Public Service Recruitment Programs

Are you looking to get a job or start your career with the Government of Canada? There are a number of recruitment programs and job opportunities across various departments that you can look into!

Student Recruitment Programs: The following are a list of different employment programs students can participate in. While preference is given to Canadian citizens, non-Canadians are welcome to apply!

  • Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP): A program offering full-time, continuing students with an opportunity to gain work experience in the federal public service.
  • Research Affiliate Program: If you are a full-time student or a part-time student with a disability, you may be eligible to apply if you are taking a research course as part of your program.
  • Specialized Recruitment Programs: A number of recruitment programs are offered through various departments within the government including with the Canada Revenue Agency, Justice Canada, the National Research Council, Natural Resources Canada and many more! See the list of all programs and their details on the Special Recruitment Programs webpage.

Graduate Recruitment Programs: The following are a list of different employment programs graduates can participate in:

  • Post Secondary Recruitment: Students with a degree can apply to this program, and students who will be graduating after the Spring semester are able to apply to most job opportunities, as well. The application period is typically open around mid-September to early-October. Depending on the job opportunity you are applying for, online and/or in-person testing may be required.
  • Recruitment of Policy Leaders: If you are interested in domestic or international policy work, and have relevant experience and knowledge in policy, this program may be of interest to you!
  • Specialized Recruitment Programs: A number of recruitment programs are open to graduates in addition to current students. Many of these opportunities are offered through various departments across the government. See the list of all programs and their details on the Special Recruitment Programs webpage.

You can also visit the Government of Canada Jobs website to find out what job opportunities are currently available in the Public Service!

Government Testing

Different government departments may require you to complete specific testing according to the position you are applying for and the level it falls into: administrative, officer, or management. Keep in mind, the testing may occur at any point throughout the hiring process. Here you may find the different government tests by level along with sample test questions for each.’

Networking with Government Professionals

Networking is a valuable job search tool that can connect you with many industry professionals, and expose you to new opportunities! Check-out our Networking Timeline tip sheet to learn more about the networking process. Below are a few resources that can specifically help you begin networking with government professionals:

  • Government Electronic Directory Services (GEDS): Finding specific professionals who are working in your field of interest can help you gain more targeted information. This database contains the name and contact information of some public servants across Canada.
  • GCcollab: This networking space allows you to create an account and connect with professionals to learn about some of the projects and research happening in the government. Government employees, students and academics have opportunities to share, explore, collaborate and network with different professionals. Users can browse employment opportunities and post on community discussion boards to connect with colleagues, peers and professionals within the Government of Canada!

Cover Letters

Writing a cover letter for a government job can be unique from any other cover letter. Here are some tips on how to ensure you are including the relevant information:

  • See our Cover Letter template for formatting tips
  • Be sure the address includes the name of a contact individual (if available), their official job title and the full location of the office including building name
  • Selection Process Number is included in a subject line underneath their address
  • After the introductory paragraph, include details about requirements through subheadings such as: education, experience, asset qualifications, operational requirements and organizational needs
  • Cover letters for government applications are typically 2 pages in length


Similar to other job applications, when applying for a government position, there are 3 resume formats you can choose from (visit mySuccess for resume templates). Below, you will find government-specific guidelines to help you tailor your resume.

  • Research, research, research! Know the scope of practice within the specific branch
  • Use key words that may be emphasized within the job description in your resume and your cover letter to ensure consistency
  • Identify achievements from each work experience such as creating new programs or enhancing computer software (optional)