So I'd like a summer job with the Government of Ontario this year. But I heard that summer jobs with the Ontario government are only available to those with family members or friends who already have a government job. Am I right?
I can't tell you how many readers have emailed me questions like this. There definitely is a (mis)conception that summer jobs with the government are only available to sons/daughters/nieces/nephews of current government employees. And I won't lie - years ago, that was the norm. But nowadays, not so much - especially in an era of increased transparency.
But let's tackle the underlying question - how can I get a summer job with the Government of Ontario?
Easy ... apply for a summer job with the Government of Ontario through the Supper Experience Program (SEP).
In a nutshell, SEP is the primary vehicle through which the Ontario government offers thousands of summer government jobs to students across Ontario. These summer jobs not only provide invaluable experience, but they also provide an excellent opportunity to learn about career prospects with the Ontario Public Service.
The jobs available range from customer service with the Ministry of Transportation to working in translation with the Legislature to working as an assistant with the Ministry of the Environment.
INSIDER'S TIP: This year, jobs will not be listed for the entire recruitment period. Instead, job ads will only run for 8 days during specified recruitment periods:
February 21 – February 28: for positions of 12 to 16 weeks in duration
March 7 – March 21: for all positions with the Ministry of Natural Resources
March 21 – March 28: for all positions under 12 weeks in duration
April 11 – April 18: for all positions under 12 weeks in duration
In other words, constantly be checking the SEP website for details on what jobs are available
The salary for summer jobs with the Government of Ontario range from $10.25 to $11.10 per hour depending on the nature of the job. And in terms of contract length, the contracts will be between seven (7) and sixteen (16) weeks long.
In order to be considered, applicants must the individual requirements of each job, along with the following four (4) conditions:
1. You must be considered a "student". As defined by the Ontario Public Service, a "student" is someone "currently enrolled in secondary or post-secondary institutions or within six months of graduation (e.g. if a student graduated in Dec. 2010, they could apply for an OPS summer student position up until May 2011)".
2. Some jobs require students to be between the ages of 15 and 24 (or 29 for students with a disability as defined under the Ontario Human Rights Code). Other jobs do not have an age requirement.
3. You must be a resident of Ontario.
4. You must be legally entitled to work in Canada.
To search for and apply for summer jobs with the Ontario government, visit the Government of Ontario's jobs portal. Under the "Select Job Category" menu, select "Student Summer Employment Opportunities". When you find a job you'd like to apply for, click the "Apply Now" link at the bottom of the job call.
For the application form itself, you'll need a top-notch resume and cover letter that highlights your experience and skills. If you don't have a resume or cover letter, download the resume and cover letter templates I've developed.
Complete the online application form with your personal details and upload your cover letter and resume.
INSIDER'S TIP: Make sure you combine your resume and cover letter into one MS Word document. You can only upload one document so make sure whatever you want the recruiters to see can be found in the document you chose to upload
Once you've completed the application form and uploaded your one document, take some time to fill out the supplementary questionnaire - found below the box where you browse and upload your cover letter and resume. If you don't complete the screening questions, your application may not be viewed.
Further information on the application process can be found here.
And for more information, check out the Summer Experience Program's FAQ section.