For the 2022 IEC Working Holiday season, it is no longer a requirement for participants to have a Canadian job offer arranged in advance. However, many IEC Working Holiday participants may want to start looking for jobs in Canada before they arrive. This is your guide to jobs in Canada for the 2022 IEC Working Holiday program. 

Planning ahead can help you make the most of your Working Holiday. You don’t even have to find a job before you arrive — although we’ll give you some tips to do this. Planning ahead to update your resume and familiarize yourself with how jobs in Canada in your industry will help take the pressure off when you arrive.

If you’re looking for a physically demanding job with a great crew, we recommend taking a look at our partner, Young Guns Container Crew. They’re hiring labourers to help unload shipping containers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Cornwall, Ontario (with more locations to come in 2022). They love IECers and can offer you a job before you arrive. Apply here — or get more information by watching this video:

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Is a job in Canada required for the 2022 IEC Working Holiday program?

Last year, for the 2021 IEC season, a job offer was required for most of the season. This was a special new requirement Canada introduced in response to COVID-19. However, this requirement was lifted partway through the season. 

For 2022, the Working Holiday program does not require candidates to have a job offer lined up in advance. However, from January 15, 2022, onward, Working Holiday participants will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter Canada and activate their IEC work permit. 

Please note that Canada’s border measures are subject to change at any time. For the latest COVID-19 travel measures, please refer to our COVID-19 Travel Updates page.

How do I find jobs in Canada before I arrive for the 2022 IEC season?

If you want to find a job before you arrive in Canada, these are four tips to follow to boost your chances:

  1. Canadian-ize your resume and cover letter: The accepted format for Canadian resumes and cover letters might differ from the format used in your home country. Update your resume to follow Canadian standards by following the tips outlined in this guide. You can do the same for your cover letter using this guide.

    We’ve even got a free Canadian resume template available for download in your Moving2Canada account (it’s free to create an account, if you don’t have one already!). 
  2. Research your industry: Depending on what type of job you’re looking for, you may benefit from researching your industry before applying for jobs. Certain jobs in Canada require licensing or certification — you can learn more about regulated occupations here.

    Researching your industry might also help you choose your preferred destination in Canada based on the industries and companies in different locations. For example, the city of Vancouver has a well-established film industry.

    Take it a step further by setting up informational interviews with professionals working in your industry to get information in advance. You can even do this over video call before you arrive.  
  3. If your IEC application has already been approved, make sure employers know you’re legally authorized to work: If your IEC application has already been processed and you’ve received your Port of Entry letter (POE letter), you should let employers know that you’re legally authorized to work. Canadian employers are much more likely to consider foreign candidates if the candidate already has the ability to work. 
  4. Get creative with virtual applications: It can be hard to make yourself stand out from other job applicants, especially when you’re applying from outside the country. Consider ways to get creative with your job applications — maybe you could send a video application instead of a standard resume? Check out this guide from an IEC participant who nailed down a job virtually, while living overseas. 

If you want to line up a job before you arrive, you may want to consider our partner, Young Guns Container Crew. They’re hiring in Toronto, Vancouver, and Cornwall, Ontario. They love IECers and are happy to issue job offers before you arrive. Get more information and apply here.

How do I find a job after I arrive in Canada?

If you’ve already arrived in Canada to start your Working Holiday, there are many steps you can take to land your first job:

  1. Canadian-ize your resume and cover letter: If you haven’t already done so, make sure that your resume and cover letter have been updated to meet Canadian standards. Use this guide to improve your resume and this guide to improve your cover letter. You can also download a free Canadian resume template in your Moving2Canada account (it’s free to create a new account!). 
  2. Get out and start networking: Many jobs in Canada aren’t advertised on job boards — they’re hired through existing networks. In order to access these jobs, you have to get out there and meet people. Check out our guide on networking in Canada for tips on putting yourself out there. 
  3. Send targeted job applications: Don’t send the same resume and cover letter to every employer. Take the time to customize your resume and cover letter to each of the positions you apply for. This will show employers that you’re a serious candidate and give you a much better chance of success. Learn more in this guide. 
  4. Set up informational interviews with experts in your industry: An informational interview isn’t a job interview, it’s a meeting with someone in your preferred occupation to ask them questions about their work and the industry. Reach out to experts in your field and see if they are available for an informational interview. Not only will this give you valuable information about the local industry, your new contact might even have job openings to recommend!

Seasonal jobs: Applying to work at bars, restaurants, and ski resorts

If you’re interested in working at bars, restaurants, and/or ski resorts in Canada, you should consider the seasonality of these positions. 

Bars and restaurants are open all year, but the peak period for bars and restaurants is usually in the warm summer months. This means that these establishments usually hire lots of staff in the spring, when the climate starts to warm up. It’s possible to find jobs in bars and restaurants at any time of the year, but you can increase your chances of success by planning around the seasons.

Ski hills and resorts usually hire most of their staff for the winter season. If you want to work at a ski resort, you can increase your chance of success by planning to apply before the start of ski season. Lots of ski hills start hiring a few months before they open — many even do their hiring for the winter season during the summer months!

If you want to line up a job in Canada before you arrive, you may want to consider our partner, Young Guns Container Crew. They’re hiring in Toronto, Vancouver, and Cornwall, Ontario. They love IECers and are happy to issue job offers before you arrive. Get more information and apply here.