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CAPS Scoop
Students' Edition
A Publication of McGill's Career & Placement Service (CAPS)
Volume 8, Issue 6
February 2007

In this issue:

1. Quelles sont les méthodes efficaces pour chercher un travail?

2. When Your Degree Doesn't Deliver a Dream Career

3. Pour ceux que les applications angoissent

4. Tips for Your Medical School Interview

5. February Events

Off-Campus Work Program for International Students

The new Off-Campus Work Program for International Students was launched by Immigration Canada in May 2006.

The OCWP (Off-Campus Work Permit) allows an international student to work 20 hours while attending classes and 40 hours during any school breaks (i.e. spring break). Your OCWP will have the same validity as of your Study Permit.

More importantly if you have a valid Off-Campus Work Permit (these are usually issued for the same period as your Study Permit: i.e., period of study plus 90 days) and will be graduating in May you will be able to start the job for which you have received an offer while awaiting the Work Permit you applied for under the Post-Graduation Employment Program.

Apply for an OCWP now if you are planning to work during the summer!

For all the details on the OCWP and the Post-Graduation Work Permit requirements and conditions please refer to our website.

If you have any questions about working opportunities for international students please stop by the ISS

Backpack to Briefcase 2007

Throughout February and March, the McGill Alumni Association will be presenting workshops and seminars to provide you with practical life skills that you won’t learn in the classroom.

The topics to be presented include the following; staying healthy, dressing for success, how to manage your personal finances, how to network effectively, negotiation skills, dinning etiquette, and many more!

For more information and to register, check out our website, or contact the Student Programs Office: 398-3148, or e-mail us.

Contact Us

To find out more about CAPS' services or to get career advice, e-mail us.

To write for the Scoop or to volunteer with CAPS, contact Laura Massé.


Quelles sont les méthodes efficaces pour chercher un travail? by Joëlle Grundman, Career Advisor

Que vous cherchiez un emploi dans votre domaine ou bien un emploi pour l’été ou un stage, quels sont les moyens les plus efficaces de trouver un emploi?

Vous avez envoyé des dizaines, voire des centaines de CV, mais, rien n’a débouché sur une entrevue?

Il faut peut-être penser à revoir vos techniques de recherche.

Tout d’abord, il est très important d’être organisé. Je vous conseille de faire une copie de tous les documents que vous envoyez aux employeurs (CV, lettres, etc…) afin d’avoir la même copie qu’eux. Vous avez besoin d’avoir un bon système de classement pour pouvoir trouver vos documents facilement.

Il y a plusieurs méthodes pour chercher un travail mais certaines sont plus efficaces que d’autres.

Une des méthodes les plus classiques est de répondre aux annonces dans les journaux. Certaines annonces sont très détaillées et vous avez les descriptions de postes avec le nom de la personne à joindre. Essayez toujours d’appeler cette personne afin d’avoir un contact direct. Beaucoup de personnes reçoivent le journal à la maison et il est donc facile de lire les annonces sans avoir à se déplacer. Vous n’êtes pas la seule personne à lire le journal et il y a beaucoup de compétition.

(continue reading Les methodes efficaces pour chercher un travail) [back to top]

A Post-Undergrad Experience: When Your Degree Doesn’t Deliver a Dream Career by Sinoun Oun

I began my undergraduate years optimistically intent on pursuing a career as a counselor. I dreamt of one day appearing as a guest on Oprah, armed with a best-selling self-help book ready to dole out life advice to an eager audience. Obviously, those idealistic visions never made their way to reality, but what was even more disheartening, was that after completing my three years of undergrad, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I wanted to do.

Like many students, the completion of my undergraduate degree didn't result in an immediate career. During my years of study, I questioned whether the path I had embarked on was the right one. I found myself increasingly unfulfilled with what I was learning; not because the subject matter wasn’t fascinating, but because I began to yearn for something else – something indefinable.

After attaining my bachelor’s degree, I decided to put off my grad school applications and take a year off, away from the academics in order to figure everything out.  I worked to pay off my student loans but I knew that my true calling was wafting along, waiting for me out there, somewhere. I spent many months in reflective contemplation, feeling constantly overwhelmed with the irrepressible need to figure out what to do with my life. I felt trapped and distraught with the dissonance of completing a degree, yet being undecided vocationally.

In my state of confusion, I realized that my own perceptions were too foggy to serve as a purposeful guide; I needed an outsider’s perspective. I sought counseling and began speaking to various people in different fields to get an idea of how they ended up where they did. Through an extended network of friends and family I encountered accountants, educators, entrepreneurs, executives – people from a wide range of careers arising out of distinct paths. I began speaking to as many people as I could – to anyone who would listen. I was certain that behind these individuals, laid a wealth of invaluable information.

(continue reading When Your Degree Doesn't Deliver a Dream Job) [back to top]

Pour ceux que les applications angoissent by Vickey Habel

À l’aube de la graduation, on est envahi par l’anxiété face aux nouvelles responsabilités, parmi elles trouver un VRAI job dans une VRAIE entreprise! Parfois, seules les applications peuvent être un cauchemar! Le stress nous guette et le processus de poser notre candidature devient suffocant.

N’ayez crainte! Nous avons tous des guides. Parmi eux, des amis, de la famille, des sites Internet, ou bien encore, des articles de journaux ou de magazines, et surtout le bureau de CAPS. Ils offrent tous de l’assistance ainsi que des petits trucs et veillent à notre succès pour dénicher un poste convoité. Malheureusement nous les ignorons. Suite à mes nombreuses expériences, voici mes petits trucs pour vous aider dans votre démarche d’emploi!

D’abord, soumettre sa candidature nécessite un peu d’attention! Alors vous avez détecté une offre d’emploi qui serait complémentaire à votre expérience et éducation? Certainement, vous pouvez remplir rapidement le formulaire en ligne, mais avant de l’envoyer voici quelques conseils.

  1. Repérez les mots clés ainsi que les verbes d’action dans l’annonce. Ceux-ci comprennent des termes tels que coordonner, appuyer, initier, performer, créer, etc.…souvent retrouvés dans les sections description de tâches et exigences.

  2. Incorporez ces trouvailles dans votre curriculum vitae.

(continue reading Pour ceux que les applications angoissent) [back to top]

Tips for Your Medical School Interview by Linda Cicuta

The medical school application process is a lengthy one and does not stop after you write the MCAT or edit the final draft of your personal statement. You need to prepare for the interview, whether or not you have received the invitation yet. The following tips are designed to guide you through the preparation and execution of your med school interview.

Be able to identify your skills (strengths and limitations) and talk about yourself. Your skills include your technical capabilities (ie. lab equipment and procedures, computer software and hardware) and your transferable skills (ie. ability to work autonomously and within a team, communication skills, work ethic). When describing your skill set it is important to give proof of your abilities by providing examples. By doing this you can highlight your qualifications (what sets you apart from the rest of the applicants) and it will also help increase your level of confidence. Describing your skill set through story telling is an essential part of the interview assessment process because your past performance is the best predictor of your future performance.

Be able to talk about your personal statement (elaborate not reiterate). In many instances, the interviewer knows nothing about your academic qualifications or overall history, except for what is written in your personal statement (also known as your autobiographical sketch or letter of intent). Since this is the only information they have about you, you can expect questions about the content. It would be more impressive if you could expand on what you have already written, give additional information about yourself or the particular issue they are asking about, and not to simply repeat what is already in front of them.

(continue reading Tips for Your Medical School Interview) [back to top]

February Events


Be sure to check out our regular workshops on a variety of different topics, such as CV and Cover Letter Writing, Internships and much more! The CAPS Events Calendar also contains a listing of career-related events on and off campus.
5th: McGill Education Career Fair
7th: McGill Non-Profit & Public Service Fair; CV & CL Writing for Physical Therapy Students; CV & CL Writing for Occupational Therapy Students; Workshop: What Can I Do With My Psychology Degree?; Job Readiness Clinic for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Students

8th: Everything You Wanted to Know About Working for the UN

8th-9th: McGill University Technology Career Fair
9th: McGill Physical & Occupational Therapy Job Fair; Panel: Careers in Chemisty; Muslim Women at Work; Can My Employer Do That? McGill Legal Information Clinic Presentation
9th-11th: Careers in Asia Summits
13th: McGill Agriculture, Dietetics & Environmental Career Fair Nursing & Health Care Career Fair; Panel: Careers in Food
15th: Panel: Using Your Science Degree in the Business World

[back to top]

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