February 18, 2010

Summer Job Spotlight ... Federal government recruitment season begins!

If you've ever dreamed about a career as a public servant, then consider gaining invaluable experience through the summer employment opportunities offered by the Government of Canada's Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).

If you aren't familiar with FSWEP, it is a federal government program that provides thousands of full-time students with part-time and full-time jobs at a range of government ministries and departments. I myself started out in the public sector after being hired at Service Canada through FSWEP and the experience I had and skills I gained have been invaluable throughout my career.

To be eligible for the program, you must meet the following criteria:

- be a full-time secondary or post-secondary student in an accredited institution (either in Canada or abroad)
- be currently recognized as having full-time student status in the academic institution in which you are presently enrolled
- be returning to full-time studies for your next academic term
- be at least the minimum age to work in the province or territory where the job exists

The types of jobs available differ each year, but they can range from providing client service in an Employment Insurance office to working at a border crossing to acting as a tour guide in Vimy Ridge, France.

INSIDER TIP: Take note of the various department-specific positions. You'd be surprised at how many applicants forget to apply to these specific positions! And yes, you can apply for as many of these positions as you'd like (and qualify for) while also applying to the general FSWEP inventory.

Information on compensation and pay rates can be found on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's website; however, the figures provided are effective January 2009 and could change for those hired after January 2010.

To apply, you will need to create a My Jobs file, complete a general online application form, and upload an electronic resume. I recommend devoting at least an hour to ensure that you complete all the relevant sections.

INSIDER TIP: Study the job ad carefully to see if they want you to select/highlight particular skills. For example, on the Program Officer with Canadian Transportation Agency job ad, they request that applicants show adaptability, flexibility, and a willingness to achieve corporate goals.

For more information on the program, the types of jobs available, and how to apply, visit the FSWEP website and read the free online job search guide.

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