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Finding a co-op job

When you apply for co-op jobs, you'll compete for positions with other co-op students and will search and apply for postings just like a regular job, with the added support of your co-op office.

Find a co-op

Co-op work terms typically start in September, January or May. Usually, you’ll search and apply for co-op jobs the term before your work term. So, if you want to go on a work term starting in May, you’d usually start searching around January.

Co-op terms have to be at least 420 hours (about 12 weeks) long, be paid work and give you experience related to your program area.

You can apply to any co-op jobs you see posted in the co-op portal. Employers choose which program(s) they would like to open their posting to, so only applicable jobs will show up in your search. New jobs get posted frequently, so check back often.

Have a dream employer in mind? You can also pursue your own ideal work term by approaching an employer and asking if they'll take you on as a co-op student. Your co-op office can support you in making connections and providing guidance.

Learn more about how to use the co-op portal.

Apply for positions

Once you've found a co-op job that appeals to you in the co-op portal you’ll usually apply through the system by submitting your résumé, cover letter or whatever the posting describes.

Your co-op preparation course will teach you how to create an effective co-op résumé and cover letter. Your co-op coordinator can also provide some tips.

If you’re a new co-op student, it’s a good idea to apply for a range of jobs. After a work term or two, you can be more selective and apply for more advanced jobs.

Interviews & job offers

When you apply to a job posting, your application package is sent to the employer, who will put together a shortlist of candidates they'd like to interview. If you’re shortlisted, your co-op office will contact you to set up an interview within about 2 weeks (timelines vary). 

About a week after your interview, your co-op office will let you know if you’ve got a job offer. You’ll typically have between 24 and 48 hours to respond to the job offer. Feel free to discuss your decision with your coordinator.

Once you’ve decided whether to accept or decline the job, tell your co-op coordinator (don’t contact the employer directly). Your coordinator will inform the employer of your decision.

If you've accepted, the employer will likely contact you to provide information about your first day and any human resources paperwork you need to complete. 

Register your work term

If you have found your own co-op job, it is important that the job be registered by the university so that you can maintain your full-time student status during the work term (for extended health insurance, scholarships and student loans, etc.). 

This is also necessary for international students in order to meet the regulations of your work permit.

Make sure you connect with your co-op office about your plans.

Career planning

Outside of co-op, you can get support around career planning, job searching and more through your own personal career educator.

Your career educator can help you with:

  • résumés, cover letters and interviews
  • career exploration, research and planning
  • searching for work
  • graduate and professional school research and applications

Tips from co-op students