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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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01/13/15
Resumes in 2015. Resume file, Linkedin Profile, Integrity, Different Content for Different Roles
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:16 pm

In today’s competitive and uncertain, virtual and interactive,
career and job-assignment marketplace, technical resumes
are only one part of your public relations portfolio.

INTERNET PRESENCE:  LINKEDIN PROFILE
Any consultant or reviewer who examines and critiques
only one document is shortsighted and not necessarily
offering you up-to-date advice.  Why?  We are approaching,
if we have not already reached, a ‘virtual presence’ world. 
Your presence (or absence from) in the Internet is larger
and may be more critical for you achieving your goal of
interacting with company representatives.  You have to
pay strong attention to addressing this market place. 
The profile can be targeted differently than your specific
resume file that you send to each individual company.

Lindsey Pollack
and Arnie Fertig highlight many
features of resumes vs. profiles and Linkedin’s mission.
In addition, it can be valuable to have a master resume
that you maintain throughout your career.  It  contains
all your personal information from which you
choose items to include in targeted resumes and
profiles.

Organization, ease of reading, use of significant-in-
your-field keywords and ethical behaviors are important.
(Resumes also:  brevity, specificity and clarity)

CONTENT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ROLES
I respect Tom Kellum who reported that resumes
“rule people out.’  In the business side of the enterprise.
the hiring authority seeks a person who can help her
reach her goals faster.  The resume, he points out, reveals
the past and not the “intangible futures.”  On the technical
side of the enterprise
, describing our accomplishments
reveals our Key Skills and Abilities KSA which can be
applied to solve problems and innovate.
So, not only are there differences in hard copy and
virtual documents, each of which is searchable, but
also different roles will represent us with different
styles of content.

GREY AREAS
Due to this, there are sometimes grey areas” in the
ways things are described
.  In addition, some people
might misrepresent titles, dates, areas of responsibility,
accomplishments and other details to make
themselves appear more attractive.  Comments in
various places point out there is little or no checking,
in the virtual world.  [This is a potential downside.
Rest assured, however, most significant, untrue content is
eventually discovered and there are serious con-
sequences.]

The grey areas extend to the ATS Applicant tracking system
software tools that review and find our profile or resume.
ATS output from our resumes can be erroneous as well.
It is a computer output without human intervention.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Public relations documents are an inexact science that
we have to work through to manage our careers.
 - master resume should be comprehensive and correct
 - Linkedin profile should be complete and regularly
updated [if project based or entrepreneurial, consider
a web-page as well]
 - targeted resumes, technical or business focused
 - each item should be keyword rich
 - follow ACS integrity guidelines.

Reminder:  Don Straits indicates the resume file contains
cover letter, resume, list of publications, patents and
presentations, specialized addenda (like research
summary, industry summary, patent review, management
philosophy, etc.) and list of references.

comments (0)
07/14/13
“Developed” in Technical and Business Resumes and CVs
Filed under: Recent Posts, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 1:29 pm

Who has heard of Luis von Ahn? 

If you have not heard of him you are likely to be one of
the “more than 1 billion people who have helped  digitize
the printed word by using reCAPTCHA” that an Economist
technology quarterly article describes of this innovative
Guatamalian  immigrant who has “developed” a series of
useful Internet-based systems to bring people together
to do useful work.  His latest “development” results
in a company, Duolingo, that simultaneously teaches
another language while also providing a translation
service.

Developed (and development) shows up a couple times
in the last paragraph and we get different levels of
understanding what it means depending upon the
context and our background.

The same is true when we used “develop” in resumes
and CVs.
  In  this contributions we offer a host of
more precise synonyms that should be used in
place of develop.
..
accelerated             achieved              assessed
assigned                  authored              awarded
built                         characterized      codified
combined                completed           conceived
converted                created                decreased
defined                    delivered             designed
differentiated        directed               documented
drove                       enhanced            established
expanded                fabricated            generated
identified               improved             increased
launched                led                         mapped
modeled                 negotiated            partnered
performed              planned                 predicted
prepared                  produced              recruited
reduced                   removed              reorganized
replaced                  restored               scaled
synthesized             trained                 upgraded

It is valuable to express your ideas using precise
and if possible keywords that are used in specific fields. 
I am sure there are others that are more precise than
develop.  Please send them in.  Thanks.

comments (0)
05/28/13
Mid-career Mentoring and Resumes
Filed under: Mentoring, Leadership, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 9:17 am

A number of years ago, I enjoyed a distance learning course
I attended that Karol Pelc delivered in NTU on Management
of Technology.  Many areas were interesting.  One in particular
was technological generations, S-shaped curves and technology
development strategies.

These areas can parallel our careers in research, business
and teaching.  Atul Gawande wrote a compelling article in the
New Yorker recently describing how athletes and musicians
have personal coaches, why shouldn’t surgeons?  In my mind,
why shouldn’t scientists, engineers, professors and professionals?

Gawande wrote: “As I went along, I compared my results against national
data, and I began beating the averages.  My rates of complications
moved steadily lower…  And then, a couple of years ago, they didn’t.
It started to seem that the only direction things could go from here
was the wrong one.

Maybe this is what happens when you turn 45.  Surgery is, at least,
a relatively late-peaking career… Jobs that involve the complexities
of people or nature seem to take longer to master.  S&P 500 CEO,
52, geologists, 54;  Surgeons, requiring stamina and judgment,
somewhere between.”

Gawande talked about invoking coaches, just like other professionals,
and provided some real life examples of how attention to some
little things that an objective expert observer might point out.

We see many coaches for executives, for golf, for singing, for
musicians…Some are most helpful.  Some provide standard responses,
that may not be helpful.  Some inspire alternative ways of doing
things.  Even experts have room for improvement.

SENIOR LEVEL RESUMES
We have not touched on senior level public relations documents.
There is a need to present a perspective.  At the higher levels, terms
like branding, leadership, staffing and application of resources
seem pertinent.

We might think of a CTO position as a particular example of
a position.  Jennifer Hay offered a candid comparison of
CIO and CTO roles and responsibilities.  Notice the difference
between the more operational and the more strategic.

This falls under the term “branding” that is common in business
resume literature.  More on target, it refers to the content of
the document using specific keywords in context that relates
a reputation for leadership providing:
   company growth strategy overcoming obstacles
   system wide implementation that drives results
   providing a strategic, if not a longer-range view.

In some circles the CTO is the right hand person in technology
focused organizations, where a CFO is more business or
transaction based organizations.  The metrics for CTO needs
to be expressed in senior level terms as Laura Smith-
Proulx
describes.

comments (0)
01/18/13
Alternate Careers. Markekting and Market research
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:38 pm

Marketing technical products and services, especially to technically
savvy customers can benefit from formal technical training.  I have
seen it a number of times myself, from
    products I have purchased,
    to trade shows and exhibitions I have attended,
    to students who have good communications skills, are motivated
by working with, communicating and help technical people –getting
marketing and technical representative positions.

When I recently attended a terrific exposition of robotics and chemical
screening products in Orlando, I looked for marketing savvy people who
I could highlight for this entry.  It seemed like everyone had one or
another skill and each firm had a team of people with different skill
sets.  Marketing is more than a unique selling position [as in Madmen]
now.

Scott Brinker does a fantastic job outlining the evolving skill
set for successful market managers.  His 5 skills can be integrated
into
- working with customers to understand their present and future
needs, knowing that this must be translated in understandable terms
to both the customer service rep and the customer.  Sometimes it
involves follow-up communication, since timing and training are
not easy yet essential.
- software and hardware integration and version updating without
customer awareness for hardware or robotics or analytical systems.
- anticipating new directions of customer needs, changing resource
trends and value and out-of sequence tools that work only some
of the time.

The terms and keywords in marketing are different than technical
jargon.  They can and must be learned.  And they seem different from
sub-field to sub-field.

Business based resumes  2 
Unique interview questions
Personal style factors in self-assessment  2 

comments (0)
11/21/12
Affiliations. Significance in Resumes, Interviews and Presentations
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Leadership
Posted by: site admin @ 12:48 pm

Did you see the CBS segment on human infants?  How
they are learning at their very earliest moments and
often make decisions based on what they have observed
and been taught?  Striking.

What does this have to do with Resumes, Interviewing
and seeking jobs, Dan?  you may ask.

A lot!

Short story.  A member recalled applying for a position using
Monster.com and obtained an on-site interview.  In the
interview in which he demonstrated his communications
skills and story telling ability he learned through several
mock interview experiences, he mentioned who he worked
for at UCONN
.  The long and the short of it, the hiring
manager also worked for the same professor
decades earlier.
It helped form a connection, a common-ground, and ultimately
a difference with all the other candidates.  He was offered the
position
.

BABY PREFERENCES
The video segment reported that newborns listen, like faces,
like common aged people, like languages and music they
are used to hearing.  The also form preferences from positive
experiences. 

This early preference learning extends to adult years and making
decisions.  David McClelland offers that affiliations is one
of the three leading motivations for human behavior.  The need
is associated with desires to be linked to groups, organizations
and places.

AFFILIATIONS CAN ALSO BE MORE SIGNIFICANT
Lucy Kelleway posed that today there are fewer “big
names” that signal the achievement of one person.  Achievements
are more commonly a group effort.

When people effect things it can be signaled on a webpage
or twitter or social media.  While individual achievement
does stand out, most do not do it alone.  Flashy
affiliations with big names and associations stand out.

AFFILIATION STANDS OUT IN BUSINESS
You can gain trust in customers by being in partnership or
affiliation with a known business.  Affiliation is a fast way
for businesses to gain trust and credibility in the eyes of
customers.

VALUE OF AFFILIATIONS SECTION IN RESUMES
As a professional scientist you show you care about
what is happening in your areas of science when you are
a member of the ACS.  You care enough to
-  subscribe to a code of ethics, society journals and magazines,
-  attend conferences where you share and learn and
-  take some initiative in actively being involved for the greater
good.

When you include ACS [and other pertinent organizations]
in your resume AFFILIATIONS section, it reveals a lot
when you include participation in groups, organizing
conferences, task forces and committees) since they are
voluntary and tell of your commitment to the other members
and the whole chemical enterprise.

We tell interviewees and presenters, being able to provide a
story of involvement during interviews and when delivering
presentations also reveals your professionalism in meaningful
ways in these contexts.  In a very human way it finds its traces
to our early human preferences.

1 comment
02/21/12
Business focussed resumes.
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 3:02 pm

A recent chemistry Ph.D. approached with a situation
asking for help creating a business focused resume
[Certain details are left out about the position.]

He started out with a nice, detailed “master resume”
outlining his chemical, chemical modeling and
physical biochemistry skills.  He listed publications
(first, second and third author), patents and
presentations.

The challenges he had included:
-  translate the technical accomplishments into results-
focussed language,
-  identify key transferable skills and
-  state valued experiences demonstrating leadership,
assuming responsibility, teamwork, time and performance
management in academic, volunteer  and competitive
activities.

The cover letter was addressed to a specific person at
the firm for her to “review the document and refer it” to
to the appropriate hiring manager.
The letter identified specific computational strengths and
suggested a computational finance model assignment
would be a possible fit. [Based on other information from
networking interviews, he had learned of a possible opening
in this area.]

Keeping to one page and not stating information on
the one-page resume, the cover letter stayed ‘on message’
without a lot of extra content.

The resume was organized into one-page, outlining
his transferable skills and providing specific examples
through documents in the cloud. 
His heading included a link to his Linkedin.com profile.
His publications and presentations were linked in the
   Experience section with limited technical
   wording, providing documentation without over use of
   technical terms.
If anything it was short on Honors and Awards and
Affiliations.  I wonder if at that point is anything more
than an observation.

 

comments (0)
11/22/11
Cover letters. Audience Analysis. Do you need an Objective in your resume and for academic applications
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 12:57 pm

In a cogent conversation yesterday discussing a
future workshop it got me to thinking about the
audience’s attention.  A common phrase, “WIIIFM”
what is in it for me,” came to mind and the need
to think about and do an audience analysis.

We are planning to work together, the organizers
and I, to seek their career aspirations (government,
academic, and industrial) and what would help them
the most in the program (resume review, cover letter,
mock interview, and career discussion including
personal unique situations which cannot be usually
covered in a general audience).

AUDIENCE ANALYSIS FOR COVER LETTERS
AND OBJECTIVE STATEMENTS
That got me to thinking about the situations we all
face in writing our cover letters and an objective
statement in our resumes.  [We note at this point that
CVs do not usually contain an objective.]  Very commonly
the prescription for “business resumes” is also to
de-select an objective statement.  The logic being three
fold– (1) they are hard to write, (2) it can preclude an
applicant from positions not specified and also under
consideration, and (3) it does not pinpoint to how an
applicant can make their case to be a good hire given
the different set of skills business positions require.

CASE FOR INCLUDING OBJECTIVE
The Objective can be helpful in pointing out specifically
the position that is desired, showing a match to a
job description.  The objective is suggested to be
a short phrase.  We find ourselves, especially early
in our careers, to be “qualified” for entry level positions
in a number of fields using our technical expertise
to solve problems, invent, innovate and make a
profit.  So, it can be helpful to state that we seek the
opening and include in our HIGHLIGHTS a
prioritized list supporting the objective.

The Objective needs to be tailored for each position.
However, including an objective for a process position
in a resume for a analytical laboratory position would
quickly dismiss consideration.

On the other hand, an Objective might be optional
in cases such as a career fair, where a number
of companies and positions are under
consideration.  Also, the HIGHLIGHTS section might
be renamed QUALIFICATIONS in this case.
This then requires more work on the part of the
resume reviewer to extract keywords for a match.
This lessens the chance for consideration.

TAILORED COVER LETTERS ARE NEEDED
It is true that a cover letter will also state your
desire for a position yet it provides an indication
of your motivation, your knowledge about the
business and supports your skills in language
and ability to communicate. 

There are three forms for industrial and
government targeted cover letters, generally–
invited by an ad or announcement,
-  based on a referral or suggestion through
your network
-  asking for consideration based on third parties,
information interviews and other leads.

Critical contents of a cover letter are
-  close attention to addresses, spelling and date
-  being specific about the desired position and
the reasons why you are an exceptional candidate
-  asking for an interview, the next step in the process.

K. Hansen does a creditable job in FAQs for
cover letters
.

ACADEMIC COVER LETTERS
A fraction of cover letters will be for applications
for academic positions.  The process can be
more involved since academic positions in
chemistry will also include a teaching philosophy,
research proposals, teaching and educational
experiences pertinent to the educational institution.
Cover letters for academic positions less
frequently contain bullets, should provide
evidence of scholarship and offer to send
copies of other documents that the search
committee would benefit from in their evaluation,
like teaching evaluations, transcripts and letters of
recommendation.  [The CV will list your
references, yet academics frequently like a
full package before considering an application.]

comments (0)
04/14/11
Resumes and CVs
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:13 am

Over and over, people early in their career can not fathom
the key differences and similarities of these two public
relations documents.

In fact, we may offer some help in that a curriculum vitae
CV can represent a “master resume”  or starting point
Nonetheless, CVs can also be organized to be more
easily readable and targeted for specific academic positions. 
Think of the long term value of continuously maintaining
a CV.  From the master CV/resume you can select items
to go into targeted CVs (reorganized to match needs) or
targeted resumes (shorter to show match to needs).  This
highlights the need to develop specific resumes for each
position and a different one for job fairs.

Both named documents, CVs and resumes, serve you when
they are well organized and  easy to read.  A simple analogy
was offered by B. Sucher as opening your refrigerator or
kitchen food cabinets. 
Does it look like a random placement wherever there was
room at the time? 
Does it look distinct with easy to locate items, unique,
keyword accented, and professional ?
If it is like the former it will not be read.

If you go to generic placement centers in institutions, many
will offer what business centered documents are preferred,
rather than scientific and technical organizations seek.  That
is one of the clear values of working with industry professionals
associated with professional societies.  My experience with
outplacement firms and unemployment centers, bless their
hearts, models and examples are similar.  Do your best to
meet with people in the industry or company you seek to
work in–  honestly it will serve you well.

None of the places one goes for advice will support
incomplete or factually distorted documents either. 
B. Safani wrote about well known misrepresentations
in resumes
that stand as eye-openers.  In fact, one person
early in my course this year asked me what I felt about
lying in resumes, as everyone does it– to which I said
now you have met someone who has not, nor does not
recommend misrepresenting anything on a CV or resume.
It did reveal to me a little about her expectations.

Resume reviewers pick up distortions in resumes
and can easily verify things that do not make sense.
In one resume, a person wanted to pass off that he
had business training in MBA courses that he did not
take, but audited.  In another, a person wanted to
reveal “leading a collaborative project,” which seems
like an oxymoron. 

Finally, I agree with the observation made by D. Dib
that resumes are finding serious competition from
Internet based profiles, like LinkedIn.com.  I also note
a significant comment by L. Kursmark that Heading
information in on line resumes or profiles are becoming
shorter due to internet security issues.  1 

comments (0)
02/11/11
Resume observations
Filed under: Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 4:57 pm

Been thinking about a number of resumes
that I have been asked to review.  Here
seven reflections–

-  Target the resume:  is the focus industrial or
academic, part-time or full time, one specifically
targeted position or one of a number.  General
resumes with a “qualification statement” may
be suitable for career fairs where there are
several or many positions.

-  Job boards:  consider targeted industry boards,
targeted industry recruiters and societies that
are growing and nurture the interaction of
seekers (this can be called “niche” boards or
“boutique” boards/societies).

-  Heading:  one telephone, one email, one web
presence contact is sufficient;  however,
   On-line identity:  Present it in the resume heading
via LinkedIn.com profile and/or web-page (well
constructed and representing you well).  Most
interviewers and recruiters will “google” you.
Know what they will find.
Differentiate yourself positively.

- Work History:  don’t skip items in your work
history.  Limit time gaps.  What did you do when you
did not have a salary-paying job.

-  Career or field change:  I reviewed a resume
that showed a student completing an MS in
engineering while simultaneously taking MBA
business courses.  Pressed on the issue:  He
audited them.  Audited courses do not pass
muster for expertise.
-  Beware:  hybrid skills based/chronological
resumes are not viewed positively.  They can
be seen as “hiding something”.

-  References:  While some say that “googling”
someone is enough.  It is not enough when
a person’s list of references includes someone
I know and can call even before speaking to a
candidate.

comments (0)
01/10/11
Graduating Chemist or Engineer: Visit your local B School
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Leadership, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 6:47 pm

Can I tell you about an interesting and beneficial experience
I had today?  Today was the day we formalized and
arranged some details for a course being offered this semester.
When everything was completed, I visited the School of
Business on campus (UCONN-Storrs).

Most larger institutions will have a school of management
or business.

If you are interested at all in pursuing an entrepreneurial
activity, as part of an industrial or academic career, or
wish to enter an industrial field, it might be an eye-opening
experience.
They actually train students to interview and take interviews,
in addition to coaching how to compose a number of the
public relations documents.  Many of the professors there
know from ‘in the field’ experience what is sought in
resumes, cover letters and other pertinent documents.

While I might quibble on a few details in applying their
models to technical professionals (scientists, advanced
degreed engineers and technologists), many things they do
can be quite helpful.  This is especially true in entrepreneurial
ventures.

They can also be resources for one’s network, knowing
people who work for specific companies or industries.
Their offices and resources met high standards and they
use some of the latest web based tools.  [I must thank
Professor James R. Lowe for a penetrating introduction.]

Before you spend a lot of time on your “recent grad” or
“following your post-doc” job search, consider visiting
your local university business school.

comments (0)
08/27/09
Interviewing. From the other side of the table
Filed under: Interviewing, Public Relations docs, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 9:33 am

Time is on my side.

Rather than throwing out mail that comes
in the mailbox,
I can look at it for real
relevance.  Dice sent a career
related
envelope offering freebies, but I was more

interested in John Vlastelica’s tips for
screening resumes.

You should be too.

RESUMES
1.  Not only are they looking for keywords,
but also
for related accomplishments.  So,
if you can learn
specifically about the job
description it could be
beneficial to relate
some detail in a research summary

or achievement statement or business outcome.

INTERVIEWS
2.  What is the nature of an applicant’s
motivation
?
In a tight job market, some just need a job. 
Others
really desire to work for your company,
serve your
customers and work in your field. 
So, understand that
interviewers, at all phases,
will be exploring:
 
why should we hire you
  why do you want to work for this

company?  and
  a
good fit of styles.

3.  John relates about companies’ need to
protect
their brand.  We, as candidates, have
the same
need and should choose to accept an
off based on how
we were courteously and
respectfully treated.  We are
interviewing
them as much as they are interviewing us

comments (0)
08/24/09
Job Search Strategies. Outplacement firm observations in Washington
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 11:33 am

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
p. A1)

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
outplacement firm. 
-Is it interview practice?

-secretarial service and assistance in public
relations documents?
-professional coaching
for presentations,
phone interviews, or
networking connections? 

Be aware:
1. very common resume format that may be
less approprate
2. documents not containing key terms in your
field (need field specific background)
[specific, recommended recruiters can be
helpful.]

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
(Internet based)
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.  

comments (0)
05/03/09
Chemistry Career Fair. Internet Use and Conversations
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 9:08 am

The NSYCC sponsored Career Fair brought up
two topics that were covered and talked about
in some detail.  In the very challenging job market
that looks to last for the foreseeable future,
discriminating Internet use and the art of
conversations will play more pivotal roles as
more positions will be “hidden.”

Suggestions for wiser Internet use:
 - practice all phases with career consultants
      - determining what you wish to do and where
      - constructing and improving your PR docs
      - practicing your interviewing skills with
interviewstream (available through ACS
membership)
 - Information on businesses, industries and
trends:  benefits, contracts, products,
services
 - Social networking - LinkedIn.com;
‘google” yourself
 - Technical competencies - assess what
companies seek and match your skill set.
 - Apply online- create focused resumes
based on available job descriptions using
appropriate files that you make
 - Examine competitor companies web-
sites for information on positions
 - Up-to-date communication with your
network

Conversations are the heart of networking.
We practiced and offered tips and tricks
concerning how to open and things to do
to break the ice with the idea of getting
to know people.  Special attention was
paid to:
 - listening intently (develop habits to
remember names and common ground)
 - find ways to “elevate” your conversation
partner
 - enter into a conversation with the idea
of capturing “how nice it was…”
 - develop a win-win outlook for each
encounter
 - set, meet and exceed expectations

comments (0)
04/09/09
State of the Chemical Industry. Finding work in 21st century
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, First Year on Job, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 7:59 am

Continuing the discussion of 21st century chemistry
professional careers this entry mentions insights
from two books.

The first “How to find work in the 21st century” by
Ron McGowan covers a lot of good ground in a
very readable manner.  The author convinced me
to continue reading by revealing that jobs in the
present economy are different and not advertised.
The traditional statistics do not describe the situations
of under-employment, outsourcing, project oriented
roles, and options in searching the “hidden job
market.” [He cites 80% of positions are hidden.]

He notes the following trends and suggests helpful
method to define yourself and what to do.

Work trends:
- temporary-to-permanent or contingent positions
- increased hiring by smaller companies with less
security, wearing “many hats’ where you may have
a bigger impact
- bigger need to continuously network to both
keep abreast of industries, career paths and what
you can do to help your company and yourself.
- outsourcing of “non-core” functions
- increasing number of non-challenging roles people
are asked to assume for which they are
over-qualified.

Knowledge of self [I like this section, pp 30-38.] 
In a checklist format, he assists the reader in
identifying:
- personal characteristics (strengths, talents),
- work values (best environment, satisfying aspects)
- career characteristics (work style, career action
plans, written development plan)

Finding positions and marketing yourself
- be a “news hound”.  Stay on top of trends; attend
seminars, network and participate in organizations
- look for real benefits in less permanent career
path:  control of your own destiny, most jobs are
not advertised widely, taxes, “trying before
buying”
- need to develop higher level marketing skills
for self promotion.  Communication is ever more
important.  Seek valued mentors who both keep
you focused and broaden your search field.

Also included are a good summary of cover
letter concepts and “business based resumes.”
The focus is what they need, not what you
want.

The second book “Career Warfare” by
David D”Alessandro and Michelle Owens
deals with the technical and business world
offering ideas on business savvy. 
While this may feel like going to the ‘dark
side’ for scientists and engineers, ‘hard work
and accomplishments’ will get chemists just
so far, your personal reputation is what will
separate you from the crowd.

- offer something that the organization is
missing.
- provide something of value to higher ups
- Demonstrated business recognized qualities
         earn money for the organization
         tell the truth
         be discrete
         keep promises
         make people want to work for and with you.

comments (0)
09/09/08
Screening Interview. ACS meeting, Then what…
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Mentoring
Posted by: site admin @ 7:29 pm

The following is an exchange concerning post-
screening interview questions and response
ideas.

Dear Dan,
Thanks,….  The first draft of my thesis is done
and corrected!…

I have ‘not heard anything’ from the two companies
who interviewed me in Philadelphia (Aug. 17-8).
[One representative]…said that I should hear back
…in approximately a week and to email him, if
I didn’t hear from him.  Two emails have been
sent , [one thank you and the second a reminder]….

A response was received from the second company
after my ‘thank you’ note.’  …on August 25…that
they would be reviewing resumes with the hiring
managers over the ‘next few days’ and then
contacting people that they were interested in.

…Is there anything that I should be doing at this
point or should I just be waiting.  Or, do I assume
that this means that they are not interested?
Thanks,
LK
====================

Hi L,

Thanks for the note.  Of course we want both
companies to call
you for an on-site interview.


Compliments on finishing your thesis
draft. 

Have you set up your definite defense date?

What will you do
after that at school? 

Are you supported in some fashion?

The companies
have the task now of

rationalizing their openings, determining
who they want
to bring in based on their

near term needs and determining their interview
plans.


You have done your initial job–
interviewing and following up indicating that
you would love to work with them for their
company.  (Please note the words…)

Have you done an assessment of each interview?
 - What did you do very well?
 - What could you do better in the interview?
at the start of the interview, the closing, in presentation
of ideas, responses to certain questions….
Think hard about this…Why?  Should you hear back
from a company that you are not a candidate in this
round, you may wish to contact them asking where
you came up short in the interview process.  It would
require a short conversation.  Between you and me,
please practice being more confident and engaging
(in a business way) on the phone.



ASSIGNMENTS
A.  Find out more about the companies. 
B.  Go to your alum organizations,
your networks,

LinkedIn, other places who you know who
might know about
the companies.


C.  Look at the business news about the
companies.  Have a
file collecting data

on them, so that when you are invited to
come
on-site you have business related questions.


D.  Develop your on-site
presentation. 

What particular aspects are important to
them based on your
interview?


E.  Come up with a proposal to put forward
when they call for you to
come on-site..

When, have your personal calendar ready to use.

F.  Develop your list of questions to ask. 
What is important
to you?


G.  Do you have business attire to wear,


travel bags?  Are you ready to go, if


you were asked to come in in a
week?


H.  What will you do if they call your
contact number?  [It is similar to a
telephone interview.  Remember,
have them call when you are best able
to do your best.  You can arrange a
call back…]

So, sure
they are formally making the next move. 

But there are many things you can
prepare for,

refine, line-up in advance, or even ask
questions so that you
can go to the next

step.

L, …It does not seem to make sense for me
to encourage you to call
them, unless you

had some indication of a strong desire to
bring you
in.


Line up your preparation for your next steps.

Develop your “target company plans.”  While
it was nice to meet with 2 firms in Philly, neither
were on your key target list.

Regards,
Dan

1 comment