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Vol. 14, Issue 8
Published by the McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS)

Check out the latest discussions on our CaPS Linkedin group!

The McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS) and Alumni Exchange group invites McGill students and alumni to connect with one another within this forum.

Join us online as we help you build a solid career-focused network and exchange job search experiences.

Become 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!
Follow CaPS on Twitter!

Follow us for some of the best career related tips and resources!
CaPS Acquisitions Update

Check out our new career books and resources to help you to plan and get your dream career.
You may borrow the following books or resources at CaPS, Brown Student Services Building (room 2200)

Student Career Stories on the CaPS Website!

Looking for post-graduation advice? Wondering what job search strategies and tips other McGill grads have found helpful? Check out CaPS Career Stories.

If you would like to share your own “Career Story” please contact Jan Bottomer

Vault Guide (Career Insider)

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).
Going Global

The leading provider of country specific career and employment resources for individuals interested in working outside of their home country.
Expert advice for finding jobs abroad. 80,000+ country and city career resources. Worldwide internship and job listings.
Website: Going Global
Must access the site via McGill's Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The Big Guide to Living and Working Overseas

The authoritative guide on international careers.
3,000+ career building resources. Career directories. International skills inventory.
Once you are logged in, click on the “The BIG Guide” menu link to access information.
Website: The BIG Guide to Living & Working Overseas
Registration with your McGill email is required.
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.

For other career centres on campus, click here.
Join the McGill Mentor Program

The McGill 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

CaPS Advising Drop-In

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.

CV Drop-In Times

Wednesday: 2:00-3:00
Thursday: 10:00-11:00
Friday: 11:00-12:00

Please note space is limited.

General Drop-In Times

Tuesday: 3:00-4:00
Wednesday: 3:00-4:00
Thursday: 11:00-12:00
Friday: 2:00-3:00

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.

April 2012: Transitioning from Backpack to Briefcase

Are you about to graduate? Are you feeling uneasy and excited at the same time? This issue of the CaPSScoop has been compiled of articles from students and professionals about making the transition from McGill to the professional world and beyond. Please read below for tips and advice on entering the work force, interviewing and taking a gap year!

Inside this issue:

Job Finding Club
Five “Knows” for Interviewees
Considering a Gap Year?
Transitioning from School to Work: The CaPS Job Finding Club
International Students’ Support Group
Please share your opinion with us and you could win a New Apple iPad!
Lisa's Corner
Labour Market Information


Have you heard about the Job Finding Club? Click here for details.

This is an intensive two week program for students who will be graduating this spring.   It is designed to teach you effective means of finding work in your field of interest faster than if you were on your own.  The group is composed of 10 to 15 graduating students, all of whom are immediately seeking employment.  You will have each other for support with the assistance and guidance of a Job Finding Club Facilitator and all our Career Advisors.

Five “Knows” for Interviewees
Peter A. Halprin, Practicing Attorney, McGill B.A 2006 and Mentor with the McGill Mentor Program

As someone who has been on many interviews in my lifetime as an interviewee, and who is now in the position of interviewer, I thought that I might share a couple of interview tips with past and future alums. I have decided to refer to these tips as the five “knows.”

1. Know Your Materials If you submit something to a prospective employer, be it a cover letter, a CV, a writing sample, or even a transcript, you should know it. I do not mean know it in the sense that you know you sent it to them. Rather, I mean that you should know it inside and out. For cover letters, this means that even if you send out hundreds of form letters (with some customization for each position), you need to remember the manner in which you altered this one. For example, if you have applied for a number of corporate positions, but then tailored a letter to a non-profit, you need to remember that the selling point in your letter was your concern for the greater good and not the fact that you did well in financial accounting. While this may seem trivial, discrepancies between written materials and your answers in an interview could raise red flags for potential employers.

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Considering A Gap Year?

Every year as convocation approaches, the question of what to do next understandably looms large in the minds of those about to graduate. Many may be wondering about graduate school, others planning on launching their careers immediately. Still others may be unsure of what to do next and looking to take at least a year off, or “gap year” to figure things out.

Check out the CaPS website (http://www.mcgill.ca/caps/students/job-search/experience/gap-year/) to learn more about:

Transitioning from School to Work: The CaPS Job Finding Club
Yakun He, Bachelor of Science 2010

After completing a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences, I decided to combine my background in science and my interests in working in a customer-oriented environment to launch my career. However, this was a lot harder than I imagined when I started my job search, seeing that most of my experiences were laboratory-related. In fact, I not only felt a little lost in front hundreds and hundreds of job postings, I also wondered if sending out massive CVs and applications is really the way to go to get myself started in the right place.

Through a CaPS ad, I discovered the Job Finding Club and eventually enrolled in it, hoping that I could get some tips or advice to advance my job search. But what I learned from was far more than what I expected. In fact, this two-week intensive workshop teaches everything from A to Z in a job search process, including discovering one’s own strengths, overcoming the fear of networking and concrete suggestions on how to say thank-you after an interview. The advisors were very understanding and they were really giving it their best to help the students physically and mentally in their job hunting. It was such an enriching and amazing experience listening and talking with the CaPS advisors, and people in the JFC were very supportive of each other by reviewing each other’s CVs, practicing interview questions or just recounting each other experiences and networking stories. By the end of the workshop, we sort of formed this special bond between us and the fact of constantly updating about each other’s progress really made job hunt an enjoyable and motivating process.

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International Students’ Support Group
Joint Counselling/CaPS Project Supported by ISS

Are you sometimes homesick, lonely, feel you cannot bear poutine anymore, or worried about your future career? If the answer to one of these questions is yes, this discussion forum will help you get useful tools to make your international student experience a great success!

Come join us!
From 2:00pm to 3:30pm, Tuesdays - April 10th, and 17th.
Room RM 2007 in the Brown building (First Year Office)

To register, please contact eve.allemand@mail.mcgill.ca or come by the CaPS office.

Places are limited!

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Please share your opinion with us and you could win a New Apple iPad!

McGill is pleased to be participating in a national research study of student interests and attitudes regarding their careers and employers.  The report, known as From Learning to Work, will help employers better understand how to attract students and graduates while also helping us learn how to better serve you with career planning support.

All respondents to the survey are eligible to enter a draw for an New Apple iPad.

All responses will be treated as confidential and not associated with your identity in any way.

You can start the survey here:

Thank you for being a part of this important study.  Please feel free to forward this message to your friends!

Lisa's Corner

Looking for employers in Life Sciences and Biotechnology?

BIOTECanada ( http://www.canadianlifesciences.com/) provides a comprehensive database that allows you to find a list of companies and institutes in Life Sciences and Biotechnology in Canada.  The database currently has information of 1700+ companies and is searchable by map, location, and industry sectors.  The main sectors in this site include biotechnology, pharma, medical technology, media, supplier and engineering, investor, professional services and consulting.  You may also check out the links “Events” and “News” to keep you updated about what goes on in the industry.

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Labour Market Information


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 mailto:caps.library@mcgill.ca.

In this issue

  • Experts say new technology responsible for one in six hires in next three years
  • The hiring climate in mining and energy sectors is booming in the West
  • Occupational highlight: Pharmacists
  • And more!


The good news

Employment bright lining in cloud computing
Montreal Gazette, 14 March 2012

Cloud computing will be responsible for one in six hires in the next three years.

Canadian hiring outlook warmest in the West
The Globe and Mail, 13 March 2012

Canadian employers see a steady hiring climate in the coming quarter, led by upbeat expectations in the mining and energy sectors.


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  • Where to find Summer Jobs: Beat the Heat
    April 2nd, 2:00pm-3:30pm - Brown Building, 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to:

    1) Assess their priorities and set goals for their summer job/internship.
    2) Identify the primary job search steps involved in obtaining a summer job.
    3) Uncover the hidden job market and understand its particular relevance to the summer job search.
    4) Identify several sectors which often hire summer employees and list at least three resources to effectively research specific companies and opportunities.

  • Job Search Workshop for Social Work Students: CVs, Cover Letters, Interview Preparation and Job Search Strategies
    April 4th, 2:30pm-4:00pm - Wendy Patrick Room

    Looking for a job in your field this summer or after graduation? Wondering how to get started? This “One-Stop-Shop” workshop will cover strategies to find job opportunities, provide direction on finessing your CV and cover letters, and tips on preparing for those all-important interviews. Bring a hard copy of your current CV/Cover Letter.

    Questions? Contact Jan Bottomer, CaPS Career Advisor, jan.bottomer@mcgill.ca

  • Freelancing Photography
    April 18th, 6:30pm-8:30pm - 666 Sherbrooke St. West, 7th Floor

    The Business Skills for Creative Souls workshops are designed with artists’ specific career development and entrepreneurial needs in mind, and are pre-sented by working industry professionals. Each session has time for a question and answer period, and networking is encouraged.

    COST: $15 For more information or to register: 514-878-9788
  • How to Pitch to Investors, Bankers and More
    April 30th, 6:30pm-8:30pm - 666 Sherbrooke St. West, 7th Floor

    In the Meet the Experts Seminar Series, YES offers entrepreneurs of all ages and professional backgrounds the opportunity to learn from the experts.

    Even with a great business idea, your business will go nowhere without a convincing pitch. Seek out the essentials of pitching and learn how to present your ideas effectively. This seminar will provide helpful tips and get you on the right track to pitching your business successfully to investors, bankers, committees and more. COST $20

    Guest speakers:
    Dean Proctor, Chief Development Officer
    SSi Group of Companies

    Pre-registration is required. For more information, or to register, please call 514-878-9788 or visit us at www.yesmontreal.ca.

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