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Get information from professionals

As of now, get used to meeting with those experts who will provide you with access to the workplace. Most of them will share valuable information that can have important repercussions for you in terms of your studies, career choice and job search.

The information meeting: why it works

Some of the people you contact will not get back to you, but it’s in the interest of most to meet you before you even begin your job search. You can expect that those who were open to your solicitations for a job will also be very willing to exchange with you.

  • Employers generally prefer to recruit people they know and with whom contact has already been established.
  • Certain businesses offer bonuses to employees who referred quality candidates.
  • Many professionals love to talk about their work, offer advice, help people and sometimes even, serve as mentors.

How to go about things

Friends, close relatives, previous colleagues, and neighbors: all your contacts can prove useful when it comes to getting informed. But to get the information you are seeking, you will have to target contacts well beyond that initial circle of acquaintances. Your success will depend on how you go about things: follow these tips.

Target those contacts that are in position to help you

Are you exploring a career that interests you?

Contact professionals who hold positions you are targeting.

Are you looking for a job?

Contact professionals who hold the type of position you are interested in, but also contact managers.

Don’t contact human resources unless you are seeking a position within that service.

How to proceed

Mobilize your acquaintances, regardless of their profession. Ask them:

  • if they know professionals who correspond to what you’re looking for;
  • if they can put you in contact with these people.

Use the search engine LinkedIn. You can search by keyword (types of positions, businesses) and apply filters, for example, through the networks of alumni and current HEC Montréal students.

Participate in recruiting or networking activities that will allow you to meet professionals in the environments you are targeting: conferences, cocktail parties, pre-recruitment meetings, job fairs, etc.

Trust What Inspires You.Social environments offer numerous opportunities that you will know to recognize: volunteering (e.g. business volunteering), taking part in associations (e.g. student or professional associations), sports and cultural activities.

Useful Resources

Develop Your Approach

  • Connect with specific professionals on LinkedIn.
  • Once your request has been accepted, contact the new acquaintance by writing to their professional email address or using LinkedIn’s email to request an information meeting.
  • If you do not get an answer, you can do a follow up one week later by phone or email.

Advice for the first exchange by email


  • Who you are.
  • How you obtained the contact information.
  • Why you want to establish a relationship with this person.


  • Use fewer than 100 words.
  • Specify that the exchange will be brief.
  • Do not talk about your job search at this point.
  • Tell your contact that you will be doing a follow up. He or she will be more likely to have a clear answer for you.

Example of an initial contact email

Example of an initial contact email

Subject: Request for professional advice

My name is…and I am a student in the D.E.S.S. in professional accounting- CPA at HEC Montréal. I obtained your name in the School’s alumni directory.

I would like the advice of a professional with experience such as yours working in large and small accounting firms. Our discussion would take no more than 20 minutes.

You are undoubtedly very busy at the moment. If my email remains unanswered, I hope you will allow me to contact you next week. It will likely be a more opportune moment for you.

Thank you for your consideration.

Contact by phone

If you choose this approach, you can obtain a positive or negative response more quickly.

The advice is the same as for the email.

  • Try to speak directly with the professional. Do not leave a voice message.
  • As pertains to the content of your discussion, you can introduce yourself with your positioning statement (elevator pitch). If you do not have one, consult the web page Your positioning statement: Essential!
  • Your contact may not be available to talk when you call. Offer to call back at a more opportune moment.

Prepare your meeting with care

The information meeting can take place in various settings: an office, a café, or even on the phone. Regardless of the chosen venue, make sure you prepare your meeting in such a way as to obtain the best result and present a very positive image of yourself.

Are you looking for work?

Before going to the meeting:

  • Be well-informed. About the business and its activities; as to your contact’s area of expertise, among other things.
  • Prepare pertinent questions.
  • Put care into your presentation.

Are you exploring a career that interests you?

  • The advice is the same, but you will not have to demonstrate the same degree of knowledge as someone who is looking for a job.
Examples of pertinent questions
  • How did his or her career begin?
  • What are the most stimulating aspects of the work?
  • Was he or she faced with particular challenges in the workplace (e.g. SME, small or large firm)?
  • Can he or she talk about a typical work day?
  • What objectives has the company set for the coming years?
  • Could he or she offer you any advice to help you start out in your chosen field? What type of candidate does his or her company consider?

During the meeting: show your personal and profesional know-how

Accepting to meet with you is a mark of the professional’s generosity. Take this into consideration during your discussions. He or she is now one of your professional contacts, a person who can potentially become a mentor, recommend you to a future employer, or recruit you. Even if you are not yet looking for a job, take the opportunity to showcase your worth.

  • Thank your contact for having taken the time to get to know you.
  • Remind them of the purpose of your exchange.
  • Ask your questions and take notes.
  • Have your contact share his or her professional background before elaborating on the company and activity sector.
  • Stay within the established time frame.
  • If the conversation is a success, ask him or her to suggest other pertinent contacts.

Employment candidate: Your contact may discuss employment opportunities within the company. Show your interest by asking questions, but do not immediately apply, unless you are explicitly asked to do so. You can apply after the meeting.

After the meeting: take these winning steps

Send an email thanking your contact and indicating what you enjoyed about your meeting.

Employment candidates: You can show your interest in the company for which your contact works and attach your CV. You can also call back your contact to discuss your interest in the job.

Be sure to maintain the relationship you developed

  • Communicate with your contact once in a while. Send a link to an article or some information about an event of interest, for example.
  • Follow up with news on steps you have taken.
  • Keep them informed if you are admitted into a study program or if you find a position. Take the opportunity to thank them again.

Need help?

Career Management Services offers various individual services and workshops to help you network and find a job.

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