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

January 2009
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Job Search Strategies: Chemical Technicians
Filed under: Position Searching, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 10:58 am

Next week (2-6-09) the Bidwell Training
Center in Pittsburgh is hosting a workshop:
Job Search Strategies for Chemical

It will be exciting to be with the enthusiastic
students and staff.and a team offering
the workshop.  Since the workshop intends
to practice skills some material will be
better to provide as reference will be
included in this blog entry.

Interview Attire:  1  2  3

Informational Interviews

ACS ChemTech Division
               Skill Standards

Q&A:  AS = College grad?

Pay Listings of Chemical Jobs

Job Search Ideas

1 comment
Mid-career. Steps in career turning points
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, First Year on Job, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 7:42 pm

Elizabeth Garone authored a timely article
about what to do if your firm is showing
signs of tough times.

Each of her points are strong.
a.  Trust your gut and don’t delay.  It’s
never too early to start sending out
b.  Prepare, have reviewed your public
relations documents.  It is preferred to
look for a while you have a job.

Interestingly, Ms. Garone suggest not using
an objective.  To this, I propose using
a qualification statement.

c.  Hire a professional to review the

Consider broadening a review.  (1)
Learn about the company’s lay-off
history concerning outplacement services.
Do they provide outplacement services.
(2)  Seek the services of professional
societies.  ACS offers career
consultants with an incredible
range and depth of backgrounds
who can offer insight and strategies.
(3) Finally, it is a often worth to contact
recruiters who have a finger on the
pulse in your field.  Have a conversation
specifying that you wish this to remain

d.  Network, research.

e.  Actions to do if you don’t leave.

comments (0)
Academic Positions. Religiously affiliated institutions
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 5:45 pm

A member recently asked about helping
him with
finding and preparing public
relations documents
for academic positions. 
He seeks a position in
physical or
general chemistry.

In our initial interactions he sent me his
first draft
CV and cover letter.  He promised
to send me
the current draft of a teaching

He also sent me an ad for a fine college
that has
a religious affiliation.  So, please
view the following

DAN TO J =========================

Hi J,
Please find attached a quick review of the
cover letter which you kindly sent.  I am sorry
to make so many comments.  Hopefully, you

understand that the letter must reflect excellent
scholarship and a good match to the needs and
philosophy of the
Interestingly, I was taught by the same religious
order …years ago … So I am familiar with …the

history of the religious order.
J TO DAN ===========================
Dear Dr. Eustace,

Thanks a lot for the help!  Thanks for the
corrections and directions.  I really appreciate
your help!  I checked the webpage of the school
and I will revise my cover letter…

Here is a general question I have for a long
time:  What does a “religiously-affiliated”
school look like, Do they require a teacher
be in the same religion as they hold?

Some of the schools on my application list
are this kind of school.  I have no idea about
this point. 

Thanks again and best

The reply went deeply into the topic.
First we addressed the college that J was considering
to point out how this affiliation forms the basis of
the school’s formation and education of all members
of the institution.

Then, we broadened the discussion, pointing out:

Religious affiliation indicates that a group of people
who founded the institution were connected formally
with a religion.  There are hundreds in the US,
many of the initial colleges and
universities [not mentioning
names, here].

They affirm in their purpose certain principles that
students, methods, faculty and administration
must adhere
and demonstrate.  While, it is generally
illegal to ask
questions of candidates about formal
affiliation, the
information may be requested
in other ways.  It should be
important for the
candidate to display an awareness and
for the principles [if they agree].  It would be

shallow of the candidate to do anything otherwise.

There are many faculty who are not formally affiliated
a religious conviction who teach or lead
institutions that are
religiously connected.  It is
because these faculty behave
with the same guiding
principles and observe with respect
their traditions.

Here are some thoughts about

  cover letters:

  job applications and interviews: 1  2 

 Hope this helps,


comments (0)
Watch-outs 4. SS Estimates, FSA, Out of work stress
Filed under: Networking
Posted by: site admin @ 9:36 am

This entry gives three suggestions.
1.  Social Security estimates may be
high for some people based on the
way estimates are made.  Awareness
of this and what one can do to get
more accurate information is provided.

2.  Flexible spending accounts should
be used up.  Things to check and do.

3.  Losing a job can take its toll on
families.  Often not talked about, this
is a real problem that needs some
mention.  Thoughtful ideas offered.

1.  SS Estimates can be high
SourceWSJ  1-24,2009;  K. Greene
An online tool developed in 2008 is
available that provides better estimates.

Improved application tools are also
in place.

Know your next steps.  

2.  Rules about FSA and left-over money
Source:  WSJ 1-21-2009;  V. Knight
A significant fraction of people have money
unspent remaining in their FSA, whether
they work there or not.  Check with your
employer if they conform to the IRS rule
that allows using money through 3-15-09.

Examples of what it can be used on are
provided in the excellent article.

3.  Out of work stress
Source:  WSJ 1-21-2009  second question;
S. Shellenbarger
Stress when one partner is out of work
leads to loss of harmony.  This Q&A
article brings out the problem and offers
some coaching that could help some members.

comments (0)
Mid-career. Patent Bar Review
Filed under: Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 11:23 am

In the Patent and trade secrets workshops, offered
at national meetings and PfLAGS programs it is
common to mention that there are specific courses
offered to prepare for the patent bar.  A flyer came
across my desk which seems to offer training for
different learning styles and in seven live locations.

For those interested in pursuing this non-traditional
career path, a link to the Practicing Law Institute
is provided.

comments (0)
Traveling Notes
Filed under: Networking, Mentoring
Posted by: site admin @ 10:35 am

Humble apologies.

Two reasons.  This blogger has been away for a while
and recently returned.  Please accept my thanks, readers,
for coming back to the site for information and offering
Second reason:  Inadvertently, several posts were
deleted in the process of reviewing comments.  Hopefully,
we can recover the major concepts for the readership.

A week ago this post contained three major reminders.
Whenever we travel, whether to an interview, to a
meeting, on our jobs, or on holiday all sorts of things
happen.  Some of the things that happen can be
anticipated and we know exactly what to do.  Then,
on the other hand…

1.  Have critical back-up plans ready and have the
necessary resources on hand (or in hand).  We traveled
to South America for a wonderful vacation.  We had
arranged for a driver to have a sign with our name in
hand, ready to take us to our hotel, where informal
plans were set for our first day.

After passing through customs with more than the usual
number of bags, we found no driver.  We did have
enough foreign cash to request a ‘radio taxi’ and did
know how to obtain the taxi (there are many reported
problems of rip-offs) and our address where we were
to go.  

Problem averted!

We reported the mis-communication to our agent
and were satisfactorily compensated.  This is an
important detail, let no important things go unreported. 

2.  Insist that the place where you stay have all
the essentials for travelers.
Our third destination was a wonderful location in
Andes with mountains and wonderful Calafate
berry bushes along the road.  When we arrived at
the inn, we found it had no soap, shampoo, or
hair dryer.  Light bulbs were missing.  Worst of
all no internet.  We immediately warned the
management of the missing items.  Despite protests,
we reported these and immediately developed a
back-up plan for our stay in the location.
There are basic needs which you will observe in
all hotels and should expect.

3.  Wherever you go in a location, have good stories
to tell cab drivers, other visitors, local residents,
shopkeepers, and other people you meet.
So often we find ’sour people’ who exclaim
seemingly endlessly the problems and
discomforts they experienced. 

We treat them like the “plague.”

We rather find great stories to tell, of the wonderful
weaver shopkeeper in Iguazu, of the delightful
vanilla ice cream, of the great experience taking
private lessons in a teacher’s home.  It is more
than welcome…

We relate these as things for simple consideration.
While I am pleased to be blogging again, it was
a superb and memorable new years for us and
we extend our warm greetings to all readers.

comments (0)
Networking and back-up plans
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Recruiters
Posted by: site admin @ 3:20 pm

Everyone who is in transition finds these times
trying, even frustrating.  Despite this it is
important to temper requests, follow-ups
and submissions with calmness and

A recent email reveals a recent grad’s persistence
and effort at developing networking skills during
the holiday season.

“Dear Dan,

…[One recruiter]… took me on as a candidate
and has called my references.  I’ve set a goal
of checking in with my recruiter once a week.

I applied on-line to a couple of positions
through [a second firm] and am going to
call them tomorrow to try to set up a general

I applied to …positions at [four places]

…I found out how “cool” networking is when
it works.  At Thanksgiving, in holiday
greetings, using  LinkedIn, and through
alumni groups.



Despite all these efforts results can often be
meager at best.  So while keeping your eye
on your target, also consider having a
financial plan which points out trigger points
when you should switch to back up plans.

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