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Fall 2011 Vol. 3, Issue 1
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!
NEW: 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? CaPS recently launched a new section on our website designed to showcase inspiring Career Stories from McGill students and recent alumni: Career Stories.

This section is a work in progress and will be updated regularly – so check back often! If you would like to share your own “Career Story” please contact Jan Bottomer

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

Monday:2:30-3:30
Tuesday:1:30-2:30
Wednesday: 2:00-3:00
Thursday: 10:00-11:00
Friday: 11:00-12:00

Please note space is limited.

General Drop-In Times

Monday:10:00-11:00
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.


CaPS Scoop: Nursing Edition

Dear Nursing students: The changing colours of the trees remind us of time passing by, and sooner than you think, some of you will be putting on the graduation gown and cap. For nursing students the job market is still hot and you have the luxury of deciding where to go. The possibilities seem to be endless but you will still need to decide which job will best meet your career needs.

As your Career Advisor at McGill CaPS, Janice Tester, I am there to help you with all your career decisions. 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.

We have selected a few articles that we hope will be of interest to you and one in particular from an employer’s perspective. I found it enlightening and I am sure, so will you.

For more information on our services please visit our website at www.mcgill.ca/caps and our jobs and events database at https://csm-caps.mcgill.ca/students/

Inside this issue:
Nursing Career Fair
Job Search Tips from your Career Advisor
What to Expect from a Nursing Job Interview
What
Does the Jewish General Hospital has to offer you?
“The Best Career Advice I Have Ever Been Given”
Workshops of Interest to Nursing Students





This year's Career Fair will be on Thursday November 10th, 2011, from 4:30 pm to 7 pm after the Nursing Explorations conference. Once again it will be accompanied by wine & cheese.

For a list of participants please click here.

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Job Search Tips from your Career Advisor

Is my CV professional and well presented?  Will employers be attracted by its content and format?  If you are like most students, you probably had family members and friends review your CV and you feel you have gotten good advice.  Regardless, why not get it checked by a professional that sees hundreds of CVs a year?  One thing I often see is that nursing students sometimes don’t include is their “stage” experience.  I am surprised as this is the most relevant experience for employers.  And then, there is hardly any description on what they have done.   To avoid these mistakes come and see me and get your CV reviewed. 

CV writing, cover letters and interview tips Workshop for Nursing Students
November 4th, 12:30pm to 2:00 pm - Room 110, Wilson Hall


I look forward to seeing you there!

Janice Tester
Career Advisor


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What to Expect from a Nursing Job Interview
JULIE FRÉCHETTE, N., M.SC. (HR), CHRP JEWISH GENERAL HOSPITAL- NURSING RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

Marc, final year Nursing Student, has a job interview booked next Tuesday 14:00 at a Montreal University Teaching Hospital for a CPN position (Candidate for the Profession of Nursing). Marc has been told to prepare for the interview and since he was really nervous during the initial phone call from his potential employer, he didn’t ask what “preparing” meant and he really has no clue.
For all the Marcs out there who are left mystified by the idea of their first professional interview, following is some information on what to expect from a Nursing job interview.

Next Tuesday…

AM:

  • Marc dresses professionally (no jeans, no T-shirts, no pajamas, no nursing uniforms… NO to anything that he could potentially wear at his local pub).
  • Marc prints 3-4 copies of his CV so he may provide it if the interviewers do not have it readily accessible.
  • He brings a list of 2-3 references that he has contacted in advance and that are expecting a phone call from his potential employer (he includes their name, relationship with him and their contact info). Marc has included his former employer and his favorite teacher.
  • Marc reviews his notes concerning the unit of care he is applying for (he should have started sooner ideally…)

13:45: Marc is greeted by a receptionist and asked to wait for the interviewers to call him. Marc sits down, takes a few deep breaths and spends a few minutes reviewing his CV.

14:00: Marc is invited into the conference room where two interviewers are present (depending on the institution, it might be members of the Human Resources Department or the Nursing Leadership). Marc gives them a firm and dry handshake. He distributes his CV if needed.

14:05: The interviewers introduce themselves and explain the interview process (some will describe the Hospital and the unit of care more in detail at this point).

14:10: The interviewers ask Marc general questions, such as:

  • Tell us more about yourself.
  • What has attracted you to the field of nursing?
  • What are your long-term objectives?
  • What is your philosophy of care?
  • Why do you wish to work for our Hospital?

(Marc takes this opportunity to share his enthusiasm and passion for Nursing. He also talks about his excellent experiences during his student placement at the Hospital.)

14:20: The interviewers ask Marc knowledge-based questions, such as:

  • Can you name two side-effects associated with chemotherapy?
  • Please describe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in your own words.
  • What are potential complications associated with prematurity?

14:30: The interviewers ask Mark situation-based questions, such as:

  • Case Scenarios: You enter a patient’s room and find him unresponsive. How do you react? Case scenarios are meant to “simulate” real-life situations and usually target the following essential competencies: attention to safety, critical thinking, team spirit and conflict resolution.
  • Past Experiences: Can you tell us about a patient situation you found particularly challenging during your nursing stages? How were you able to deal with these challenges?

14:45: The interviewers ask Marc a general question in French (in English if the interview was in French), such as:

  • Est-ce que tu as une base en français ?

14:50: The interviewers ask Marc for his references. They tell him that he should receive a response concerning the interview outcomes within about a week. They briefly explain the next steps in the hiring process.

14:55: The interviewers ask Marc if he has any questions. Marc asks:

  • What is the Nurse/Patient ratio on your unit?
  • Do you offer preparation courses for the OIIQ exam?
  • How long is the orientation period?
  • Is there a possibility of working 12-hour shifts?
  • Are there Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), Nurse Educators, Resource Nurses and/or Nurse Experts to support the learning of new nurses?

15:00: The interviewers thank him for his time and his interest in working for their institution. Marc thanks the interviewers for meeting with him and reiterates his desire to join their Hospital. Marc gives them another firm and dry handshake.

Marc’s interview has just finished and maybe yours is next, so don’t forget to prepare for the interview! I wish you the best of luck in your interviews and your new careers.


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What Does the Jewish General Hospital has to offer you?

The Jewish General Hospital is a 637 bed, bilingual McGill University tertiary and quaternary care teaching hospital, serving multicultural patients and families from across the province of Quebec and beyond. Committed to the highest standards of patient care, teaching and research, the Hospital has earned a reputation for excellence in care.

  • Preparation Workshop for the OIIQ exam

  • In-depth Orientation Program including Critical Care courses

  • Flexible work schedule including 8-hour and/or 12-hour shifts

  • Guarantee of at least 50% of schedule on day shift

  • Salary scale recognizing the Baccalaureate

  • Clinical support through Clinical Nurse Specialists and Educators
  • Possibility to have a position shared between two departments

  • In house French and English courses

  • Bursaries for Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing studies

  • Support for CNA certification program

  • In house educational workshops

  • Support for attending local, provincial and national conferences

  • Individualized career planning

  • Excellent career growth opportunities

Come and meet us at the Jewish General Hospital Nursing Open House
November 17th from 16:30 to 19:30
Room A-102 (Côte-des-Neiges entrance)

For more information or to apply, please visit: www.jgh.ca/nursing

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“The Best Career Advice I Have Ever Been Given”
BY PETER HALPRIN, BACHELOR OF ARTS '06

Peter Halprin, a mentor, graduated from McGill in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts and is now a Practicing Attorney in NYC.

The "Best Career Advice I Have Ever Been Given" comes from my grandmother. She said that we live in the world of the owl - "who, who, who." In other words, while what you know is important, who you know is critical to getting you to the place where you can demonstrate what you know. It makes sense. In this modern era, where a job posting can result in thousands of people sending resumes as soon as it is posted, it is very hard for persons making hiring decisions to differentiate between candidates. This is especially true where many of the candidates are highly qualified and have similar credentials or backgrounds.

How does one wade through such a pile or decide between similar candidates? The world of the owl. Applicant A asks his mentor/parent's friend/relative/former employer/best friend's parent, who works at this hypothetical company, to put in a good word with the person in charge of hiring. Applicant B, though equally qualified, does not engage in networking nor attempt to find someone within the organization who can help. Applicant A is more likely to be hired than Applicant B because, in the eyes of the hiring personnel, Applicant A is more of a known quantity. Someone who is trusted by the hypothetical company trusts Applicant A and thus, in turn, the organization has trust in Applicant A. Applicant B need not fret. Applicant B will find something but Applicant B is more likely to be treated like Applicant A in their career search if they build a network.

Building a network is a painstaking process and the gains will not be felt overnight. Over time, however, a person with a network will succeed in whatever their desired career, regardless of whether that network is in the same field. The best way to build a network is to join professional associations and groups of likeminded individuals. Most of these individuals also are interested in developing a network and they are just as eager to meet you as you are to meet them.

A similar way to build a network is to think about your goal and then to find every individual who is currently in your dream position. Read up on them, find out how they got to where they need to be and then contact them. Tell them who you are and what you want to know and meet them for lunch. While not everyone will respond, some will and enough will that will help you get to where you need to go. They, in turn, may suggest other people for you to meet and associations that you may want to join. The point of this digression is that Applicant B can become Applicant A even if Applicant B lacks the network that Applicant A was born into and grew up within. As the world gets more populous, my grandmother's words ring truer - "who, who, who."

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Workshops of Interest to Nursing Students
  • CV writing, cover letters and interview tips
    November 4th, 12:30pm to 2:00 pm - Room 110, Wilson Hall


  • Workshop #5 = Practice your Interviewing (prerequisite: workshop #1)
    November 3, 2:00pm - Brown 3001


    By attending this workshop, students will be able to:
    1) Identify the best forms of verbal and non-verbal communication in order to conduct themselves in a professional manner before, during and after an interview.
    2) Practice their interview skills in a series of simulated scenarios.
    3) Create a checklist to help them prepare for future interviews.


  • Workshop #2 = Discover the Hidden Job Market (cold calling, networking, researching employers)
    October 8, 10:30am - Brown 3001


    By attending this workshop, students will be able to:
    1) Understand that most jobs are found through the hidden job market and that networking is a win-win situation.
    2) Understand the importance of researching employers and industries.
    3) Identify website resources and databases in which they can grow their employer contact base.
    4) Formulate questions they would ask at an information interview.
    5) Create their own script for a cold call to a potential contact in their field.


  • Workshop #1 = Build your Job Search Tools (CV, cover letter, interview)
    October 8, 2:30pm - Brown 3001


    By attending this workshop, students will be able to:

    1) Compose a more effective and tailored cv.
    2) Define the essential components of a cover letter.
    3) Understand the importance of, and define what is involved in, thorough interview preparation.
    4) Identify the best forms of verbal and non-verbal communication in order to conduct themselves in a professional manner before, during and after an interview.
    5) Understand the importance of an action plan which includes identifying the eight steps that guide the career planning process and which of those steps needs development.

  • Workshop #4 = Practice your Networking (prerequisite: workshop #2)
    November 10, 1:00pm - Brown 3001


    By attending this workshop, students will be able to:
    1) Identify and modify their individual style of networking for various situations.
    2) Practice their networking approach in a series of simulated scenarios.
    3) Create a checklist for future networking telephone calls and / or meetings.
  • WWCW - US Working Visas
    November 21, 3:00pm - Brown 5001


    Interested in the U.S. but don’t know about the visa requirements? This is the session for you, presented by the Non-Immigrant Visa Chief, Consul Ian Sheridan. He will present on the US Working Visas available for students and graduates.


  • WWCW - SWAP Presentation
    November 22, 11:00am - Brown 5001


    Learn from Voyage Campus about the working holiday program that helps Canadians successfully gain international work experience. This is a program that takes care of safety and logistics so that you can focus on working and having fun abroad. We offer these services for a range of destinations, and we maintain an extensive global network to enrich your experience. Live, work, and play with us!

  • WWCW - Getting a Job in the UK (and some tips for Europe)
    November 22 , 3:30pm - Brown 5001


    Hear it from our exchange Career Advisor, Christopher Little, a native from the UK. Learn about the recruitment cycle in the UK, graduate training schemes, vacancies and recruitment methods. The session will include CV’s, employer information, vacancies and selection within the UK and EU graduate market. You will obtain great resources along the way.


  • WWCW - Worldwide Organizations Fair
    November 24, 11:00am - Lev Bukhman, room 203


    Come and talk to employers and organizations interested in having you. Learn about several opportunities in various domains such as teaching English, volunteering, teaching in third world countries, international development, cooperant options, and so on. Check MyFuture for updated information on employers participating at the fair.


  • WWCW - International Career Resources: Going Global and Big Guide Online
    November 25 , 10:30am - Brown 5001

    Learn how to use the ultimate online job seeker’s tools for finding employment at home and abroad. Please bring your laptop with you as this will be an interactive and hands-on workshop.


  • Workshop #2 = Discover the Hidden Job Market (cold calling, networking, researching employers)
    November 28, 2:00pm - Brown 3001

    By attending this workshop, students will be able to:
    1) Understand that most jobs are found through the hidden job market and that networking is a win-win situation.
    2) Understand the importance of researching employers and industries.
    3) Identify website resources and databases in which they can grow their employer contact base.
    4) Formulate questions they would ask at an information interview.
    5) Create their own script for a cold call to a potential contact in their field.


  • Social Media & Your Electronic Footprint for Undergrads
    November 29 , 10:30am - Brown 3001


    “Social Networking and Your Electronic Footprint: As a result of attending this workshop, students will increase their awareness of their online image; be able to define their “Electronic Footprint” and how it can affect their job search success; and learn how to build their career prospects by using their social network effectively”

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