skills

  • What kinds of courses or educational programs do you recommend before or while I proceed with my job search? Which ones are must-have? Which ones are nice-to-have? How much do these cost?
  • What degree or certificate do employers look for?
  • What skills are required in your position? How can I build these skills?

Compensation and labour regulations

  • What salary range can I expect if I entered this field? What is the long-term potential?
  • How does it work for me to become self-employed in this field? What do I need to know about starting a business?
  • What should I know regarding labour regulations in this field? What should I know about: getting fired or laid off, hurt at work, holidays, vacation, overtime, not getting paid? Who should I talk to?

Industry and labour market insight

  • How are the employment prospects in this city? Where are the best employment prospects?
  • Is this field growing? How has the industry changed?
  • What changes in this field do you think could affect future opportunities?
  • How does your company compare with others in this industry?
  • Where can I get up-to-date information on salaries, employers, and other industry insights?

Exploring new career paths in this field

  • How did you get into this field or role?
  • How do you think I would fit in this field?
  • What other career paths do you suggest I explore?
  • What parts of your job do you like? What don't you like?
  • How are your hours? What is your workload like? Is that common in your field?
  • What does a typical career path look like?
  • What other kinds of professions typically interact with your position?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement?

Experiences of successful skilled immigrants

  • As a skilled newcomer, what did you find most helpful for you in your job search?
  • What do you wish you had known earlier?
  • What is a common misconception that newcomers have?
  • What advice can you share from your experience?
Snapp - Skilled Newcomers and Professionals Partnership

Want to get in touch?
Email us at snapp@peacegeeks.org

Snapp is a 2020 pilot project by PeaceGeeks