This entry continues the theme started a couple
of days ago Shouting Out about the importance
of NESACS Webmaster, David Cunningham, in
working and developing this blog.
Eric Felten described in his WSJ piece
about how blogs when used in certain
ways can lead to negative “unintended
consequences.” Eric called blog articles
about a certain high profile conductor Internet
“blabbing” which led to savage reviews
from a prominent columnist.
The article is just an example supporting
how blogs can support your expertise and,
in a sense, expand your resume.
The final anecdote in the Felten article
describes about how a famed pianist
made the “show go on” despite a stroke.
Not one person even mentioned it.
A protege reported to me about a series of
interviews she enjoyed in which she explored
a career in sales.
Sales is a fast paced area where relationships,
business acumen and technical breadth are
critical. Where academic roles seem to evolve
more slowly, with a lot of longer term logistical
planning, business moves fast. An information
interview on Friday can lead to a screening
interview on the following Tuesday. An onsite
interview with HR and the hiring manager could
come less than a week later. And many more
getting-to-know-you meetings over meals and
related to traveling to sites coming quickly after.
She shared some of the questions she faced and
asked. Highlights of them (besides questions
that occur in most interviews about goals and
why should we hire you) are:
-Why do I want to go from research and into
-What about my research background will help
me in sales?
-Have I used their products?
-How would I go about getting a sale?
-What do I like/dislike about a salesperson?
-Take me through your resume…
-Tell me about a time when you went above and
beyond your responsibilities? What happened?
-When is your confidence high? Low?
-When was I competitive? What happened?
-Describe a situation when I was persistent?
Questions asked of interviewers:
-What is a typical day like?
-Why do you like working for COMPANY NAME?
-What is the retention rate?
-What is it that I can do to help you succeed (Hiring
An “aha moment” if there ever was one!
Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the
great help our webmaster, Dr. David Cunningham,
provides. All behind the scenes. Everyone
who reads this blog owes a debt of gratitude
to his continuous helpful effort. Thanks, David.
(David, seems to drop everything and help our
small blog team to function well.)
This reminds me of a terrific site and article
about SWOT analyses in your job search,
by Randy and Katharine Hansen. SWOT =
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
I think of how much I depend on David, as a
mentor and problem solver.
(covers my weaknesses in this blog)
Al Sklover [Details] responded to questions about steps
to protect yourself when starting out on your own
Q: “…A client of mine started his own business…
It has grown… and he is considering establishing
an LLC or obtaining liability insurance. Could you
point out factors (legal, financial, etc.) that might help
him make a good decision?”
A: “…we try to limit risks…. , thus insurance policies
…we try to avoid unreasonable expenses, ….thus
limited liability companies LLC and limited liability
partnerships LLP. are formed with legal advice”
When starting a new business, concerns about unpaid
creditors and liability lawsuits arise. “An LLC will protect
your personal assets against both.”
“…working through an LLC will not protect you against
losing your new business, or your new business being
hurt badly, if it is successfully sued.”
“A liability insurance policy would protect your personal
and LLC’s assets against liability lawsuits. not from
claims of creditors.”
Frankly most people take both steps…”
“If we commit professional malpractice, neither
of the above will protect us. Many professionals
will maintain a “malpractice insurance policy.”
Best, Al Sklover
Thank you’s have been coming in and going
out like the tide. All of it is purposeful, thoughtful
It can be part of an invitation message to join
someone’s Linkedin.com network.
In this electronic age, email commonly suffices.
Nonetheless, a deeper appreciation message
is carried by hard copy.
Good friends appreciate a hand written card
addressed to them containing a thoughtful message.
(Not on 8 x 11 paper.)
Time it so there is only a little time lapse
between the act and the acknowledgment.
It can be after having your resume reviewed or
an interview at a company.
It can be to a visitor for a fine presentation on a
Many suggest a thank you note to a hiring manager
and her/his staff can be a difference maker in the
For sure it is gladly appreciated by someone who
writes a recommendation or reference letter where
you tell them that you have started working in a
DO’S and DON’T”S
The thank you letter is more than a trivial
appreciation. It is an expression of feeling that
needs to read better than an assignment (because
my parent told me to do it). It:
needs to be dated and address a
correctly spelled recipient.
should offer an honest feeling of appreciation
briefly connects to the value of what you are
thanking the person for
ends with an appropriate salutation
has no spelling errors or faux paus
Do you go first to your network, do you surf the
Internet, do you read trade magazines (C&EN, for
example), do you look at newspapers? These days
all of these are Internet resourced.
A snapshot of modes of Internet use points out:
- don’t use resume Internet distribution sites
- use care in choosing resume posting sites,
know how they are benefiting from having you.
View how you are represented in the site.
Control the length of time your resume is there.
- how are resumes reviewed– computer search
algorithms for terms, individual resume screening.
- when you paste your resume into a site, what
happens to it… confidentiality, scams.
In the end, the Internet helps you get noticed and
supports your application. It rarely replaces communication
skills, displaying how you work with people or revealing
what problems you can help solve.
Small firms will not ordinarily initiate a search by
looking at resume posting sites. They will use the
Internet to confirm information about you, explore
a person’s background and work and contact people.
So, wisely use the Internet so that it works for
you without having it be a distraction from your
job searching goals.
Resume reviewers pass by HEADINGS fairly
quickly with each document they peruse.
Nonetheless, with tight budgets, certain
things can be done to improve a person’s
first pass chances to get into “Look further”
into this candidate.
1. If a person has a foreign-appearing name
and is either a US citizen or a permanent resident,
please consider indicating that directly under
your name in the PAGE 1 HEADING. [You
do not want to be excluded for a non-existing
2. Consider listing your well designed web-
page and/or your detail-filled LinkedIn.com
profile in your heading. This is better than
multiple addresses [home AND business],
multiple emails, and multiple phone numbers.
21st century resumes summarize the match
of background and experience of candidates
who use 21st tools– webpages, linkedin.com
profiles, and even blogs. [I am not convinced
twitter is there yet. However, in the “About”
section of a blog, twitter address seems
3. Listing your web-page in your heading
helps you for the second pass resume review.
Where the first pass centers on the “resume
red zone” detailing how you match the
company needs, the second pass provides
support. Thus, it goes a long way to provide
links on your webpage to articles, accomplishments
and presentations. These can be links to journals,
manuscripts (.pdf files) or cloud documents
(google docs, like I prefer to use these days.)
4. Please consider carrying over your name
at the top of page 2 and other supporting
documents in your resume file. Be sensitive to
5. Don’t list P. O. Box as your address.
In previous entries we have talked about
suggestions with your name, if it is different
sounding than traditional American names. 1
We know that recommendations are offered and
posted on LinkedIn.com. Are they real many ask.
It appears that they are reciprocal letters for each
other’s profiles and they do not satisfy the
authenticity test in that they are adjective-filled
paragraph, not providing a situation with results
An interesting suggestion was offered this weekend
at a workshop. Dr. Sabina Robinson shared with me
that it may be sooner than we think that people will be
offering letters of reference to an authenticated file.
It is done already for college, medical and law school
admissions applications. 1 2 3
You know the aphorism: paraphrased as–’Things are
not found unless someone turns over that rock.’
We are planning a workshop next weekend.
At the SF ACS meeting, we met some area residents
and invited them to come and bring their friends. Then,
a couple of colleagues who have moved on recently
wondered if their friends could contact me. Just sent
them an invitation to the same meeting. (It may be a
stretch, since it is a 4 hour ride. I know people traveled
from OH, WV and MD to last year’s program in PA.)
With the economy the way it is, job seekers are
advised to start earlier and reach out further, distance
-wise and field-wise.
As presenter at the event, one of my main
responsibilities is to establish key take-home
messages. So this entry shares some thoughts
about what may be stressed.
1. We are much more organized and dependent
on the Internet and cloud computing.
- do a vanity google search. Know what is
in cyber-space associated with your name/
identity. Clean things up.
Have a professional web presence–
web page, linkable documents, LinkedIn.com
profile that outlines your accomplishments and
- Construct a resume file that supports your
“elevator speech” that you have practiced and
are ready to give
Resume file consists of a targeted resume
for each position for which you apply and
cover letter, list of references, list of papers,
presentations and patents, and public relations
documents that are elements of your experience-
like research summary, management philosophy,
teaching philosophy, project list, patent summary
and other types of personal perspectives.
2. Work with your references to have them
be able to help you. Have their recent address
information and importantly share your interests
and documents giving them up-to-date ideas
of what you seek. Ask for their help.
Bring your reference file to interviews.
3. Find avenues and activities of personal
interaction to meet and work with people.
Move away from exclusively searching on
the Internet. People hire people. The
Internet can help but hiring is much more
than the Internet.
4. Finally, focus and follow-up. Too
broad a search dilutes your efforts. Equally,
strong professional follow-up is a