Archive for 'Relocation'

Is your email address hurting your job search?

Posted on 16. Aug, 2013 by in Blog, Relocation, Working Abroad

Here’s a quick (but crucial!) tip for you:

Take a look at the email address you use to send job applications – does it end in .ca or .com?

If it does, great! But if not, it may significantly decrease your chances of being considered for the position.

Email (doubleaf)

Why does it matter?

Of course, you know it’s important to have a professional-looking email address. You probably wouldn’t dream of emailing a recruiter from an address such as or (unless, perhaps, you’re applying for a Hello Kitty merchandiser position or as a surfing instructor – and even then!)

Yet, you may wonder what the harm is in using an address that ends in, say, .uk or .de, as opposed to .ca or .com.

Well, let’s consider the employer’s perspective for a moment. If you were hiring, and you received an application that appeared to come from abroad, what would most likely be going through your mind?

- Is this person legally allowed to work in Canada?
– What if there’s a change in their relocation plans, and they end up not coming to Vancouver?
– What if they decide they don’t like it here, and they leave after a few months? Do I want to go through the entire hiring process again?

Not exactly the first impression you were hoping to make, is it? :-/

We already know that newcomers have to work harder at convincing recruiters. Why risk raising a (potential) red flag right from the start, with an email address that shows your country of origin?

So take a few minutes to create a “neutral” address before reaching out to employers – either through a free email service such as Gmail or, or via your local internet provider if you’re already in Canada.

Was this tip helpful? Do you need more personalized job search advice? Leave a question in the comments, or contact me to schedule a one-on-one consultation!


Image by Doubleaf, via Flickr Creative Commons

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3 Keys To A Smooth Relocation

Posted on 19. Feb, 2010 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation

There’s a interesting discussion going on in one of the LinkedIn expat groups I belong to – Rishi Ghai put out the following question to the expat community:

When you first moved to a new country, what were the top 3 things that helped you the most to settle down and adapt to your new life?

Most of the answers given by LinkedIn users revolved around 3 themes:

- The practical stuff: utilities, paperwork, finding a permanent place to live
- Doing your homework: getting the lay of the land and learning about your new country
- Making new friends, and finding people you can learn from

    My Top 3 would be:

    1. Getting my bearings as soon as possible
    2. Exploring the city on foot
    3. Learning where / how the locals socialize… and joining them!

    What about you?
    If you had to move on to a new country tomorrow, what would be most useful for you to do or know about?

    Please share your own Top 3 in the comments!

    The Seine river

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    Images by NickPiggott (top) and johnbullas (bottom), via Flickr Creative Commons

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    Settling In Vancouver: 5 Essential Tips

    Posted on 08. Jan, 2010 by in Blog, Relocation, Working Abroad

    The first thing Vancouver-bound expats ask me is, “Do you have any tips?”
    Do I ever! (hey, it’s my job, after all!) You can find practical, everyday tips on many Vancouver blogs, so I’d like to give you a few cultural / personal pointers instead.

    Welcome to Vancouver - Airport sign

    1. Learn to sell yourself (more…)

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    Thinking Of Moving To Vancouver, BC? Here’s What You Need To Know

    Posted on 04. Jan, 2010 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation

    With the Winter Olympics fast approaching, and British Columbia under the spotlight, I’ve been getting more and more inquiries about relocating to Vancouver.

    Since other expats (you, maybe?) may have similar questions, I have decided to compile a little FAQ over a few posts, and to put said posts up permanently somewhere on the website for easy reference.

    All right – let’s rock and roll! For starters, here are a few things you need to know about Vancouver.


    Is Vancouver really such a great place to live? (more…)

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    Looking For Work Abroad: Getting Creative

    Posted on 13. Nov, 2009 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation, Tools & Resources, Working Abroad
    1 comment

    After Monday’s post went up (the one about finding other options if you can’t land a job in your host country), a couple of readers remarked that this was all fine and dandy, but what if you don’t have a clue what you want to do other than your current job?

    Or what if you hate your current job and would rather gouge your eyes out than go for the same type of position, thank you very much?

    Great points. As always. Please keep the questions coming; I love to hear what’s on your mind! Also, we’re in luck today, because generating ideas is one of my favourite activities in the world, and I do have some good resources for you.

    Mind map

    Resources, from the predictable to the unexpected


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    Looking For Work Abroad: Why You Want To Avoid Entry-Level Jobs

    Posted on 11. Nov, 2009 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation, Working Abroad

    You’ve probably been exposed to what I call the “Fly by the seat of your pants” school of thought when it comes to looking for work overseas: land in your host country without too much advance planning, then find a job – any job, no matter how menial – to pay the rent.

    This approach has a certain mystique among international job-seekers: the thrill of the unknown. Earning your expat stripes the hard way. Demonstrating your flexibility and your determination. Isn’t it glamourous?

    Well, maybe but it is also dangerous. Not foolhardy dangerous, no – you will find a job once you get there, I am not worried about that – but the unintended consequences kind of dangerous.

    Many-sided die

    Taking whatever entry-level job you can find is a double-edged sword. In fact, it has far more edges than that, but that would be a funky-looking sword, a bit like those 20-sided dice used for Dungeons & Dragons… let’s not even go there!

    Sure, supporting yourself and paying the bills is good. But if you have a bit of a financial cushion (which you definitely should), going after menial jobs is best avoided for at least three reasons.


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    Looking For A Job Abroad: More Options

    Posted on 09. Nov, 2009 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation, Working Abroad

    So you’ve done your due diligence. You’ve taken a thorough look at the job market wherever it is that you’re headed to… and realistically, your chances of finding a position similar to your current one don’t look too good.

    Or maybe you’ve already been in your dream country for several months, and you just cannot seem to get a job.

    Hard at work writing

    Now what?

    One option, of course, is to give up, and shelve your plans to relocate – or go back home early, depending on your situation.

    I have never been one for living with regrets, however, so rather than spending the rest of your life wondering “what if?”, here’s what I would suggest instead:

    1. It’s completely normal to feel disappointed, scared, angry, or anxious under these circumstances. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to wallow in them for a while if you need to, but –and this is key- decide ahead of time how long your pity party shall last, and when it’s over, move on!

    2. Come up with a contingency plan: for instance, decide that if after 6 months you still haven’t found a decent job, you’re going home. Make sure that you have enough money saved (I’d recommend 6 to 12 months’ worth of living expenses), so that you don’t have to take the first menial job that presents itself.

    3. Grab a pen and paper, and get ready to explore other options that will make living and working in your dream country possible.


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    Job Search in Vancouver: Due Diligence

    Posted on 06. Nov, 2009 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation, Tools & Resources, Working Abroad

    You may not be able to get a job lined up before you relocate, and that’s OK. However, before you make the big leap into the unknown, you absolutely must check if your skills are in demand wherever you’re headed.

    We’re not talking about a cursory, general Google search here. You have to investigate the local job market as thoroughly as possible.

    I know it sounds obvious. Yet many international job seekers do such a superficial job of it that they might as well not even bother…



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    Looking For A Job Abroad: 5 Tips To Start Off On The Right Foot

    Posted on 04. Nov, 2009 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation, Tools & Resources, Working Abroad

    You’ve heard it time and time again: to get a decent job these days, you have to network, network, network.

    That’s great advice. The problem is that 90% of the people who are out there networking are doing it all wrong.

    Business cards

    5 tips to start off on the right foot


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    Looking For A Job Abroad

    Posted on 02. Nov, 2009 by in Blog, Expat Life, Relocation, Working Abroad

    Are you looking for a job abroad?

    Maybe you’re a corporate expat whose job in Dubai has been downsized, and you aren’t ready to go back home yet.

    Maybe you’re a young graduate eager to experience life abroad, but your current employer doesn’t have international positions to offer you.

    Or maybe you’re an accompanying spouse who’d rather keep working than sit at home all day.

    In other words, a big part of your happiness as an expat rests on your ability to find the right job abroad.

    Job signSo it stands to reason that you’d want to go job-hunting the smart way, right?


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