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

October 2012
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Business focused Resumes. More than ever your online presence counts
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 12:46 pm

In the past we have described the major difference
between the chronological resume for technical
positions and your CV as being brevity.  This is done
by the resume clearly stating up front in the “resume
red zone” keywords in context that match a job
description.  There are also several sections of
the CV that are not formally part of the resume.
These include references, papers, presentations
and patents, teaching philosophy, research summary
and other pertinent sections related to teaching
and other skills and experiences that may not
be directly related to the position, initially.
[To accomplish this the resume can have an
Objective and Highlight (or Qualifications)

More and more we are observing that resumes
targeting business and management positions are
matching up with profiles in the online world
.  This
seems to not indict one is better or worse than the
other, but how well they translate for individuals
in each market.  Trish Aanderud does an admirable
job pointing this out for profile
  - she is not shy about her accomplishments
  - she represents herself as a believable presence with
specific objectives in her summary
   - She steers the reader and computer Applicant tracking
system software to notice keywords relevant to her

Thus, it appears that profiles are being
interpreted as screening business candidates for
positions as noted earlier.
Will it follow that resumes for technical positions
meet the same track?  I suspect so. 

Thus it is helpful to keep in mind the differences
when seeking the different kinds of positions in
your online profile.  As a writer offered, each
industry and commercial segment has its own
rules and culture.  Resumes, because of the high
number for each position, exclude candidates from
positions.  Thus, despite the growth of online
profiles, excellent resumes will be needed, in addition
to completed linkedin profiles to pass the different
screens that are used to obtain interviews.

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Professional Essentials. Predicitve analytics, online publishing, collaboration
Filed under: Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:58 am

It is interesting that when you get asked to join
a task force or team to contribute energy,
enthusiasm, expertise and experience, you can
be advised — we can’t do that, or that has been
done before and failed, or I don’t see how your
idea fits with what we have done in the past.

It is curious.

In an ebook I am reading, Why the net matters,
the author suggests ’societies fail because they
do not change their fixed design for solving
problems…They find problems they cannot fix.’

It is a common to observe ‘going with what has
worked in the past’ or ‘going with your gut’ cultures
that is less effective than data driven design and
direction.  See for example  1    2  that use
extensions of the Internet’s long tail to obtain
better estimates of future behaviors and trends.
(And trends are not generally linear and univariant)

Chemists, scientists and engineers are generally
not trained in and they avoid marketing.  In today’s
world, marketing and market analysis and prediction
is essential.  The ACS should be applying tools like
predictive analytics
   to careers of the future and
   to training to help emerging and mid-career
members adapt to our fast changing world.

We are observing all around us, although many
are fighting the trend, the “dematerialization of
information” organized in free databases,
distributed online and involved in countless
transactions.  From postal service losses to
newspapers and magazines going out of business.

ACS needs to archive all information on line, available
to members and devise a worthy mechanism to share
data and information.  There are so many benefits
that outweigh the assignable costs.

University education in technical fields is another
example where courses can be delivered online.
See also 3 

Collaborative tools using “swarm intelligence”
and aggregater sites offer possibilities for
developing positive outcomes, like protein folding
by the ‘’ group, published in Nature in August 2010.

Interview contunuum. Follow up after on site interview
Filed under: Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:25 am

What do you do after an onsite interview?
We recommend thoughtful thank you notes that mean
something to the recipient who you interacted with.

What else?  There is a lot of things we can do and
also we should be alert to missteps we can make. 
Showing interest in the company and position is valuable,
but seeming desperate can detract from your

Two recent communications from professionals seem
to present similar cases.

Dear Dan,
…[small talk introduction]

‘I wish to ask for your advice, if possible.  This is related to
a position at {leading firm} where I recently interviewed…It
is about three weeks after my interview and about two weeks
after the last candidate’s interview (based on what they told
Nearly two weeks ago I was in contact with the group
leader about an idea that I had about the project.  He thanked
me and asked if I am going to start working there.  It is very
strange that he asked me this, since I did not hear anything
from him or HR…  In my response to his email, I mentioned
that I would really like start.  Though, I still have not heard.
 I don’t know what I should think or do
Additionally, I have another opportunity at another place,
which I do not want to lose…  

Sincerely, [name withheld]’

‘Dear EK,

Thank you for your note.  Very interesting … [reconnection

The situation always seems complicated when we are faced
with it ourselves.  What really counts is if you have a formal
offer letter stating
your position, salary, location, starting
date and things of this sort.  If you do not have a specific
offer letter, consider pursuing all other promising directions.

When you do have an offer, from say, a second employer, you may
call the first hiring manager or contact and ask “is there any more
information they need from you to help them make a hiring decision
for you?”  Ask to speak personally to them, rather than an email and
sincerely indicate enthusiasm and that you were favorably
impressed with the staff and project work you were being considered

Realize, first, that the hiring process is often political and budgetary.
So there can be delays.
Second, … , is is not uncommon that a firm has found a couple of
exceptional candidates that they would like to hire.  They keep the
2nd and 3rd choices waiting while they negotiate with their first choice.
The negotiation process may involve a relocation visit, formal
acceptance and security clearance.  In some cases the firm will
get back to the 2nd and 3rd choice to tell them they were not the
final selection after the 1st choice has been formally accepted
and signed up.  This may be what is happening.

Pursue hard the second company.  Get the offer.   If you have
not hear from the first company, then you might approach
them about your status

Another professional interviewed for a product development
and new product line position.  He was very excited but had
not heard back from the company for two weeks.

He had done good business communication follow-up and
still was uncertain about their decision after a month.

I encouraged him to continue pursuing other positions.

He met with his PI and shared where he was in his
search.  The  PI had recently heard from one of his
former co-workers about an opening for which the
professional would be well qualified.
Phone interview and on-site interview followed within
two weeks.  He received an offer from this second

In the same time frame he learned that despite all the
positive responses while waiting from the first firm,
he was not chosen.  They were keeping him waiting
while their first choice was deliberating.

Pursue all leads until a positive conclusion.  Keep your
network informed and don’t get discouraged.

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Entrepreneurs. iEconomy and Patents. Charles Duhigg
Filed under: Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:49 am

With much attention promoting the entrepreneurial
spirit for STEM graduates
to excel and thrive,
Charles Duhigg has unearthed the evolution of
some roles patents play in a recent NYTimes
article and podcast.

Duhigg observes that we are now in the
iEconomy and that patents take on strategic
roles of defining new concepts even before
successful demonstrations or products are
prototyped as we have moved from an
industrial economy to a digital and often
virtual economy.

We have written about patent trolls previously.
While these are mentioned, entrepreneurs are
paying attention to the patent landscape
in “different
lights and using microscopes” when thinking about
business ventures, venture capitalists, competition
and the law. 
One interesting area, new to me, is “standard essential”
patents that are significant in many software and presumably
hardware concepts.  They are neatly defined by the
example of the railroad rail gauge on moving from one
state or country or company to another.  In order for
the public to be served, standards had to be agreed upon
and set.  Then, all users had to agree to license and
share for fair compensation.  

1 comment
Presentations. Dealing with the unexpected
Filed under: Interviewing, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:34 pm

Yesterday, we presented a seminar workshop on Giving
Presentations:  Managing Nervousness and Dealing
with Unexpected Situations.

Earlier posts have discussed the nervousness conundrum.
 2   This post offers some observations of poster
presentations, presentations with power point and
behaviors in unexpected situations.

It is illustrative to skim the the history of poster
presentations learning that they are used to explain
or promote work and often considered of lesser
importance than formal lectures.  Let me pose, however,
that posters provide a more intimate conversation in a
informal, win-win way with people who are interested
audience members

So audience analysis is one of the first things to
engage in after informal personal introductions.
Assess quickly details about your listeners  AUDIENCE

4 Ts–

tone and
In fact, it should be possible to deliver the poster
presentation without the poster at all.  That is what
we did in our exercise.

A formal checklist aids a presenter in giving a winning
talk.  Seeing the room, knowing the availability of
equipment and cordless peripherals, who is in the
audience and testing everything out in advance helps.
Thinking through all that can go awry and having a
back-up ready to go– batteries, memory stick,
copies of slides, pointer and slide advancer.
Voice control, eye contact with a friendly face
and strong confident presence having your first
2 minutes down pat and your conclusion fresh
for recall.

You should also be able to give a shortened
version of the talk if asked offering the high

The last part of our seminar had the attendees
discuss and come up with what they would do
1.  unexpected interruption
2.  questions that interrupted the flow
3.  sound equipment failures
4.  large room few attendees
5.  hecklers
6.  changed length of presentation
7.  different attendees than expected.

We also talked about the propriety of
agenda slides in short talks and visibility
of slides and figure labeling.

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Career Path: FDA website and Job Board
Filed under: Position Searching, Post-docs, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:29 am

A strong contributor in the ACS, Sharon Vercellotti
forwarded valuable links that came to her attention
to bring to members’ attention with the FDA.

If it helps just a small number of people it is well
worth it….

FDA Job Board
FDA and Industry Alerts

Thank you Sharon and Sadiq.

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Resumes: ATS, cloud docs, formats
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:55 pm

Recently more attention in this blog has been on business
focused resumes
and on CVs for post-docs and academic

Some, less-common topics that may “do you in” in the
screening process is knowing that

+  many, if not most, documents face a computerized ATS
(applicant tracking system) and needs to be a  format that
can be readily scanned
  -  ATS  looking for Keywords  in context in specific sections
  - have your resume in a scannable format ie .txt
scannable resumes

+  You will be searched on the Internet for your Internet

  -  have your linkedin profile listed in your HEADING
in your CV or resume [you will not be confused with
another with the same name.]
  - link your resume and list of projects and other PR
documents in “cloud documents”
List of projects

+  You need to be aware of the three phases of resume
reviews.  To get past the first phase critical information
needs to be in the resume red zone (middle third of page 1)
Resume red (read) zone

+  A growing trend is for technical professionals to
seek international positions, requiring the international
format for a resume

  -We recognize the advantage of listing our citizenship
if American or naturalized for certain positions (and
need to list it in our headings, in certain circumstances.)
European CV

There are cases in different fields for which unique resune
elements are expected
.  This is what happens as chemistry
trained individuals seek positions in alternative areas. 
For several positions in government laboratories LANL
for example a CV is preferred over a resume.
A business focused format is preferred for project
management and for legal and technology transfer positions.

The science of chemistry where we continually
 - collect and evaluate data and
 - develop new facts with experiments and observations and
 - test hypothesis and develop models
is found useful in many areas.  So it is that we will adopt
different tools
to present our case to be hired into different

1 comment
Importance of Linkedin Profile Title
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 5:12 pm

Remember that stories are great communications tools
to reveal the importance of things.

 - Have a good photo
 - Have a descriptive title of who you want to be

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Negative Demonstrations of Networking
Filed under: Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 5:01 pm

At the undergraduate seminar at Niagara last week the MUD cards
revealed a dozen questions.  Ok the group is composed of
undergraduates and that means– take each question seriously
and ask for follow up questions for clarification from them.

One of the questions:  Can people network in a negative way?

It is very common and necessary that we network using Internet
tools.  We always advise people to plan, monitor and update their
Internet presence.  Be mindful of how you are represented
or how your name, whether it is you or “another Jane Doe,”
on the Internet– in words, photos, opinions, or orally, shows up.
Besides this, generally, most approaches to connect and share
in a network can be misused by involving:.

poor, un-professional image(s) or the wrong take(s) on an image
-  the wrong set of people

-  the giving or taking of bad information or advice

-  taking too much time or not enough time

-  deleteriously affecting one’s physical, mental or emotional health

-  uncontrolled spreading of personal or proprietary information

preventing you from being with, working with or meeting the
right people

See also the blog on social networking negative effects.

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Digital Media. Open Access Debate. Trends and thoughts
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:44 am

“Open access” in chemical literature has been
debated for years while chemistry seems to
lag behind other sciences in adoption, as reported
in “Open access in chemistry: information wants
to be free” by Kuras, Kahn and Vickery.

The surveyed logic is funding and journal
quality, but also the stance of the ACS and
impact of the implied “reward system.” formally
influence the rate of adoption of new publication
models.  The authors suggest continuing adoption
resulting from funding sources encouragement
and impact of Internet presence on professional
recognition for scholarly work. 

Resources and recent news

Nature posts three new open access websites.  The
news item provided good links to Science and PoS.

PubMed (biology, medicine, biochemistry) and arXiv
(physics and Math) sites are highly promoted in
a recent eBook that I am reading by David Eagleman
(Why the Net Matters).

1 comment
Undergraduate Program. More on Nervousness and Networking
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 8:45 am

Last week I had the pleasure to meet undergraduates
and then offer a program on “Wise Skills,” followed
by some exceptional mock interviews.  After the
program at Niagara University, Professor R. Goacher
and I went over the MUD cards which presented
some of the questions the undergraduates had and
things they liked about the workshop.

Here are a couple of the questions.
1.  What are some suggestions about how to calm
in an interview and how to keep yourself
from fidgeting when you get nervous or don’t know
what to do with your hands?

This is a targeted question which hints at a generally
larger phobia that all people face– nervousness in
interviews and giving presentation
.  Some understand
from the get-go that it is normal to be nervous and
to manage it by several tactics.  Two undergraduates
who took me to the class room actually saw me do
many of the things that prepared me to do well–
- 60/20 rule and know your first 2 minutes down pat
- use resources in the room– board, prepared hand-outs,
     visual aids, both prepared in advance and created live
 - relate to the audience and perform an “attention
, where you are no longer thinking of yourself
   but an actor making a case and seeking positive feedback
   from the audience
 - learn and develop the presentation skill of waiting,
taking pauses allowing you to think as you are delivering
and taking in audience nonverbal signals,  Partnoy’s,  “Wait”
is exemplary reading on this.
 - know the audience
 - prepare yourself by visiting the restroom before beginning
to make sure you are at your level best.

2.  How can I approach someone in a networking situation?
I am young and feel that I don’t have much to offer.  I don’t
want to come off as someone who needs a favor but can not
return it.

So, let me tell you what we did at Niagara.  A new professor
and I went to lunch and she paid.  We have jointly agreed,
yet informally,  that I would be pleased and have the time to
act as a mentor.  We chose our lunch items and then
proceeded to the check out where I briefly
chatted with the cashier
who was there in her role for her
17th year. 

We got her name, the cashier learned mine and
we talked for a moment about weekend events.  The new
professor then introduced herself and made a nice

Walking away, the professor commented, do you commonly
create small talk with many people, engage with and make
friendly chatter making them feel significant and present
Yes, I responded– these are consequential strangers and
part of my network. 

There are others.  Several questions I have from the week
I will contact respected mentors and seek their thoughts
and advice.  It is a way I keep in touch.  Several former
students and colleagues will be asked the same questions
more for saying a quick hello.

Several of my competitors who professionally compete
for the same opportunities I will share what has happened
in my week of presentations.  I do it even if I do not hear
back, in fact, not expecting anything in return.  These are
tactics of a networker.

Then, I will at some future point contact people with whom
I work well

Resources such as this blog are a continual refresher of
sharing well intentioned, focused on other people’s
betterment, not-personal-gain communication.

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