I get bombarded with you have been cited notices
in one of my email accounts. Then I received a half
off subscription email. This is so common these
days, so I checked into it and share…
Is Academia Edu legit?
Trend that I noticed is not including an objective.
I prefer seeing Qualifications which aim specifically at
the job description musts and wants. The article suggests
Lydia Dishman wrote in Fast Company: “The need exists for a
summary of professional achievements, preferably verifiable
and hinting at what a person might be like to work with.” Though
a delivery system for this information is bound to change.
Accompanying this future seeking view is some controversy
for first time resume writers, career changers and job-hoppers who
seek growth in low growth environments. The overall history,
author Dishman chronicles, includes da Vinci’s ten point ability
list in a letter to Sforza about painting the Last Supper, the French
word origin of personal summary of job skills, and changes in
sections and information to include and/or drop based on length,
format (using PCs and programs).
She suggests Linkedin is hastening an irrelevance. At least nearly
nine-tenths of recruiters seek out the contents and sections of your
profile. What is problematic is job titles, despite the advances
in keyword matching, full expedited listing of accomplishments
(often via links to documentation), and detail often not possible
in hardcopy forms.
With so many possible applicants, time is a premium in making
appropriate decisions without bias.
It is highly recommended that you create and seek out best
practices in digital formats, which Linkedin leads.
Academic positions still do not favor the use of digital forms,
This entry was all set to go then a terrific article on
travel came across my screen. Let me start there …
broadcasted a comprehensive article containing
travel tips that many would be advised to take heed of.
1. Plan for the unexpected. Medical emergencies,
Cutting short your travel. Natural phenomena.
2. Know what to do in an emergency. Contact list.
Have it available wherever you are.
3. Get your home, auto, finances in order and secured.
Now to the entry. WSJ editorial page had a
. It is an eye-opener
and worth reading, especially if the reader is early in
There are “tells” [poker analogy):
-Pres. Clinton telling people he liked their tie.
-Person takes a call in the middle of a meeting.
-Person asks to have the material sent to office and follow
up. No follow-up occurs.
-Person takes your business card and picks his teeth with it.
detected by a series of astronomical devices
confirming a source as a “blazar” the first known source of
extraterrestrial gamma rays. this is the beginning of high
energy neutrino astronomy. This nerdy finding is like
gravitational particles and other recent discoveries that
may introduce new concepts in science and applications.
(think: x-rays, isotopes, DNA)
Using Electrochemistry to perform organic synthesis.
A half dozen authors reviewed advances in organic synthesis
that is energy and environmentally efficient in
. They provide experimental essentials and dozens
of documented examples. This could be a resource for
your research notebook.
Did you sign a non-compete agreement with your current employer?
Did you keep your employment offer letter that promised certain
What are your retirement benefits from your first employer–
did you maintain your employee handbook? [if the company
still exists and functions…]
These are valuable insights that Al Sklover poses in formulating
a defensive “go” file in case you need details of your
take his prudent advice.
Industrial positions are often the description I hear
from PhDs and post-doctoral fellow. Honestly,
these professionals seek a position as a scientist or
engineer in business. That means ironically that
they need to project a profit motive or problem
solving motivation in their background and interests.
As you probably know recruiters are bombarded
with a large number of public relations packages.
So they use many times either a screening routine
or software ATS for uploaded documents that screen
the packages for keywords and words in context.
The recent issue of Money magazine has an article
Kristin Bahler. I agree with many of the concepts
yet the interpretation is significantly different for
professionals with several years of experience.
Bahler presents things that business might be
expecting for recent BS candidates. It is altogether
different for Post-doctoral fellows in terms of content.
For them, there is a need to convert an uninterested
reader to an interested professional reader. Thus,
critical information about what professionals are
expected to do need to be incorporated, like
- ability and experience in a fast paced environment
- experience winning grants writing proposals for
- managing budgets and negotiating experiences
How do you represent this if you are a post doc with
more than a couple of years experience?
Consider creating a new addendum for your resume
package called a “List of Projects” where you list
project work, areas of leadership responsibility
(often outside the technical realm) and interesting
projects that required you to do the extraordinary.
Some mention of List of Projects might be presented
in your Linkedin profile (which must be up to date)
and your web-page (which leading post docs will
have for an internet presence.).
Another conversation might address internationals
seeking employment in US. So often, Visa issues
cloud their futures. One of the questions they might
pose during their post doc is to ascertain if the
sponsoring organization will sponsor their visa
application. The range of potential employers is
limited if their Visa situation is problematic. Can
they seek employment in a start up for which they
are well qualified? Since start ups can fail and make
them need to fall back on a back up job search,
sponsorship can be lost.
It seems imperative to seek employment in large
organizations or government institutions where
the visa can be obtained with commonly more
What might a post-doctoral application contain:
-resume (with reference to Linkedin profile)
-list of references (not part of resume)
-list of publications, patents and presentations
-list of projects
easy to read, error-free, neat looking,
Innovations in the way we present ourselves, our
research and technical work should impact how we
format and what we include in our CVs for academic
General guidelines for having
- the document be in screen-readable sized font,
- your name on each printed page with a page number,
- keywords that reveal that you understand that you
meet requirements (musts/wants) of the position being
- your experience section state accomplishments led
by action verbs
- sufficient information to evaluate your academic
credentials and accomplishments (your thesis and adviser,
titles of presentations, patents and articles)
are certain. Just as the essential need of a signed cover
letter that cites all the documents in your package.
Reviewing so many documents usually means that
they are in electronic form and items should be digitally
While several references suggest Purdue’s Online
Writing Lab and registration in ORCID
provides items to consider including as topics.
In addition to those, it is now important to include
web-pages, blogs, open access articles on both technical
and topical interest, Internet commentaries, and
appropriate communication contact points (texting,
More and more academic position applications will ask
for teaching philosophy, diversity statement, research
proposals, list of publications, patents, and presentations
and list of references. All of the information should be
appropriately integrated to support each other.
Of interest to many academic positions is seeing your
contribution and participation in “service” to department,
university and field of endeavor and presentations to
organizations and audiences outside of your main field.
Special mention should be made about CVs for outside
the US. If you are seeking positions in Europe, you should
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.
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].
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.
JZ contacted me about preparing for an upcoming
interview and she is concerned about being an
international professional who has pursued her
dreams. She believes –”she does not have the
freedom to choose passion if they are not traditional
career paths. …I have H4 visa (spouse- H1B) and need
sponsorship to work. [Situations are such that I
want] to add income by looking at a job related to my
We corresponded refreshing what we had discussed
in person and in class five years ago as she was making
decisions for her family. The times have changed in
the immigration world since then and that may influence
employment decisions. These can be overcome by
thoughtful preparation, considerate follow through
and win-win comments during the interview..
- your Linkedin.com profile needs to show interest
and express background and experience in the chemical
- Arrange an information interview to re-familiarize
yourself with OSHA, MSDs, and HazWaste and good
laboratory practice with people in the field.
- Develop ~1 min. stories and jot down memory aids
for each bullet in your resume
- Study the company and area around the company.
Look at its website, goggle people, look at Linkedin
profiles for connections.
- Even if the interview is remote or virtual, dress as
if you were visiting the site. Plan to be prepared a
reasonable time in advance.
- Write down critical questions you wish to ask, Like:
What is a typical day like?
What are typical analyses and instrumentation used?
What is the safety record of the company?
Who will you be reporting to, who will you replace
and can you learn key information from them?
- Have pen, paper, your documents and a calendar and
- Salary expectation study for range
- Be prepared to offer names and addresses of
references. Contact references in advance asking
if they are available to go to bat for you.
- in the beginning introduce yourself and ask for
introductions of all participants, get correct spelling
and title and addresses (thank you notes)
- hold back from talking about or asking for salary
and visa status before a job offer.
- be ready to express your salary expectations based on
- Dress as if you are on site. Think about safety
shoes and apparel.
- Arrange for no interferences and test out tools
you will use, if remote.
- Near the end, consider offering a test run to work
for a day or week, per diem.
- Near the end, ask “what is the next step in the
- Be ready to follow up on each of their requests. It is
not unusual these days to be tested on pertinent skills
plan to show that you can do them well.
- Check with your references to confirm they have all
they need to work for you.
Over a 30 - 45 year career, most everyone gets relieved of their
position. Sometime it is sudden, other times there are indicators
that some positions will be severed and still other times we are
faced with a choice to stay or leave.
Let me pose that it should be part of our regular personal planning
process that we consider building resilience into our thinking. Create
your personal action plan, keep your options open and know what
your personal goals, musts and wants are.
As much as possible plan so that it is not a total surprise.
contributed a piece offering things to do if you lose
your position. I cannot agree with her more on
1. don’t lose your “cool”, stay calm and manage your emotions
2. personally ask for recommendations from specific individuals
(If someone hesitates at all, or will not provide a good one, move
2a. these days more and more Linkedin recommendations can be
a useful starter in situations where policies limit employees from
3. You should be continually active in your professional network,
also ask references for their network contacts and ideas.
I found Umoh’s thoughts about cleaning up your facebook, online
profiles and photos and comments something that might be easily
Formulate a modifiable plan of action that includes push
, situations where you you meet people
in person and volunteer roles in professional organizations.
Taking shorter term, temporary roles may be a big plus, while
you enroll for unemployment benefits and update your master
resume, targeted resumes for each position and Linkedin
profiles using current keywords for your industry and field.
Consider asking for outplacement services as part of your
that you have signed.
Have you looked at the proposed FY2018 budget for science,
technology, health and engineering? Mostly flat or cutback.
except for defense related expenditures (and the “wall”– which
will be paid for by someone else..)
Have you looked at the proposals for taxes? Across the board
reductions in rates, which results in peanuts for the poor,
a cup of Starbucks for the middle class and a new yacht for
Have you noticed the major overhaul of the rules and enforcement
progressive taxation (richest contribute a fairer share) and
regulations and legislation are what has turned American
enterprise into an equitable thriving system in the 20th century.
We need to do something about the gutting of these.
Through the ACS
we are provided some tools to be proactive
individually. In a recent town hall we learned from our senator
that groups and organizations are much more effective in
influencing and sending cogent messages to senators and
Let’s all urge the EPA to meet its mandated assignment, if not,
let’s increase our efforts at the state level with the DEP.
Let’s ask our ACS President to address research funding
shortfalls that impacts our enterprise long term.
Let’s bring back regulations that reign in wild speculative behaviors
that benefit a clever few who have escape clauses to absolve
Recently I have received requests to review resumes and cover
letters for people who have completed several post docs and
wonder what can they do to attract interview attention.
First it was important to realize that they do not see the
changing role of push-pull marketing using on line profiles.
Since online profiles can contain much more information than
resumes and can be accessed in a multiplexed mode, quite often
this is a leading recruiting step. Push marketing is typified by
sending your resume to a recruiter or uploading to a website.
Pull marketing occurs when recruiters review profiles on line.
The online profile needs to be very good and show
communication savvy, while being consistent with your resume.
Second. When I examine the profile/ resume/ cover letter package
I ask for the job description. The exact title [cover letter], job code
[cover letter], and keywords [cover letter, resume, online
profile-Linkedin] need to be listed in the documents. It is critical
since screening is often done by ATS applicant tracking systems.
Third. While the ATS examines the full document, human reviewers
will want to see information that is easy to read, error-free and
specific to the position. Please:
- avoid long paragraphs of information in cover letter or resume
- insert your experience section before education, after you
reach five or more years beyond your last degree.
While it might be very true, statements like the following are
not taken seriously:
‘I believe I am a
quick learner as demonstrated previously where
worked in various fields (materials, analytical and clinical)
papers. I hope my skills and background are a
fit for to satisfy the requirements for the … position. I thank you for
your time and enthusiastically look
forward to hearing from you
soon. ‘ [note too many ‘I’s’– whole letter had >16]
for we know other interpersonal, cultural, and nonverbal
factors can dominate. [Technical skills alone are not enough.]
While the ACS offers good general suggestions about
writing documents, specific situations require outside-the-
- when there is little evidence for scientific accomplishments
via patents and papers, consider creating a List of Projects
addenda that might mention project work on proprietary
material ethically and legally.
- when seeking positions of some authority and responsibility,
providing information in the affiliations or highlights section
or in the cover letter or in the Linkedin profile where you
point out project and team leadership and responsibility
Our Professional Development class is interesting because
we can use feedback from class members for future discussion
items and exercises in class.
One feedback card read: Could we engage in networking
conversations and elevator speeches from each person in class?
It is better than describing them.
>In subsequent classes we asked people to deliver elevator speeches
to their team mates [which should be done in all team situations].
Then when we brought in guest speakers, we asked each class
member to deliver an elevator pitch to the guests.
A couple of other situations that are intriguing. One class member
met privately and said she did not know what to do as her team
was unresponsive to requests to work together and complete tasks
on time. We talked about it and in class performed an exercise.
What can you do to work better as a team? There are many excuses:
too busy, lazy, procrastinate, think the assignment is dumb….
- plan ahead; discuss the work assignment
- know yourself; study your teammates behaviors, values, likes
- keep in touch; communicate, even over-communicate
- offer help if others have trouble understanding/solving the assignment
- Team formation usually follows easily recognizable stages, known as
“forming, storming, norming, and performing.”
YOU ARE EXPECTED TO GET TO NORMING QUICKLY
- learn about your team-mates: their values, behavior, goals, time lines,
honesty, promptness, caring; strength and weakness
- When do you report to higher Ups?
- Influence: consistency, scarcity, authority, trust worthiness,
- Work together, share ideas and don’t just divide up the work.
- Use people’s strengths and interests to produce something that
- Become familiar with due dates, put buffer between team
deadline and final deadline alert people in advance
- Givers succeed most, reciprocators are a close second
- Adam Grant’s book “Givers and Takers”
A second class exercise was inspired by an incident where a class
member forgot an attachment when sending an email. It happens to
all of us.
The class came up with several and discussion ensued about how
some recipients might feel it revealed lack of attention to detail or
how you perform under pressure. There are technological solutions
that we should know and use.
A question came in:
Can you tell me again the differences (e.g. particular years’
experience) between adept, skilled, proven track record in and
problems with, Experienced is not strong enough.
When you do more- design, develop, implement, and solve
- Experienced in can be used for software or running equipment.
managing projects where you have metrics to describe the results-
- Proven track record is last and only relates to things like sales,
- Proficient having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude
These “lead in” phrases are common introductions into
skill qualifications and Highlights section of a resume.
- adept; a person who is skilled or proficient at something.
adept, expert, good, practiced, proficient, skillful, skilful(adj)
“they are adept at kung fu and karate”
budget, time, results, people.
It is a sign of low skill to repeat the same one more than once.
That is why we have several to choose
Hope this helps.
Additionally under unique situations certain individuals can be
“experts in…”. Daniel Levitin has written about who can be
The term expert is normally reserved for people who have
undertaken special training, devoted a large amount of time to
developing their expertise (e.g. MD, pilots, musicians, athletes.)
and those whose abilities or knowledge are considered high
relative to others’.
As such, expertise is a social judgment and relative. …
Expertise also falls along a continuum.
Individuals with similar training and levels or expertise will not
necessarily agree with one another, and even if they do, these
experts are not always
Experts are often licensed, or hold licensed degrees, or are
recognized by other authorities.
In science, technology and medicine experts’ work appears
in peer-reviewed journals or on patents, recognized with
awards, running or starting a company or amassing wealth.
Expertise tends to be domain-specific and typically
While many observations are continuing themes, the
following should be noted before newer items:
1. Avoid formal pre-built cut-and-paste templates.
Although reviewers do seek out specific sections and,
2. Apply for each position with a specifically tailored
document that is truthful and consistent with other
4. Make your resume scannable
, reverse chronological
order. Some sites may have specific formats required for
submission. Check in advance.
- include Linkedin and twitter addresses
- clean up or make facebook and/or other personal accounts
private. They will be searched.
- include specifically relevant skills for your field and position.
- soft skills are of questionable relevance
- There is an open debate about using Objective section. It can
be valuable early in your career, with little experience, or if you
are changing career paths.
Different kinds of positions look for different pieces of
information that characterizes your key attributes that qualify
you for the opening, like summary, profile and highlights.
- cut out unnecessary information. provide schools relevant to
the application… degree granting institution, major and year.
Linkedin may provide fuller listing. Your goal here is brevity and
- guideline is generally 1 page for each 10 years. No more
than 2 pages.
EXPERIENCE, HONORS, AWARDS, AFFILIATIONS
- these reveal accomplishments, the key measures supporting
your second section and your candidacy.
So many times we see over-the top adjectives and the expectation
that degrees and publications are qualifications. I found jobscan.co
an interesting tool to compare what ATS might find
when scanning your resume.
I have seen some newer formats
, but have not seen whether
they have been generally accepted.
`How do you figure out appropriate information that is important
and verifiable, relating to your interests and goals?
We can subscribe to publications. Does that provide what you need?
We can view broadcast media or skim Flipboard or other “news
aggregators” or subscribe to twitter feeds for our philosophy matching
We all have limited time and viewerships.
- Set your short and longer term goals
ASK GOOD QUESTION
A good question is not concerned with a correct idea.
A good question cannot be answered immediately.
A good question challenges existing answers.
A good question is one you badly want answered once you
hear it, but had no
inkling you cared before it was asked.
A good question creates new territory of thinking.
A good question reframes its own answers.
A good question is the seed of innovations in Science,
politics, and business.
A good question is a probe, a what-if scenario.
A good question skirts on the edge of what is known and not
silly nor obvious.
A good question cannot be predicted.
A good question will be the sign or an educated mind.
A good question is one that generates many other questions>
A good question may be the last job a machine will learn to do.
A good question is what humans are for.
GOALS- Think through your “purpose”
1- Do you like what you are now doing?
2- What do you feel and think you want to do? Like is not
enough. Purpose is about setting up a direction and a path
and pausing and allow back up plans and ideal case formulation.
3- Can you do what you want? Know the difference between
your wants and what you are competent at. Understand your
priorities and values and your organization’s priorities and values.
4- Have you define your next and following steps involving
awareness, action and accountability
5- Who can you depend on for good, reliable advice? Who
will tell you the truth without involving their personal interests?
6- What are you willing to re-pay, offer up and return?
7- What do you to learn or gain experience in?
It is useful to consider the words we use. ’Truth’ is most often
not strictly absolute, black and white. Yet there are certain words that
do not trigger the outcomes we desire.
NEED very few things “need” to get done. OFFER, maybe, WHAT
DO YOU THINK ABOUT… or HOW DOES THIS SOUND…
CAN’T you probably can. In reality, there are multiple or opposing
EASY This is a way to describe other people’s jobs
. Notice how
many times that speak about their jobs as easy.
“Cousins” of these words are everyone, no one, always and never.
HL and I had an interesting discussion about a job
application for a pharma position. We arranged the
position via email where we asked and sent draft resume,
musts-and-wants and the job description.
It is important to realize that each cover letter, resume
and contact network association needs to be targeted
and properly researched and framed.
What kind of position is being pursued?
What specific skills or experiences will be expected?
What are your specific skills/ experiences that may apply?
Who do you know who might help and provide a reference?
The position seeks BA/BS with some senior research
experience or an MS. The skills sought are LC, MS and
working with bioassay prep and data analysis.
It is a stretch to have a senior undergraduate having
these, but our discussion proved that HL had good
experiences that could be of interest. HL had done
a semester of undergraduate monomer synthesis research
in junior year. Quite interestingly, HL had completed a
semester research abroad where detailed discussion
revealed working with and troubleshooting LC-MS and
data integration systems for study of metal binding to
It is now a challenge to create a document that points
out the specific instruments and work done both abroad
and as a junior. What keywords were used in the job
description? Find a way to articulate HL’s work using
those or comparable terms. Experienced reviewers will
We talked about the big difference in working in a
research lab where things constantly go wrong or need
maintenance and calibration compared with doing an
analytical course lab experiment where everything is
pre-ordained and set up.
Then we spoke about another element– who were HL’s
references? Has HL spoken to them about interest in
the position? Can each one of three provide “good
references? Does the reference know anyone at the
firm? Can HL get to meet or speak with the possible
network referral to learn more about the position, hiring
manager, and company situation?
Does HL have a quality Linkedin page? Let’s look.
What will be critical things to provide realizing the
first use might be for this LC-MS bioassay role?
What keywords, content and organization should the
Linkedin profile have?
What started out as a request for a resume review, morphed
- job description study,
- revising a draft resume highlighting key experiences
- critically thinking through references and the roles they
assume (and, also including a reference list in the PR
- critically thinking that a professional presence is
expected (Linkedin profile and working on that)
- outlining and drafting a cover letter for submission
- seeking out people who could be referrals for the
six other important steps.
Yesterday I enjoyed a conversation with a resume reviewer
who has a senior level position in a government organization.
He shared several poignant remarks about his experiences
when he often reviews resumes to bring in candidates to
interview for technical positions.
He expressed disbelief that some resumes seem to be
unrelated to the “must and wants” described in the
USAJobs.gov requirements. To him, it seemed they were
applying simply based on their degrees.
Some resumes contain typos or do not meet the specifications
listed in the instructions to authors. Others list out extensive
biographies with many bullets unrelated to the description.
Some are three and more pages long and don’t realize how
their resume will be evaluated. [They don’t read the
evaluation criteria listed in the description.]
There are some positive things he reinforced that can be
a master resume, but do not use it for your submission
as it is too long with unrelated TMI (too much information]
items. Use a “targeted resume” for your application.
Why have the master resume? Well, because you will need
a little more detail to include in your federal positions, like:
- month/date for starting and ending roles
- details on your personal history, military service, VISTA
city, state and ZIP of employers, hours per week worked,
level of experience via roles and responsibilities, reverse
chronological order, specific keywords in the description.
[see the above link.]
Master resumes provide a useful resource that each of
us can use throughout our careers. It is not what we
actually submit. It is a data resource that needs to be
regularly updated and refreshed … think about former
companies who have changed names, and addresses
of your references, keywords, list of projects some which
were shorter term and even incomplete.
Targeted resumes are “marketing documents” that may
be read by people who without the formal technical
background. Appearance makes a difference, so avoid
using ‘fill in the blanks’ forms. and software that does
not always translate when uploaded.
(.doc, for example– .pdf or .txt may work better).
Honesty is always expected and it is easier to verify
things via the Internet.
With several requests for career paths outside the US
and in non traditional technical roles, we learned,
advised and compiled useful documents for each:
Industry Jobs for PhDs
INDUSTRY JOBS FOR PhDs in SCIENCE 2016.doc
Business focused resumes:
BUSINESS RESUMES 2016.doc
INTERNATIONAL RESUMES 2016.doc
Calvin Pappas wrote about things to improve your Linkedin profiles
recently. I found it interesting in that it separates Linkedin from
the majority of profile settings by managing and controlling access
and viewership. This allows, in other words, you to manage your
profile’s “digital breadcrumbs.“
This connects us to Elizabeth Charnocks book– “E-Habits” which
attracted my attention recently. The Toronto Star offered an interesting
article describing her company, Cataphora, which creates mathematical
models of our digital presence to assess witnesses for prosecuting
attorneys, ‘bad apple’ analyses of employees [’banana peel throwers’],
future employees or whistle-blowers [Dorian Grey effect– fake
images of themselves] and other common sense images of people’s
habits that may reflect character traits.
One area of relevance to professional behaviors is the consistency
of your resume to other digital images and reflections of you on the
Internet. Their software models whether there are (intentional or
unintentional) discrepancies in your public relations documents with
the “digital YOU.”
She offers the idea of a website that creates one version of your
This leads us to receiving feedback from mentors to providing feedback
and upgrading our habits to be more in sync with our true goals. Ed
Catamull’s Creativity Inc talks at length about how speaking with candor
in a trusting and digestable manner makes us better and our efforts more
productive. He writes about the formation and development of Pixar and
generalizes on the trial and error processes they evolved in digitizing