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

December 2010

Volume 12, Issue 4

Join our NEW CaPS LinkedIn Group!

Our  group is designed to help you build a solid career-focused online network and to exchange job search experiences. You will also benefit from the career education expertise of the qualified staff at CaPS and have the opportunity to view information regarding job search strategies and networking events. CaPS also invites McGill faculty, advisors and other staff members interested in helping students with their career-related endeavors.

Check out next month’s CaPScoop where we’ll tell you all the ins and outs of social networking and where you want to position yourself.

Become of a fan of CaPS

Become a fan of the McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) on Facebook as an extra way to stay informed about the latest CaPS events!

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.

Pick up the P.A.C.E.

Do you need help choosing a major or a career path?

CaPS, in collaboration with Counselling Services, offers the Program for Advancement of Career Explorations (PACE). This amazing series of four workshops includes vocational testing and a complete self-assesment. Upon completion of PACE you will be able to understand your personality type, identify your skills, interests and values, and how they relate to various occupations. As well, you will have a better understanding of the available resources and be able to create a realistic action plan with measurable goals.

P.A.C.E. is available to undergraduate and graduate students, both at the Downtown and Macdonald campuses.

There is a fee of $20 to cover the cost of vocational testing. Each session is limited to only 15 students, so register soon to ensure that you get a spot!

To register, please go to the Career Planning Service office at either campus.

Join the Mentor Program

The Mentor Program links current McGill students with working McGill alumni. It gives you the rare opportunity to enter into a professional relationship that can help shape your career path by giving you insider information. You will have the opportunity to receive advice, build professional networks and ask any and all questions about the realities of work and life beyond the classroom.

With the McGill Mentor Program, advice is free. Sign up or get more information online at caps.mcgill.ca/ci2 or contact the Mentor Program Coordinator at mentor.caps@mcgill.ca.

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 within it 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.

C.V. Review and Advising Drop-In

Undergraduate students can drop in to CaPS, where a Career Advisor or Peer Educator will provide basic feedback and suggestions regarding your CV. Should this revision period prove insufficient, we would recommend you make an individual appointment. Please know we unfortunately cannot review cover letters during this time.

For a listing of C.V. Drop-In times, please click here.

Please note space is limited.

Undergraduate students can also drop in to CaPS to speak with a Career Advisor without an appointment for a quick question as a preliminary meeting to help you set your future goals.

For a listing of Advising Drop-In times, please click here.

Please note space is limited.

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.



Start Thinking About Summer Jobs Now

As we prepare to spend the last little bit of our summer earnings on holiday presents for our friends and family, many of us may regret spending half our summer looking for a job and the other half working for minimum wage. Why not start early and find a better job for next summer?

This edition of CaPScoop will help you start thinking about what to do next summer. For those of you interested in what you can do while the snow is still on the ground, check out our upcoming CaPS events!

If you have any questions, drop by one of our offices. We are always happy to help you!

In this issue:

Getting your Summer Job search off the ground!
Working for the Federal Government as a Summer Student
Expérience requise
How to Look for a Lab Job at McGill in the Summer
Volunteer Opportunities with End Poverty Now
Want to Write a Career Blog for CaPS for $100??
Labour Market Information Report
Career Fairs/Career Days: Winter 2011
Workshops. Panels. and Events
Contact Us

Getting your Summer Job search off the ground!

by Jan Bottomer, CaPS Career Advisor

Starting to think about jobs and internships next summer? Here are some tips and ideas to think about:

  1. Identify your goals. Are you focused on making money? On gaining career-related experience? Expanding your network? Trying something new? Having fun? Knowing what you want to get out of a summer position will help you focus your search.

  2. Focus your search. Where are you looking geographically? What type of organization do you want to work for? What industries interest you? Are there any particular job titles or activities you would love to try out?

  3. Make sure your CV is up to date and professional. Take a look at the resources on our website: http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/cv/, come to a CV drop in session or make an appointment with an advisor to have your CV reviewed.

  4. Look for opportunities; find and directly contact organizations of interest. CaPS is chock-full of resources to help you with your search. We have a great list of Job Listings sites for you to check out http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/jobs/ but don’t stop there! Research organizations and companies of interest using directories like The Canadian Summer Job Directory and specific sector directories such as Music Directory Canada and the Vault Guides, and then apply directly.

  5. Tap into “word of mouth” advertising. Many employers advertise initially through word of mouth, especially when looking for short-term summer employees. Don’t be shy to let family, friends and acquaintances know that you are looking for a summer position, and ask if they know anyone in your field of interest who you could speak with for more ideas!

  6. Be proactive! Most great summer jobs are not found solely through online research and applications. Whether you are discussing your ideas and questions with those in your personal network, pounding the pavement or picking up the phone to contact employers  you need to put yourself out there and let potential employers know who you are and what you have to offer!

For more information and advising, make an appointment with Jan or any of the other CaPS advisors, visit the CaPS resource center and speak to our Career Resource Consultant Lisa Lin, or come to a “”Where to Find Summer Jobs: Beat the Heat” workshop (offered December 2nd and multiple times in Winter 2011 – see myFuture for specific dates).

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Working for the Federal Government as a Summer Student

by Shiyan Liu, (U2, Faculty of Law)

(for more information about FSWEP, attend the info session on December 2nd.)

Should you be looking for a summer job with the following characteristics:

  • You have your own office, your own telephone, your own voice mail, your own double-screen computer, your own scanner, … and your name carved on your office door;

  • There is air conditioning so no need to worry about heat strokes in the summer;

  • Your are on the 8th floor of a 20-floor downtown building and can see Montreal from your office window;

  • You will be constantly learning and your tasks are never too mechanical;

  • You are relatively well-paid, compared to your last summer job at the calling centre or at McDonalds;

…then I highly recommend that you apply for the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) at the beginning of the winter semester.

[continue reading]

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Expérience requise

par Liliana Rizzuto, (MA, la littérature française)

Quelle que soit la carrière envisagée, même la meilleure formation universitaire ne peut remplacer une vaste expérience de travail aux yeux des employeurs. Les emplois d’été, les stages et le bénévolat ne sont que quelques-unes des nombreuses avenues qui s’offrent à vous afin de développer des compétences aussi diverses qu’enrichissantes, et qui vous appartiendront en propre quelque soit le milieu professionnel que vous convoitez. Qu’il s’agisse d’aptitudes générales telles que l’entregent et l’esprit d’initiative, ou encore de connaissances techniques concernant l’utilisation de logiciels informatiques, l’expérience de travail devrait toujours être envisagée en fonction des compétences qu’elle permet d’acquérir et de perfectionner.

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How to Look for a Lab Job at McGill in the Summer 

by Evangeline Seganathy (U2, Faculty of Science)

If you are planning to find lab work during summer, the first thing you have to do is find out what you are interested in. There are many different labs at McGill which vary from taking part in experimental psychology to performing tissue cultures. The CaPS website is a great resource for science students who are looking for research opportunities, check out: http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/experience/science/  Be proactive and start networking by discussing opportunities with individual professors and students who have previous lab experience.  It’s important to keep in mind the duration you plan to work in the lab and the number of hours you plan to work each week, as most labs prefer to hire students for sixteen weeks so keep this in mind when you plan your summer vacation.

[continue reading]

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Volunteer Opportunities with End Poverty Now

Founded by McGill students in 2006, End Poverty Now is a continuously growing Canadian NGO dedicated to the alleviation of abject poverty in Canada and around the world. End Poverty Now is based on the tri-pillars of Education, InReach and Grassroots Projects and offers many opportunities to get involved in university chapters and at the national office, here in Montreal.

Currently, the McGill chapter is raising money for grassroots projects, specifically an agricultural project for women in Burundi. The School Outreach Committee at the national office is working to establish chapters at universities and high schools across Canada and organizing conferences for students on poverty-related issues in several cities. The school outreach team also creates and promotes classroom resources that are available to teachers to bring the issues of poverty into the classroom. 

If you are interested in volunteering your time in any way, either for the McGill chapter or at the national office on a committee, please let us know.  For more information about End Poverty Now, visit our website, or email us at info@endpovertynow.ca.

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Want to Write a Career Blog for CaPS for $100??

CaPS is running a competition for blog writers. Are you interested in writing a blog for CaPS about your job search experiences with their triumphs and failures and their emotional ups and downs? Do you have advice and tips for other students?

This competition is open to students from all years and can be about your search for a part-time, summer or full-time job or internship.  It can also be about how you came to decide (or not) what career to pursue.  You could also look at why and how you used CaPS services – or not.   It’s your chance to tell your story. 

We are looking to find interested students for this and, in return, you will receive $100 for 10 blogs. Apply with a paragraph or two on how you would approach this task and send your application to the CaPS Director at gregg.blachford@mcgill.ca.

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Labour Market Information Report

by Lisa Lin, CaPS Career Resource Consultant

This monthly bulletin aims to inform you of major news and trends in the Québec, Canada and U.S. labour markets. Your feedback is welcome caps.library@mcgill.ca.

In this issue:

  • U.S. economy emerging as unemployment benefits claims at lowest level since early July

  • Job picture brightens a little in Canada as unemployment rate remains the same

  • Aspiring younger staff have nowhere to go as older workers delay retirement

  • B.C. is facing a looming shortage of skilled and qualified workers in the "green" field

  • Occupational highlight: Recreation, Sports and Fitness Program Supervisors and Consultants

  • And more!

[to view this bulletin, click here]

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Career Fairs/Career Days: Winter 2011

For a full listing of all events offered this month and to register, log-in to myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab and then the "Career Fairs/Career Days" tab. Select the event you would like to attend and click on "RSVP."

  • Work Your BA
    January 17-25, 2011

Get ready for Work Your BA Weeks this January.  The AUS in collaboration with CaPS and the Dean of Arts Development Fund is bringing you a series of panel discussions and workshops titled "Work Your BA" to show you and everyone else what you can do with your degree.

Monday January 17, 11:30-2:30 -- Entrepreneurship
Tuesday, January 18, 11:30-2:30 -- Journalism
Wednesday, January 19, 11:30-2:30 -- PR, Marketing and Communication
Thursday, January 20, 11:30-2:30 -- Finance, Banking and Business
Friday, January 21, 11:30-2:30 -- Not for Profit

Monday, January 24, 5:30-8:00 -- Creativity, Design, and Technology
Tuesday, January 25, 5:30-8:00 -- Working in the Public Sector

Monday, January 17, 4:30-6:00 – Job Search Strategies for BA Students
Thursday, January 27, 12:00-1:30 – Next Steps: Action Plan & Tools to Work Your BA

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Workshops, Panels, and Events

The events below are only a sampling of the many taking place this month. For a full listing of all events offered this month and to register, log-in to myFuture. Click on the "Events" tab and then the "Workshops/Panels/Events" tab. Select the event you would like to attend and click on "RSVP."

  • Workshop #2 = Discover the Hidden Job Market (cold calling, networking, researching employers)
    December 1, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Summer Jobs: Beat the Heat
    December 2,10:00-11:30am, Brown 3001

  • Federal Student Work Experience Program Info Session
    Dec 2, 12:00-2:00pm, Brown 5001

  • Going Abroad? Be prepared! - Pre-Departure Orientation
    December 2, 5:30-7:30pm, Leacock 26

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