Expert advice

Networking in Writing

Adam Smith
Head of the Language Department Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School (KCI)

A can-do attitude is essential to getting a job these days. That initiative, that optimism, that never give up attitude helped me land two practicum placements at two different schools at the same time: a nice problem to have! So, with your reference chart in hand and your can’t-miss attitude, now is the time to put pen to paper.

To start, I didn’t know anyone teaching in Waterloo Region and I was temporarily living in Toronto to get my teaching degree. No big deal! I had the most common medium of communication at my disposal. No, not texting: email!


In your emails, it’s important to be polite, friendly and professional. You have to explain yourself, but you have to be brief: administrators are busy! After your ‘hello’, introduce yourself and what you want in one sentence. What are your qualifications? When are you available? Attach your resume and cover letter and tell them you would like to follow up by phone or in person the following week. This is often overlooked but gives you an opening for a second meeting. Try to keep the initiative in the meeting. If they don’t respond, don’t worry: they are most likely busy and you have a second chance to make a connection when you call or visit them the following week.


Above all, be positive and resourceful. Don’t give up! Yes, there will be rejections, but you only need one job. It’s waiting for you!