Job hunting in Canada
April 18, 2011 9:22 PM   Subscribe

Where to start looking for web content (or similar) work in Canada? From New Zealand?

I'm looking into moving to Canada, and while it looks like I'd do well under the skilled worker class, I need a job offer to make a realistic go of it. There's a few questions, really:

* Where in Canada is a good place for a web writer/editor (with transferable skills) who has excellent English and barely-passable-but-improving French?
* What sites and organisations are out there with good job listings?
* Is there anything arcane or specific to the country I should know about when applying for work there?

Pretty general questions, I know, but the local High Commission apparently only talks to people who are looking to use the working holiday scheme.

posted by roobot to Work & Money (8 answers total)
where do you want to move? in Quebec you'll most probably need at least a bit of French... You can get by in Montreal, but you'll probably feel the language barrier (from what I hear of friends that moved here from other parts of Canada and don't necessarily speak French) and it's also sometimes considered rude by some people (in shops, services, etc) to only get by in English and (seem to) make no effort to learn French, since French-speaking Quebecers tend to be proud-and-almost-paranoiac of their language. You'll also probably have to adapt to the accent, even if you do learn more French before coming, but nothing immersion doesn't solve quickly :)

That's for the hard part. On the other hand, Montreal (and also Vancouver, and maybe Toronto, from what I hear) is a very creative place, with a good vibe. You don't specify what sector of web you work in, are you more of a creative designer or something or a techie (please excuse the vague terms, I'm not familiar the the sector's lingo)? I'm afraid I can't help further, as it isn't my area of work anyways, but for sure, I can tell you that Montreal has a great reputation for video games and interactive media, if that's any help, so there's potential work there.
Good luck!
posted by kitsuloukos at 9:45 PM on April 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm a web content producer, and I live on the West Coast. Other the past 7 years or so I've also worked with an industry association on a lot of tech sector talent recruitment initiatives. I've also worked in government for an agency tasked with building the tech sector.

In terms of content, Toronto is the center of the universe. While Vancouver may be "Hollywood North", it's a service and production center. Projects are not initiated in Vancouver. Toronto, on the other hand, is the home of much television and content planning and production in Canada. Toronto is also home to most of Canada's head offices, who all need content. LinkedIn often has ads for copywriting work in Toronto.

TechVibes, Waterloo Tech Jobs, and are good places to look for technology work.

However (and I speak from experience), copywriting jobs are not usually advertised. Web development shops often hire copywriters on contract. It's good if you can demonstrate you at least understand basic SEO concepts.

One thing to do is to research web development shops in major markets in Canada (or where you want to live) and just cold-call them. You can actually start working on spec for them from New Zealand.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:53 PM on April 18, 2011

Response by poster: Ooh, excellent answers, thanks. Especially good to know that Toronto is where things get kicked off. Montreal would also be amazing, but I don't think my French is up to scratch. Down the line maybe.

More specifically I'm currently in a role that spans content wrangling, writing and editing, light design and IA, and I'm doing some content strategy stuff. I'm aiming for something more complex and involved than copywriting, and I'd love to be a small web dev's content guy.

I'll check those sites KokuRyu, and look into places to cold call. Thanks for the tips.
posted by roobot at 11:33 PM on April 18, 2011

Try also:
posted by simpleton at 5:26 AM on April 19, 2011

"Is there anything arcane or specific to the country I should know about when applying for work there?"

Yeah, its damn cold in the winter :-)
posted by simpleton at 5:28 AM on April 19, 2011

Cold except perhaps Vancouver.
posted by simpleton at 5:28 AM on April 19, 2011

Best answer: Where: Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Waterloo, and Ottawa are all booming with startup money / scene right now. I help put on events for developers across Canada, and .. yeah, we have recruiters and employers lining up to try to get talent. Montreal has plenty of anglo tech jobs at this time; you can find work and then learn French by living there.

Try Craigslist plus the other sites mentioned above.

As an immigrant myself: the first work visa will take a little while to obtain, so it helps if you can find a job that will allow you to work remotely for a little while while the process completes.
posted by criacow at 5:19 PM on April 19, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice, everyone. I've got a lot to go on now. I'm sure I'll be back in with follow up questions before long. Cheers!
posted by roobot at 2:05 PM on April 20, 2011

« Older When do I file my 1040X?   |   Sparking, short-lived light bulbs - is there any... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.