The Federal Public Service – Countless Career Avenues to Explore

Yes, there is job security and stability. But the bigger picture IS the bigger appeal: you can serve the public interest and make a difference in the daily lives of fellow Canadians while exploring your chosen profession.

Make a difference. Be part of a non-partisan, professional team delivering programs and services aimed at improving quality of life for all Canadians. Whether you work in an office or outdoors, in the far North, in a rural area or in a large urban centre, the public service offers you the opportunity to contribute to your country’s future.

Explore countless career paths. With more than 250,000 employees, the size and diversity of the public service create an unmatched variety of employment opportunities in areas such as psychology, communications, law, health care, biological sciences, economics, chemistry, forestry and human resources.

Never stop learning. The public service offers excellent learning and development opportunities: programs and e-learning opportunities with the Canada School of Public Service, organizational learning and leadership opportunities, language training in group or one-on-one settings, mentoring and coaching, and much more!

Be part of a community. You can become an active member of professional networks, functional communities and councils based on the job you do and your professional interests. In these networks and groups you’ll find support from mentors, coaches and colleagues who share your goals and interests.

Your Way In: The largest recruitment program for graduates is Post-Secondary Recruitment (PSR), which provides entry-level job opportunities to university and college graduates in myriad fields and work environments across Canada, and sometimes abroad.

“Students and graduates remain an important source of talent for the federal public service, especially as it continually renews itself now and for the future,” says Joanne Lalonde, Director General, National Client Services, Public Service Commission of Canada.

It really works. During the 2008–2009 fiscal year, approximately 1,700 students were appointed to positions across Canada as foreign service officers, human resources officers, legal counsel, junior communications officers, policy analysts, epidemiologists, conservation architects, IT programmers—the list goes on and on. “The variety of careers is extraordinary,” says Lalonde.

“The opportunity to make a difference and the potential to leave a legacy draws high-quality graduates every year.”

So don’t miss out. Get in on our inventory. The Fall 2010 PSR campaign is ramping up now. Visit for more information on the PSR campaign and to view current job opportunities.

Ten things to keep in mind when applying to the federal public service

1 Start looking now! The time to look for a job is while you are still in school, usually in your last year. Most positions advertised through the PSR program will indicate that degrees/diplomas obtained by a certain date are accepted to allow for upcoming graduates to apply.

2 Explore careers at the online jobs hub. is your hub for exploring career opportunities within the federal public service. Opportunities are posted daily, so visit the site regularly.

3 Read job advertisements carefully! Ensure that you meet all of the essential qualifications and that these are clearly demonstrated in your application.

4 Sell yourself! Make sure to reflect experiences gained through volunteer work, student activities and work experience gained through summer employment, co-ops, etc.

5 Prepare, prepare, prepare! Avoid doing essential steps at the last minute when the job you want comes up. Keep an up-to-date CV on hand, and complete and regularly update your Public Service Resourcing System profile online.

6 Know the deadlines. Late applications will not be accepted, so make sure to check the website often for new job opportunities and respect the closing date and time on the job ads.

7 Let the jobs site work for you by creating a job alert. Receive e-mail notifications whenever new job listings are posted that match your search criteria.

8 Understand the assessment process. Many positions advertised through the PSR program require testing. The Public Service Commission website and provide useful tips, sample test questions and FAQs to demystify the process for you.

9 Prepare for the interview! Read up on the specific organization to understand their business/mission, and review the original job advertisement and statement of merit criteria. These can provide insight into what questions maybe asked at the interview.

10 Understand the language profile of the position. Many government positions require a certain level of bilingualism. There are three second-language skills associated with each bilingual position: reading, writing and oral interaction. Visit for more details and to see sample questions.

Join the federal public service. Innovate! Create! Move it and shake it! CO


By Luana Mirella & Cindy Clark

Luana Mirella is Communications Advisor, Communications Division at the Public Service Commission

Cindy Clark is Program Manager, Post Secondary Recruitment, National Client Services Directorate at the Public Service Commission

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