Wow! The Washington ACS meeting
showed me some things about how
outplacement firms “help” people
who are let go in the 21st century.
While these comments might not be
general for the whole industry and
they may be individual case observations,
they lead me to suggest: know
what you want and ask for it with
outplacement firms to get any value
from the service.
P. Dvorak and J Lubin authored a front
page WSJ article whose title expresses the
Outplacement firms’ perspective. (WSJ, 8-20-09
This activity, now standard for mid-sized
and large firms to protect firms’ reputation
and limit the impact of employee lawsuits
and unemployment costs, is strong these
days. Previously this blog has mentioned
that we can tell an outplacement firm’s “stamp”
on resumes, a mile away. In addition, the
“stamp”, while a suitable representation for
some, more business-focused candidates
does not provide the key “match-ables”
in the middle third of the first page that
technical professionals need.
Down-sized workers have non-standard
needs and desires, yet the outplacement
firms have been challenged to provide
a competitive, cost effective set of services.
This translates to output that I observed
in resumes, cover letters and interview
preparation that doesn’t put all members
in the best possible light for fewer, ever
more competitive position s.
Know what you want and need from an
-Is it interview practice?
-secretarial service and assistance in public
-professional coaching for presentations,
phone interviews, or networking connections?
1. very common resume format that may be
2. documents not containing key terms in your
field (need field specific background)
[specific, recommended recruiters can be
3. resume files missing significant parts (
some fields want to see research summaries
or technical digests)
4. leading firms appreciate tech savvy
scientists who can provide information
in relevant formats not involving paper
5. just providing job-posting sites, group
overview workshops, Internet based
material may not meet your needs.
Know your needs. Check with mentors.
Talk to people who have been satisfied
with their outplacement experience.
Don’t let your documents be sent without
your specific approval on each item.
Ask a lot of specific questions.
Talk with recruiters in your specific fields.
Contact the career consultants program
of the ACS.