Canada has regions that are experiencing labour shortages at the same time as other areas are facing higher levels of unemployment. One of the clearest ways to improve the volume and quality of opportunities available to you is to move from an area with few jobs to one where workers are more sought after. So, should you consider relocating to where the jobs are? Here are a few things to consider.
The CBC ran a feature last week profiling young, male workers in Alberta, a demographic that is struggling with a “20% unemployment rate.”
This is a reversal of the historic trend of young men from other parts of the country – particularly the East Coast – relocating to Alberta for the opportunities available there.
Currently the unemployment rate in Edmonton is 7.7% while here in Moncton it is 5.6%.
Transitioning provinces can be daunting. Starting any job comes with its shore of challenges and jitters. Starting a new job in a location that you have just moved to, far from family and friends, only magnifies this. If the new job doesn’t work out, you could find yourself looking for work again, but far from your existing network of connections.
On the other hand, moving for work has its advantages as well. Of course, those people who are willing to relocate have far more opportunities available to them than those who simply rely on the local job market. This gives them a more robust career. They also gain a wider variety of life and work experience and an expanded network that comes from living in different places. And if they relocated for a job that doesn’t work out, they are already in a region with a robust job market, rather than an area of high unemployment.
Naturally, it is preferable to move to a new city or province for a solid job offer than just for the conditions of the job market. The trouble is, many employers have a bias against remote candidates – or at least towards local ones. They may fear that arranging interviews and meetings could be a hassle, there might be delays in candidate availability to start work, or they may be hit up for relocation costs.
Here are some tips for applying remotely
Don’t include your mailing address on your resume. Employers are never going to respond to your job application by mail, so why would they need a physical address? An email address and phone number should suffice. (As a general rule, your address is more of an asset the closer you live to the place of work. Here’s why.)
Use a local phone number. If you know you are moving to a new region, consider acquiring a cell phone number in that area code ahead of time so that you can apply for jobs from a local number.
Address it in your cover letter. Your recent work history, education, and other details in your resume will likely offer some indication to potential employers that you have not been working in their city recently. You can head off any concerns hiring managers might have about expenses or your availability by addressing them upfront. State (briefly) that you are relocating to their region and will be available for interviews in advance. This lets the employer know that you are not expecting to move on their dime and will be a ‘local’ candidate shortly.
Consider a temporary or survival job. The role you really want to land probably has increased competition. This makes your distance a greater disadvantage, since employers have more candidates to choose from. You could consider taking a job that is hungry for workers as a stop-over position to get you settled in the new city. These are easier to be hired for in regions of low unemployment. This would give you the luxury to compete for the jobs you really want with a paycheque coming in and without the stigma of distance.
How about you? If there were no jobs available where you live, would you move to a hotter job market. Or would a secure job offer in another province entice you to pack up and move? See thousands of jobs available on CareerBeacon right now.