Fall Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 9am-5pm

Closed for Lunch: 12-1:30pm

 

Internships & Jobs

Welcome to Step 2!

You are probably wrapping up your first year or two and are now thinking about testing the professional waters over the summer break.

For most of you, it is likely your first time trying to find a job in a foreign country, or it may well be your first job anywhere. We understand your stress, as you are in the midst of studying for midterms and finals on top of worrying about your job applications.

Here is a list of recommended steps - to take action instead of worry.

(Please note: to view and register for career fairs, information sessions and workshops offered through CaPS, login to myFuture and click on the events tab. For a more comprehensive introduction to internships, please visit CaPS' Internships page.)

Exploring Career Options

If you are more of a do-it-yourself person, here is a list of resources that will familiarise you with the potential applications of each major in the job market.

 

Sometimes, figuring things out on your own can be difficult. A new perspective from an advisor can help you make the right decisions to find your career path. They will also help in orienting you towards a career path that fits your interests and skills.

List of Resources

  • CaPS C-Lounge: a roaming lounge where students can drop-in without an appointment and chat with a career advisor. Ask any question that is on your mind. 
  • CaPS Career advisors: students can ask an advisor about any career-related inquiries. An appointment is mandatory. 
  • Find out if your faculty or department also has a career office

Perfecting Your CV & Cover Letter

When it comes to CVs and cover letters, one size does not fit all. In today’s competitive job market,  CVs and cover letters need to be tailored to targeted industries or jobs.

If your CV and cover letter directly address the job’s requirements and showcase how well you can meet them, your chances of getting an interview invite increase dramatically. But many students struggle with the issue of how to focus on different aspects of themselves on different CVs and cover letters.

Here are some resources that will help you improve your job searching tools:

List of Resources

  • If you have yet to attend any workshops about the basics of writing a CV and cover letter by CaPS, check them out here!
  • CaPS CV advising (drop-in & by appointment) 
  • McGill Writing Center Tutoring: You may book a tutorial session to correct your writing on your CV and cover letter.
  • Workshop: Perfecting the Cover Letter by CaPS and Graphos for graduate students (under tab 'Graduate Workshop')
  • Many Departmental Career offices offer CV and cover letter advising as well. 
  • For career assistance from off-campus resources, click here (under tab "External Resources - CV and Cover Letter Advising").

Developing Interview Skills

Comprehending Interviews

Once you have received an interview invitation, you must prepare. Many job applicants spend little time preparing for an interview, leading to poor results. Thorough preparation will improve your confidence, performance, and job prospects. The resources below will provide you with a sense of this process: 

List of resources

 

Fortifying Your Interview Skills

Practicing your Interview in French

Many interviews are conducted entirely or at least partially in French in Quebec. Depending on your area of studies, fluency in French may have an impact on an employer's decision to hire you.  

Many international students are not prepared for this situation, as they have never experienced interviews in French. Attending the workshops below will help you learn the strategies for a successful interview in French.

Please note that intermediate to advanced levels of French are required in order to attend some of the workshops.

List of resources

 

Mock Interviews

A mock interview is a conversational exercise resembling a real interview for the purpose of providing experience for a job candidate. Mock interviews help a job applicant understand what is expected in a real interview. They also help an applicant improve their self-presentation. 

List of resources

  • CaPS Advisors:  Students can ask an advisor about any career-related inquiries or schedule mock interviews. An appointment is mandatory.
  • CaPS + InterviewStream: At McGill, in addition to scheduling an appointment with an advisor for a mock interview, you can also use the online platform InterviewStream to practice whenever it suits you. 
  • Faculties and departments may also provide mock interview appointments.
  • For a list of external resources you could use, click here (under the tab "External Resources").

Building Your Professional Image

In Canada and many other job markets, self-presentation and self-promotion matter!

This includes actions to be taken in addition to drafting your CV and cover letter and can be done both on and offline.

More and more employers refer to LinkedIn profiles to know their candidates. And many vacancies are filled through contacts in your field. These two types of recruitment - one so publicly accessible and the other much more hidden - both involve presenting your most professional self at any time.

 

Establishing a Presence on LinkedIn

CaPS provides feedback regarding your LinkedIn profile during 20-minute drop-in sessions. 

There are also plenty of chances around campus where you could even get a free professional LinkedIn headshot! 

List of resources

 

 

 

Introduction to Networking

Networking is an important part of any job search, and particularly here in Quebec. It is the process of establishing contacts for the purpose of gathering information, communicating your career goals, seeking advice, and obtaining leads on jobs. Unsurprisingly, the larger your network is, the more likely you are to be successful.

Unless you put effort into building your network, this could be one of the weak spots for many international students. But there are ways to compensate, and the following resources can help you on that path:

List of resources

  • CaPS workshops: Practice your Networking (under tab 'Undergraduate Workshops')
  • Networking Tips
  • McGillConnect: McGill University, in partnership with Ten Thousand Coffees, has created McGillConnect, a career network designed to make it easy for members of the McGill community to receive or offer mentoring and career advice, connect with the McGill community and make the most of your McGill professional networks
  • CaPS mentorship program: The McGill Mentor Program is designed to connect McGill students with McGill alumni, allowing them the opportunity to gain valuable experience and advice for career development.
  • More McGill Networking venues and events
  • Each department’s student association may have plenty of networking events throughout the semester. Check their Facebook pages and websites regularly!

Mastering the Market

Where to Start Looking for a Job

In addition to traditional, published vacancies, one of the most important and often neglected ideas behind job searching is the "hidden market". Many vacancies are filled by candidates with an internal reference, meaning they are never publicly advertised. This shows the importance of networking. It is commonly said that in Quebec, "hidden" vacancies make up 30% of the job market. 

Have a look at the following resources to learn where to look for a job:

List of resources

 

Getting familiar with the Canadian labour market

One of the biggest issues presented to international students might be the lack of knowledge to the local labour market. For example, what field is in high demand at the moment? Where should one start to search for jobs? What are the reasonable expectations of salary? What is expected of you when you enter the labour market?

Check out these workshops and online tools to help you understand Canadian and Quebec labour markets:

List of resources

  • CaPS Workshop: Business Etiquette For Job Seekers (under tab 'Targeted Workshops')
  • LMI Online provides information about different trades and occupations in Quebec, including

    their principal tasks;
    wages;
    job prospects;
    potential employers;
    prerequisites;
    training required.

    You can also find out about

    trades and occupations in high demand;
    growing sectors of activity;
    availability of workers.

Securing Essential Documents to Work When You are a Student

SIN

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number required to work (and get paid) in Canada. Employers must ask for the SIN of all new employees as soon as they are hired. You may apply for a SIN before you start working, or up to three days after your start date. A SIN is also required for taxation purposes.

 

Do I need a work permit?

Find out if you need a work permit for your part-time jobs, summer jobs, or internships.

 

Study, Work and Stay in Canada

A newly created website from IRCC that goes through the various steps that students should follow from studying, working, all the way to citizenship.

Knowing your Workplace

Are Unpaid Internships Legal?

Unlike some other countries, there are few laws in Canada defining or regulating internships directly.  Each province has its own employment standards legislation, regulations, and/or guidelines that may apply to interns. Click here for a summary.

 

Integrating into your workplace

Once you’ve been hired, you’ll feel much more at ease in your professional environment if you are conscious of work values in Quebec and what is expected of you.