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About Ontario

Greater Toronto's Top Employers 2014
Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2014
2014 Canada's Greenest Employers
Best Employers for New Canadians 2013
The Career Directory 2013: Canada's Best Employers for Recent Graduates
2014 Canada's Top Employers for Young People

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs about jobs in the OPS. There are some additional FAQs in the Youth and New Professionals portal. If you can’t find what you are looking for, select the feedback button and send us a message. These questions and answers are organized under the following sections:


General

QUESTION: When are new job advertisements posted?

ANSWER: New job advertisements may be posted on any day, Monday through Friday, so it is a good idea to check regularly. Go to "How to Apply" for detailed instructions on how to search for the job you want and information on our hiring process. If you can’t find what you are interested in, you can ask to be notified by e-mail for up to nine months when new jobs advertisements are posted that match the criteria or career stream you are interested in. See Job Alert Subscribe.

QUESTION: Are all Ontario Public Service job advertisements posted on this site?

ANSWER: This website includes most Ontario Public Service employment job advertisements open to the public.

Some job advertisements are posted on targeted websites to attract the most highly qualified applicants. These advertisements are referred to as “open-targeted” and are often used to attract unique or hard-to-fill skill sets such as nursing and engineering positions. Any person can apply to these advertisements.

Where there is a strong internal Ontario Public Service candidate pool, a manager may decide to restrict the advertisement to current staff. These advertisements are not posted on the website.

QUESTION: How do I know if I am eligible to work for the Ontario Public Service?

ANSWER: To work in the Ontario Public Service, you must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or authorized in writing to work in Canada under the federal Immigration Act. You will only be asked for proof if an offer of employment is made to you. Anyone under the age of 16 must provide proof of participation in a prescribed program under the Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupil Regulation (Education Act, Regulation 374/10). To work anywhere in Canada, you need a social insurance number (SIN) which you get from the Government of Canada – Social Insurance Number website.

QUESTION: Do I need to mention if I have previously worked for the Ontario Public Service?

ANSWER: Yes. In accordance with the Ontario Public Service Employment Policy, all external candidates (including former employees of the Ontario Public Service) applying to an advertisement with a ministry or a Commission public body must identify (either in the cover letter or resume) prior employment in the Ontario Public Service. This information must include the positions held, dates of employment, and any active restrictions currently in force on being re-employed in the public service. The circumstances of your exit will be considered prior to an offer of employment.

QUESTION: What are active restrictions?

ANSWER: Active restrictions can include time and/or ministry-specific restrictions. For example, an active restriction may preclude a former employee from applying and/or accepting a position with the Ontario Public Service for a pre-determined time period (e.g. one year), or from applying and/or accepting a position with a particular ministry (either for a specific time period or indefinitely).

QUESTION: What is a ‘Commission public body’?

ANSWER: According to the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 (S.O. 2006, c. 35, Sched. A), a “commission public body” is a public body that is prescribed as a Commission public body under clause 8 (1.1) (b). A list of Commission public bodies can be found on e-laws.

QUESTION: Is there a central place where I can send my resume to be considered for future job openings that suit my qualifications?

ANSWER: No. You must submit an application (cover letter and resume) for each position that you are interested in applying for. This website offers searches by region, city, job category, salary range, bargaining group and job ID number. If you can’t find what you are interested in, you can ask to be notified by e-mail for up to nine months when new jobs are posted that match the criteria or career streams you are interested in. See Job Alert Subscribe .

QUESTION: How do I find out more about a particular ministry that I am applying to?

ANSWER: The following website provides a list of all ministry websites.

QUESTION: How can I find out about student work experience, internship and summer employment programs in the Ontario Public Service?

ANSWER: The Youth and New Professionals portal on this website provides convenient access to an array of Ontario Public Service student work experience, internship and summer employment programs. It also provides access to many programs and supports provided by the Ontario government and its partners for youth and new professionals (for example, career advice, labour market information, skills training).

QUESTION: Do Ontario Public Service jobs change when the government changes?

ANSWER: No, the Ontario Public Service is not political and does not change when a new government is elected. In this way, the continuity of programs and services is maintained. For more information, visit the section “Role of the Public Service”.

QUESTION: What is the difference between a permanent and a temporary position?

ANSWER: A permanent position is one where there is no defined employment end date and the employee is entitled to a benefits package. A temporary position is one that has a contract start and end date. Depending on the employee group, some temporary positions will come with an additional payment in lieu of certain benefits. Details will be provided under ‘more info’ within the job advertisement.

QUESTION: The Ontario Public Service mission refers to a public service oath. What is the public service oath?

ANSWER: There are two oaths in the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006 (the governing employment legislation of the Ontario Public Service). The Oath of Office and the Oath of Allegiance. All public servants have to make or affirm the oaths as required by the Act. Ontario Regulation 373/07 describes the rules and administrative processes for the Oaths and Affirmations.

QUESTION: Is being represented by a union a requirement for all Ontario Public Service positions?

ANSWER: Not all positions are represented by a collective bargaining agent (union). The job advertisement will indicate if a position is represented by a bargaining agent. For a brief description of Ontario Public Service employee groups (bargaining and non-bargaining), select Understanding the Job Advertisement Definitions.

QUESTION: May I meet with a recruitment consultant to refine my resume and improve my chances of being offered a position?

ANSWER: Units in the Ontario Public Service support hiring managers in the recruitment process. They are not designed to provide employment advice or consultation to the public.
You may find helpful information on the hiring Process section of this website, which includes a resume writing guide for Ontario Public Service positions for the Employment Ontario website.


Applying for a Job

QUESTION: How can I apply to a job advertisement?

ANSWER: You will find job advertisments on the Ontario Public Service Careers website. New advertisements are added daily. The site contains information about the Ontario Public Service recruitment process and tips for applying.

Job descriptions are often attached to the job advertisement and can be accessed by clicking on the “view job description” icon.

It is recommended that you:

  • Highlight the qualifications of the job advertisement in your resume and cover letter.
  • Provide details about your skills and qualifications directly linked to the qualifications in the job advertisement, and provide information to show how you have demonstrated or applied these skills.
  • Review and update your resume and cover letter for every advertisement.
  • For more tips and tools on resume writing go to our Ontario Public Service Careers website. From the main page, click on Hiring Process (found on the left side of the screen).
Resumes must be submitted on or before the posted closing date (only until 11:59 PM). Resumes received after the closing date are not usually accepted.

Resumes for most positions must be submitted online. If you are unable to submit online, alternate arrangements can be made in advance of the closing date by contacting the recruitment services centre handling the advertisement.

When applying online you must upload your cover letter and resume in one file in one of these formats: Portable Document Format (.pdf), Microsoft Word (.doc, docx), plain text (.txt) or rich-text format (.rtf).

Limit your resume and cover letter to no more than five pages. Remember to always quote the Job ID number in your application.

QUESTION: What formats are accepted when submitting an application online?

ANSWER: When applying online you must upload your cover letter and resume in one file in one of these formats: Portable Document Format (.pdf), Microsoft Word (.doc, docx), plain text (.txt) or rich-text format (.rtf).

Bullet points, boarders and electronic signatures are acceptable on a resume as long as the file is less than 1mb in size and provided in the appropriate formats as indicated above.

We recommend using Internet Explorer when browsing or applying.

Your combined cover letter and resume should not exceed five pages unless otherwise stated.

QUESTION: How will I know that you have received my online application?

ANSWER: When you apply online and provide an e-mail address at the time of application, you will receive an e-mail that you have successfully applied online. Only those candidates invited to continue in the recruitment process will be contacted.

QUESTION: Will I receive confirmation of receipt of my resume if I apply through e-mail/fax/mail?

ANSWER: Applications received via e-mail/fax/mail (where available) will not receive confirmation. Only those candidates invited to continue in the evaluation process will be contacted.

QUESTION: Should I customize my cover letter and resume to each job advertisement?

ANSWER: Yes. Your application will be assessed based on how strong your outlined qualifications meet the ones outlined in the job advertisement. Only the top candidates will be contacted to participate in the evaluation process. You should customize your application to ensure that it clearly demonstrates how you are the best candidate for the job and meet the qualifications advertised.

Your combined cover letter and resume should not exceed five pages unless otherwise stated.

QUESTION: Can I check on the status of my application?

ANSWER: There are two ways to check the competition status:
(1) When you apply online and provide an e-mail address at the time of application, you will receive an e-mail. It will contain a link that you can access to view where we are in the hiring process for that position. Go to the hiring steps section for a brief overview of what you can expect.

(2) If you do not have an acknowledgement e-mail, you can enter the Job ID number into the search field on the main Ontario Public Service Careers page. You will be directed to a copy of the advertisement and the competition status. If the competition status is not available, (e.g. you only see a copy of the job advertisement) the competition has yet to move forward to the screening stage of the recruitment process.

QUESTION: Why can’t I find my city/town on the drop down menu of job locations? I know there are Ontario Public Service jobs in my area.

ANSWER: The location drop down menu shows cities, towns and/or regions where there is an active job advertisement. If there are Ontario government offices in your location, it will display on the drop down list when a manager is actively recruiting for a position. Check back regularly as job advertisements are updated on a daily basis on the Ontario Public Service Careers website.

QUESTION: I missed the deadline to apply, but I would still like to have my application included. Is there anything I can do?

ANSWER: Applications must be received by 11:59 pm on the closing date. Job advertisements are posted for ten working days and late applications are not usually accepted.

If there is a reason that you could not get the application in on time, contact the Recruitment Services Office listed on the job advertisement and explain the situation.

QUESTION: Can I ask for feedback if I don’t win a job competition?

ANSWER: If you are interviewed for a job, you are encouraged to ask for feedback from the contact person who invited you for an interview. This feedback should be helpful if you are interviewed for another job opportunity in the Ontario Public Service.

QUESTION: I have a disability and require accommodation. Do I have to indicate this on my application?

ANSWER: No. Disabilities are not mentioned in applications or discussed during the evaluation process. We will provide accommodation to people with disabilities in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. For example, providing alternate formats for written materials, physical adjustments (chairs, workstations, keyboards, etc.) or technical aids/assistive devices. If you are chosen to participate in the evaluation process and require employment accommodation, tell the contact person what arrangements you need and we will do our best to accommodate you.

QUESTION: Do any positions require use of the French language?

ANSWER: Yes, some positions require fluency in both French and English. The requirement for “proficiency in English and French” will be stated in the job description and the job advertisement. You must have this skill to be interviewed for the position, and in most cases, you will be tested for your level of proficiency.

QUESTION: I am from another country. Am I eligible to apply to an Ontario Public Service competition?

ANSWER: You may apply for a position within the Ontario Public Service before being entitled to work in Canada. However, prior to accepting an offer of employment, you must provide documents showing that you are legally allowed to work in Canada.

Information regarding Canadian immigration rules and processes can be found at the Government of Canada website.

QUESTION: I saw an Ontario Public Service job advertisement on another website. How do I find it on your careers website?

ANSWER: To apply for an advertisement for a position with the Ontario Public Service, visit the Ontario Public Service Careers website and enter the job ID number in the Job ID search field.

QUESTION: I am a Canadian Forces veteran. Should I mention my status in my application?

ANSWER: Yes, if you are a Canadian Forces veteran who has been honourably discharged or if you retired from active service, you should mention this in your application and when applying for Ontario Public Service advertisements. This may be considered prior to an offer of employment in Management Compensation Plan (MCP) or excluded competitions. This does not apply to veterans who are currently Ontario Public Service employees.

QUESTION: Do I need to show proof of required screening check in order to apply to a competition?

ANSWER: No, you do not need a screening check to apply to a competition. Where required, a security clearance must be obtained before the start of employment in a position requiring a check. A conditional job offer can be made, but the individual cannot start employment until clearance is issued.

QUESTION: Where employment screening check is required for a position, where do I go to obtain a screening check?

ANSWER: You have the option to obtain a criminal record check electronically using a secure online system accessible 24/7 through the Ontario Public Service Vendor of Record arrangement. More details will be provided by the manager to candidates in the selection phase. If you choose not to use the VOR option outlined above, please be advised that you are required to obtain a criminal record check from a local police service, the Ontario Provincial Police or a Royal Canadian Mounted Police accredited agency.


Evaluation Process

QUESTION: What is the evaluation process?

ANSWER: The evaluation process consists of a variety of assessments and usually includes an interview. This is the step in our hiring where we evaluate candidates selected from all applications received during the job advertising period. Applicants whose resume and cover letter best demonstrate how they meet the job qualifications listed in the job advertisement will be invited to participate in this step. The evaluation process gives you the opportunity to show why you are the best person for the job. To learn more, see an overview of our hiring steps, "Top Ten Interview Tips for Preparing for an Ontario Public Service Job Interview".

QUESTION: How are people chosen for Ontario Public Service jobs?

ANSWER: We review all applications against predetermined selection criteria and choose the most qualified applicants to participate in the evaluation process. The evaluation process consists of a variety of assessments, usually including an interview. This gives you the opportunity to show why you are the best person for the job. We then offer the job to the best-qualified candidate. Also visit Our Recruitment Philosophy section for additional details.

QUESTION: What can I expect from the interview?

ANSWER: You will be interviewed by a panel of people. Panel interviews are efficient, and support a fair and transparent recruitment process. Conducting one interview allows the candidate to be assessed for the position by more than one person at a time and requires the candidate to answer one set of questions. Panel interviews also allow for all candidates to be given the same time and respect by the same interviewers. The interviewers usually include the manager who has a job opening in his or her branch or office, a human resources representative and one other person. See "Top Ten Interview Tips for Preparing for an Ontario Public Service Job Interview".

QUESTION: Besides the interview, what other types of assessment are there in the evaluation process?

ANSWER: We develop assessments based on the qualifications for the job. Assessments could include a written test, a presentation or other methods to identify the best qualified candidate for the job. For example, some positions may require good written, communication and analytical skills in an environment where there are tight time pressures. Candidates for this job will most likely be given a written test.

QUESTION: If I am required to travel to participate in a selection process, will I be reimbursed for my travel expenses?

ANSWER: The hiring manager will determine whether candidates would be reimbursed for expenses. These decisions are made on a case by case basis. The hiring manager must balance the need to hire the best candidate with the need to make sound financial decisions. If you are contacted to participate in the selection process you can clarify your eligibility for reimbursement for travel expenses with the hiring manager.

QUESTION: I have applied to several job advertisements and have not been invited for an interview. What should I do?

ANSWER: One reason may be that we are still in the hiring process. We review every application that we receive, which takes time. One of the advantages of applying online is that you can access the status of the job that you applied for at any time to see which step we are at in the hiring process. See “Check Your Application Status” on the "How to Apply" web page.

If your contact information has changed since sending your resume, and the hiring process has not reached the evaluation step, be sure to provide the necessary updated information to the location where you submitted your application.

If you have a contact name for the job advertisement, you can look the person up in the Info-Go government directory. If you have applied to many job advertisements and are not getting invited to interviews, it may indicate that your resume is not expressing your skills and knowledge well. See "Top Ten Interview Tips for Preparing for an Ontario Public Service Job Interview".


Navigating My Career

QUESTION: What types of careers can I find in the Ontario Public Service?

ANSWER: Running a province requires the dedication of professionals from all fields. The Ontario Public Service offers a myriad of career opportunities in fields you may not have thought of – finance, transportation, education, even radio and TV. Imagine working for one employer with the opportunity to grow in the diverse array of careers that we offer. Learn more by checking out a sample from our 18 different career streams and browsing through available jobs by searching a category.

QUESTION: If I begin my career in one ministry, am I locked in to work only for that ministry?

ANSWER: Absolutely not. One of the advantages of working for the Ontario Public Service is that we are a large organization where employees can move and develop their careers across many ministries. For example, you may begin a career in communications in one ministry and later work for another ministry in a different operational role, such as managing a government program. People who are interested in career mobility can move within and between career fields.

QUESTION: Can I change my career path while I am employed in the Ontario Public Service?

ANSWER: Yes. The Ontario Public Service is committed to fostering a climate of continuous learning where staff have access to a variety of learning opportunities and supports for career advancement. If you want to change your career path, learning opportunities are widely available to support your career transition. For more information, see Developing Your Potential.