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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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05/18/09
What to do first? Evaluation
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Mentoring, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 1:04 pm

A member seeking a position in a community-oriented,
state university region asked near the end of our
conversation, ‘What should I do first?’

She described what she has done and how she has
broadened the scope of her search to include a
wider range of chemistry related endeavors.

Recent postings confirmed the general economic
situation– there are not many position openings
appearing.  Where they are appearing, they
seem to
be in small and mid-sized firms and
some agencies
of government.

The flow of the conversation discovered
- the extent of her dependence on print media and
use of internet tools.
— checking a few company web-sites and chronicle
of higher education
- the focus of her search on limited academic
departments

but has broadened to local industry

We explored how she is finding out about positions,
suggesting that she
   join LinkedIn.com,
   look over USAJobs,
   visit and get to know her local Chamber of 
Commerce offices, and
   understand how she might identify fields of
companies
by their SIC codes.

We reviewed the frustration of submitting resumes
on-line and not hearing back from the firm.  This
pointed
out the urgency of developing a stronger 
network which would allow her to provide someone
in the firm to
submit the public relations documents
to
.  She should consider not just a 2-page resume,
but also a List
of References and List of Publications
and Presentations.


She indicated that she was not sure if she desired
to work full time in a company.  So we discussed
conducting informational interviews with both people
working in the firm and people who hold positions
in the same field.

We further talked about the job search process of

- defining what she wanted to do (self-
assessment
) before writing the PR documents,
- having her resumes be targeted for specific job
descriptions
- having the resume and PR documents reviewed
by career consultants before submission
- using her network to identify people to submit
her
documents to
- using ‘interviewstream’ to practice doing
interviews
before going to interviews;

since resumes need to focus on company needs
and resumes lead to screening and on-site
interviews
and interviews lead to job offers.

Near the end of the conversation, one of her
questions was what does she do first?  Things are
changing
so fast– an academic opening just
appeared and two
local positions were announced. 

Do things to define aspirations and goals and begin
activities that have both immediate returns and
long-lead timesHelen Scully did a nice job
summarizing
various types of situations when we
say to ourselves —
now I know what I want to do,
there are so many
things, what first.  See also 1  2.

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