1. Don't get on a plane if you don't have a lead to follow on a job.
A lot of recent college graduates get bored on the dole in Ireland and decide to come to Canada to try their luck, with zero experience in their field and no job offers. Bad idea. Use the internet to set up interviews before you even arrive in Canada. Ring companies ahead to enquire. Network to see if a mate's mate can get your foot in the door. I hear too many people say "I'll look for work when I get over there". Famous last words.
2. Stay away from Toronto and Vancouver.
You would swear there are only two cities in Canada. Toronto and Vancouver are swamped with the Irish. Seeing a GAA jersey head around is a good indicator to get the fu.ck outta there. Great cities to party in if you're on holiday, but there is too much competition for jobs there and it will only get worse coming into the Summer when hundreds of Germans and Brits arrive too (I find the Frenchies and Belgians head for Montreal). Go to the smaller towns. As a general rule, the further North you go, the better chance you have of a landing job.
3. Get an apartment asap.
The hostels are fun but you don't want to get caught up in the party lifestyle and then find yourself broke 3 months later still without a job. Use craigslist to find somewhere to live. Rent can be pretty high in the big cities which is another reason to aim for the small towns.
4. No driver's licence.
This is related to point 2. If you live in the big cities, great - excellent public transport with underground metros and buses. But the cities are not where the work is. To those who want to work in small town Canada (cos that's where the money is) you're gonna need a car. A bunch of housemates could possible work out a car sharing situation.
I'll try to think of more later but these are just a few ideas that popped into my head while reading some of the posts on this forum. Couple of job leads for you in the meantime. Feel free to add.
- http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/join/team.html Tim Hortons coffee shops are everywhere in Canada. Why not apply? The tips can make it a decent enough wage. Use a fake Canadian address to get your foot in the door. But don't bother applying to the ones in the big cities.
- Engineers get to Alberta asap http://oilsands.infomine.com/careers/
- Fort Mcmurray is a booming oil town. You might get unskilled manual labour work like shovelling snow if you're built like a horse. Definitely worth checking out http://regionalhelpwanted.com/home/330.htm