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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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10/31/07
Negotiations at work without fear
Filed under: Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 6:45 pm

 So many times we hear about people who
comment that someone receives something
while the speaker is peeved that he has not
been equally rewarded. 

We certainly want to separate the notion of
being rewarded for “working hard” versus
“achieving a goal” or “coming up with and
implementing improvements or inventions.”
These days there is almost no place for expecting
rewards for “working hard”.  It is “expected.”

Then, we come to the notion of rewards.  The
best situations are– being rewarded with privileges
that one really values and seeks. 

Al Sklover is one employment lawyer whose
books, newletters and other writings I have
read for quite a while.  He opines– 
“If you
achieve, you will receive” - is surely waning.

Sklover finds many poeple’s difficulties stem from
simply never engaging in any form of workplace
negotiation on their own behalf. Instead of planning
promotion to greater authority and compensation,
some wait for it to come to them. While our
colleagues develop the knowledge, skills, and
relations the company would likely need, and
engaged in a degree of “self-promotion,” .

People create fears of: (a) being viewed as too
aggressive; (b) being unsuccessful in his negotiating
attempts, (c) upsetting his boss; (d) looking selfish
and greedy; (e) not knowing how to go about it, and
therefore making a fool of himself; and (f) somehow,
possibly, worst case scenario, even losing his
job as a result.

The fear of negotiating at work is very, very common.
What underlies the fear of negotiating at work?
Usually it’s an understandable concern that (a)
you will not know what to do, and thus, you will
stumble and look foolish to others, (b) you will
upset or alienate your boss, and (c) you will,
in any event, fail in trying. Each of those fears
emanate from a lack of understanding the process.

If you bear in mind that, done with care,
forethought, and common sense, negotiating on
your own behalf with integrity, respect, a sense
of what is reasonable, and with good reasoning,
there is little if any downside. While there’s never
any guarantee that you will achieve all you want
in workplace negotiating, you are nearly
guaranteed that your refraining from office
negotiating on your own behalf will result only
in your frustration, de-motivation and becoming
dispirited over time.

All employers want, Sklover admits:
(a) the best employees (so you should take every
opportunity to make and show yourself to be
that employee),
(b) the best employees to remain a long
time (so you should show yourself to be
someone who is a long-term thinker, and
deserving of long-term investment),
(c) they don’t want their best employees to
leave to a competitor (so you should ask for
what it will take to keep you, without
threatening to leave), and
(d) want their best employee to stay
enthusiastic (which they know requires
continual motivation and reward).
Good negotiating is a process to achieve
what your employer wants, and what you
want, too.

Negotiating at work is good for both you and
your employer, because its very purpose is
to achieve a fairness in the exchange of the
employee’s effort for the employer’s
compensation. A comfortable balance of
the two - in a range of “mutual fairness” -
is in the interests of both employee and
employer. If you don’t negotiate on your
own behalf, chances are no one else will.
If you don’t negotiate for yourself at work,
it’s likely you will not receive your just
reward, and you will be more distracted,
less motivated to push yourself to greater
achievement.

The greatest impediment to workplace
negotiation is fear. The best antidote to
that fear is a better understanding of the
negotiation process, and in trying it,
and seeing that it can work for you.

“WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1.  Your fears of negotiating are
considerably overblown.  They are likely
holding you back more than you think.

2.  Valued employment relations are
“two-way streets
 on a positive, continual
and win-win way.  It is a process of
making yourself more valuable,
involved and in turn fairly rewarded.

3.  In negotiating, view and make your
goals consistent with your employer’s goals.

4.  Many people don’t want to make a
an irretrievable error in negotiating.   Yet,
nothing ventured, nothing gained and
learn from your’s and others’mistakes
and go forward.

5.  Doing nothing might harm you or
your chances to get what you deserve.

The greatest risk is often a result
of avoiding all risks.

6.  Good faith, integrity and working on
the team’s goals are the key in negotiating.
You can still have your own priorities,
thoughts and goals to reach.  Yet have
a plan for your career path.

7.  Reduce your personal stress.  One
tool is visualization…

8.  Begin by starting small on things that
create value for you and the team.  You
gain confidence in yourself and your
supervisor by using good judgment and
pursue team goals that meet your needs.

9.  Since it is hard to achieve and
succeed without reviewing your plans
and practicing what you want to do
before you have to do it.

10.  Positive Attitude is a force multiplier. 

REFERENCE:  Al Sklover newsletter on
  negotiating in workplace.

comments (0)
10/30/07
Mature workers interview. Bridge to retirement
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 8:32 am

One of the questions mature applicants
can receive duing the interview process
is “do you see this role as just a
bridge to retirement”?  Where you will
be just marking time and not working
hard?

This is a tough question that we should
all be prepared for and organized to
respond to.

While it makes sense to downshift,
allow younger workers assume
greater levels of authority, the business
savvy, decision making expertise
and ability to work through difficulties
that mature workers have mastered
is hard to find without experience.

There are many situations where mature
workers are worth every penny.  However,
how do you respond to the question?

Let me propose that in reality we are
all looking for positions that will make
each of us happy with “what, with whom
and for whom we are working.”
We receive personal fulfillment.  So,
an exercise would be to characterize
your values based on how the position
matches your fulfillment values.  These
values could be

match your strengths
permit you to learn and develop new
      competencies
provide challenges that you love to tackle
gives you chances to be creative
allows self-expression
give back to the field or organization
required income for things needed
matches your passions
is affiliated with desired organization
provides benefits for your family
provides you choice to do things

Consider classifying what the position
sought provides for you in terms of
matching your high rated values.
Let me know if there are other items
that should be on this list.
   
 

comments (0)
Resume Red Flags
Filed under: Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 8:13 am

When reviewing resumes the following
list of items provide “red-flags” for
holding up someone’s consideration
for a position.

1) academic credentials - For technical
fields it is best to match the field of
expertise being sought.  However,
experience often trumps training.  So,
highlight specific experience in the
highlights section of a resume that
matches desired expertise.

2) gaps in employment - So it is
imperative to have a continuous
career learning plan for yourself. 
If you are not fully employed seek
out learning, volunteering and
part-time experiences.  These can
productively fill the resume gap.

3) short-term employment W/O cause -
Define project based work and point
out completion or accomplishments.
This points out the underscored
advice to work hard to leave only on
the basis as friends with only good
words to say about your performance
and you about the organization.

4) long term employment without
advancement

5) organizing your resume as strictly
functional or skills based.  It is more
acceptable to reviewers to create
chrono-functional resumes which
reveal work history and titles.

I would be very interested in any
other “red-flag” issues that can come
up in resumes.  Please send them.

comments (0)
10/26/07
Job hopping. Resumes, position searching and references
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 6:15 pm

A telephone call came this week from a
hiring supervisor for a reference from me
for Z.  Among the questions that E, the
hiring supervisor, asked about was on
the topic of job-hopping.  He asked,
should he be concerned about Z
changing jobs so frequently, especially since
she was not from that area of the country.

1.  So, for people that you list as references,
please find a way to have a conversation with
each one of your references on issues like
this
, especially if they are pertinent to your
situation. 

E’s question was a very sound and valid one. 
Z and I had spoken about job-hopping in her
history.  It was clear and simple.

She had explored three areas over the last five
years on a project basis.  Each of the projects
had been completed to customers’ and project
managers’ satisfaction.  One project is continuing
where she was continuing to play a virtual role.

2.  Job-hopping is viewed differently by different
industries and companies.  Chemically-related
fields, pharma and materials and the like have
been generally conservative with less frequent
movement.  There are exceptions….

        certain areas of the country (Cities like
New York and Washington have been cited.)
        moving to a position of higher responsibility
        moving as part of a family move
        moving as a result of a down-sizing or merger

Job-hopping happens to benefit the employee, not
the employer.  The costs of looking for, training
and letting people go are so high.

Job-hopping could be holding three or more jobs
in less than two years, as a simple rule of thumb.

3.  Be aware of the perception of job-hopping as a
result of impropriety or incompetence will be
discovered.  If you were working at the exceptional
level, why did you change?  The reason of impropriety
is generally considered more serious that incompetence.

Some resume rules of thumb to recall on this topic:

document in the resume the contribution you made
and the value to the employer, showing high performance.
co-locate shorter times information with results
information
-  early career accomplishments may be less
substantial, however, mid and later career results
should carry significant weight.
consider not “misrepresenting employment
status as present,” when you are not employed”
It will be discovered and end your case your case
to be hired.
-   no need to list your reason for leaving on the
resume.  It is legitimate to offer this in certain
circumstances on a cover letter.
-   no need to list all of the positions you have
held.  Reasonable time limits finding positions
while pursuing a position can allow a person to
not include a short stay at a firm.  (The resume is
your PR document, not necessarily a complete
full work history.  Yet all the information needs to be
correct.)
-   many resume reviewers view functional resumes
more critically than chronological.  Consider using
chronological or a combination with chronological
component.

While job-hopping can help a person rise up the
ladder of succession at certain points in their
career, especially earlier, it can have
consequences over which one has little
control later in a career.

Z has not gotten back to me on whether she received
the job offer.  Too frequent job-hopping was neutralized
in at least this reference’s conversation.

 

2 comments
10/20/07
Mentoring 5. “Right brain profiling”
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 7:43 am

Marci Alboher wrote about an approach
featured by Michael Melcher in his blog
(October 2, 2007) and book for finding
out what direction you might want your
career to proceed.

It involves “creating and evaluating a
Right-Brain File…”  “This is a way to collect
data that you aren’t ready to process. It
is based on the premise that applying your
analytical skills, alone, won’t get you the
life you want.”

The two authors present different strategies
for conducting your Right-Brain File. 
Melcher, the book author, suggests creating
a file and collect anything that tickles your
fancy into it. It could be an article, a photo,
a travel brochure, an email, an overheard
snatch of dialogue.

His “Right-Brain File consists mainly of articles,
but that’s just [him] me.” What you “put into your
Right-Brain File

  - might excite you, 
  - might intrigue you,
  - might make you boil with envy,
  - might just make you say, “huh.” “

“Later, once your file has grown, take a
look at what you’ve collected. What do
you see? Any patterns, inspirations,
insights?  What you have is a record of
what your right brain—the intuitive,
associative, non-logical part of you—has
noticed. It’s been noticing things, even
if you haven’t been able to put words
around it. Indeed, sometimes avoiding
putting words around your impulses is
one of the best ways to let them
develop.” 

Marci Alboher suggests learning from
people who know you and are in
different parts of your life.  To set up
the interviews, create a short
questionnaire (six to eight questions)
with questions like:

* What are three things I do really well?
* What are three things I don’t do so well?
* Based on what you know about me,
what job or experience have I liked the
best in the past?
* Based on what you know about me,
what job or experience have I liked the
least?
* What are three things you can
imagine me doing?
* What’s something you can’t really
imagine me doing?
* How do I get in my own way?”

Now, I have collected a lifetime of
interesting articles but have never
thought to review them.  Maybe there
is something there?

The two blogs are interesting to view.

1 comment
10/15/07
Mentoring 4. Asking for help
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring, First Year on Job, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 11:57 am

The topic of ‘how to ask for help’
has been sitting on my desktop
for a week.  In one of the workshops
we do, we pose one of the exercises
as an ambiguous question.  The
purpose is to form in peoples’ minds
that you can’t be doing the wrong
task, or go off in the wrong direction,
or not do anything for lack of clarity.

You need to be an effective listener.
You need to ask for clarification and
restate the request in your own words.

Time is a significant resource that
should not be wasted.

WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE HELP
SOUGHT
Help comes in several forms.  It comes
from helping answer simple, one-time
questions
like: 
how to fill out this form, to
what what should I do when…., to
what things should I think about before
doing ….

Information from these come from
technical advisers and coaches.  It
is like having “your personal Google
network.” 

It comes for helping sort out more
complicated matters
Fit with the problem,
good listening skills, experience in offering
advice and sometimes a unique or different
perspective can be useful in the people
we ask.

Each one of us does not have to deal with
these problems alone.  In fact, other people
may have faced similar ones themselves
and can offer canny thoughts, even advice.

Realize, though, that collaborating with some-
one may be a better way of overcoming the
problem.

Then, of course, there are mentors.  Mentors,
with whom one can develop a relationship
between like-minded friends or peers,
involve honing a relationship in a process.
The process requires a commitment that
both parties should understand.  Both
parties should want to partake and obtain
personal benefit and satisfaction.

So, when and how do we ask for help?

- Prepare
Think your problem, through.  Pose:
  will this lead to frustration or worse?
  will this lead to a situation not easy to
remedy?
  will a slower response done well be
better than a fast response, needed to be
repeated?  Can I short-circuit the repeat
cycles?
  what are the consequences of a down-
side outcome?

- Asking is a good practice.
More often than not, being asked by
someone for help is a high form of
compliment that they know how to
do things and can be of use and value.
Less common, at least among
adult professionals, is feeling any less
for someone asking for help.  Unless
it happens very frequently and can be
avoided, of course.

- Game plans
Create an information game plan and
an action game plan. 
What is the big picture? 
What exactly do you believe you need
help with? 
What kind of help do you need?
When you obtain the help, what and
when will you implement? 
How do you plan to complete the
information loop that the help was
useful or not?

Professionals are unashamed to seek
help.  They find that communicates
value, know-how and respect.  It
opens lines of communications and
leads to beneficial outcomes for all
involved when the cycle is done
ethically and with the right intent.

 

 

comments (0)
10/14/07
What to expect. Second interview
Filed under: Interviewing, Mentoring
Posted by: site admin @ 9:31 am

Thanks, Dan, great advice.  That’s very cool
that you have a background with …! 
Yes, please feel free to use this in your blog. 
I’ll let you know how it goes.

PREVIOUS REQUEST, LEADING TO
FOLLOWING RESPONSE HERE…
> > Dan,
> >
> > OK, I made it to the final round of
> > interviews.  There are only two of
> > us left — maybe we can just put it on
> > a game of checkers.  No, it’s going
> > to be a 4 hour interview session instead,
> > yuk!  I AM looking forward to it, I just
> > don’t want to mess it up.  Do you have any
> > particular additional advice to impart on
> > lengthy, personal interviews?  If so,
> > can we talk about it?
> >
> > The company website is
> >
www.mercy(leavingout).org, and you can
> > see a copy of the job description using 
> > this url:  
http://mercyhousing.ats.hrsmart.com/cgi-bin/u/userhighlightjob.cgi?jobid=946.
> > As you can see, the job has three main
> > components, investment analysis, business
> > development, and project management,
> > just my cocktail of fortes.
> >
> > Thank you very much for … all your help.
> > Hopefully this will be the only job I will
> > need to interview for!
> >
> > Z

RESPONSE TO Z:

> Hi Z,
>
> Wow!
>
> The follow-up interview means that they
> really like you, Z.  What they want to do
> is find out whether all the members of
> their team can work with you.  
> Do they like you?
> Will you be able to work on their team?
>
> So, key things for you in the follow-up interview are:
>
> what are your most important questions 
> that you need answered?  Write them
> down on a pad that you bring along with you.
>
> plan to “pick up” on the interviewers you 
> will meet.
> -Small talk.
> Be willing to engage in friendly banter
> using strong listening skills.  Come prepared 
> with three things you can carry a conversation
> on– Gore and the Nobel, particular interests
> outside of your career, web-sites you
> regularly browse, whatever strikes you.
>
> -Observe pictures, organization, books on
> shelf, knick-knacks in offices.  These are
> items you can notice and learn about
> people.  Use these as clues in conversations.
>
> -Don’t let little things upset you.
> Plan for problems to occur.  Plan to
> over-communicate.  But do not over-rely
> on email.
> Email does not reveal emotions well.  Plan
> to have cell phone, phone numbers.  Show
> that you are level headed in the face of
> problems and meet and exceed the
> customers’ needs.
>
> Have a response to questions like:
> Why do you want to work for “Mercy…”? 
>
> What are words that you live by?  You
> could use a biblical statement.
> The 3rd and 4th beatitudes are:
> “Blessed are the meek,
> for they shall inherit the earth.
>
> Blessed are they who hunger and thirst
> for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “
>
> or Ecclesiastes 3,1
> “There is a time for every season….”
>
> I prefer for me Ben Franklin’s 13 principles:
>   1.. Temperance: Eat not dullness; drink not to elevation.
>
>   2.. Silence: Speak not but what may
> benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling
> conversation.
>
>   3.. Order: Let all your things have
> their places; let each part of your business
> have it’s time.
>
>   4.. Resolution: Resolve to perform
> what you ought; perform without fail
> what you resolve.
>
>   5.. Frugality: Make no expense but to
> do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.
>
>   6.. Industry: Lose no time; be always
> employed in something useful; cut off all
> unnecessary actions.
>
>   7.. Sincerity: Use no harmful deceit;
> think innocently and justly; and if you
> speak, speak accordingly.
>
>   8.. Justice: wrong none by doing
> injuries or omitting the benefits that
> are your duty.
>
>  9.. Moderation: Avoid extremes;
> forebear resenting injuries so much as you
> think they deserve.
>
>   10.. Cleanliness: Tolerate no
> uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
>
>   11.. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at
> trifles, nor at accidents.
>
>   12.. Chastity: Be chaste in matters
> with the opposite sex.
>
>   13.. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
>
> What are your outside interests?
>
> What 5 people you invite to a dinner
> party, living or dead? 
> Interests, and interesting.
>
> What do you see yourself doing in 3-5 years? 
> Are you committed to their goals?  Will
> you move on in a short time?
>
> What will you do if you do not get this
> position?  Show that you only redouble
> your efforts when you meet challenges. 
> Positive attitude…
>
> ?Weakness?:  small talk with people
> you are not familiar with to allow you
> to feel comfortable with them.  Need
> more practice and exposure to people
> who are experts.
>
> Use this as a ‘growing’ opportunity?  Get
> business cards?  get names of everyone. 
> Everyone you meet is part of the interview.
>
> I can’t wait to hear about your experiences….
>
> Regards,
> Dan
>

comments (0)
10/12/07
Conversations. Over use and suggestions for email
Filed under: Recent Posts
Posted by: site admin @ 11:07 am

We are carrying on a long distance
conversation.  We are doing some
of it by email.  Did you notice
how
much email
you get these days,
how much each of us depend on it
and how we get home or have a minute
and want to “check our email”?

Daniel Goleman wrote a nice piece
opening up several ideas that can be
shared with you.  In the article, he states
“E-mail [and other CMC]… has a
multitude of virtues … quick and
convenient,
democratizes access
and lets us … accomplish huge
amounts of work together… 
clearly
greatest when there is trouble at hand.”
[CMC– “computer mediated communication,”
see K. Byron, Whatman School of
Management, Syracuse University]

“But … e-mail may subtly encourage … trouble …
[It encounters] a ’design flaw’ [when
humans use it to interact].  There are
no online channels for the multiple
signals the brain uses to calibrate emotions.”

“Face-to-face interaction, by contrast,
is information-rich. We interpret what
people say to us not only from their
tone and facial expressions, but also
from their body language and pacing,
as well as their synchronization with
what we do and
say.”

“… e-mail can be emotionally impoverished
when it comes to nonverbal messages that
add … rich emotional context ..”


Sue Shellenberger
 has authored a
piece about companies promoting ‘no
email’ days to encourage more face to face
interactions.  The point of all this is that
email has unrecognized limitations.

So, what should you consider to
communicate clearly on the internet?

Make sure the subject line (email)
or title (blog) reflects your content     

- Use appropriate words and phrases. 
If your mood is not right, it may be
reflected in the words you choose. 
Review it and send it later.

- Don’t USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

- Brevity and smart organization encourages
people to read the whole message

- Selectively use information on the Internet. 
You don’t know where it will go or how it will be used.

- Understand copyright laws and citation rules of thumb

- Delete and do not forward spam and chain letters

 

comments (0)
10/10/07
Advice for Recent grads
Filed under: Position Searching, First Year on Job
Posted by: site admin @ 8:40 am

This article “fell into my lap”.  It lists
what one typically hears at
commencements and what it means
to mere mortals…

Like…

Cliché: “Follow your passion.”
Advice for mere mortals: Do what
you love, but don’t expect to get paid.

To make money, choose a position
/ field / company that pays decently
and has few liabilities.

Cliché: “You’ve got to pay your dues.”
Advice for mere mortals: Show what
you are made of and your good stuff from
the first day. 

Cliché: “Make a difference.”
Advice for mere mortals: Any business
that sells a good product at a fair price
and treats its employees well is a worthy
place to work.

And more….

comments (0)
10/09/07
Conversations. Basis of internet communication
Filed under: Networking, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 5:03 pm

Can’t help but share this thread on the 
interpretation of internet based media
and the messages they contain as
“conversations.”

Using tools like blogs can only benefit from
a broader awareness of how other fields
are using and benefiting from these media.

Doc Searles a leading guru in describing
the trends in conversational marketing
covers a lot of ground in his blog.

comments (0)
10/08/07
Postdoctoral conversation. 3 Non-profit clinical position
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 6:33 am

This is another in a series of case
histories to help professionals see
paths they may take to develop their
careers.  This is a subject that has
so many variables that learning
people’s options and decisions to
achieve their goals can be helpful.

ST was awarded his doctorate in
synthetic metal-organic chemistry.
He wanted to stay in the Boston
metro area and has a European
background but no visa issues.

Dan>  How were you successful in
locating your position in a clinical
research laboratory at a hospital?

ST> I was seeking a position ultimately
on practical applications of chemistry
and practical technology in industry.
I chose to explore several avenues
all at a time in the several months
I sought my first position after my
Ph.D.  The one that proved success-
ful was “BostonWorks on-line and did
refined search” following the general
one– 
http://boston.monster.com/
search.aspx?q=chemistry&lid=
452%2C366%2C683%2C461%
2C590%2C642&fn=559&cy=us> 

Dan>  What are the main things one
should consider when thinking about
whether or not to do a post doc and/or
about where to do a post doc?

ST>  “If the goal is to go to industry, topic
of study must be applied. Also, one should
only consider good universities (i.e. Harvard
or MIT if in the Boston area).”

Dan>  Why did you choose to work at
Mass General Hospital as a post-doc in
the imaging area?

ST>  ”The only criteria I had was I wanted
to do applied chemistry and imaging turned
out to be a good fit for my background in
organometallic chemistry so
it was a natural match as it turns out.”

Dan>  Were there differences between
your expectations and reality in the
post-doc role?

ST>  In general NO
Dan> responsibilities       ST>  NO
Dan> time commitments  ST> NO,
maybe shorter than expected both
daily and overall length of post-doc
Dan> outcomes              ST> YES,
better than expected - 2 papers, 1
patent and a job in 1 year
Dan> management and leadership
                                      ST>  NO
Dan> functional skills       ST>  NO
 
Dan> Was the post-doc role essential
for you to obtain your position?

ST>  “Yes, a startup was created on
the same technology I was developing
during my post-doc.”

Dan>  Did your thesis adviser provide
key help in finding your position or
was it the post-doc role that provided
it for you?

ST>  Post-doc role

Dan>  If you were to do it over, would
you work as a post-doc or choose to
find a permanent position?

ST>  “I would do this post-doc again –
not just any other post-doc though.”

Dan> Did any thing go wrong, what
could you have done better?

ST>  NO

“It was nice to meet you at the ACS.
I would do the same post-doc again
since it allowed me to transition to
industry which is what I always
wanted to do. What I learned is that
it does not really matter what you
do as long as you have the right
names on your resume (i.e.
Harvard or MIT affiliation).
So, I
would recommend a post-doc in
those institutions to those who did
not graduate from there.

I hope this is useful. Let me know if
you have further questions.

ST is quite pleased with the position
she was offered after his one year
post-doc in an applied scientific area.
The post-doc provided networks,
trained skills and broader exposure
that qualified him.

 

 

 


Thanks a lot,

comments (0)
10/06/07
Public Relations Docs. List of Publications.
Filed under: Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 11:35 am

One of the many respected experts in
recruiting technical people points out
“Resume controversies”.   There are ‘pros
and cons’ about various concepts or aspects
of public relations documents.  I like his term
since there is no hard and fast rule, like all
of the time… or none of the time….

Currently I am working with a member who
offered me his list of publications and
presentations to review.  This is a common
page in the scientific and technical arena
of resumes.  Resume Controversy
As I indicated to him, this page
is not formally part of a resume. 
Resolution of Controversy:  We can include
it in the resume file and offer it to resume
reviewers as part of selling our
accomplishments.   Personally, I like to
see the outcome of people’s work.

COMPANIES
Many industrial places don’t promote having
their employees publish their work.  Some
firms only deliver presentations to speak
to their narrow audience and keep trade
secrets to themselves while giving them
an opportunity for generating customers
and applications. 

Pubs are a lot of work and take time away
from “the paying part of the job”.

Other places publish frequently.  There is a
continual expansion of journals into many areas.
 

REVIEWERS
As for resume reviewers who are seeking
to find candidates to fill openings, some will
only take a short look at publications.  The
more technical will wish to spend more time
with it.  If a person does good work, it is
revealed in several ways with publications–

 - where it is published (reviewed journal),
 - if sufficient effort is put into the publication
so that it tells about the accomplishment or
the new learning (thus is in print), and
 - timing and themes of published work. 
In a way, the publication list tracks your career.

Some hints:
1.  reverse chronological order, easy to read
font and proper reference listing format (all
the spelling rules apply)
2.  be aware if some text is italicized certain
fonts are hard to read, there is no need to
underline your name in the citation (except
if your name changed i.e., marriage)
3.  consider listing pubs that are in refereed
journals and in print. With electronic
publications, this suggests date of availability.
4.  Abstracts of presentations don’t really fit in
Publications, in my book.
5.  Duplicating things in both publications and
presentations sections seems like “inflation”.
Another instance of TMI (too much information)
6.  If you are listing presentations, which is
common in recent graduates, you may not need
to include the month.  TMI
7.  For mid-career people with several pages
of patents, papers and presentations, the
resume listing might be best offered as
list of selected publications and patents.

While it is fresh, I wonder where our web-pages,
blogs and wikis go on a resume?


1 comment
10/04/07
Resume organization.
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 9:05 am

After the Boston national meeting, more than
the usual number of resumes were sent to me
for review.  Some were referrals from other
consultants, some were “normal route sign-
ups” and some were as a result of my former
company ending its operations.

Although there are many well written articles about
resumes, it is hard to do when it is your own.
Some writer’s block points are: 
What do I focus on in the objective, do I make it
general or narrow it down to specific roles.
For experienced people how far back do I go?

My comments that follow just try to reiterate
the comments I have added in reviewing several
resumes.

1.  First, and by all means, most important.  The
resume is your document.  You make the final
decision on lay-out, content, length and wording.
Comments are only observations and suggestions.

2.  A self review of what you have done, including
developing stories which can be captured in easy
to understand phrases briefly  will be needed
However, please hold off doing this until you have
asked the question, “what is my clear objective.”
 
(What does my background and experience permit
me to do that fulfills my personal ambitions and
desires
?)
A resume needs to have this right below the
heading, supporting statements describing one’s
skills, accomplishments, and involvements are
organized in easy to find and read statements in
the remainder of the resume
.

3.  Since a reviewer is typically trying to find
matches to openings in her organization, critical
matching
words need to be located near the top
to allow your resume to be separated as a
potential candidate to bring in for interview. 
Thus, the resume is your marketing tool, it
needs to contain the right buzz-terms.

4.  Too much information, TMI, non-relevant
information appears in many early drafts of
resumes.  So, it is quite helpful to have other
people read and offer feedback
on your 
resume.  Consider focusing on clear, brief
verb-led statements that are specific enough
to intrigue the reviewer using terms used 
in the industry.

The third section, highlights, in a typical
chronological format can be a place where
you not only point out skill sets, but also
some business significance.  It is harder to
do it briefly in the accomplishment
statements in the experience section.

Font no less than 10, phrases rather
than sentences, key terms, organization
are recommended rather than long
detailed statements.

5.  In computer file organized document
designed motif, resumes can be
organized to be less that 2 pages, by
thinking about file fit, form and function
Supporting data such as references,
publication lists, and research summaries

can be appended in separate pages
in the resume file.  The file will have the
resume, cover letter and be designed to
allow the reviewer to quickly identify
and classify your resume as matching
the needs and then organized in a
fashion to provide sometimes desired
content in preparation for interviews.

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