If you are unable to view this page, please visit: http://caps.mcgill.ca/ecards/nursing/2009-2010/october-2009_2.html

Published by McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS)
Visit us online: www.mcgill.ca/caps

Fall 2009

CV Writing, Cover Letters and Interview Techniques for Nursing Students

Janice Tester will be presenting a series of 3 workshops in the School of Nursing (Wendy Patrick Room) on the following days:

October 13th from 1 pm to 2:30 pm

October 16th, 2009 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm

October 23rd from 11:30 am to 1 pm

All workshops will take place in the Wendy Patrick Room.

To register, please log-in to myFuture; click on the "Events" tab and then the "Workshops" tab; keyword search "Nursing" to bring up a listing of the workshops.

Nursing Career Fair

Mark your calendars! The McGill Nursing Career Fair will take place on Sunday, November 1 from 10 am to 3 pm at New Residence Hall.

Job Search Tip

Come to the Nursing Career Fair; even if you have a job offer, even if you are going to another province, even if you are going overseas, even if you think that you have to give a response to an employer on the spot (not so!). You will learn so much at the fair on different opportunities you had never really thought of.  You will also learn about what is takes to make it through the interview, what they like on your CV, and what are some of the benefits.  In essence, it is the best chance for you to get to know what is expected of you in the current job market.  As they say, information is power.

Want to learn more about nursing trends in the U.S.?

Listen to a podcast discussion with nursing professionals about trends in nursing in the U .S.

Contact me

If you have any suggestions about how we can better serve you, don't hesitate to contact me.

Janice Tester, M.Ps.
Career Advisor
(514) 398-8581


Dear Nursing students:

As we gaze outside our windows, we see the colours changing on the leaves, and time seems to be passing quicker than ever.  Some of you will be graduating soon and you will have to make decisions on where to start your first job experience as nurses.  Some others  will just be starting to think about career decisions for the future. As your Career Advisor at McGill CaPS, Janice Tester, I am there to help you with all your career needs.  You can come and see me to help you with you CV, cover letter, have a mock interview, or attend any of our workshops. 

We have selected a few articles that will be of interest to you and one in particular where I interviewed a nursing placement agency representative. You will learn how to benefit from their services. 

For more information on our services, please visit our website at www.mcgill.ca/caps and our career tools and job search suite at caps.myfuture.mcgill.ca.

In this issue:

Career Fair coming up sooner than you think!
Working for a Placement Agency as a Nurse: An Interview
Healthcare Character Assessment Questions

Nursing shortages make colleges get creative in training RNs
Workshops of Interest to Nursing Students
Contact me

Career Fair coming up sooner than you think - Nov 1st!

Remember, the Nursing Career Fair takes place on Sunday, November 1st, 2009, from 10 am to 3 pm at New Residence Hall.  This is your chance to check out over 30 organizations offering employment to nurses upon graduation! Even if you are not graduating, this is a great opportunity to make contacts in your field.

To name a few, we have agencies such as La Croix Jaune; employers coming from other provinces represented by the Marskell Group; local hospitals such as the Jewish General Hospital,  the MUHC, rehabilitation centres such as Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, geriatric centres such as Maimonides Geriatric Centre and even the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Montreal. 

In preparation for the Career Fair, I will be giving a series of 3 workshops on CV Writing, Cover Letters and Interview Techniques for Nursing Students on:

  • October 13th from 1 pm to 2:30 pm

  • October 16th, 2009 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm

  • October 23rd from 11:30 am to 1 pm

All workshops will take place in the Wendy Patrick Room. To register, please log-in to myFuture; click on the "Events" tab and then the "Workshops" tab; keyword search "Nursing" to bring up a listing of the workshops.

As well, the Career Planning Service offers several workshops for all students on how to approach the job search. You will find the list of relevant workshops below.

A note from your student rep - Gabriel Domocos

Dear Students,

My name is Gabriel Domocos and I'm in charge of the Career Fair this year. Here is the list of institutions coming thus far: MUHC, Jewish General Hospital, CSSS Sud-Ouest-Verdun, CSSS Dorval-Lachine-Lasalle, CHU Ste-Justine, St. Mary's Hospital Center, CSSS De la Montagne, CSSS Cavendish,CSSS Ouest-de-l'Ile, Servir+, Solutions Nursing, Hopital Shriners pour Enfants, Acces Services Sante, Emplois Soins Infirmiers / Ontario Nursing, Ottawa Hospital,CSSS Bordeaux-Cartierville-Saint-Laurent, Institut Universitaire Douglas en Santé Mentale, CSSS Laval, Maimonides, Conseil Cri James Bay, CSSS Champlain, Forces Canadiennes,Tim Horton's Children Foundation

As you can tell, there the vast majority are from Quebec.  The Ottawa Hospital is coming, but Toronto hospitals seldom come as it is a bit far for them. However, this is also due to the fact that student attendance has been low the past few years so employers are somewhat discouraged;  so if you come, you'll be doing a service to future McGill nursing students in your situation!

Now, for some Career Fair basics: employers have booths where they have hand-outs, pamphlets, pens and other free paraphernalia, and students walk around and ask questions and give CVs to the institutions they're interested in. Some will take your CV.

A good idea would be to come to one of the CV workshops on October 13th from 1300 to 1430 in Wilson room 402, October 16th from 1200 to 1330 in the Wendy Patrick room and October 23rd from 1130 to 1300 in room 402 Wilson Hall. These workshops are extremely useful for brushing up your CV, cover letter and interview skills.

I hope it's been useful,

Gabriel Domocos

[back to top]

Working for a Placement Agency as a Nurse: An Interview

Over the years, I have had several students ask me about placement agencies. They are intrigued by the possibility of working for a Health care placement agency so I decided to conduct a phone interview with a representative from a well-known agency in Quebec, Donna Ward, from Alternacare. This agency recruits Registered Nurses, Registered Nursing Assistants, Nurses’ Aids, Homemakers, and others.  

Donna Ward gracefully accepted the interview and below your will find the questions and answers that comprised our conversation.

JT: Why would someone work through an agency?

DW: Working through an agency provides nurses with a number of benefits. They have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of fields such as hospitals, CLSCs, home care, corporations, public institutions, retirement residences, on wellness clinics – the list is almost endless. This gives the candidate an opportunity to get a feel for each sector and decide which one is right for them. For those nurses who choose hospital work, working with an agency can provide variety and a change of pace.  Additionally, working with an agency provides you with the ultimate in schedule flexibility. You decide when you want to work. Although, once you accept an assignment we expect you to complete it.

[continue reading this interview]

[back to top]

Healthcare Character Assessment Questions

by Ron Jasniowski from Integrity Training Institute (www.CharacterBasedLeadership.com)

Most managers hire for skills, but fire for character. Because of the overwhelming problems associated with hiring employees who lack required character traits, more and more health care managers and human resources personnel are asking character-discerning questions when interviewing employees.

Experienced health care managers and recruiters worked on the following list of hiring questions. The total list is quite large and can be checked on the website mentioned above. 
The following is the list of selected questions that you could be asked during an interview and it is always best to be prepared for any question that might come up. 

Will you be prepared to answer these?


  • How did you fill downtime at your last job?

  • Tell me about your last performance review. What was mentioned about how you could improve? Any re-occurring themes?

  • Describe a recent problem you had with one of your manager's decisions and how did you handle it?

  • Tell me about the most recent problem you had with a co-worker and how did you handle it?

  • What about your character makes you a good candidate for this job?

  • Priorities often change suddenly throughout the day. If you are asked to quickly do another task, how does that affect your mood? What if it's the third time before noon?

  • How do you handle situations that could cause you to be tardy or absent?

  • Think about the last time your manager critiqued your work. How did you respond?

  • Give an example of when you did something without being asked. Can you give me another example?

  • Tell me about your most frustrating experience as an Occupational/Physical Therapist and how did you handle it?

  • When you have a lot of work to do and not enough time or assistance to get it all done, how do you handle it?

  • How do you keep from getting burnout?

  • What does endurance mean to you?

  • Everybody misses work sometimes. What are some legitimate reasons to miss work?

  • How do you respond to difficult people in pain?

  • Would people say that you are compassionate? Your family? Why, give some specific reasons?

[back to top]

Nursing shortages make colleges get creative in training RNs

by NICOLE DUNSDON, Globe and Mail

They breathe. Their skin feels real. They have seizures and go into cardiac arrest. And, if you're a nursing student and you're doing something wrong, they let you know.

The use of High-Fidelity Human Simulators in state-of-the-art simulation labs is one of a few innovative solutions designed to provide more nurses with the experience they need to get educated and, more importantly, get to work.

Why the rush?

Canada's nursing shortage has reached what many are calling critical proportions, with all levels of government, educational institutes and professional associations throwing money and time into creative solutions.

[continue reading this article]

[back to top]

Workshops of Interest to Nursing Students

In general, the Career Planning Service offers several workshops for students to approach the job search.  You will find the list of relevant workshops below.

Registration for all of the following workshops is available through myFuture. Click on the "Workshops/Events" tab and select the "Workshops" tab.

  • SWAP Info Session
    October 19, 12h00-13h00: Concordia Hall Building
    October 22, 18h00-19h00:
    McGill Voyages Campus
    October 29, 18h00-19h00: McGill Voyages Campus

    Please RSVP to mcgill@voyagescampus.com.

  • One-Stop-Shopping: CVs, Cover Letters, Interviews and Action Plan
    October 8, 10h00-11h30: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to: 1) Compose a more effective and tailored CV; 2) Define the essential components of a cover letter; 3) Understand the importance of, and define what is involved in, thorough interview preparation; 4) Identify the best forms of verbal and non-verbal communication in order to conduct themselves in a professional manner before, during and after an interview; 5) Understand the importance of an action plan which includes identifying the eight steps that guide the career planning process and which of those steps needs development.

  • Planifiez votre recherche d’emploi en 3 étapes
    October 13, 10h30-12h00: Brown 3001

    Apprenez comment formuler les informations pertinentes à inclure dans votre CV et dans votre lettre de présentation. Découvrez les nouvelles tendances en termes de contenu et de mise en page. Et finalement, préparez-vous pour l’entrevue de sélection.

  • How to Apply to Grad School
    October 15, 10h30-12h00: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to identify the process and application components of applying to grad school; describe how to research potential schools and programs they would like to apply to; and use the general tips provided to enhance their future applications.

  • Finding Work & Volunteer Opportunities Worldwide
    October 19, 15h00-16h30: Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to Identify some of their reasons and preparedness for going overseas; list at least 3 international skills they already possess; effectively research programs such as youth exchanges, internships, professional exchanges, teaching abroad opportunities, volunteer, and independent work and travel programs, and summer opportunities; and understand the steps in the international hiring process

[back to top]

McGill CaPS

Unsubscribe | Privacy Policy

Design: Owen Ripley

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional