- How to apply
- The co‑op process
- Fees and funding
- Find a co‑op work term
- WHMIS test
- During your work term
- After your work term
- Résumé and cover letter tips
- Co‑op student stories
- Co‑op forms
Find a co-op work term
Work terms start at the same time as academic terms: in September, January and May. To apply to co-op jobs, you need to tell your co-op office that you want to go on a work term so they can make you eligible to apply.
Tip: Ask to become eligible as early as possible so you can access more job postings. You can start looking for jobs up to four months in advance.
For most co-op programs, you'll attend a job-planning meeting with your coordinator to talk about your upcoming work term. At the meeting, you'll complete the job-planning checklist with your coordinator and look at job options that match your interests.
Work term application schedule
|Apply for jobs||May 1 onward||Sept 1 onward||Jan 1 onward|
|Employers submit shortlists||Within 1-2 weeks of the application due date|
|Attend interviews||At the employer’s convenience|
|Job offers confirmed||Within 24 hours of a job offer|
Once you're a co-op student, you can apply for co-op jobs by submitting your résumé and cover letter to job postings. If you’re a junior co-op student, you should apply to as many jobs as possible (that you’re qualified for). After a few work terms, you can be more selective and apply for jobs to build on your experience.
The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is Canada’s national hazard standard. If your job requires you to work with hazardous materials, you must take part in WHMIS education and training.
Want to find your own job?
If you want to find a job outside of those on the co-op job board, go for it! To qualify as a co-op placement, your job must be at least 12 weeks long and a total of 420 hours. It must be paid work and must provide you with a learning experience related to your academic program.
Here are some tips for making your search easier:
- Contact your co-op coordinator early to let us know you’re planning to look for your own job.
- Make a list of employers you plan to contact and share it with your coordinator. We can tell you if they’ve hired co-op students in the past. Not sure where to start? Check out the job search resources in the tool kit.
- Once you’ve compiled your list, plan to contact these employers. You can learn about "cold calling" in the journey kit.
- Contact the employers you’re interested in working for. Introduce yourself and explain your goals and skills. Mention that you’re in the co-op program and that co-op staff can help them through the hiring process. You may want to ask the employer to contact your co-op office so that we can explain benefits and expectations.
- Follow the employer’s application and interview process.
- If the employer is from the private or not-for-profit sector, check with your co-op coordinator to see if they’d be eligible for co-op funding.
- If you’re offered a job, tell your coordinator. Your employer will need to send the co-op office a written letter of offer.
- If you’re not successful, thank the employer and keep in touch—you might find a future opportunity with them.
Your application will be sent to the employer, who will put together a candidate shortlist. If you’re shortlisted, the co-op office will contact you to schedule an interview. Interviews might be held on campus, at the workplace, or by phone or Skype.
Your interview could last between 20 minutes and a hour. It might be one-on-one or a panel interview. Contact your co-op coordinator if you’d like help preparing, or check out interview tips in the tool kit.
After your interview, we’ll let you know if you’ve been offered the job. If so, you’ll have 24 hours to accept or decline. Feel free to discuss your decision with your coordinator, or check out job offer tips in the tool kit.
Once you’ve decided, tell your co-op coordinator (don’t contact the employer directly). Your coordinator will inform the employer of your decision.
If you accept the position, connect with your new employer to sign paperwork and finalize your placement details. You’ll also need to complete one of these two forms:
- work term registration form for undergraduate students
- work term registration form for graduate students
Here’s your chance to make a good impression and get to know your workplace. Use the resources in the journey kit to prepare for your first day.