From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development

October 2021
« Sep    
Digital Media. Growing Use of Internet Publishing
Filed under: Recent Posts, Public Relations docs, Recruiters, Leadership, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:36 pm

One of the crucial measures of developing research programs
is keeping in touch with new ideas and combinations with
new equipment and theories.  

Several career paths place credibility of achievement on
publications [publications in peer reviewed publications]. 
How this is measured with Internet publications is not patently 
obvious or at least consistent from one organization to another.
Nonetheless several sources of online publications are appearing.
ChemRN provides global access and outlet to classified topic
ChemRxiv is a Figshare product offers rapidly transmitted
of one-page preprints with a promise of tools to detect plagiarism.
[open API or via OAI-PMH].
This blog articulated that scientific publishing was going
to evolve from the commercial and professional society
journal paradigm.  It will be important that strong professional
ethics are articulated in this evolving medium
and there is
a viable enforcement mechanism for violations and dealing
with grey-area issues.

Filed under: Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:12 am
You cannot fake trust, J. Smith wrote.  Covey points
out that trust is the highest form of motivation.
When trust is lost or not part of interpersonal connection,
less than what is set out as goals will result– for
individuals, teams and organizations.
So many times I have heard one person not being selected 
for something based on a comment that another lacks 
trust or did not feel someone was trustworthy.  
employee / boss:  confidence in you before promotion
team / manager :  belief in you to rely on your vision and
audience / speaker: are you credible and have a credible
                      message to act on your recommendations
Trust reveals faith in the honesty, integrity, reliability
and competence of another.
Two resources that may apply to situations are 
SUNY-Albany Center for Technology in Government and 
Phrases demonstrate demonstrate and expand trust.
SUNY-Albany provides trust elaboration in a more global
perspective.  I appreciated their defining three types of trust
1.  trust conferred by professional credentials and
reputation.  It may change based on more interactions.  
2.  trust resulting from familiarity and consistent
work-group, team or association (professional, business)

3.  trust resulting from adhering to legal or social
norms that prescribe and restrict behaviors and actions.  

This background can be instructive as it can inform how
trust results in different and cross-cultural situations.
Phrases and appropriate, following-elaboration that enable
trust include:
- ‘thank you…’ for attending, for reviewing, for helping….
- ’saying what is in it for the audience’
- telling ‘why I care about….’ 
- follow emotional beliefs with supporting, objective data
[not ‘cherry-picked’ data]
- listening carefully to another’s opinion and stating trust
in their judgment
- confirming that while you may not be expert on all things,
you have training, experience and willingness to learn new
things that enables you to offer a thoughtful perspective.
Other ways to foster trust include:
- follow through and provide early notice for meeting or
not meeting commitments 
- say “no,” when you mean no
- share what you know and don’t know

1 comment
Economics of the Chemical Enterprise.
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Recruiters, Leadership, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 8:58 am

The global pace is speeding up.  To meet the needs and
interests of members and institutional stakeholders the
Society needs to incorporate broader and deeper aspects
of economics in the technical and scientific aspects of
the chemical enterprise.

Think:  mergers and acquisitions; government funding of
CDC, EPA, NIH, chemical research;  international trade
arrangements; patent implications for different industries;
water, power, recycling…
This post recognizes the development of sustainability,
green chemistry, and internationalization of programs.  
Other organizations [ 1 , 2 ] have pointed out deeper and
broader economic implications. ACS has an ongoing
to continuously update “historical” data for
We need to access disciplines that will continuously
FORECAST business cycles that affect the chemical
enterprise and describe implications to members and
Robert Colvile has described how 
- more attention is paid to one issue rather than the
gradual and incremental changes all around us
- flashy and superficial is promoted
- faster and shorter-lasting dominates
- ease of money, ideas and pathogens moving around
with less friction and checking means disaster can
happen before we are aware
- industries and companies can disappear with a click
of a network or computerized trading micro-second
- trajectories are nonlinear and interruptable
One strategic area ACS needs to grow and foster
is economic forecasting.  This blog has reviewed
Tetlock’s Superforecasting and it is appropriate to 
bring up the Good Judgment Project as a seed for how
the ACS might bring economic forecasting to help
Entrepreneurs. Business model for new ventures
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:41 pm

Entrepreneurs should consider new business and marketing
model described in Robbie Baxters book “The Membership

Second description by the author.

We all experience this model in societies we belong to or
consider and use internet tools.

comments (0)
Watch-Outs. 84. Ranked Best Companies, Evaluating ETFs, “Deep Web searching”
Filed under: Position Searching, Recruiters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:05 am

What are the “good” companies to work for?  How do you
learn who they are when doing your job search?  Word of
mouth, crowd-sourcing, business news?  A link to Barron’s
weekly business publication can provide some insight.

Investments are often a challenge in the beginning of
our careers, and for long time investors, things change a
lot over time.  I am learning that in the current climate
I should move to ETFs of dividend paying stocks in my
tax deferred investments.  Bond rates a low and the
Fed is expected to enter the whole picture with interest
rates.  A link to essential information about ETF evaluations
might be useful.

Finally, we all do searching and archiving.   Did you
know about “deep web” resources being developed by

SOURCES:  Barrons June 29, 2015, p. 29
World’s Most Respected Companies and
P. Moutoukoutas, Fortune, “the worlds most respected

When looking for where we want to work, it might be
wise to know the best companies based on cloud
sourcing tools.  Many technology and scientific firms
are included on the list.  Discussion of the insertion of
Chinese firms from Fortune offers a different insight.

SOURCE:  B. Leggett, “Essential and misunderstood
evaluation tools
I am new to ETFs which are investment vehicles that
are a form of index funds with lower fees for investors.
How to evaluate them to invest in is not clear.  Leggett
is offering a tutorial that could be useful for your long
term financial health.

SOURCE:  American Laboratory June/July 2015
Scientists Use the Deep Web to Find information not
Accessible to Search Engines

This might be the next generation of information
technology that will be used in research and forecasting.

comments (0)
Mentoring. SPIE worldview, Importance of Face-to-face Interaction, Online Strategies
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

This entry is about mentoring.
While no one has all the answers.  No human can realize all the
history, interactions and subtleties around human situations.  Yet,
there can be real benefit if we develop mentoring relationships
In fact, there is a site that displays a number of well-known
people and the individuals who were their mentors.

Not only are recent graduates and post-docs “in the hunt” for
their next position, people in positions are asking how should
I position myself for being available for being considered for
my next position. 
What should I do?  they all ask their mentors.  Consider:
  Ideas (what is going on in parallel fields),
  information (how do I express myself and get feedback),
  interviews (what are the emerging trends for making ourselves

SPIE reported a telling snapshot of its membership’s typical
workweek, job satisfaction, mobility, how they define success
and salary.
What was telling about this article is the international nature of
the survey and the added cultural dimension overlaid on the photonics
industry.  The remarkable feature that this adds is offering a study
in a parallel field to the chemical enterprise that may hint at
similarities and differences that are not “teased out” from
ACS reports.

Despite all the advances in technology, in person, face-to-face
sets the “gold standard” for communication.  It is enhanced
by technological follow-ups.  In the last week, I have interacted with
dozens of people.  Each of the interactions were spurred by
making connections with individuals in face-to-face encounters.
This is a masterful “wise skill” to develop.

Ask for feedback, learn new insights, find out what is important to
your mentors.

Did you know that recruiters are Linkedin’s main revenue stream?
Led by its “talent solutions” segment it pinpoints, as long as we
include the pertinent details in our profile, and keep it up, formal
academic background, experience breadth and depth, broad skill
strengths, affiliations in organizations  and participation in some
groups.  (If you have not gotten feedback on your profile, ask
your mentor for feedback where you wish your career’s future
to move.)
In the same issue Linkedin’s competitors in France and China
(viadeo) and Germany (xing) are delineated in economics terms.
These are becoming the new exchanges for screening interviews.
Thus, having relevant up-to-date profiles using keywords that
recruiters seek is paramount.

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Watch-outs. 56. Severance negotiation, Linkedin, Lost cell phones, School Career offices
Filed under: Position Searching, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:40 am

As we know today career management is less about
tactics and cleverness for short term gains and more
defining your values and pursuing longer term meaning
while understanding you will evolve (and shift/change).

Job searching is an activity in career management
that with the Internet has evolved into a marketing
activity with its proverbial “push and pull” mechanisms.
A place of importance is Linkedin and we provide
an appropriate link to two articles about profiles there.

Another trend in job searching from colleges is
moving career services to their alumni centers.

Recovering your cell phone when lost (or stolen) is
pointed out.  While many know about it, perhaps it
is time to do something about it…
Just like your linkedin profile and figuring out what
you want to do.

SOURCE:  A. Sklover, “Lower job, severance or
Unemployment Comp
.” Sklover Working Wisdom
Whether we like it or not, downsizing and its
consequences are a fact of life for most.  Al Sklover
offers compelling thoughts and tools for dealing
with wrenching issues in his blog column.  His
discussion and tools offer value.

SOURCE:  L. Garver, Career Hub Blog, Part 2
We highlighted Louise’s first part and feel part
2 might be compelling reading for some.
She offers:
-finding articles that others may benefit from and
sharing it in Linkedin without expecting anything
in return is valued. 
-Sending alerts about meetings and talks that you
attend is useful. 
-Use alumni tools, from your education, previous
employment and volunteer work to explore valued
-Explore connections who might shed light on
what it is really like at a firm or industry or in a
specific position.
-Be up-to-date and consistent.

SOURCE:  M. Korn, WSJ 5-28-14, P. D3
Job Search meets fundraising.
A twist that might mean allowing students to
imagine what it is like in a new position can
happen when career services moves into the
alumni fundraising office.  Some call it
Student advancement and suggest that is
reveals how the school intends to be accountable
for what is happening after graduation.

SOURCE:  G A Fowler, WSJ 5-29-14, D1
“ catch a thief…
Handy apps can be used to re-capture lost
cellular tools.  The article points out other
things that can be done and mentions cautions
in pursuing your lost device.

BONUS: W. McRaven, WSJ  Commencement

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Recruiters. Agents for Staffing and a whole lot more
Filed under: Interviewing, Job Offer (Situations), Recruiters, Mature professionals, Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 12:26 pm

Job analysis, on-boarding, strategic hiring and down-sizing,
psychometric testing, outplacement….These and many other
terms are roles of recruiters. 

Recruiters and their general function, recruitment, are part
of the process of
1  deciding what skills and experience are needed to complete
and deliver a function for an organization [job analysis],
2  defining for, advertising to and attracting qualified applicants
3  screening qualified candidates and narrowing the applicant pool
4  participating in a joint selection decision including establishing
compensation elements
5  on-boarding the new hire into the organization bringing them
quickly up to speed

The role and responsibility can also involve (6) hiring strategies,
(7) networks [that is how I got started into Linkedin, for example],
 (8) screening tools, (9) hiring plans and timelines, and even
(10) downsizing and (11) outplacement [I worked with DBM
in an early in my career transition].

Recruiters are part of practically all organizations– academic,
government, industrial, entrepreneurial,… you name it. 

Some are permanent hires of a larger organization, with other
responsibilities.  Some recruiters are contracted.  Of the contracted
group, one can find
- niche specialties (Chemistry, engineering, pharma, nanomaterials,
instrumentation, batteries, electrochemistry, fuel cells, process
industries and many more),
- narrow geographic areas (Bay Area, San Diego, St. Louis, Boston,
Phila., New York, Texas, etc.) and
- more general sourcing agencies

Joseph Jolson presents, for example, how one can find career
opportunities for chemical enterprises in the Pittsburgh job market
each year.  Recruiters commonly represent their organization at job

I followed a few other blog entries and the NESACS website
unsuccessfully for niche contract recruiters for either the NE region,
like Joe does for Pittsburgh, and for industry specific retained
search firms.

The general internet databases and Linkedin Premium service are
another route you can follow. 

Contract recruiters are professionals who earn their keep and
integrity by providing a service that needs to be paid for, either by the
hiring organization or the client.  The best often work well with other
professionals based on valued relationships that lasts, not for just one
job cycle, but for years.  So, in my career, I maintained a relationship
with a fuel cell and lithium battery recruiter for over 20 years.  I was
able to help some of my colleagues find their next position by
referral a few times.  Currently, I maintain professional contact with
a few recruiters even though I am not actively in the job market myself.

1 comment
Watch-outs 44. Lithium battery fires, BYOD with LiMS, Case study questions and Feedback from interviews
Filed under: Interviewing, Recruiters, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:06 pm

Since we use rechargeable lithium batteries in so many
places, chemists, material scientists and engineers should
understand a little about the 787 lithium battery issue.
A trend that is happening right before our eyes is BYOD.
So a series of sensible questions connecting to LIMS
is shared.  A case is made for case study interviews and
a limited trend in getting feedback from interviews
is uncovered.

SOURCE:  A. Heller, Interface 22(2), 35(2013)
While the ACS is a forum for chemical science, I am troubled
when letters to the editor are not technically reviewed.  (See
C&EN 6-17-13, p. 4 by A. B. Lees)  A noteworthy comment that
all chemists who have interest in and concerns about the Boeing
787 lithium battery problem.  A respected power systems
expert, A. Heller, has proposed a meaningful strategy and
most plausible mechanism for the lithium-ion battery with
carbon anode and LiCoO2 cathode problems being dendrite
formation at low temperatures
.  Keep the battery as warm as
the passengers.  ECS Interface 22(2), 35 (2013), first issued
online 3-25-13. [The G. S. Yuasa-Boeing Li-Ion Battery:  Test
it at a low temperature and keep it warm in flight.]

SOURCE:  E. Winstanley, Amer. Labor.45(6), 26-7(2013)
LIMS MOBILITY:  The new frontier
Mobile devices BYOD used in laboratory settings are a trend
that is happening rapidly.  The author outlines key questions:
- LIMS use industry-standard software, up-to-date?
htmls, Javascript
- LIMS can interface with modern browsers and on mobile
- Mobile applications work with camera, GPS and facilitate
barcode scanning?
- same code and operating system independent of user
platform– desktop, tablet, laptop, phone?

SOURCE:  J. Donnelly, Photonics Spectra 2013
Many resume reviewers and interviewers cannot
tell from the documents and standard questions
whether candidates can solve problems, communicate
effectively or critically think and collaboratively
solve issues.  As a result, more and more situations
are finding case study questions and interviews where
this is posed.  It helps to have problem based learning
as the New England Board of Higher Education
began in 2006 and has been further applied in the
Photonics field.

SOURCE:  L. Weber, WSJ 6-5-13, p. B6 “Didn’t
get the job?  You’ll never know why

Although reported that things may be changing,
but it may be just recruiters who give feedback
on interview performance.  More typical:
“Once you cross the line between objective and
subjective, it gets very, very challenging…. and
many firms that want to provide feedback have
their hands tied by company lawyers.”

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“Virtual” Career Fair. Bringing Job seekers together with career consultants and recruiters
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

If you were not able to attend the NOLA meeting, and you
seek your next position or you want to be prepared for
whatever may happen next in your career, did you think
to attend the “Virtual Career Fair” over the last two days?

Out of a job, need help
?  VCF is one of the services the
ACS provides— free…In fact one of the people JC I
spoke with yesterday via telecon
[more about this later]
had let her membership lapse.  She informed the ACS of
her situation and requested a waiver-membership extension
so she could attend.

RESULTS:  We video-teleconned, via Skype, for 90 minutes,
where we not only reviewed her current resume and a cover
letter, but also prepared her for a video screening interview. 
  What to wear [she was professionally attired],
  background set-up [we removed glare and unattractive
background items, placed her in the center of the screen, had
her sit back to we simulated being in the same room, and
suggested that she use a microphone for voice clarity. 
   Look into the camera[, as if,  right above my eyes.] 
   Manage non-verbal behaviors.

Then I suggested JC to contact a recruiter who seemed to be
well suited to her quest who was also attending the VCF,
ZyomicJobs .  Earlier, I had a warm conversation with Alan
who has a genuinely unique and helpful approach for
laboratory scientist careers.

There were four kinds of people who I observed in the VCF.
Browsers:  less than 30 minutes to spend, what is it about?
Curious:  Had one or more Specific questions and sought
specific advice.
People who wanted a resume or CV reviewed or a consultants
insights into the job market today and what they might do. 
They were often willing to spend some time to engage a
consultant.  Most did not wish to Skype.
These three groups were not quite ready to do a video-telecon.
The 4th group wanted to full experience of a virtual video-telecon
review and mock interview practice.  They were ready to
Skype and got the most, by far, from the VCF.
 -  Specific questions asked and answered
 -  resume reviewed on the spot [They emailed me their resume,
I worked with them line by line to point out pros and cons and
what reviewers seek.
 -  mock video-telecon interviews on the spot.

Other specific examples included:
Career advice for recent mothers telecon from home taking
care of a newborn.
Where and how to find keywords for a dad waiting for his
teenagers to come home from school for his resume…job
descriptions and information interviews
…considerations about attending a regional ACS meeting
vs. a national meeting.

These kinds of things are much better to handle with a

RECOMMENDATIONS:  This VCF approach is incredibly valuable
for members who cannot attend a national meeting.  Preparation
is very important. 

1.  Have your goals established, questions prepared and your
computer readied.
2.  Have back-up plans ready to go.  Cell phone handy to call
in case of computer interruptions.  [In fact most people’s
computer systems could not be integrated with the VCF
system to do a video/audio interaction.  Many reduced themselves
to keyboarding which is a FAIL in my view.]
3.  Dress professionally.

1 comment
Virtual Career Fair and International Career Fair> April 2013
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 4:23 pm

Are you able to attend the ACS national meeting in
New Orleans in April?  NO.

Did you know that you can do it via computer,

Check the LINK:

Are you interested in a position outside the US?
You can find a number of organizations who will
be at the New Orleans national meeting who want
to meet with ACS members via the International
Career Fair.
Ask for more information from ACS.

comments (0)
01/20/13 Workshop
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:55 pm

Having an organized, keyword-loaded, up-to-date
LinkedIn profile is essential these days in having
jobs find our interest in discussing employment and
project opportunities.

Our profile also allows us a way to asynchronously
remain connected to former colleagues and associates
who may be
   S strategists
   T targets for future opportunities
      technical experts
   A alert partners with whom we work well
   R role models
   S supporters
and consequential strangers .

At a recent meeting I introduced myself to a marketeer
and author who offered a pertinent workshop on LinkedIn.

He helped by pointing out where to organize and manage
important features  –> the settings directory .
There are several default settings which change if you
move from the basic to a premium service package.
Your Linkedin network is composed of levels where
direct connections are first level.  Your first levels’
connections who are not in your first level are your
second level, and so on.  So with basic service your
connections cannot see your second level email
addresses.  They are enabled if you have premium

Other features were described, that can be explored
further in the directory .

With computer searching we are all familiar with boolian
structures, yet more advanced information extraction
can be accomplished by understanding search algorithm
structures SEO and strategies incorporating keywords .
Keywords should be included in your Headline, Job titles,
Experience and Skills and Expertise sections

Linkedin has several interesting tools that give opportunities
to reveal that you are a thought leader (answering questions)
and having people provide endorsements of your Skills
and Expertise.  The latter are an interesting “ranking

1- Never open or accept a LinkedIn invitation unless you are
viewing the invitation through the LinkedIn “Inbox”.

2-Develop a discipline about accepting invitations.  Someone
you know well– YES
Someone you agreed to network with based on association
or affiliation– YES
Someone who is a hub and can connect you with others
with whom you wish to connect– YES
Someone you do not know but may be associated with
someone in your network– maybe, but I tend to not
respond.  Be careful about saying NO.

There is an informal etiquette to accepting or inviting

For mid-career and leadership level profiles let me point
to two profiles that are now part of my network.
technical manager with strong technical and scientific
high tech marketing executive with broad experience

Digital Media. On-line Job Boards. Insightful review
Filed under: Position Searching, Recruiters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:06 pm

For knowledge workers (scientists and engineers) and
technical managers and leaders, it is imperative to use
the Internet.  The Internet is a tool for job seekers.

1.  But should you be on many or few social networking

2.  Should you use many or few job boards?

Some thoughts: 
on question 1:
My thoughts are consider employing
no more than three social networking sites, one of
which is Linkedin.  Consider one in your major
field area and this can change, as mine has.

on question 2: 
A recruiter has recently blogged about job boards.
It is interesting and informative.  2 

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Networking after a National Meeting
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:59 am

The meeting is over. 
 - Travel is complete (including a
return to the airport to pick up a billfold that somehow
slipped out of my pocket at the airport.  Only business
cards, library cards and rapid rewards cards in it….
USAirlines was impressive in the way they dealt with
this small problem.).
 - Expense forms filled out and ready to be submitted
(including a short cover letter).

Now, is the time to consider key folks I met who I
wish to network with. 
 - Who did I meet? 
 - Who sent me invitations and thank
you notes?
 - Who did I spend time with or have good experiences

Attendance at the meeting was a little different.  (1) The
meeting was in Denver, a first.  (2) Hurricane Irene hit
travel plans.  So there were accommodations that had
to be made.  See 1  .

(3) There were virtual events, both at the meeting with
career services (don’t forget to send thank you’s) and
after the meeting (a number of presentations may be made
available– so look in C&EN and the web-site).  More on
the future of this trend  2  .

Respond to invitations promptly. 

If you have not paid much attention to your profile page,
this may be a good time to upgrade it.  A number of proteges
I spoke with did not advance their professional image by
their profile page, as they were unaware of its
importance as a PR document.
Send cordial ‘thank you’ notes.  Surprise someone with
one when they might least expect it…

Remember some promises for sending items to colleagues.
Follow up.

It is worth your while to spend an hour doing this post
meeting networking.  It may not pay off right away, but
it will long-term.  Professional associations are worthwhile.

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Careers Away from the Bench: Venture Capital
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Recruiters
Posted by: site admin @ 6:42 am

Met with a fascinating fellow on Sunday at the
Denver career fair, who asked if we could follow
up the next day with a second meeting.  It was
the first time this has happened to me. 

“Root”, let us call him, is an engaging fellow who
wished to explore in conversation how one goes
about becoming a leader.  It usually happens
by successfully accomplishing assignments on
time and within budgets at ever increasing levels
of responsibility.

Unless one joins a new firm or forms one it is
usual one does not begin their first position after
their Ph.D. as a leader.

1.  One should also seek out mentors and sponsors.
Where mentors are commonly sought to assist us
in growing in our career; sponsors more often
choose their proteges for future roles.

2.  Our conversation moved on to the role scientists
play in venture capital firms.  “Root” was
interested in now getting some business
experience.  He wanted to gain personal
insight whether he was passionate about the
business side by getting a position that exposes
him while adding value to the employer.  “Root”
was intrigued by this and noted that there were
some booths in the Exhibition manned by
VCs that he could explore.

S. Houlton authored an informative piece
on how scientists can enter into venture capital.
She nicely outlines different roles and suggests

- why a chemist is well suited for roles [addressing
the science and exploring questions in due
diligence] and

- behaviors [analytical thinking and mathematical
that are attractive.

A place that google search came up with is a
recruiting firm that seeks out venture capital
talent.  Please recall that searches yield most
popular [and enhanced by SEO] not necessarily
the most important or valuable.

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Working with Recruiters.
Filed under: Interviewing, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 12:21 pm

The saying goes, as soon as your resume is posted on a job
board or entered into a database, be ready for a call from
a company, institution or recruiter.

The call could be setting up a private time.  It could also
be checking into your availability and suitability for a
specific position. 

Sometimes, and I have experienced it myself, a recruiter
leaves a message to call.  Then the first question that is
asked is “why did you call?” believe it or not.

What is your reply?  A lame– because you left a message,
or do you construct your response to reveal your motivation
and character in a tough job market.  The interaction points
out that there is a possible match and you want to reveal that
if the position is not for you, you might find it attractive to
people in your network.

John Shinal in FINS wrote about questions people should
have the response in mind when speaking with a recruiter
on a screening type interview for professionals.

Three others that resonated with me were:

1.  What are three words that describe you?  (attributes)
Shinal points out the obvious.  Consider not only specifying
the words but also having examples (short stories) demonstrating

2.  What is the most significant accomplishment in the last
year?  Confidently describe the problem you solved, the
project you started and made progress on or completed,
or the new idea that provided a return on investment.

3.  What position do you seek next?  In this reveal what
motivates you to pursue your ambitions– challenge,
working with customers, a particular therapy, advancing
a technical solution to a problem.  Indicate your energy and
enthusiasm for this position. 

There are other questions that will “pop up” relating to
verifying information on your resume or web-page or profile page.  These are no accident and
the usual purpose behind a screening interview…

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Mentoring. Be Proactive in all Career Phases
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 7:53 am

Don’t go it alone, you don’t have to and you will
be better served if you develop allies and mentors.

This is true independent of organization type
(academic, government, industrial, entrepreneur),
organization size, and where you are in your career
(emerging, middle, or beyond).

A zeroth step seems logical but is often incompletely
done.  Perform a self assessment to gain insight
into yourself and what makes you tick and
satisfied.  What moves you to rise in the morning
and look forward to the day ahead.
Pamela Ryckman quotes R. Caruso that you should
“understand your values, passions and motivation
before asking someone to invest in you.”

Where do you know you need help?  This
can start you thinking about strengths you are
seeking in a mentor.  Are you seeking guidance
for how to change positions?  Are you seeking
areas where you might apply your skills?  What
should you do in a particular circumstance?

Should your mentor be an expert in a field, or
a seasoned well-groomed person, or a female
or one who seems to have good judgment.

Ryckman highlights four items
- articulate your aims and motivations and
how best to interact with your mentor(s)
- be alert to bias or limits in ideas and
communication revealing conflict of interest.
- make the interaction beneficial and
enjoyable for both parties
- understand the human realities that
can result– mentor offers nothing new,
mentor does not know answers, mentor
tells you something you did not want to

While the mentor - protege relations requires
good communication, it is important to realize
that it is a two way thoroughfare.  There is an
awful lot the mentor can gain, besides a thank

The Ryckman article provides a couple of
alternative strategies for conducting a
mentoring arrangement and some helpful

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Recruiter Interactions. Advice request on an interview situation
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Recruiters
Posted by: site admin @ 3:30 pm

While walking through the ACS Boston meeting
Expo a familiar voice called out, “Hey!”  Most
often a woman doesn’t respond to a man with
this, but guys don’t mind responding. 

I had seen her from the corner of my eye and
did not think she had seen me.  So, rather than
continuing on my random walk, I walked over
and greeted her.  She said she intended on speaking
with me and asked when was a good time.  I said it
was a good time then and asked if she would join me
for lunch. 

She is a successful mid-career chemist with a strong
track record.  Interviews have been coming her way
while she had been successful in a part time teaching
assignment.  Offers have not been coming her way,
however, for several reasons [that are not our present

She told me she had a conundrum now.  In the
recent past she went on an interview trip to Texas
and was offered a position.  Together with her
family, she decided it was not best for them to
take the position.  The interview was facilitated
by a recruiter who was on retainer with a firm. 
She then received another interview invitation
with the same company, in a different location.

Should she apprise the recruiter of the invitation
to the second interview at a different location one
month later?  It was not clear whether it was the
same position just relocated to another site.

We clarified some details and offered some thoughts.
Please view a couple of nice web-sites for
background on working with recruiters  1   2  .

Two career consultants offered her similar
reflections.  Namely, working with recruiters involves
working with people with whom you have developed
a relationship.  If you wish to continue the relationship
it might be prudent to phone the recruiter and advise
him that a second position and location has arisen
at the firm and you have interviewed there.   It is
your call to call before or after the interview, yet I
would pose doing it before the interview to get
a pulse of the organization from a different person.

Do it with a phone call rather than an email as then
there would not be a written record.  The recruiter
might not even be at the firm now.  Her motivation
was to insure the recruiter benefits if she obtains
a job. 

We crossed paths later at the meeting and she
had even more promising interviews.  Things
were looking up.

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Boston Meeting. Career fair and internet presence
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 3:19 pm

We are a month closer from the previous Boston meeting
blog and a week away from the meeting . 

Are you planning to use the venue to explore career
options– did you enroll as a job seeker at the Career

You can do this before or at the meeting? 
Are you unemployed?  Career fair is no cost to
members?  Membership dues can be waived, if you
are unemployed.

In the last few entries, this blog pointed out
  suggestions for resumes and CVs
  ideas for meeting people, conversations and body

   importance of having a professional internet presence

Have you read Freakonomics?  In chapter 2, Leavitt
and Dubner speak about the information asymmetry
that exists in many situations and how the Internet
reduces the information imbalance The employer-job
seeker duo is another example.

How should we help ourselves for the career fair?

1.  Ask the ACS to publish the companies and the days the
companies are planning to have representatives present.
Don’t wait, leave things to chance and behave like “finder’s
keepers”.  Be proactive.  The ACS should publish who
will be there.

2.  Do detailed research on each company with whom you
would like to work?  Use your network to learn
  what it is like working there,
  where their locations are?
  how business is going,
  what the latest news is,
  what the latest and most profitable products are,
  who is in management..

3.  Have samples of your work, copies of your resume,
interview outfit, professional attache ready and
set to go.

4.  Post your resume on the ACS job seekers’ web

5.  Update your profile and have
documents ready in the cloud to share

6.  If you seek an academic position in the future,
plan to attend the academic employment initiative
Monday afternoon and evening. 
  See what current job seekers are offering in their
posters and watch how they perform in their interviews.
  Take notes.  Collaborate with them– help them
and ask them to help you.

7.  Develop longer term relationships with people
at the meeting beyond the career fair and the
aei.  Attend and interact with company reps
in the exhibition.  Bring and share business cards.
Have your internet addresses on your business

8.  If you are presenting a paper or poster, consider
it an opportunity to show off your skills as in an
interview.  Treat them like part of an interview
revealing your expertise, your personality, your
insight and communication skills.

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Transparency in your job club, buddy system or network
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 8:58 am

Let’s be real, “Job clubs,” “buddy systems,” ‘social
,” and “networking” are terms relating to
similar functions in a job search.  They focus on
the FOUR I’S–
  interviews and
the emerging fourth, ‘internet presence (texting,
etc–. one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one).’

Recently, a person asked if she should share all
her job leads with her job-club, buddy-system,
network [you put in the term…].  “My boyfriend
doesn’t think I should, as it will bring in more
competition for the opening.” 

My response was:  whatever you do will come
back to help or “haunt you”.  If you really do want
to network with integrity, share the job leads.  Help
each other make the best impressions.  Share what
you learn so that each person can benefit.  Employment
these days seems more fluid, and it means more than
just going with the flow.  Recognize:

Not every position is right for you.  Location,
travel and time requirements, responsibilities,
skills required, etc.

You are not the best person for every position.
While you will learn new things, it is equally
important to be challenged and find satisfaction.

You cannot possibly apply for every opening.  As
well, consider narrowing down what you seek in
a position.

Personality fit, commitment and adapting to
circumstances and needs stand out as behaviors
that lead to success early in one’s career.

Chandlee Bryan emphasizes five strategies.
Please let me “tweak” them–

1  Be selective in friends and colleagues in your
network.  It is not as important to have many
names, as it is dependable friends who you can
help.  This highlights “Choosing as a skill.”

2. Be a good friend by responding promptly
and studying different segments of the job
.  (Each of you do not have to replicate
the same elements.)

3. Be meaningful by reviewing each others’
documents, offering suggestions and offering
ideas on questions and situations.  Share
mentors viewpoints.

4. Be Observant on each others’ small things.
Help make each opportunity lead to new ideas
and new successes.

5. Be open and transparent about your goals and
aspirations, as they will be similar and different from
others.  Share your evolving needs, desires and

Now, another person then asked what should be done
in the circumstance that a member of her network
got a call back from a screening interview.  In the
call back, the interviewer seemed short, demanded
responses without hesitation, and pushed for
specific commitments.  This seemed like it was
a ‘bruising’ way to attract a candidate.  It may have
been a “stress interview” revealing how the
candidate deals with stress from a higher up or

Think about tactics you might use to defuse the
situation.  Learn about what specifically his needs
and time constraints were.  Explore items you, the
interviewee,  seek in a professional and well
articulated manner.  Share this with your network and
use this one call back interview as a lesson for all.