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

August 2012
« Jul   Sep »
Cover letters. Considerations more than meets the eye Consultants Input
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 10:47 am

It is an incredible experience to work with ACS Career
Consultants.  They are terrific resources for members.
That includes each one of us,

Recently, I received a question from a member met
at the Philadelphia meeting who asked the question:

Dear Dan,
I have one question about cover letter.  I want to
apply for three different jobs in a company, should
I write three different cover letters or I can just
write one and mention all the three jobs?

Thanks a lot!  Best wishes,

L [punctuation, spelling as in note]’


Hi L,
The application process is challenging for everyone
seeking a position.  Know that a cover letter is
for each application.

Language plays a key role in communicating.  Please,
no matter what you do, have someone who is a
native English speaker seriously review
all your
documents looking for clarity of thought, spelling,
format and punctuation.

To develop a response, I contacted several trusted
mentors for their considered opinions.

Joe Jolson:
I don’t think that L provided enough information
to definitively answer h(is)er question.  My
guess is that (s)he found the openings on a
Company website and intends to apply for them
through the/ company website without knowing
who the hiring manager(s) are.

In my response, I would suggest that (s)he use
the web and h(is)er network to find out who the
hiring manager(s) are
and obtain contact information
for them.  If they are three different professionals
and (s)he gets contact information for them, (s)he
should prepare three different cover letters and send
them out through the Company website
and by email
to the hiring managers.

Louie Kirschenbaum:
‘…If a student reigns a shotgun approach he/she can’t
write a targeted letter.  Getting more details about
the job is important
, even if the company lists only
one position…’

Rich Bretz:
If L has contact information for any of the hiring
managers, then contact him/her directly.  I must
admit that L’s message was a challenge to read due
to grammar issues
.  I suggest that L have someone
proofread any correspondence prior to sending.

Joel Shulman:
‘Depends on to whom the letter is going.  If there
is a centralized source for applications to the
company, I would send one cover letter referencing
L’s qualifications for each job
and expressing interest
in all three.  This would be my preferred route.
however, if the three openings have different addresses
and contact persons, I would write to each separately

and express both interest and qualifications for each.

L, there could be more to this.  Is there anyone in
your network who is associated with the company?
What information can the provide, or significantly,
can they offer a referral? 

My network has provided essential information that
I endorse.  It is critical that you have a full job
description for each position and confirm if possible
the ‘musts and wants’ to guide you in applying and
composing your cover letter.

Remember, just sending it in, not including
keywords, not being critically reviewed, nor
not showing a good match to what the company
needs, will not be successful– whether sending
in one letter or three.

We hope this is helpful for you.

comments (0)
Career Path: Opto-electronics Industry
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:33 am

Although I don’t consider applied optics an
alternate career path, Photonics Spectra
August 2012
issue offers a broad range of
career and job hunting strategies. 

It covers where the jobs are and how to
position yourself for careers in this field.
We all know that lasers, invented in the 1950s,
came into their own as an emerging technology
generating field in the 1970s.  It is now part
of everyday life in many commercial and
consumer ways.

Optics Valley France  2

SKILLS Opto-engineering

CAD programming
Six sigma

comments (0)
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:47 am

Back by popular demand:
Contributor:  Sheila Rodman

A Mid-career Jobseeker’s review of MOJO

  Marshall Goldsmith defines MOJO as “…that positive
towards which we are doing now that starts from
inside and radiates to the outside.”  (underline added) 
He goes on to identify four key components necessary
for great Mojo:  namely, identity, achievement, reputation,
and acceptance
.  Goldsmith terms the antithesis of Mojo
as NOJO, short for “no joy”.

Nojo struck me as the state that has to be resisted by
job seekers.  Most of us define our identity in terms of
our position and affiliation.  We may be great parents,
siblings, friends or volunteers in our communities.  When
professional identity is temporarily lost, Nojo increases.

2  The fourth component, acceptance, is another potential
generator of Nojo.  While many job seekers have freely
chosen to look for new opportunities, many have been
forced into this role by events beyond their control.
In these cases, coming to acceptance of the situation
is another step on the path to regain one’s Mojo.  It is
easy to get lost in ‘what if’ scenarios or longing for the
past.  Goldsmith warns about that in a chapter entitled
“That Job is Gone.”

3  In addition to providing a toolkit for increasing Mojo,
Goldsmith also introduced the MOJO SCORECARD.
Goldsmith breaks this into two main areas: 
      Professional, defined as “what I bring to this activity”
      Personal, defined as “what the activity brings to me”
The author suggests using it to rate each activity in your
day.  It is a good tool to think about all the activities in
your typical workday and identify areas that are not
improving your Mojo.

  I found much value in this book and recommend it
highly.  I think that the Mojo scorecard is a good tool
to evaluate job offers
especially from the personal
Mojo perspective.  I plan to use the scorecard both
for my workday activity to see where I can improve and
also in evaluating future positions
.  In this economy
job seekers may have to take a side-step in their careers
or accept something less than desired to meet financial
obligations in the short-term.  Looking at those options
from the perspective of personal Mojo would be very
important.  Remember that one’s Mojo is derived from
all aspects of a person’s life, not just our jobs.

comments (0)
Thinking. Fast, Slow and Human Nature
Filed under: Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:38 am

Was at a gathering yesterday and spoke to a fellow who
was reading Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational.  While
I have not read it I have ordered his book on Cheating,
after hearing a podcast where he described his thesis
on human nature and implications.

Starting, then, with human nature, all humans cheat, he
concluded, yet most in little ways.  Some who are
discovered and punished have perhaps gone too far.
He points out humans cheat first to themselves by little
lies or even wishes, and become insensitive to actions
and thoughts, with small steps first, one at a time, then
at the other extreme is the “what the h_ll effect” with
long term consequences.

However, in human dynamics, it is not just cheating and
its verbal analog, lying, that factor in but others that
may in fact take precedence over a miss-deed or -statement.
An example is “peace with those at home.” 
Emotions and the feelings of others plays a significant

Going along with this are two popular books out
and reviewed recently– Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and
, and Partnoy’s Wait.  Where Kahneman does an
elegant portrait of human biases, decision-making
and happiness, Partnoy reflects on investigations of
implications of doing things quickly (human nature)
and the positive effects of holding off before our choice
of speech or actions.  To my twisted logic these two are
nice but benefit from the reality of Ariely’s Cheating.
It is as if Kahneman and Partnoy present the science
and Ariely offers the engineering and application
in human thinking processes.

While many have read Kahneman’s book and their
reviews, the comments contain some salient moments
in Partnoy’s Wait and Ariely’s Cheating.

Interview continum. Follow up actions after meetings
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 8:18 am

Illuminating notes from a couple of people I interviewed
or reviewed or met in Philadelphia DIFFERENTIATE
them from every one else who I met.

Even further, those who develop a win-win common
do much better.  This further differentiates
them from the more than a hundred people I met at
the ACS national meeting.

This is part of the interviewing continuum that job
seekers should have foremost in their minds.  The
interview is not just the one time screening interview
combined with an on-site interview.  It is much more
as the linked article on the topic describes.


Dear Dan,

It was wonderful seeing you at ACS and thank you for your support at
AEI. I talked to several hiring institutions, and they showed
interested and encouraged me to apply. I will keep you updated. Thanks
again for commenting on my materials and passing it to Louis
Kirschenbaum. It was my delight to meet him at AEI.

Best wishes,
Dear Dan,

I hope you have had a great meeting at Philadelphia.  It was
a great pleasure meeting you again.  Thanks for all your
advices, those are very helpful.  I still remember our first
conversation when you recommended toastmaster to me.
I could see I have improved a lot since then.

I will keep updating you on my progress.  One day, I hope
to volunteer like you and guide next generation chemists.

Thanks for you help.
Best regards,

(Although it would be overlooked in this one situation.)
Dear Kanjana,

It was a pleasure being introduced to you at the
wine tasting reception at the Philadelphia ACS
I hope you enjoyed the technical and networking
opportunities and look forward to being connected
in Linkedin and meeting again at future meetings.


Daniel J. Eustace

Adjunct, University of Connecticut
Retired, ExxonMobil and Polaroid Corps.
ACS Career Consultant and Workshop Presenter

1 comment
Internet Tools: Managing careers- Job search, Transitioning and Landing
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:13 pm

Members in transition and seeking more rewarding
assignments can use all the Internet tools available. 
Remember, however, there are limitations.

The Internet does not replace physical presence and face
to face interactions.  Stellar communication skills
must be demonstrated at many phases of the interview

Some key ones are

scifinder access  [limited access; previous users]

google tools
hubpage jennifer
     Contact job-search-knol    
     Add job-search-knol’s widget to your website

     Subscribe to job-search-knol’s RSS feed

     Ask job-search-knol a question


Electronic searching for beginners

Resume Heading Section. Detailed considerations
Filed under: Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 8:07 am

As we know, resumes are a common public relations
document for industrial technical positions and
business position applications.  Many governmental
positions applications are met by using resumes, as
well.  CVs are used for some governmental positions.
So do check in advance.

What should commonly be in the Resume Heading
1.  Name that you are known by, its pronunciation
if difficult and what you are commonly called if not clear.
It can be in a larger font size than the rest of the text,
but please use the same font and do not bold or italicize.
2.  Formal address, however do not type the full state
name, use abbreviation, and include your zip.
3.  One phone number that you frequently check and
can be left a message at.  Cell phones are much more
common now.  Include the area code without parentheses.
4.  One email address that is professionally appearing
and that you check frequently.  Many companies prefer
that you do not use their email for outside purposes.

There can be more to include in the heading.  For
additional important items I contacted some of my
5.  QUESTION:  Include apartment number in address?
Only if the parcel will not be delivered without the
apartment number.

6.  QUESTION:   Should a post office box number be used?
Here is where different perceptions appear.  If you plan to
move or are a person who is reluctant to give out your
formal address (harassment), a PO Box might be appropriate,
if you check it daily and pick up the mail.  Nonetheless,
Joel Shulman and I do not like to see PO Box in place
of a person’s residence, as it can mean other things.
Beware of unintended consequences if you use PO Box.

7.  QUESTION:  for electronic contact, email, but what else
twitter?  web-page?  blog? facebook?  linkedin? 
Our team of reviewers have different impressions on
Internet searchable content. 
Richard Bretz offers:
“I have heard that recruiters are now questioning why a
person does not have a facebook account.  What is the
person hiding?  Is he/she a technophobe?  I guess that a
candidate should state all electronic contacts that are
monitored on a regular basis.”
Joel Shulman adivises: 
“Certainly one email address.  Web page, if kept up to
date.  Others– probably not.”
My advice is:
I like to see Linkedin, if kept up to date and complete
(photo, competencies, links to other searchable
resources about yourself, groups that you belong to,
and pertinent items not listed in resume that you
want to be associated with), and a good web-page, if
not easy to locate in the linkedin profile.

8.  QUESTION:   Addresses?  should a person list two
if they are still working
?  Or should they use only
their home address?
Joel Shulman advises:  “Home address only, unless
in school.  Giving work address indicates the candidate
doesn’t care if employer knows she is looking,
so she may have lost her job.”
Rich Bretz offers:  “Listing work contact information
is not advisable, unless it is well known that a
candidate is leaving an organization.  Regardless,
listing work contact information can be
detrimental to morale.”
My suggestions mirror my colleagues.

9.   if a person is a green card holder,
should that be listed?
Joel:  Yes, to listing green card if there is any
doubt about eligibility to work without
sponsorship (e.g., foreign education).  List as
“U.S. Permanent Resident” in the heading.
Rich and I generally agree.

Are you surprised with so many items?

Watch-outs. 38. Recent word-use, Social security, Online storage
Filed under: Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:36 am

Three items to share as we approach the Philadelphia
national meeting.  One may pertain to the meeting.
Two touch near term thinking.  Of those two, one
is related to Social security benefit claims strategies
and the other to where and how we do our secure
data storage.

SOURCE:  E. McKean, WSJ 12-31-2011 “Year in
Words” p. C4
List of new meanings for terms and new terms
includes CARBS for countries whose economics
is sensitive to commodity price fluctuations
(Canada, Australia, Russia, Brazil, So. Africa)
CIVETS, the countries that are projected
to be the next “tigers.”  Terms that may carry
strong meaning– BYOD (bring your own
device), metabolomics (study of processes
by their metabolites) and aquihire (company
purchase to gain specific employees) are in
this article.  Weekly entries contain other
occasional “hits”.  Google and find.

SOURCES:  K. Damato, WSJ 7-16-12 Ask
; K. Greene, WSJ 7-21, 8-4-12 Family
Value 7 
There are many alternatives and features
most have not heard.  It can be difficult
reading through regs and web-pages and
then asking the right questions for each
individual case.  These articles illuminate
several things we approaching or into
retirement ought to know and can benefit
Nice guidance in the last item.

SOURCES:  W. Mossberg, WSJ 4-25-12 P. D1
Just cloud commercial
In an evolving array of alternatives, Mossberg
reviewed Google Drive and SkyDrive.  the
commercial link offers a wider listing, however
does not include local HD or Skydrive.

Choose and adapt.  Be ready to change.

comments (0)
MOOCS: One of the ingredients to future education and maintaining/evolving our skill sets
Filed under: Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:44 pm

While we have all seen articles and programs about online
learning, nothing grabbed me until I listened to Diane Rehm
moderating a panel of people talking about how online
courses may fit in higher education’s future

One of the major take-aways is the concept of MOOCS.
I listened hard and near the end the panelists began describing
this concept of Massive Open Online Courses that is taking
off at universities and some private companies.  [See the
Rehm discussion page for some detail and also Coursera which
describes courses being offered this fall.] 

Now what kinds of courses are offered this way, in STEM
fields…?  This site [2] lists 500 such offerings that may be
a valid way for mid-career people to refresh or learn new
skills to help manage their careers.

1 comment
Mid-career Self-assessment. MOJO
Filed under: Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:27 pm

Marshall Goldsmith has impressed me several times in
audiobooks and podcasts with inspiration and gap analysis
methods for helping senior level people and those in mid
to deal with their circumstances or what ails them.

Found MOJO, a book Marshall Goldsmith recently
co-authored, while browsing recently and was so
engrossed, I skimmed it in one evening and re-read it
again the next day.  It is that good.

[MOJO stands for: positive spirit toward what we do
now that starts inside us and radiates outside of us.]

There are at least a five very good things this book
provides for people who have been in the workplace
for a few years…Mid-career people, senior level people,

1.  ingredients of great mojo
2.  MOJO and is inverse nojo
3.  Capturing your measure of your mojo
4.  MOJO killers in our careers
5.  re-igniting your mojo

This is not a how to instruction manual.  It is an
intellectual mirror with x-ray vision to help us
see what makes us tick, how we think and
what makes us happier.

Comments provide more detail on some of the good
things in the book.  Highly recommended for mid-
career professionals.