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You're at your high school reunion catching up with some old friends. Everyone is going around sharing their careers. The best you can say is, "Sorry, my job is Top Secret. If I told you, I'd have to kill you."

Unlike any career in Canada, being an Intelligence Officer (IO) with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) offers a unique opportunity in the interest of national security. It requires one to be discreet about their work, using their skill-set to collect critical information against national threats. Intelligence Officers are investigative reporters, private detectives and research analysts all-in-one. Their reports shape national action plans and help protect Canadian interests and its people. They chase down leads and find the right information from the right sources. With the right specialty, a CSIS agent can even work on response strategies to the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Interested? First, you'll have to go online to CSIS' website to apply. Keep in mind that working for CSIS offers an opportunity like no-other, and can be very competitive. Over a two-year span, in 2012-13, CSIS received more than 100,000 CVs ... only a small portion of those are chosen for the recruitment process.

Once selected as a candidate, you'll go through a series of interviews and tests spanning anywhere from eight to 12 months. Needless to say, receiving a Top Secret Clearance (mandatory requirement to work at CSIS) is a rigorous, detailed process.

You will go through a competency interview, a psychological assessment, and a polygraph examination. You will also need to fill out several forms including a complete 10-year background check, and a detailed financial statement. During this time, you should begin brushing up on your French if you're not already bilingual. Prepare for a few more tests and interviews and congratulations, you've made it!

If you've been chosen for the Intelligence Officer Development Program, you will be trained at CSIS' headquarters (HQ) in Ottawa. The role comes with a five-year development program where IO's learn the unique and necessary skills they need to fully function in their position. The training is in-house and one-of-a-kind.

Bottom line: a career with CSIS requires dedication. In the interest of national security, this is not your average job; it is a life-time career!

But CSIS is not only made up of Intelligence Officers. There are more than 100 specialty jobs, including IT, engineering, and analysts—just to name a few. The Service needs a wide-range of top talent to meet its national security mandate.

What position do you qualify for? Check out CSIS careers, at

Photo: Courtesy of CSIS