The MapleMoney Show » How to Make Money » Career

Tips to Help You In Your Job Search, with David King

Presented by Retire Happy

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

The Canadian workplace has undergone massive changes in recent years, with the rise of the gig economy and a shift towards remote work. But does it mean companies have changed how they recruit and hire new talent? My guest this week is an expert on hiring in Canada. He joins me to share tips to help you land a job in 2022 and beyond.

David King is a Senior Managing Director with Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. His perspectives and knowledge on workplace issues and labour trends are often featured in major media outlets and executive keynotes, and he provides curriculum guidance to leading educational institutions across the country.

Recently, Robert Half released the results of a survey that included responses from more than 900 Senior Managers in Canada. The results were interesting, and some were even surprising, so I was interested to get David’s perspective. For example, the survey showed that a very high percentage of managers (9 out of 10) are likely to hire someone referred by an existing employee. Robert explains the reasons why that is.

We also discussed the job resume, and David provided some helpful tips on creating an effective resume in 2022. According to David, in many cases, the cover letter is no longer a necessary component of the resume. The resume itself should speak on its own merit. If you’re currently in the job market or know someone who is, don’t miss this interview!

This episode of The MapleMoney Show is brought to you by Retire Happy. Retire Happy has been providing top-quality information and resources on retirement, investing, and estate planning for over 20 years and was named the best personal finance blog by The Globe and Mail.

The Retire Happy VIP Members Library includes subscriber-only downloads, including an Annual Financial Checkup and checklists to help you with everything from reviewing your portfolio, to what you need to know about your duties as an executor. Become a Retire Happy VIP, by signing up for free today!

Episode Summary

  • The Canadian labour market remains healthy
  • Why the format of your resume matters
  • Why the cover letter is no longer necessary
  • The job interview is not a time to be shy about expressing your value
  • 9/10 managers are likely to hire someone referred by an employee
  • If you leave an organization on good terms, they will likely welcome you back
  • To win talent, companies should treat employees as a client of the firm

Read transcript

Have you made your will and named an executor for your estate? Does your executor understand your wishes when it comes to closing down your digital assets? If not, you still have some work to do. Anything that is attached to a login ID and password can be considered a digital asset. If your executor isn’t prepared to handle the various online accounts after you die, it could cause problems. David Edey is a certified executor advisor who has worked in the financial planning industry in Montreal for more than 35 years. No one likes talking about death and inheritance before they have to but David has learned that having these conversations earlier, rather than later, will save time and money. I sat down with David this week to talk about digital assets and how you can prepare your executor and your family members to make life easier when you’re gone.

Welcome to the Maple Money Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. This episode of the Maple Money Show is brought to you by Retire Happy. Retire Happy has been providing top-quality information and resources on retirement, investing, and estate planning for over 20 years and was named the best personal finance blog by The Globe and Mail. Retire Happy VIP members library includes subscriber-only downloads, including an annual financial checkup and checklist to help you with everything from reviewing your portfolio to what you need to know about your duties as an executor. Become a Retire Happy VIP by signing up for free at Now, let’s chat with David…

Tom: Hi, David. Welcome to the Maple Money Show.

David: Tom, thanks for having me. This is a true honour. I know you’ve been around doing this for a while and when you asked me to be on, I was pretty excited to be asked. So, thank you.

Tom: I’m happy to have you on. Just this last episode we had Richard Dri on. We covered a lot of what to do if your spouse passes away and how to handle the wills and estate planning and everything. One of the things that came up was the importance of digital assets. Every year it seems this is becoming a bigger thing. I’m glad to have you on because I wanted to run through that with you—the different kinds of things we’re talking about and what we should do about them so people know they exist. What’s your overall thought on this? Where are we when it comes to digital assets sort of complicating this whole estate planning process?

David: Well, for a lot of people, the thought of digital assets is probably not even on the horizon for them when it comes to planning their estate. We’re doing everything online (pretty much) with our lives. When we talk about digital assets, anything you’ve created that’s up in the cloud, on your computer, on your phone, people don’t give any thought to that. And if it’s going to be part of your estate, you want to make sure you have your digital assets organized so that it can make the job easier on your executor especially when it comes to social media. A friend of mine was telling me about how his buddy had passed away, yet he was still getting notifications from his Facebook account. Things like, this day in history, or his birthday. A lot of people don’t think about how to make it easier on the executor or the family and shut down those accounts. Every social media outlet has its own protocol in terms of how to shut down an account. Digitals assets, for every email address, there are probably about 130 different identities or logins that are using that email address. So, you want to make it easier on your executor and your family to shut down those assets, which means online banking, Netflix, all these different areas where you need logins and passwords. You need something organized so that you can make it easier on the executor so they can shut that down. You’ve asked the executor to do a pretty big job and adding on the digital asset aspect of settling the estate makes the job even harder. Because if they can’t get into your phone, your computer, or your tablet, you’re going to have a problem.

Tom: Yeah, that’s something I’m still personally struggling with too. I use Bitwarden which saves all my passwords. And personally, that’s handy. I can have these big, long passwords and everything is stored securely there. Also, in an estate mindset, if that password’s available in a safety deposit box or safe, at least there’s that one big, master password that can make all these other site available. I have hundreds of passwords. I’m more than average, being online a lot. Yeah, there are hundreds and hundreds of them.

David: It’s a big job but as much as you might have all those passwords and you’ve got a mechanism which leads to the gateway where all those passwords are, you need to have that conversation with your executor. You want to have a big, giant folder that is brightly coloured. For example, let’s say it is red. You want to say, “Inside that bright, red folder, you’re going to find my will, power of attorney, and access to all of my digital assets.” You want to have that brightly coloured folder in a filing cabinet and not in a safety deposit box because if something were to happen, you don’t have access to that safety deposit box. You want to say, “Look in the file folder for that big, red folder,” because when someone passes away or there is an unexpected emergency, people are traumatized and you can’t find anything when there is trauma. So, make it as easy as possible on the executor and your family to look for that big, bright, red folder because in there is everything they’re going to need. That way they’re not going to be left disorganized in chaos.

Tom: What about social media accounts? Even if you’ve given the passwords in your instructions, is there still a proper process that’s supposed to be followed? I assume you’re not supposed to just go on it as that person or anything like that on a social media account.

David: No, you can’t.

Tom: So, there must be an actual process to follow with these sites?

David: For Facebook you’re going to have the options of shutting it down or memorializing it. Twitter has another protocol. They each have their own protocols of how to shut down the accounts. You don’t want to have someone going in as you, doing things. You just want to make sure they have access and that they know how to shut it down. In my book I talked about a lady who had a joint Apple account with her husband. She wanted to go in and shut down the account but forgot the password. She didn’t know it. Even though it was jointly owned, Apple made her go to court to prove he (her husband) was actually dead before giving her access to the password so she could reset it. Again, you have to know each social media company’s protocol to shut it down. And they’ve all got their own little nuances of what you need to do. To make it as easy as possible, the first step is to let your executor know what those passwords are. Then he or she will have to go through each and every one of them to shut them down.

Tom: What about something like email? I know with Google, I’ve got this thing set up—I can’t remember what it’s called but they have this option where if I don’t login in 90 days it will send to the person I designate and they can decide if they need to take that next step (which gives them access). It seems like a decent way to do it, where you’re almost naming a beneficiary of your Google access, just to make sure they can get in there after a certain amount of time if you were never in the account yourself.

David: Yes, you could do that. But then you might name your executor. That may not be one of the passwords you would leave with the executor. You might leave that to a family member. But you let the family member know if something was to happen. That doesn’t mean you’ve passed away. You might be in the hospital, unconscious. You want to be able to make all these digital assets available and accessible to the people you want to have access to so things can continue on. You might want to shut down a gym membership or make sure there’s no online payments still going through. Especially with the banking—is there going to be enough money to go into the bank accounts? As much as it’s important to have the will and power of attorney, the digital aspect of the estate plan has become even more important. And it’s a lot of things people don’t even think about because they just take it for granted. In your case, you were saying how many passwords and logins you’ve got linked to. Not to put you on the spot, but have you had that conversation with your executor?

Tom: No, I have not. It was only recently that I thought about this. I was using this password manager for my own benefit. It was more about security and convenience and I’d recommend it to anyone but only recently did I realize this was actually a pretty decent way to ensure someone could get into everything, basically. But I haven’t made that big, red folder and made it official that someone could see that password and take the next steps to get in there.

David: But you do have a will, though, correct?

Tom: Yes, I do have a will.

David: Sixty percent of Canadians don’t either have an estate plan or a will so you are already further ahead. You just need to update it and add in the digital asset part. I’d like to say you need an executor when you’re dead but you need to prepare them while you’re alive. Again, it may not be because you pass away. An unexpected emergency could come up… an accident. You could be in the hospital, any of those things. What you’re trying to do is not leave your family disorganized and in chaos. That there is some sort of protocol just in case. This is not the show you did before on estate planning and what we’re talking about here. This is the least, sexiest topic you’re going to do on all the shows you’ve done because nobody likes to talk about death. They don’t want to talk about estate planning. And that’s why people would rather avoid the topic, procrastinate or are of the thought, “Well, I’m not here. I’m dead,” but it’s up to them to take care of it. People are finding out, especially since Covid, that their perspective on life and death has changed and you have to prepare for the unexpected. Again, it’s not the sexiest topic. But, spoiler alert, it’s going to happen to all of us. So, what you want to do is prepare your family and leave a legacy—not a legacy and a mess.

Tom: And you’ve mentioned a couple of times now, it’s not just about if you were to die. It’s also if you were incapacitated, in the hospital. Personally, I keep forgetting about that.

David: You’re only going to die once but chances are you could become disabled or in the hospital more than once. Death is going to be one time.

Tom: Just a simple one month hospital stay could put a lot of things into a chaotic state. Making sure certain bills are paid… It wouldn’t haven’t to be this massive issue. It could be just a relatively normal hospital stay.

David: Take it one step further. If you’re in the hospital for one month and you’re an employee that works somewhere, that’s one thing. But take it one step further where you work for yourself and you’re a business owner. Now, how’s the business going to run if you’re in the hospital or pass away? You need to make sure you’ve got some sort of succession plan to make sure the business carries on, especially if the business is the bread winner. If that brings the most income into the family, how is the business going to continue if you’re laid up in the hospital, sick? You have to make those contingency plans just in case. Again, nobody wants to talk about this but these things do happen and it’s just part of life. Intensive care is no place to find out there is no will or succession plan in place. You can’t have a meaningful conversation with anyone if they’re on a ventilator so you need to figure out, “Let me do the things I need to do to make sure my family is not left in chaos and disorganized.”

Tom: I realize once you pass away and a certain amount of time passes, your banking and investment accounts can end up frozen until the estate is settled. Do we have similar issues if you are just in the hospital or anything like that?

David: You would need a power of attorney. Or, here in Quebec, a mandate of incapacity, so there is someone that can make sure the mortgage is going to be paid. For example, if there is a registered letter sent to you, they can go to the post office and pick it up on your behalf so they can pay the bills, organize things, and make sure things flow along while you are incapacitated or in the hospital. You need to have a will which would make up part of your estate plan. The will is for when you die but you need some sort of power of attorney or mandate of incapacity to make sure someone can help with medical decisions and also the day-to-day goings on so it can continue on and there’s not going to be any holdups. Say, for example, you’re incapacitated and pay the mortgage out of a particular bank but it’s not a joint account with your spouse. Now what do you do? There has to be some sort of plan in place, just in case. Think of it as if there was a fire and you had to break the glass. Just breaking the glass, in case of an emergency, this is what has to happen. I know we like to talk about our financial plans and retirement plans but life has a way of hitting us on the side of the head—maybe not killing us but just knocking us out and leaving us in a situation where we don’t know what we need to do next. I’m all about making sure you organize yourself so that everything continues on in case there is an unexpected emergency.

Tom: I know with my RSP and my pension there’s a feel to designate a beneficiary—and you mentioned a joint account, a chequing account. Say you had an individual chequing or savings account, are you able to designate a beneficiary on those? I don’t recall every seeing that. Or is that something you really need to include in the will?

David: In Quebec you can’t designate RSPs. It has to be named in the will. In the rest of Canada, yes, you can name the beneficiaries in the RSPs. For tax purposes you may want to figure it out. If it’s between spouses, it will roll over to each other. We really don’t want to leave it to a child but you can name a beneficiary in case there is a death. But in Quebec, you can’t do that. It has to be named in the will. When you’re creating the will, you want to have those conversations with a lawyer. I know it’s now popular to do it online, to do it yourself. I have nothing against that whatsoever but sometimes there are questions you may not even think about that are not going to be on an online questionnaire. So, you need to weigh whether it makes sense to do an online will versus talking to a professional. It may mean a couple of hundred dollars but that couple hundred dollars may save your family thousands of dollars of headaches in the future.

Tom: Fair enough, yeah. What other kind of digital assets are we talking about here? Just a couple that come to my mind, I’m thinking the personal, emotional side like photos that are often stored online now. But then there are also things like Bitcoin that has messy accounts with crazy passwords and stuff like that. Those are almost too extremes but are these the other thing? Are there other ones we haven’t mentioned yet?

David: Like I said before, anything you’ve ever created up in the cloud or it’s on your hard drive. It can be subscriptions to magazines, your gym membership like I mentioned before. It could be Netflix—it could be anything where it’s linked to a login and a password which may involve your email address. You need to figure out—in your case, you do have a password manager so at least you’ve got all of those. Do you think you’ve got them all captured in that one spot?

Tom: I’m pretty sure I do. I could be wrong but the way it’s set up is, if you enter a password where there hasn’t been one before, it offers to save it.

David: But do you think you have accounts from years ago that you haven’t used that maybe there is a password or login out there that you haven’t even thought about?

Tom: It’s quite possible because, granted, I’ve been using a password manager for a long time. If anything, I probably have a lot of passwords that probably don’t lead anywhere for sites that no longer exists and such.

David: Is that for your MySpace account?

Tom: I do have my MySpace password, yes. And you can log in. It looks like a broken site right now but I just looked at it recently. I could see that problem though. If someone were to take my advice right now and go and get a password manager, great, but it takes awhile to really build that up and save those. It would take at least a year of hitting different accounts as you need them and logging into them then being asked to save them.

David: It’s a lot of work but it’s making things a lot easier for not only yourself and for your family. When I have this conversation with people, they tell me there are three things that they’re happy about. It gives them some clarity. It gives them closure that they know they’ve done this. And the other thing is that they’re happy they’ve probably given their family the greatest gift they can give them by having an estate that’s organized. The one thing a lot of families don’t do is have the conversation to let the family members or executor know that all of this has been organized. That’s where, if they do take this step, they actually take it one more step further and talk about it because families are uncomfortable to talk about money. Not only money but when you’re talking about an estate and digital assets, those sort of things, they’re going to be uncomfortable and may not want to talk to their family members about it. In my case, where we ended up in court when my parents passed away, as much as I’ve been an advisor for more than 35 years, I knew what was in the will and another sibling knew what was in the will but a third sibling didn’t know. We assumed once my parents passed away it would be split three ways. That’s what it was in the will but the third sibling wanted to make an issue of it so we ended up with seven years, 10 court appearances and $50,000 in lawyer fees. That’s because my parents let the paperwork do the talking as opposed to having the conversation with the family. That’s where a lot of family members, even though they do the work, put away the digital assets and have that organized, they don’t talk to the executor. They don’t talk to the family and that’s where we end up with a lot of breaking up.

Tom: I’ve heard a lot of this happening where surprises happen. Like you said, where one sibling didn’t know or maybe even if they didn’t agree with it, it boils up these unnecessary issues that with better communication earlier could have been bypassed. Maybe not always though. You can tell someone in your will that you want this person to have this house worth this amount, and you want that person to have that bank account worth that amount but maybe the house has doubled in value in the meantime since you wrote your will. Things could come out of balance.

David: But even if you have it in the will, parents don’t want to make their children uncomfortable. They want to stay away from the family drama. They won’t have that conversation. That’s where—look, I’m going to say it, every family has got issues. We all think we’re all perfect but at some point we know there is somebody you’re not going to get along with. You don’t know about somebody until you have to share an inheritance with them. I can attest to that because that’s exactly how it ended up. As I was writing the book, I continuously heard people telling me—executors who were having problems where they had to go to court because a beneficiary was taking them to court, or families were breaking up because there were no conversations. The estate became a mess. You don’t know about somebody until you have to share an inheritance. People you thought you knew totally change because it’s all about money. And that’s probably why parents will stay away from having those conversations around digital assets, where the will is and those sorts of things. They want to stay away from that. But, if anything, it’s probably one of the most important things you can do.

Tom: Even if those children decide they’re all in agreement with the decisions you made in the will, there’s not even an argument, it still has to be worth it to have everything organized and prepared even if you’re just making that executor’s job easier. Especially if they’re someone that’s close in the family. They don’t need all that organizational mess on top all these emotions.

David: Being an executor is probably the worst job you could ever be asked to do. A lot of people take on the job because it’s a big favor. But 99% of the time they have absolutely no idea what they’re getting involved with because we’re looking at 100 hours. And that 100 hours is going to come out of your working time. Plus, you’re looking anywhere from 18 to 24 months to get that estate settled. And since Covid, it could take even longer. On top of that you’ve got to deal with beneficiaries who, even though you’re putting in those 100 hours and doing all this work, they’re not interested in what you’re doing as the executor. They’re interested in when they get their check, their money. As much as someone is leaving a legacy and someone saying, “I’m leaving this gift to Johnny,” Johnny’s not looking at it as a gift to him. He’s only interested in where his check is. That’s where you have a lot of problems. I advocate that the executor has to have the conversations and keep the beneficiaries in the loop of what’s going on through an email or Zoom meeting every couple of weeks because if there’s radio silence, beneficiaries just love to want to take you to court or have you removed as executor by saying you’re incompetent. They’re just waiting.

Tom: Oh, that’s worse than I was picturing, really. It seems like communication matters, obviously. You just mentioned how an executor should reach out to everybody after the fact, but if you’re the person that’s writing that will or has written that will, how often should you check in with people? Say you’ve picked your executor and told them but maybe it’s 10 years down the road. Do you kind of check in again with them to make sure they’re still good with that future job that’s coming their way? Is there a point where you might want to possibly refresh the will?

David: Anytime there are major changes in your life, or every couple years, you may want to update the will. You may change your mind as to who is the executor. You might have a secondary executor. Maybe you’re older but the executor is older as well or they’ve moved away. I’ll give you an example. My mother passed away over a decade now but I recently visited her cousin who lives in Barbados. She’s 93 years old. She retired to Barbados, built a home down there. I don’t know how we got onto the subject but she heard about the book. She leaves the room, comes back, and shows me her will. I’m reading the will looking through it and said, “Oh, you’ve left your house to your sister,” and she said, “Yeah.” And I said, “Isn’t your sister dead?” She said, “Uh, yeah.” I said, “Okay, and the executor? Does she know where the will is?” She said, “No.” I asked her where the executor lives and she told me, England. I told her she was going to have to update the will and update the executor. And her life has changed, too. Her beneficiary, which was her sister, passed away five years earlier but she’s still named in the will. The secondary executor was the one who now lives in England and she has no idea where the will is. She came to me with a brown envelope, a stack of paper and put it on the table. I asked if she (the executor) knew where this was and she said, “No.” As your life changes, you have to update the will. There’s a lot of blended families. There are divorces. Things are going to change. As those things change in your life, so should your estate. So should your will. I would assume that if someone were to have a new wife but never updated the will and the first wife is still the main beneficiary or the person who is on their power of attorney, that’s not going to go over well at the hospital if there is a problem. So, you want to make the changes as your situation changes and keep updating it. It’s an ongoing process, as are the conversations you’re going to have with your family. It’s not a one-time thing you might do after the Christmas dinner is over. It’s an ongoing process that things change and they become comfortable with what’s going to happen if an unexpected emergency were to happen.

Tom: Thanks for taking us through this—having these conversations, especially when it comes to—

David: Are you feeling better now? Wasn’t this an uplifting, sexy, topic?

Tom: Oh, very! (Laughs). Especially on the digital assets because it’s becoming more and more of a thing. My will is over a decade old and I feel like it’s not covering anything in a digital aspect. It’s just your normal spitting of accounts with these percentages. It’s pretty straightforward which I guess is nice in that its simple enough to do the job but there’s so much more outside of the will where we can be making sure of, like having that red folder and master password and everything.

David: At least you have something in place which is more than most Canadians have.

Tom: Yeah, it’s a start.

David: It’s a starting point. Don’t beat yourself up.

Tom: Thank you.

David: It’s a starting point. If you’ve got kids, maybe what you’ve named in the will, you’ve now got a different vision for them for their education in the future so you would make the adjustments in the will there. Or a certain amount of dollars is going to go to them. You’re not going to give it to a 16-year-old or 18-year-old so you might have a trust for them or something. I’m just giving examples. This is where you would have that conversation with a professional to organize based on your situation. You’re relatively a young man right now. You’re younger than me so you’re probably going to update your will maybe two or three times before you pass away or retire. Do you have boys or girls?

Tom: Two boys.

David: Two boys. Maybe one of your boys gets married to somebody and you want to make sure that if there is a divorce you don’t want anything to go to his ex-wife so you would make adjustments there. You’re a young guy. It’s just a couple of more adjustments you’ll have to make as your situation changes and the situation of your family changes.

Tom: Well, thanks for this. Can you let people know about your book and where they can find you online?

David: Of course. My book is called, Executor Help – How to Settle an Estate, Pick an Executor and Avoid Family Fights. It’s available online but you can just go to my website, There are also links to all the major online retailers. I’ve got resources, free checklists for executors so that you might help out your executor by putting that checklist in that bright, red folder. I’ve got a quiz on there asking what kind of family you are so you can figure out where your family is at and what you need to do to go forward. And there are all my social media contacts on there. The important thing, like I said, is that you don’t want to leave a legacy and a mess. You also have to remember that a legacy isn’t what you leave people, it’s how you leave them. So, make sure you’ve put in place the things that are not going to leave them disorganized and in chaos.

Tom: Great, thanks for being on the show.

David: Thank you so much, Tom, for having me.

Thank you, David, for explaining how digital assets work and why it’s so important to communicate your wishes to your executor and your family while you’re still alive. You can find the show notes for this episode at If you have a moment, head over to our YouTube channel, and subscribe there as we’ll be getting back to releasing never-before-seen content, soon. Either search for Maple Money or go to and subscribe today. Thanks, as always, for listening. I look forward to seeing you back here next week when David King is on the show to discuss how to make the most of your job search. See you next week.

I think that the cover letter idea is no longer a necessary part of your resume application…I think the resume itself should speak on its own merit. - David King Click to Tweet