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

March 2010

Job Search Tip

Make sure you write on your CV all your clinical experience, paid, unpaid, internships, rotations. It all counts!  It does not matter how much you were paid; what matters is the skills that you developed and the knowledge that you have gained through them.  

For the Career Fair, you don’t need a cover letter.  A cover letter should always be targeted to an employer and it is not expected you do so for over 50 employers!  Nevertheless, bring several copies of you CV and present yourself professionally.

- Janice Tester, Career Advisor


Have you heard of ProNet, a new networking tool in myFuture?

ProNet enables current McGill students and alumni (both undergraduates and graduates) to get in touch with more experienced students and recent alumni in order to get help with their search for an internship, job, grad school or career.

For more information, click here.

* Note that ProNet is different than the McGill Mentor Program, which you might also be interested in.

YES Montreal Career Workshops

YES Montreal (Youth Employment Services) provides English-language support services to help Quebecers find employment and start businesses.

They hold a number of workshops on various topics for job seekers, artists and entrepreneurs.

To view upcoming events, click here.

Check out the Vault Guide

Vault is the world’s leading source of career information.  It will make your efforts at researching employers, industries, and career subjects infinitely easier and more efficient.

Vault also has a ton of material on finding summer jobs and internships.

McGill subscribes to this service and you can check it out today (you must be connected to the McGill VPN).

myFuture Resume Builder

myFuture has now incorporated a resume builder which you can find in your Documents tab.  This new feature provides all the resources you need to create and submit your resume. It's quick and easy to use and produces high-quality, professional-looking resumes you can access anytime, from any computer.

Check it out by going to your Document tab from your myFuture homepage and click on the Resume Builder tab. 

Click here for a quick training guide.

(But remember, CaPS also holds a daily C.V. drop-in where you can have your C.V. reviewed.

Advising & CV Drop-In

Advising and CV Drop-In is held everyday and does not require an appointment, but space is limited. First come, first served.

Check our website for times and locations.

Don't have time to come by our office in person? Then check out our online "Ask a Career Advisor" service. Click on the icon below.

Contact Us

CaPS is located in the Brown Student Services Building (3600 McTavish, Suite 2200).

We also have an office at Macdonald Campus in the Centennial Centre.

Check out our website for details on all our programs and services!

For further inquiries, or to book an appointment with an advisor, please email us or call 514-398-3304 or drop into our office.



Dear PT and OT students:

My name is Janice Tester, and I am your Career Advisor at McGill CaPS. CaPS is your Career Office where you can find help related to your career needs. You can come and see me or another advisor to help you with you CV, cover letter, have a mock interview, or attend any of our workshops. You will find more information on our services at www.mcgill.ca/caps.

In this issue:

Career fair - this Wednesday!
Quick Guide to Preparing for the Career Fair
CaPS Resource Centre

LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT JOB! Advice from a recruiter in healthcare
Workshops of Interest to PT & OT Students
Contact me

Career fair - this Wednesday!

Career Fair for OT, PT and SLP students will be held on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 from 10:30am to 2:00pm at the Shatner Ballroom. 
Students from all levels are invited!

Remember, even if you are not graduating yet from the Master’s programs, you need to start networking and getting to know the job market before you are actively looking for a job.  Therefore, the fair is your chance to check out over 50 organizations offering employment to physiotherapists and occupational therapists upon graduation! This is a great opportunity to make contacts in your field.

To name a few, we have employers from private firms such as Forcemedic, Kinatex,  agencies such as Serespro, employers coming from other provinces such as the Northern Way of Caring from British Columbia, our local hospitals such as the Jewish General Hospital, rehabilitation centres such as Centre Montérégien de Réadaptation, school boards such as the Cree Board of Health & Social Services of James Bay, and several CSSS.  They are really interested in talking to you so don’t miss this opportunity!

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Quick Guide to Preparing for the Career Fair

Before the Career Fair

  • Attend a CV workshop and get your CV revised.

  • Prepare several copies of your updated CV.

  • Bring a portfolio to carry your CVs.

  • Check the website on MyFuture with the information on the fair and research companies attending.

  • Prepare questions ahead of time that you want to ask and information you would like to acquire from the organizations’ representatives.

At the Career Fair

  • Dress the part. First impressions are critical, so dress professionally.

  • Ensure your cell phone is turned off or in vibration mode.

  • Stop at the registration table and get a name tag. Wear it on your right side.

  • Introduce yourself while giving a firm handshake and maintaining eye contact and good posture.

  • Ask questions that reflect your interest in their organization, the clientele, type of responsibilities, resources, etc.

  • Be prepared to answer questions drawing upon your experience. Remember that transferable skills are very important as well.

  • Keep an open mind to opportunities several organizations have to offer.

  • Ensure to ask for a business cards from representatives.

  • After leaving the table, jot some notes down about the company and the representative.

  • If you are offered a contract on the spot, make sure you can take your time to ponder your options. Once you sign a contract you are deemed to fulfill it.

After the Career Fair

  • Develop a plan of action to follow up with the organizations you liked and write thank you letters to the various representatives.

  • Nurture your contacts;  As you get closer to graduation, make sure you let them know what you up to. 

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CaPS Resource Centre

Our Resource Center is full of interesting books and resources, but especially for PT/OT check these out:

  • Doing Right: A Practical Guide to Ethics for Medical Trainees and Physicians, 2nd ed. (2009)
    "...Focuses on the concepts, issues, and ethical-legal precedents that practitioners in Canada must know in order to practice in an acceptable way." Contents: Principles behind ethically sound medicine. Autonomy and patient care. Confidentiality and its limits. Truth, lies, ad deception in clinical practice. Due care and informed consent. The duty of care and rescue: Beneficence and non-maleficence. Justice in medical care. Capacity and the duty to protect. End-of-life decisions."

  • Opportunities in Physical Therapy Careers (2006)
    Includes: "A complete overview of job opportunities, from sports medicine to research to education. Tips on determining which particular job is for you. Clear-cut advice on getting your foot in the door. Information on salaries, benefits, and industry outlook. Descriptions of the daily routines of each job covered. Information on scholarships and accredited physical therapy programs. Get ready to find career fulfillment in hydrotherapy, diathermy, ultrasound, electrotherapy, massage, acutherapy, radiant heat therapy."

  • Opportunities in Occupational Therapy Careers (2006)
    Contents: An overview of the profession. Development of the occupational therapy fields. The occupational therapy process. Entering the profession: education, certification, and personal attributes. Clinical practice. Work environments. Administration. Earnings and benefits. Occupational therapy in Canada.

  • Ordre des ergothérapeutes du Québec
    Offres d'emploi: http://www.oeq.org/emploi.fr.html

  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
    Careers page: http://www.caot.ca/CAOT_career_listings.asp?pageid=1001

  • World Confederation for Physical Therapy

  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists
    Includes job opportunities, a document centre, and a list of educational programs internationally.

  • Job Futures – profile for physiotherapist
    Includes salary and outlook information.

  • Extensive list of resources

  • Physical Therapist.com
    Includes news, discussion board, and job board.

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LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT JOB! Advice from a recruiter in healthcare

by Denise Francis, President of Francis & Associates, A Canadian Healthcare Personnel Agency

Now that you are graduating this year, you will be looking for a new job soon. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for that right job.

It is very important to be organized and to keep records when looking for a job. You would hate to send your resume to a company more than once and forget you had sent it to them.  Not very professional.

Keep a binder/folder of all your letters/resumes that you send out and make sure you have dated them.  Follow-up  is very important.  It takes less time to follow up with a previous company than it does to contact a new company.  Ensure you get the person’s name and contact information and ask them if they would mind if you called them again at a later date.  Perhaps there might be an opening in 6 months time?  Ask them when would be a good time to follow-up again. i.e. a month or two. Make sure you write down this date and call them back. This is great initiative and companies love initiative.   You don’t need to pester them, just  follow-up once or twice.  

Here are a few things to think about before preparing the necessary paperwork, ie. resume, cover letter and interview questions:

1. What will be the three key deciding factors for accepting that job?   Prioritize your answers.

Geographical Area: Would you like to have a job close to home or could you be flexible with the distance due to having a vehicle, or are you open to all options?

Salary: Is there a minimum salary that you must earn in order to satisfy your personal needs?

Benefits:  Benefits are important as not having them costs you money.

Type of Job:  The type of job is very important to you because you would like to gain more experience in the area or you really enjoy working in this type of environment, and with this type of clientele.
Other Reasons: You may be looking for mentorship or a small work environment.  It all depends on your own personal needs.

2. Research and make a list of organizations (minimum 20) that reflect the type of job that you are looking for keeping in mind your three key priorities.  Our experience is the more organizations you have to work with the more opportunities for success.  Be persistent but not pushy and never give up until you are successful.

3. Now let’s get to work:
If you have done your research right you now have a list of companies, contact names and phone numbers.  It may take a bit of time to find the best person to talk to regarding the position you are applying for.  Sometimes the advertisement you are applying to does not provide name or phone number but only their email address.  You may want to contact the organization’s receptionist to find out who is in charge of hiring for this position; tell them you need to mail in your resume and would like the person’s name in full. When following-up to confirm if they received your resume, you will have the name of the person and their phone number.   When you do call back and ask for your contact they will probably ask what it is for and you can just say it’s personal.  The less you say to the receptionist is better because they may tell you they have filled the position and you would prefer to speak with your contact to find out if you could call them back again at a later date.

-Your Cover Letter

You should definitely have one and it should be brief and not lengthy.  In your letter tell them how you heard about the job, i.e. an advertisement in a specific website and on what date.  Make mention of a few key skills and experiences that you have that they are looking for and concluding with that you are very interested in the position and look forward to having an opportunity in meeting with them to discuss how you would be the best person for the position.  Make sure you provide them with a few telephone numbers, i.e. home and cell number. 


Limit your resume to 2 pages maximum.  No more and no less.  Make sure all dates are available and never leave any dates out even if you did not work.  Put something even if you were a stay at home mom, going back to school, volunteer work, etc.

There isn’t one type of resume that is preferred as long as you have all of the information the organization is looking for.  If you have the specific experience/skill that they are asking for in their advertisement then make sure it is mentioned in your resume a few times.  This is key to a resume and to get to the next stage, the Interview.

Employers have so many resumes they have to review and usually are going through resumes first time round at a quick glance. If they see what they are looking for they put it in “Potential” file and if they don’t they put it aside.

Make sure your resume is easy to read i.e. in an organized manner. Start with a one-sentence objective, then list your work experience starting from most recent job.  Follow with any volunteer experience preference in the area the employer is looking for, then your education, professional development and interests.

There are many resources available for preparing resumes.  Keep it simple and easy to read.  Use nice paper and perhaps an off-white colour, something that stands out to the others that are just plain white; think unique, neat and easy to read.

-The Interview

The most important thing about an interview is being prepared, confident and professional. 

Do your research about the company before the interview.  It’s so easy nowadays all you have to do is go on the internet and you can find many things about companies.   

Bring your questions and practice with a friend or family member as they may have ideas of other questions too.  Bring an original copy of your resume even though you know they have a copy.  Bring a copy of your references too.  Your references should be separate from your resume.  Make sure you let your references know that you will be using them before providing them to any new employers. 

They will ask questions and most importantly be prepared. Know your resume and your skills.  The hard questions that they will ask are situational types of questions, i.e. “Tell me a time when you were in a conflict situation and how did you deal with it and what was the outcome”.  Nowadays, situational questions are the questions that will be presented to you.  Take your time when answering these questions.  You may not have had a work experience that relates to the question.   Think of a situation that relates to the question being asked even if it happened during a personal life experience or while working on a volunteer position.  The employer wants to find out if you understand the question, how you respond to the question, how you dealt with the situation and what the outcome was.

Always follow-up after an interview with an email or letter thanking them for the time and look forward to hearing from them.  If you don’t get the job send a thank you letter/note anyways, thanking them for the opportunity, so you always leave on a positive note.

In conclusion, remember it’s a very competitive world out there.  You need to learn to talk about your skills and experience, be organized and persistent and you will be successful.

For more information on writing resumes, interviewing questions, etc.  Please visit our website: Francis & Associates, Personnel Agency for healthcare providers for over 14 years across Canada:  www.francis-associates.com

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Workshops of Interest to PT & OT 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.

  • Interviewing Theory
    March 25, 10h00-11h00: Brown, Room 3001

    This poplular workshop covers what to do before, during, and after a job interview.

  • Interviewing Practice
    April 9, 10h00-11h30: Brown, Room 3001

    You've got the theory, need some practice? Come to this small group (max 12) interview practice session to put your knowledge into practice.

  • One Stop Shop: Everything You Neet to Get Your Job Search Started
    April 15, 9h30 -12h30: Brown, Room 3001

    This intensive workshop covers the essentials of preparing for a career outside academia. Topics include job search strategies, self assessment, networking, cv writing, and interviewing.

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