CONTRARY TO BELIEF, GOVERNMENT JOBS ARE NOT ALL DESK JOBS —with a variety of departments across all levels of government, there is ample opportunity for career advancement. Furthermore, as a large number of employees in the public sector are reaching the age of retirement, opportunities are expected to increase.
Federal Government Careers:
To learn about careers in the Federal Public Service, check out ►http://itsmydaycestmajournee.gc.ca/itsmyday/home/index.asp.
The Public Works and Government Services website provides information on careers and creating a standout application
The Public Service Commission (PSC) is the recruitment department for the federal government. In addition to opportunities for the general public (► www.jobs.gc.ca), check out some of their student programs listed below.
Post-Secondary Recruitment (PSR)
This is the main recruitment program for post-secondary graduates. Applicants are required to write a Situational Judgment Test — some positions require additional tests (samples and details online). Apply to specific job postings or submit your profile to the general inventory at
Check the site regularly throughout the year as some programs close as early a October. Other programs of interest for graduates include the Management Trainee Program (MTP) and the Accelerated Economist Training Program (AETP).
Federal Student Work Experience Program
This program is the primary vehicle to recruit for some 9,000 part-time and summer student jobs each year. There is no deadline for applying to the general inventory, but some departments hire early in the year. You must be a full-time student at an accredited institution and planning to return to full-time studies in the next academic term. Apply online
Departments that don’t use the PSC
Some departments hire only on their own websites including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)
and the Coast Guard,
For contact information for other departments and staff in the federal government visit
Research Affiliate Program (RAP)
Get research experience in government facilities and meet course requirements in science ► http://jobs-emplois.gc.ca/srp-rap-par/index_e.htm.
Accent and Odyssey programs
Travel across Canada to teach English on a part-time (Accent) or full-time (Odyssey) basis
The Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) website ►www.international.gc.ca/jobs-emplois/categories.aspx provides information on careers with the Foreign Service. You can get paid international work experience through DFAIT’s International Youth Programs. They sponsor internships at Canadian embassies and consulate offices worldwide. Visit ► www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/123go/menu-en.asp. Some embassies abroad offer special student internships, for a list of embassies visit
Provincial Government Careers
The Ontario Public Service (OPS) is the second largest employer in Ontario with over 25 ministries and special offices. Check out the Career Streams page to discover a variety of options you can pursue
New jobs are posted every Friday so be sure to check the OPS site regularly at
Visit the Youth and New Professionals section for programs just for recent graduates and students.
To get to a list of ministries and agencies go to
For temporary positions find out which employment agencies a particular ministry uses by contacting its human resources branch directly.
Ontario Internship Program
Recent grads from the last two years can apply for this two-year program for full-time work in areas such a policy development, HR and IT. Participants often continue on to permanent jobs in the Ontario Public Service. Applications are due the end of January. Throughout the hiring process candidates accumulate points from their résumé, cover letter, interview, and references. The candidate with the most points is offered the position. When preparing your application, look at the Job Spec(ifications) found on the Ontario Public Service website or call the ministry’s HR department for a copy. Use the keywords from the Job Spec to tailor your application and prepare for the interview.
Be prepared to face a panel interview consisting of at least three people: an HR employee, a manager, and a non-union representative. Key points to remember when
preparing for your interview:
• brush up on knowledge of Ontario politics, specifically the make-up of the Ontario government;
• demonstrate good communication skills and an intent to become bilingual (if not already so);
• be prepared to demonstrate how your strengths and education can be applied in the Ontario Public Service.
Ontario Legislature Internship Programme
Every year eight recent graduates are selected for this ten-month internship with backbench members of the legislature.
Applications are open to the end of February.
Municipal Government Careers
For info on municipal governments visit these key sites:
• Listing of municipalities
• Advertised postings
• News and postings
• For municipalities outside of Ontario
The City of Toronto
The City of Toronto employs over 39,000 people in more than 4,000 types of work including social services, emergency services, and parks and recreation. ►www.toronto.ca/employment.
The City of Toronto phone directory provides contact information and profiles of elected officials and current staff members at ►www.toronto.ca/city_directory/corporatedirectory.htm#4.
Information on Toronto’s community, social, health, and other government related services is available in the Blue Book — Directory of Community Services in Toronto, available online ► www.211toronto.ca.
Additional government information The Canadian Sourcebook and the Government Index provide information on government and public services in Canada. The Metro Urban Affairs Library (ground floor, Metro Hall, 55 John Street) and the Metro Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street) have collections of books on career paths at all government levels as well as materials on urban and municipal affairs.
Getting Started With The Government
Before starting any job search it is crucial to have a solid understanding of what you are seeking and what you have to offer. If you are interested in working for a particular department, go to their websites to learn about the work they do and opportunities they offer. Set up an information interview to determine if a career in this field would interest you.
Currently in university?
Acquire skills and experience now through volunteering and student jobs to increase your chances of getting hired full-time when you graduate.