Expanding Horizons

Queen's University
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Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Career Development

What Career Development offers to Graduate Students

  • Assists graduate students in exploring career options, marketing themselves, and planning/preparing for the future
  • Offers a variety of approaches depending of the career path considered, including academia, industry, education, and government
  • Aids students in selecting the necessary approach to planning for the future

Benefits of Career Development for Graduate Students

  • Fundamental skills in creating a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume that stands out
  • Writing cover letters that inform
  • Preparing for Interviews
  • Strategies to help graduate students determine what career path to take and how to arrive there

Workshop Categories & Descriptions

The Academic Job Search

CV’s and Cover Letters for Academia (Fall)

Host Presenters: SGS and faculty

Did you know that the terms “resume” and “CV” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing? This workshop will help you learn and make decisions about strategies for producing effective CVs and cover letters, if you’re aiming for work in academia. Find out how to customize sections of the CV and how to include appropriate stories and anecdotes to enhance cover letters.

Resource Articles

Presentation Slides 2015 (935KB)


Preparing for your academic Career (Career Week)

Host Presenters: TBD

If you are seeking an academic career as a university professor and researcher, what can you do now to prepare? Professors from several discipline clusters in STEM and Humanities/Social Science will give you their top strategies for increasing your chance of success in securing an academic career and succeeding in it. Topics include networking, publishing, teaching, research and the job search. 


Practice Interviews for Academic Positions (Fall)

Host Presenters: SGS, & Faculty 

Learn how interviewing in academia is similar to and different from other job interviews. Practice a process for dealing with behaviour-based interview questions and staying focused when talking about your past experiences. Identify key messages about yourself that you want to communicate during an often multi-day interview event. Get tips on how to develop good questions, stand out from other candidates and give relevant evidence to support your strengths.

This workshop also provides students with the opportunity to see academic interviews  in action. Several graduate students who are on the job market will be interviewed for 15 minutes by faculty members in front of the workshop. These students have submitted in advance their cvs and cover letters applying for a position. Workshop faculty facilitators will then evaluate the interview in discussion with workshop participants. This open discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate's interview will offer valuable, practical tips and strategies on effective academic interviews.

If time permits, you could prepare for this workshop by reviewing the presentation notes on a previous workshops on academic CVs & cover letters.

Additional resources

2015 Presentation Slides (1.36MB)

2014 Presentation


How to find a post doctoral position (Fall)

Host Presenters: SGS - & faculty & post-docs

Postdoctoral fellowships are an invaluable bridge between graduate study and a post-graduate career. Opportunities for these competitive positions are limited. This workshop will help you find out where to find post doctoral opportunities, how to complete applications, and how to make the most of the opportunities provided by post-doctoral study.


Preparing a Teaching Dossier (Fall)

Host Presenters: Andy Leger (CTL) 

Teaching dossiers are increasingly required as part of the application process for academic positions and are often required for consideration for promotion within the academy. This session will provide an introduction to the essential elements of a teaching dossier. It is designed to assist you in highlighting your teaching accomplishments, strengths and instructional initiatives. Activities and discussions will focus on the process of writing a teaching philosophy statement as well as on a variety of ways to seek and interpret feedback on the effectiveness of your teaching. 

Learning Outcomes: by the end of this session participants will

  • Identify the components of a TD
  • Develop an approach to writing their own teaching philosophy
  • Describe their own teaching experiences
  • Create a plan to collect and analyse their evidence of teaching effectiveness
Business/Government positions

Resumes and Cover Letters for the Professional Job Market (Fall)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Julia Blackstock

Learn how to present your transferable skills and your expertise for academic and non-academic applications.  Do you have a cv and want to convert it to a resume that is more suited to jobs beyond academia?   To gain the most benefit from this workshop, it is helpful to have a specific opportunity in mind. Please bring a draft copy of your resume or CV to work on (if you have one).  You will also learn about key components and strategies that make an effective cover letter.  You will work on exercises designed to help you customize your cover letter.

Please bring a resume and cover letter and a sample job description to the workshop.


Career Planning - the Versatile graduate (Career Week)

Host Presenters: Christine Fader (Career Services)

What do I want to do with my life?

Are you wondering what career you might pursue after graduation? Join us in a guided and interactive workshop for graduate students and discover the 5 questions that unlock your career future. Come with an open mind — leave with a list of career possibilities.

Learning Outcomes:  Students will

  • Understand how careers happen
  • Practice using tools that help them explore career direction
  • Develop increased confidence around pursuing options that are a fit for them, inside and outside academia

The job search for industry, business & government (Winter)

Host Presenters: Career Services & Alumni - Julia Blackstock

You may be wondering if you will find work after graduation. Come to a workshop with Career Services and we will get you asking: “How can I have as much influence as possible on where I end up?”  Learn how you can influence the outcome even you face challenges (e.g., tight job market, limited or no paid professional experience, etc). Find out the advantages of being focused, using a project management approach to job search and knowing specific resources. Find information about alumni who have made the transition to business, industry, and government and be able to tailor general strategies to your goals. Enjoy the energy that comes from looking at this as a group—come away excited about the future ahead of you.

Come with an idea of the type of work or industry you are interested in exploring. If you need help with career direction consider making a career counselling appointment prior to the workshop.


LinkedIn Strategy (Advanced) (Fall)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Julia Blackstock

Explore the capabilities of Linkedin.com for researching careers and experience how it can support career decision-making and job search, in particular, networking.  Discuss common questions such as: “What do I put in a message when reaching out to someone?” or “How can I get someone to respond to my message without bugging them?”  Intended for students with an existing LinkedIn Profile. Please bring your own tablet or computer to the session.


What Employers want & the Employable You  - STEM & Health Sciences (Career Week)

Host Presenters: TBD

In Part One of this session, the panellists will briefly outline their own career pathways and address the following questions: How do I begin to identify skills gained in my graduate program?  How do I translate these skills into a non-academic setting? How do I  persuade others of the saliency of these skills? How can I increase and enhance and diversity my skill set while I am a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow?  In addition to academic careers, how can I begin to find out about alternative career paths? How might I connect with people who work in these areas? 

In Part Two, participants will have the opportunity to explore these questions further with "the experts" in their subject area how to identify their program-specific skills and apply them to the job search.   You'll join one of the following subject groups so that you can receive advice tailored to your program and, if you wish, to your own situation: Humanities/Social Sciences, Health Sciences,  or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 


What Employers want & the Employable You  - Humanities and Social Sciences (Career Week)

Host Presenters: TBD

In Part One of this session, the panellists will briefly outline their own career pathways and address the following questions: How do I begin to identify skills gained in my graduate program?  How do I translate these skills into a non-academic setting? How do I  persuade others of the saliency of these skills? How can I increase and enhance and diversity my skill set while I am a graduate student or post-doctoral fellow?  In addition to academic careers, how can I begin to find out about alternative career paths? How might I connect with people who work in these areas? 

In Part Two, participants will have the opportunity to explore these questions further with "the experts" in their subject area how to identify their program-specific skills and apply them to the job search.   You'll join one of the following subject groups so that you can receive advice tailored to your program and, if you wish, to your own situation: Humanities/Social Sciences, Health Sciences,  or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 


Interviewing for Industry, Government & Business (Fall) (Interviewing for the Professional Job Market)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Julia Blackstock

You already know that a successful interview can be critical to achieving your career goals. Learn how to communicate in an interview so that, down the road, you are able to make decisions about specific opportunities. Our interviewing workshop is all about communicating—starting with you and what is important to you. Understand how to get across a key message and practice responding (in a safe context) to questions such as: “Tell me about yourself” and “What additional training would you most benefit from?” Learn from alumni who have relevant experience in business, industry, and government and come away better prepared to communicate with specific audiences.

Come with an idea of the type of work or industry you are interested in exploring. If you need help with career direction consider making a career counselling appointment prior to the workshop.


Creating your LinkedIn profile (Fall)

Host Presenters: Career Services - Julia Blackstock

Social Media is a reality for people building a career in the current world. Are you new or relatively new to LinkedIn? Get hands-on experience in designing your own online profile so that it is relevant for as many options as possible without looking unfocussed. We will review relevant examples of profiles in LinkedIn and learn how an effective profile enables you to access the capabilities of LinkedIn. Please bring your own tablet or computer to the session and be willing to create an account/profile if you don’t currently have one.