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

February 2011

Volume 12, Issue 6

Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie

Meet the CaPS Bloggers

CaPS is happy to announce the names of the four McGill undergraduate students who have been chosen in a competition to be the new CaPS Bloggers: 

Virginie Crouy-- U3 - BSc en sciences infirmières

Elizabeth Lenz--Graduated - BSc in Computer Science, Minor in History

JaeHyung Sheen-- U0 - BSc in Psychology, Minor in Anatomy & Cell Biology

Vicky Tobianah-- U3 - BA in Honours Political Science, Minor in English

Our bloggers have agreed to write about their job search experiences with their triumphs and failures and their emotional ups and downs - be it for a summer job, an internship or a full-time position after graduation.  As well, they will talk about how they discovered (or not) their career passions and what they would love to do for the rest of their lives.   They will give you tips that could help you with your job search and tell you how CaPS did or didn’t help them along the way.  We invite you to follow them and comment on their blogs with your thoughts and/or questions. 


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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.

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!

Apply for Summer Government Jobs NOW!

by Emma Williams, McGill BA, 2010

Hello everyone! I represent Public Service Canada on campus and want to inform you about the variety of jobs that students can apply for within the Government of Canada.

For those of you who are currently full-time students and will be returning to full-time studies next year, it is possible to work for the government throughout the year or over the summer. Over 8000 students are hired each year through The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) to work for different federal departments and agencies. There is a tremendous variety of jobs located all across Canada. All you have to do to be eligible is fill out the on-line FSWEP application.

If you would like to know more or have any questions at all, feel free to contact me or come to my office hours in CaPS on Tuesdays from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm.

Good luck!

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 25 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.

CaPS 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.

Redpath Library CV Drop-In

Monday: 2:30-3:30
Tuesday: 1:30-2:30

Location: Redpath table, first floor entrance (by the computer lab).

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.



Welcome to the Diversity Edition of the CaPSScoop!  This issue will highlight some of the upcoming events during Diversity Week and showcase some of the resources and services CaPS offers to distinct student groups on campus. Also, check out this month's listings of company info sessions, career fairs, and workshops to get an idea of what we have to offer.

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

In this issue:

Diversity Week--Black Professionals: Making an Imprint
Black Histories, Black Futures Conference
5th Annual Montreal Women in Business Luncheon: Secrets of Being Highly Productive & Happy
CaPS Can Help You Get Into Medical School
Des livres en français, s’il vous plaît!
Reference Letters Differ by Gender
Job Negotiations for Women
Labour Market Information Report
Company Info Sessions and Tours
Career Fairs/Career Days
Workshops. Panels. and Events
Contact Us

Diversity Week--Black Professionals: Making an Imprint

Feb. 9 & 10, 2011
Brown Student Services Bldg, 2200

This semester CaPS is proud to be collaborating with McGill’s Social Equity and Diversity Office (SEDE) in creating events that honour and celebrate the Black Community.

As February is Black History month the SEDE office is offering a conference called “Black Histories, Black Futures” www.mcgill.ca/equity_diversity/black_histories that will highlight the diversity and complex realities of Montreal’s Black communities by convening community representatives, researchers, workers, and students from across the community and university sectors to share and build knowledge.”

As a prelude to this event CaPS will be presenting two panel discussions on career related issues.  These panels will give an opportunity for all students to hear the amazing stories of these accomplished professionals. Come and listen to the career paths, their successes and challenges along the way and their tips and advice to students on how to be successful in the world of career.

Successful Black Women: Standing Strong
Feb 9th 5:00-6:30

Community Leaders: Giving Back
Feb 10th 5:00-6:30

Registration required through myFuture. From your homepage, click on the Events tab followed by the Workshop tab and keyword DIVERSITY WEEK.

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Black Histories, Black Futures Conference

Feb. 12, 8:30 am – 7:30 pm, Bronfman

SEDE is thrilled to present the Black Histories, Black Futures community conference, to be held on February 12, 2011. Black Histories, Black Futures will highlight the diversity and complex realities of Montreal’s Black communities by convening community representatives, researchers, workers, and students from across the community and university sectors to share and build knowledge.

Cost: There is a suggested donation of $10-$20—no one will be turned away!

This conference would not be possible without the kind support of:

McGill Student Services; ASEQ-Quebec Student Health Alliance; McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism; McGill Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF); Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory; Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE); Art History and Communication Studies (AHCS); Ms. Kathleen Massey; McGill Residences; CKUT; School of Social Work; Institute for the Study for International Development (ISID); McGill Bookstore; Montreal Consortium on Human Rights Advocacy Training (MCHRAT).

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5th Annual Montreal Women in Business Luncheon: Secrets of Being Highly Productive & Happy

Feb 17, 2011  -  McGill Faculty Club (3450 McTavish Street)  -  Montreal, QC

Think being in a leadership role means all work and no play? Think again. As a working woman, you CAN have it all - a rewarding career and an even more fabulous life outside office walls. Join the Women in Leadership Foundation for their yearly luncheon and they will reveal the coveted secrets of being highly productive and happy.

This luncheon is a part of the National Speaker Series, and showcases female role models in business and fosters the expansion of networks. As the women's business highlight event of the year, you'll hear from a panel of inspirational business women as they share their journeys of success, practical tips and inspiration. Funds raised will benefit the Women in Leadership Mentorship Program.

We need your help! Do you have friends or colleagues in Montreal?
Help us extend our reach to Montrealites by spreading the word to anyone you think may be interested in attending this inspirational event.

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. : Networking and lunch
12 p.m. - 1 p.m. : Panel presentation
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. : Q&A


Tickets are $35. Students receive a discounted rate for only $10. Buy your tickets now.

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CaPS Can Help You Get Into Medical School

by Samantha Balass, BSc 2010, First Year Medical Student

Feel like you’re drowning in med school applications and don’t know where to start?  Worried about what you’re going to say about yourself in an interview when you’re asked why you want to become a doctor?  Stressed out by the intense competition of getting in?  If any of these statements speak to you, then you’re in what I would like to call the “I need some guidance but I don’t know where to turn!” stage.

About a year ago, I was in this exact position.  Med school applications and interviews were all I could think about and talk about.  I had ideas about what I should write about in my personal statement, but I wasn’t sure what to include or how to word certain sentences or even if my letter was good enough.  I knew how badly I wanted this, but I also knew that I would not be able to reveal this to the medical admissions committees alone.

One day, a friend suggested that I go check out CaPS and see what they had to offer.  At first I was skeptical because I had never really used their services before, but immediately after my very first appointment with a CaPS career advisor, I knew that I was in the right place.  The advisor sat with me as she read through my preliminary autobiographical letter and was very honest with me about what she thought.  She patiently explained to me what areas she thought needed work and she listened carefully to my ideas and concerns.  When I left her office and made my next appointment, I felt confident and relieved that I had finally found the guidance I was searching for.

The following few months were filled with CaPS appointments.  Some were to edit my personal statement, some were to look through my CV and make the appropriate modifications, some were practice one-on-one interviews with different advisors, and CaPS even offered several mock-MMI (multiple mini-interviews) sessions! 

Overall, I am extremely grateful for the continuous support that all the people at CaPS have given me.  Not only did they prepare me with the tools I needed to succeed, but they also helped me find confidence within myself to follow my dreams.

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Des livres en français, s’il vous plaît!

par Liliana Rizzuto, M. A. Langue et littérature françaises

Le présent article se propose de passer en revue quelques-uns des nombreux titres francophones disponibles à la bibliothèque du centre de Service de planification de carrière (CaPS) située dans le Pavillon Brown (Services aux étudiants), au 3600, rue McTavish. La liste suivante ne se veut pas exhaustive, ni même sélective. Il s’agit plutôt d’un ensemble de volumes triés sur le volet à partir des nombreux documents qui m’ont été suggérés par la bibliothécaire de CaPS, Lisa Lin. La bibliothèque abrite une collection variée comprenant des livres, des périodiques, des guides et autres ouvrages de référence. Plusieurs sont anglophones, mais pas tous. Cette courte liste se propose de répertorier quelques-unes des ressources francophones portant plus spécifiquement sur la recherche d’emploi, en privilégiant les guides et index des principaux secteurs d’emploi, de même que les manuels sur la rédaction des documents de mise en marché (curriculum vitae, lettres de motivation, etc.).

[continuer à lire]

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Reference Letters Differ by Gender

Reference letters are an important part of graduate school applications and they can make or break your chances of being hired at a new job.  Have you ever thought about how gender bias can affect a letter of recommendation?  Are you being referred to as confident and independent or helpful and agreeable?  Take a look at this interesting article from working.com and read about the recent research on the subject.


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Since its beginnings in Canada in 1989, IAM CARES (International Association of Machinists – Center for Administering Rehabilitation and Employment Services)/AIM CROIT (Association Internationale des Machinistes et des Travailleurs et Travailleuses de l’Aérospatiale – Centre de Réadaptation d’Orientation et d’Intégration au Travail) has lent much needed assistance to thousands of persons with disabilities in search of employment.

AIM CROIT – IAM CARES is a non-profit organization sponsored by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), which provides an employment skills development program to people in the Montreal area who have a physical, sensory or neurological disability.  The program is designed to assist them in their search for stimulating and financially rewarding employment.  The program – implemented in Montreal and Vancouver in 1989 – initially took shape in the United States where it was set up in several large cities during the 1980s.
The members of the AIM CROIT-IAM CARES team share the following common vision: we believe that persons with disabilities are willing to make use of their skills and talents and to take their place in the workforce.

Services offered by AIM CROIT-IAM CARES
At AIM CROIT-IAM CARES, we strive to create an environment of empathy and trust for each and every one of our clients.  Individuals who consult us become an integral part of the job search team.  Consequently, they work in close collaboration with our staff to reach THEIR objectives and professional goals.
Our key staff – made up of employment specialists – designs a customized job search strategy to meet the specific needs of each client.  Here are a few of the services we offer:

  • Skills assessment

  • Guidance and consulting services

  • Résumé preparation

  • Interview practice

  • Job search assistance

  • Interpretation services for persons who are deaf and persons who are hard of hearing in LSQ (Langue des signes québécoise).

  • Employer-oriented consulting services regarding workstation adaptation, available subsidies, etc.

  • Follow-up in the workplace with both employees and employers.

AIM CROIT-IAM CARES is proud of its success
Over the years, we have proven the efficiency of our program.  The latest statistics speak for themselves.  As of December 31st, 2010,  4218 persons with disabilities had found employment after using our services.  Among these are a great number of happy endings.  Furthermore, we have built up a vast employer bank which today enables us to receive a countless number of job offers.  We have also developed solid ties with union, government and community resources.

AIM CROIT-IAM CARES at your service
AIM CROIT-IAM CARES is at your service.  Whether you are a person with a disability looking for employment, you know a person with a disability who wants to work, or you are an employer looking for the right worker to hire, contact us.

We can be reached by phone at (514) 744-2944.  Individuals using a TTY system will want to dial (515) 744-2613.  Our offices are located at 750 Marcel-Laurin Blvd, Suite 450 in Saint Laurent.  For further information, you may also visit our website at: www.aimcroitqc.org or drop us a line by e-mail at: emploi@aimcroitqc.org

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Job Negotiations for Women

by Christine Herr

Job negotiations are usually approached with apprehension and unease.  Discussing money is rarely a favourite topic for most people.  There is a long list of reasons why people decide not to negotiate:  fear of the employer’s perception, fear of conflict, fear of losing the offer and fear of negotiating poorly.  What if we told you that, 80% of head-hunters and placement officers were most impressed with candidates that negotiated.   Or that 100% of recruiters said it is completely acceptable for people to negotiate.  In one study, the informants confirmed that they had never seen an offer revoked because the candidate negotiated.  There are big rewards for negotiating your job offer; Masters students who negotiated raised their salaries by 7.4%.  Employers expect candidates to negotiate, 90% of employers initially offered lower salaries than they were willing to pay because they expect people to negotiate.

There are important benefits to negotiating and yet 50% of applicants do not do so, this is especially significant for women.  Research has demonstrated that 57% of men took part in negotiations and only 7% of women negotiated.   Developing job negotiating skills is critical and it is important to view the process as an exchange between the employer and the candidate.  Both parties have something to gain from successful negotiations.  In November 2010, CaPS organized a Diversity Week and offered a workshop on Successful Salary Negotiations for Women, facilitated by Heather Vough, Assistant Professor at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management.  Professor Vough took the students through the different stages in a negotiation process and participants in the workshop had the opportunity to practice their skills with a hands-on exercise.  The concept of a BATNA was introduced:  Best Alternative to a Negotiation Agreement.  Defining your BATNA is all about knowing your interests and position.  For example, if you are unable to negotiate your ideal offer, what is your next best option?  If the salary is non-negotiable perhaps you can decide on flexible hours that work with your schedule.  Negotiations are about being creative and finding integrative solutions.  

The first step in the negotiation process is preparing and planning!  If you are interested in learning more about negotiations check out the following books:  Get Paid What You’re Worth:  The Expert Negotiators Guide to Salary and Compensation and Getting to Yes:  The Secret to Successful Negotiation.  Feel free to drop by the CaPS Office and chat with a Career Advisor or Career Resource Consultant about starting salaries in your field and how to practice your negotiation skills.  The CaPS Resource Center has a number of books on negotiation and check out this section of our website that has details on salary and labour information:  http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/salary/.   You can also set up an individual appointment with a Career Advisor to discuss negotiating for that great job offer!  Good Luck! 

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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:

  • Canadian job market doing better than anticipated in December 2010

  • 2000 new jobs in the mining industry as workers are expected to be retired

  • High-tech jobs dropped to its lowest in 6 years

  • Canada’s top family-friendly employers for 2011

  • Occupational highlight: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

  • and more!

[to view this bulletin, click here]

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Company Info Sessions and Tours

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 "Information Sessions" tab. Select the event you would like to attend and click on "RSVP."

  • Immigration Quebec: PERMANENT RESIDENCY
    February 4, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 5001
    February 14, 10:00-11:30am, Brown 5001
    February 17, 10:00-11:30am, Brown 5001
    February 22, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 5001
    February 24, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 5001

  • Careers in the UN
    January 9, 4:00-6:00pm, Leacock 232

  • University of Medicine & Health Services St. Kitts Info Seminar
    February 12, 10:00-11:30am, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, 900 Rene Levesque Blvd W.

  • SWAP Info Session
    February 8, 12:00-1:00pm, Brown 5001

  • Master of Management of Innovation
    (UofT Mississauga) Information Session

    February 4, 10:00–12:00pm, Brown 3001 (for science & engineering)

    February 4, 1:00-3:00pm, FDA 5, 3450 University (for Architecture, Chemical, Civil, Biomedical, Bioresource)

  • National Instruments (NI)
    February 9, 5:00-6:00pm, FDA 5, 3450 University

  • Master of Management & Professional Accounting (UofT Mississauga)
    February 16, 11:00-1:00pm, Brown 3001

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Career Fairs/Career Days

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."

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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 #6 = Practice Case Interviewing (prerequisite: workshop #1)
    February 3, 1:00-2:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Kaplan National Practice Event
    February 5, 10:00-3:00pm, New Res.

  • Workshop #1 = Build your Job Search Tools (CV, cover letter, interview)
    February 8, 3:00-4:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #5 = Practice your Interviewing (prerequisite: workshop #1)
    February 10, 3:00-4:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Medical School Applicants: It’s all about the interview
    February 11, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #2 = Discover the Hidden Job Market (cold calling, networking, researching employers)
    February 15, 10:00-12:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Summer Jobs: Beat the Heat
    February 16, 1:30-3:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Internships: Test the Waters
    February 17, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Improving Corporate Productivity and Innovation 2011
    February 23 & 24, Bronfman 151

  • Where to find Worldwide Work: Passport to Adventure
    February 28, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

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