If you were not able to attend the NOLA meeting, and you
seek your next position or you want to be prepared for
whatever may happen next in your career, did you think
to attend the “Virtual Career Fair” over the last two days?
Out of a job, need help? VCF is one of the services the
ACS provides— free…In fact one of the people JC I
spoke with yesterday via telecon [more about this later]
had let her membership lapse. She informed the ACS of
her situation and requested a waiver-membership extension
so she could attend.
RESULTS: We video-teleconned, via Skype, for 90 minutes,
where we not only reviewed her current resume and a cover
letter, but also prepared her for a video screening interview.
What to wear [she was professionally attired],
background set-up [we removed glare and unattractive
background items, placed her in the center of the screen, had
her sit back to we simulated being in the same room, and
suggested that she use a microphone for voice clarity.
Look into the camera[, as if, right above my eyes.]
Manage non-verbal behaviors.
Then I suggested JC to contact a recruiter who seemed to be
well suited to her quest who was also attending the VCF,
ZyomicJobs . Earlier, I had a warm conversation with Alan
Meyer who has a genuinely unique and helpful approach for
laboratory scientist careers.
There were four kinds of people who I observed in the VCF.
Browsers: less than 30 minutes to spend, what is it about?
Curious: Had one or more Specific questions and sought
People who wanted a resume or CV reviewed or a consultants
insights into the job market today and what they might do.
They were often willing to spend some time to engage a
consultant. Most did not wish to Skype.
These three groups were not quite ready to do a video-telecon.
The 4th group wanted to full experience of a virtual video-telecon
review and mock interview practice. They were ready to
Skype and got the most, by far, from the VCF.
- Specific questions asked and answered
- resume reviewed on the spot [They emailed me their resume,
I worked with them line by line to point out pros and cons and
what reviewers seek.
- mock video-telecon interviews on the spot.
Other specific examples included:
Career advice for recent mothers telecon from home taking
care of a newborn.
Where and how to find keywords for a dad waiting for his
teenagers to come home from school for his resume…job
descriptions and information interviews
…considerations about attending a regional ACS meeting
vs. a national meeting.
These kinds of things are much better to handle with a
RECOMMENDATIONS: This VCF approach is incredibly valuable
for members who cannot attend a national meeting. Preparation
is very important.
1. Have your goals established, questions prepared and your
2. Have back-up plans ready to go. Cell phone handy to call
in case of computer interruptions. [In fact most people’s
computer systems could not be integrated with the VCF
system to do a video/audio interaction. Many reduced themselves
to keyboarding which is a FAIL in my view.]
3. Dress professionally.