January 13, 2011

How to find a summer job with the Government of Canada

Right around this time of year, I'm often asked by readers "How do I find a summer job with the Government of Canada?"

While finding Government of Canada summer jobs can be tough, there are a range of opportunities available - you just need to where to begin your summer job search.

And the starting point for all summer jobs with the Canadian government is through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).

I've written about FSWEP before, but if you aren't familiar with the program, it's the federal government recruitment program that provides thousands of students with part- and full-time summer jobs with a variety of federal ministries and departments.

In order to be considered for the program, you must meet the following four (4) requirements:

1. Be a full-time secondary or post-secondary student in an accredited institution either in Canada or abroad

2. Be currently recognized as having full-time student status in the academic institution in which you are presently enrolled

3. Be returning to full-time studies for your next academic term

4. Be at least the minimum age to work in the province or territory where the job exists

As for the types of jobs available, they 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. Examples of the various jobs can be found in the Featured Jobs section.

INSIDER'S TIP: Check out the range of Departmental Programs page for even more jobs that you can apply for. The main difference between these jobs and the general ones offered through FSWEP is that with these positions, you need to declare you want to apply for them and complete a specific online application form and/or questionnaire. The list could change as more departments have their summer budgets approved so check back often.

In terms of compensation and pay, because of the range of positions available, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) has developed a table of pay rates based on education level. Some of the above-mentioned Departmental Programs offer a specific salary, while other positions offer salaries based on a variety of other factors.

In order to apply for the 2010-2011 FSWEP campaign, you will need to create a My Jobs file, complete an online application form, and upload a keyword-heavy, plain-text electronic resume. I recommend devoting at least an hour to ensure that you complete all the relevant sections. And make sure that you save your application periodically otherwise it may get lost.

For more information on the program itself, the jobs available, the application process, or the rates of pay, visit the FSWEP website and read the free online job search guide.

Good luck!

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