One thing that I have noticed among many job seekers, international students in particular, is that they are obsessed with internal referral, also known as employee referral.
They naively believe that getting referred by a current employee is the shortcut to a great job offer.
But this is just not true, especially in Canada where hiring decisions are made on a meritocracy basis.
Put yourself in the shoes of the employer, what are they trying to accomplish in the recruiting process?
Hiring the best candidate possible to fill a job opening.
If your resume is average and your interview performance is mediocre, do you really think that you will outcompete better candidates (who just applied directly) and magically land the offer, simply because you are referred by someone working at the company?
More importantly, if you indeed somehow landed the offer while not being the best candidate, is this an organization that you want to be part of?