The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) provides full-time students with the opportunity to explore their interests and develop their skills.
Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP)
Opportunity Date: October – October, yearly (exact dates vary, profiles must be resubmitted for each yearly campaign)
Eligibility: Full-time undergraduate and graduate students with full-time student status, returning to full-time studies in the next academic term.
Overview: FSWEP is the central database for student jobs in the federal public service. It employs over 9000 students yearly, and has an inventory of 50,000 students in the database. It acts as an intermediary, by sorting students’ resumes into relevant fields and positions, which may follow university semesters. Students may work full-time or part-time during the summer, part-time during the school year, and as applicable during university approved work terms, like Co-operative Education. Note that not all departments hire through FSWEP.
How it Works:
- Create your FSWEP profile: be sure to have a resume ready to upload into the database, as well as information about your education, location, language, and skills. Creating a profile may take up to an hour.
- Your profile is then a part of the database for the entire year, and it can be updated at any time. Make sure to update any changes to your academic program, skills, or resume.
- Federal organizations then request a student referral from FSWEP. The system searches for a minimum of 5 students who match the requirements of the available position. These qualified students are emailed to see if they are interested in, and available for the position.
- Students who confirm their interest in the job via email are referred to the hiring manager, who further assesses the selection of students.
- Students may be invited for tests and interviews, and job offers are made to the selected students directly from the hiring manager.
- All results for student referrals are posted on their FSWEP profiles, under “View my results”.
Click here to create your profile.
Lead Department: Public Service Commission of Canada
More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Affiliate Program (RAP)
Opportunity Date: Ongoing
Eligibility: Full-time undergraduate and post-graduate students enrolled in a program including research in the curriculum (other eligibility factors may apply to each position)
Overview: RAP is a supervised research program in the federal public service that helps students complete research requirements for academic programs, or offer research-based employment part-time during your studies. Field research, social science projects, or laboratory experience may be available through RAP. Students generally work 25 hours per week, or less, however, some full-time employment may be available depending on individual opportunities and course schedules.
How it Works:
- Create a My Account profile on the Public Service Resourcing System, the online application and screening tool for positions that are posted in the federal public service.
- Browse available RAP positions posted on jobs.gc.ca.
- Apply to each opportunity individually, using your My Account applicant number and following their specific requirements for applications and candidates.
Search available RAP positions.
Lead Department:Public Service Commission of Canada
By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer
Should you bother writing a cover letter? It’s a question being asked often these days. With the popularity of social profiles and resume scanning, cover letters are under scrutiny.
Candidates wonder if it’s worth the effort: maybe their carefully crafted letter won’t get read. Recruiting firms might only pass it on to employers if asked for one; if employers are swamped with resumes, they may consider the cover letter unnecessary.
Yet strong arguments remain in favour of preparing a tightly written cover letter. Here’s what three Canadian specialists have to say.
Always Write a Cover Letter Even If You Don’t Send One
Tara Orchard is a career coach and social media specialist. Now located in Winnipeg, her wide-ranging clientele is from across the country.
According to Tara, it is always useful to create a formal cover letter. “Although you may decide not to include a copy with your application, it forces you to focus on the key points of who you are and what you have to offer.”
Tara adds that parts of the cover letter can be applied for other purposes. “Portions can be inserted into your social media profiles, used for introducing yourself while networking, or when replying during interviews.”
She suggests that you include a cover letter when responding to posted advertisements. Also when making unsolicited applications to employers. That way you cover your bases if one is required.
As for style, “I prefer first person conversational,” says Tara. “For instance, my phrasing would be ‘I am an accomplished motivator’ rather than starting with ‘Ms. Orchard is…’” Letting some of your personality show can serve to humanize you. See these Monster cover letter examples for reference.
If You Do Send a Cover Letter, Make Sure It’s Well Written
Howard Scholl is a senior IT recruiter in Montreal. He works at MaxSys Staffing & Consulting, which operates in 12 cities around Canada.
“There are two streams of thought regarding cover letters,” says Howard. “If written compellingly, they’re a powerful tool to help secure an interview. But if done poorly you could knock yourself out of the running.”
A well-written cover letter does the following, according to Howard: it complements your resume and social media presence, pulling out the highlights most relevant to the position you’re applying for; and it should include some evidence that you have researched the employer.
“Correct grammar and spelling are also important when evaluating your application,” Howard says. He’s seen many instances where qualified candidates harm their chances by not proofreading adequately. That affects the impression an employer will form.
Howard points out that typical IT applicants rarely include a cover letter. Employers care more about qualifications and experience. However this changes at more senior levels of information technology. Job seekers for those positions should show they can express themselves clearly. “IT directors, senior project managers and executives must be able to articulate more than their certifications and technical skills.”
Customize Your Content and Cover Any Gaps
Daisy Wright is the author of two respected career books, No Canadian Experience, Eh? and Tell Stories, Get Hired. She operates out of the greater Toronto area.
This specialist agrees that debate over cover letters continues. Some employers want them, others do not. “For example,” says Daisy “if you apply for a job with the Ontario government, they ask that you include a cover letter in the same file as your resume. Whereas the municipal government where I live, in Brampton, only wants a resume.”
Due to these varying preferences, Daisy recommends sending a cover letter unless the employer specifies otherwise. “Beyond responding to a job and using language from the posting, you can explain any gaps or special situations revealed by your resume.”
This can refer to job-hopping, or time off for things like a sabbatical or family care. Addressing these in the cover letter lets you explain the circumstances.
An alternative to a full cover letter is an e-mail cover note instead, observes Daisy. “Many people will take time to read a concisely worded e-mail, especially if it has a gripping subject line.” So consider including three shortened, customized paragraphs of your cover letter in the body of that e-mail. Then mention that your resume is attached.
“You can spice up the cover letter by opening with an attention-grabbing question or very short story,” adds Daisy. “Done right it can stand out and put you top of mind.”