FAQs - Youth and New Professionals

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs about jobs for youth and new professionals in the OPS. There are many more FAQs about applying for a job and employment in the OPS on the OPS Careers main website.

If you can’t find what you are looking for, you may select the feedback button and send us a message.


Looking for a Career

Q: How can I find out if a career in government is something I would be interested in?

A: Try browsing through the OPS Careers website for information about us. You may be surprised. There are many different career opportunities. Look at our “Career Streams” and examples of the jobs in those fields. Select a ministry under “OPS Structure” and look at what the major issues are. Those issues are what people in government deal with every day. It will give you a sense of what we’re all about. On this Youth and New Professionals site, there are more resources, including help with career planning, in “Discover More”.

Q: Are all OPS jobs “desk jobs”?

A: No, not at all. We employ firefighters, conservation officers, foresters and park wardens whose work is largely outdoors. We employ inspectors who go out to workplaces to ensure worker health and safety and we have scientists who work in labs. These are just a few examples of the variety of jobs in the public service. Office jobs in the OPS can be anything but routine. They may involve tackling some of the major challenges that affect the society we live in – like developing a campaign against domestic violence that resonates with today’s high school students, for example, or promoting a more active and smoke-free lifestyle among children and youth.

Q: What do you consider a “youth”?

A: OPS employment programs do not follow one definition for youth, nor do many of them have age limitations for eligibility. Read more about eligibility requirements under each program description.

Q: How can I find out if there is a job opening in my field in the OPS?

A: OPS Careers is the employment website for the Ontario Public Service. There are job postings on this website for a variety of career opportunities across the province. You can search by city, job type, salary minimum, or job ID number. 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 are posted on our website that match the career stream you are interested in. See Job Alert.


Applying for a Job

Q: How do I apply for a job in the OPS?

A: Once you have found a job posting that interests you, look to see if the job ad has an Apply online icon. If it does, click on the icon and follow the instructions to upload your cover letter and resume as one file in PDF, Word, plain or rich-text format. We are currently in a transition period so not every job ad allows you to apply online at this time. The other options are to send hard copy by mail or fax to the location or fax number in the job ad or e-mail your job application to the e-mail address in the ad. Always quote the Job ID number in your application. Choose only one option for making your application. Once this transition period is over, all jobs posted on this website will have the online application option.

Q: What if I don’t find anything in the postings today?

A: Keep checking back regularly, new jobs are posted weekly. You may also sign up for a “Job Alert”, which will send you a daily notification for up to nine months when jobs are posted that match the career streams you are interested in. Remember, you must apply for each posting that interests you. The OPS does not “bank” resumes for future job openings.

Q: How do I make a good impression with my application?

A: One of the most important things you can do is read the job ad carefully. Look at the qualifications and customize your letter and resume to show how your education and experience match the qualifications needed to do the job. Follow the instructions in the job ad carefully, and get your application in on time. We screen and rate all applications against the qualifications listed in the job ad. To learn more, go to How to Apply.

Q: Where can I find useful information about preparing my cover letter and resume?

A: Check out the Top 10 Tips on this site. In addition, there are many other online resources available on other government websites including Youth Connect. Do a word search on these sites to find great tips and resources, including material on how to write a good resume and cover letter.

Q: Will I be notified about what happens to my application?

A: If you apply online, you will receive an e-mail acknowledgement, with a link that will allow you to check on the status of the job competition as it moves along through each step of the hiring process. Due to the volume of applications that are received, information on the job competition status is only available through our ‘apply online’ system. Only those candidates invited to continue in the evaluation process will be contacted.

Q: What is the Evaluation Process?

A: The evaluation process consists of a variety of assessments, usually including an interview. This is the step in our hiring where we evaluate the candidates selected from all the applications received during the job advertising. Applicants whose resume and cover letter best demonstrated how they met the job qualifications listed in the job ad 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; see also Top Ten Tips for an OPS interview.

Q: What happens in an OPS job interview?

A: The OPS uses job interview panels, made up of at least two, usually three people. To help you know what to expect, we have developed Top 10 Tips for Preparing for an OPS Job Interview. Read up on the kinds of questions that may be asked and how you can get up to speed on issues of concern for the ministry you are applying to join.

Q: Is there a dress code for interviews?

A: There is no dress code, but business-attire is usually considered appropriate for a job interview.


Internships and Co-op Programs

Q: What is an internship?

A: An internship is a work placement that is planned to capitalize on the background, education and career interests of the intern. In the OPS, interns are paid a competitive salary to fulfill challenging, full-time professional job assignments. The length of the internship depends on the internship program. For example, the Ontario Internship Program is for two years. Other internships operated by ministries in the OPS can last as long as four years.

Q: Who can be an intern in the OPS?

A: There are ministry-specific internships that have different eligibility requirements and time commitments. There are internships, for example, for civil engineers (Ministry of Transportation) and foresters (Ministry of Natural Resources) and articling law students and summer law students (Ministry of the Attorney General). The Ontario Internship Program places interns in ministries across the Ontario Public Service in seven focus areas: Business and Financial Planning, Communications, Human Resources, Information and Information Technology, Labour Relations, Policy Development and Program and Service Delivery. These internship opportunities are described under the Internships and Co-op Opportunities section.

Q: What do you mean by corporate programs?

A: These are OPS-wide programs that are offered across every single ministry, but are managed by the Ministry of Government Services.

Q: Do interns get full-time jobs afterwards?

A: There is no guarantee of employment on completion of an internship in the OPS, but many interns are successful when they apply for OPS job opportunities. As an intern, you will gain relevant and valuable work experience in the OPS, and you will be able to apply for restricted (internal to the OPS) positions.

Q: What is a co-op program?

A: A co-op program provides students with opportunities to gain practical work experience while they are in high school, college or university.

Q: Does the Ontario government have co-op placements?

A: Yes, the OPS offers paid co-op placements for students enrolled in co-op programs in post-secondary educational institutions. To find out what is available, you must go to your college or university’s career centre or co-op office. To be eligible for an OPS placement if you are in a co-op program, you must be a Canadian citizen or legally entitled to work in Canada. If the placement is in a field position, you have to be 18 or older.


Working in the OPS

Q: Are there opportunities for networking in the OPS?

A: There are many opportunities for networking in the OPS. Communities-of-practice groups exist across the OPS in areas such as I&IT, human resources and communications. You may also find networking opportunities through other government-wide organizations, while working on a cross-ministry project, at a learning workshop, or while volunteering with colleagues. In addition, an informal organization in the OPS known as TOPS (Tomorrow’s Ontario Public Service) provides networking, mentoring and learning opportunities. It is open to everyone in the OPS and now has more than 1,700 members across the province. TOPS provides a forum for members to exchange ideas and perspectives. It runs sessions on career planning and development, training workshops, and a variety of other events.

Q: I’m interested in quickly getting into a management position. What are my chances of that happening in the OPS?

A: We are always looking for bright, talented people to apply their skills, experiences and knowledge to the OPS. People progress in the Ontario Public Service based on merit, not how long they’ve been here. There are opportunities within the OPS for learning and mentoring that can help employees develop their careers.

Q: What kinds of learning opportunities does the OPS offer?

A: The learning opportunities range from formal training, conferences and workshops to informal learning on the job. Employees are expected to set learning goals and use their initiative to reach them, with coaching from managers and colleagues. Managers and employees discuss individualized plans for learning and development that will help the employee realize his or her career aspirations. Developmental assignments are also used to help employees acquire new skills and experience.


Ontario’s New Professionals

Q: I’ve been working in one career for several years, but would like to change direction. Does the OPS have anything to offer me?

A: We value a broad range of experience and expertise, and we’re always looking for bright, talented people from a variety of backgrounds. Check our job postings to see if there’s something that interests you, and then see if you can match your skills to the job description. Remember to include transferable skills that you’ve picked up throughout your life.

Q: Once I have a job in the OPS, is it possible to change careers?

A: Yes. That happens a lot. People use the transferable skills they’ve developed throughout their lives as well as improve their current skill sets through developmental assignments and formal courses offered to OPS employees.

Q: I have worked for 15 years in another sector and I want to do a complete career switch. Am I eligible for any programs that fall under the Youth and New Professionals banner?

A: Many of the OPS employment programs do not have age eligibility requirements. There are several programs for people looking for unique employment opportunities in entry to mid-level positions. Check out our list of programs and eligibility requirements. But don’t limit yourself to applying only for employment programs. Take a look at our job postings to see if there’s something that interests you, and then see if you can match your skills to the job description. Remember to include transferable skills that you’ve picked up throughout your life.

Q: What’s a “new professional”?

A: New professionals include people who are just starting to work in their chosen field or have received professional training, experience and/or accreditation somewhere other than Canada, but have not had substantial work experience in that field in Ontario.

Q: How will my education and experience from outside Canada be recognized?

A: Global Experience Ontario can help internationally trained and educated individuals find out how to qualify for professional practice in Ontario. This one-stop centre offers a range of services for internationally educated individuals.

The GEO centre provides information for people who intend to apply to a regulatory body to obtain licensure to work in their field. Knowledgeable staff can explain the process for licensing and registration in Ontario.

English and French services are available in person, by telephone and online. Staff at the GEO centre also respond to information requests from prospective newcomers.

Q: I am living outside Canada. What do I have to do to get a job in the OPS?

A: Eligibility for employment is federally regulated. One important issue is eligibility for employment. Canadian federal legislation requires that citizens and permanent residents have the first opportunity of filling job vacancies in Canada. Internationally trained professionals are admitted to take permanent or temporary jobs only when employment for Canadians will not be adversely affected. For more information on the process of entering Canada to work, go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Q: I’ve been working for several years in my native country, but I’ve only been in Canada for a short period of time. Am I considered a new professional?

A: Absolutely. When we say new professionals, we also include those who are new to a particular career path and/or new to Ontario. We value the experience and expertise of people with diverse backgrounds from around the world.

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