Belgium Information for Job Seekers
Work abroad sounds like an adventure to many people. However, job search in Belgium requires more than just the obvious Belgium CV and Belgium cover letter writing and translation, it requires thorough preparation. You will face problems that probably did not even come to your mind when you made a decision to get employment in Canada.
Do not take too lightly the influence they can have on the effect of your adventure! For instance, you will experience the different immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, unfamiliar job candidate selection criteria and out of the ordinary management culture.
Most visits to Belgium are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. In recent years, the Belgian authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.
Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October)
Telephone country code: 32
Internet country code: .be
Annual vacation: Majority of Belgians take annual vacations during school holidays.
- Summer holidays - between 1 July and August 31
- Autumn holidays - between 27 October and 2 November
- Christmas holidays - between 22 December and 4 January of next year
- Winter holidays - between 23 February and 1 March
- Easter holidays - between 6 April and 19 April
- 1 Jan - New Year's Day
- 13 Apr - Easter Monday
- 1 May - Labor Day
- 21 May - Ascension Day
- 1 Jun - Whit Monday
- 11 Jul* - Flemish Community Holiday
- 21 Jul - Independence Day
- 15 Aug - Assumption
- 27 Sep* - French Community Holiday
- 1 Nov - All Saints' Day
- 11 Nov - Armistice Day
- 15 Nov* - German Community Holiday
- 25 Dec - Christmas Day
- 26 Dec - Boxing Day
Note - *Observed by the respective communities
- Offices: Mon to Fri 8:30 - 17:30 p.m. with 30-60 minutes break for lunch
- Banks: Mon to Fri 09:00-16:00.
- Post Offices: Mon to Fri 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00-16:00/17:00
- Stores: Mon to Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Background: Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830 and was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. It has prospered in the past half-century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.
Climate: temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy
Ethnic groups: Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%
Languages: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
Other Belgium Information
If your Belgium cover letter and Belgium CV are ready, distribute them to your prospective employers. When your Belgium job search has been successful apply for the Belgium visa, Belgium work permit and start preparing for the Belgium job interview.
Good luck with your Belgium information!