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

December 2021
« Nov    
International and Business Focussed Resumes. Updates for 2016
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, First Year on Job, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:16 pm

With several requests for career paths outside the US
and in non traditional technical roles, we learned,
advised and compiled useful documents for each:

Industry Jobs for PhDs

Business focused resumes:

International resumes:

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Business Resumes for Technical Professionals
Filed under: Mature professionals, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:12 am

Although not defined as an ACS Career Path, Lisa Balbes
has plowed new career ground in her “NonTraditional
Careers” talks and book.  It should seriously be considered
as Marinda Wu’s Vision 2025 Task Force identified these
paths as Science and Engineering Management and
Inspired Government and Industrial Roles where Chemistry
training can have strong impact and lead to fruitful careers.

How do you apply for such positions?  A colleague
recently shared useful links to an online service
and firm
, that has roots to one of the “big three” business
consulting organizations,– Oystir.

Among its web offerings is a set of two articles aimed
at creating your business focused resume, especially for
business consulting.  So this could be of interest to mid-
career and later career individuals who have developed
significant track records.

Several take aways from Writing Tips:
 - Be specific and crisp using keywords to deal with ATS
Applicant Tracking Systems
 - Target your resume and cover letter, showing you know
your value-added skills, in sections recruiters focus
(the Profile or Summary section)
 - Prioritize and select most significant items of
experience, development, affiliation, and accomplishment

Often times your background may not be an exact match
to the business position.  So, you need to state your skills
and strengths that will lead you to be successful in an
“elevator pitch”- like Summary
rather than an Objective
statement.  Then, Belani and Mark work through an
exercise to help construct the Summary.


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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.

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

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

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.

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-

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.

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.

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Branding and Career Management
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 6:46 pm

Most scientists and engineers are trained and the belief is
passed on to avoid snappy sound bites.  Most readers are
familiar with the “big bang theory”, not the sitcom, the
theory about the formation of the universe.  In fact, most people
in the western world would be tuned into this phrase and its
meaning.  Interestingly, though, it was first mentioned by
someone, Fred Hoyle, on BBC as a “poppycock idea”, for
he was a strong proponent of the competitor “steady state”
theory.  “Big bang” is a brand.

In our Career Management seminar Friday, Marisha Godek
spoke lucidly about how, in her company and industry, she
realizes the importance of developing a rapport with colleagues
and customers whose training and expertise are much different
than hers.  She also observed that being able to be a person
called on when there is a problem to solve or be invited to the
table when decisions are made calls on developing your personal
  It is sort of your colloquial “reputation”.

We see “branding” of science all over the place.  Scientific
publication is fabulously being rebranded in various contexts
by free access to publicly funded research results, to online
communities that discuss results and interpretations and implications,
and about evolving publication models.  In the last, note that
ACS now offers access to 25 articles without subscription, as
a temptation to inspire more journal subscriptions.
Stanford’s library did an excellent review of publication branding.

What Marisha was relating to is the importance, in corporate
and some institutional environments, of branding yourself.  This
is not a subject area that most scientists and engineers are familiar.
In her case, she seeks out mentors in her business realm, senior
director levels and multidisciplinary leadership backgrounds.

Quintessential Careers, Katherine Hansen, has a strong
commentary on how to brand resumes and profiles

Skills  +  Personality  +  Market need  =  Branding statement

and provides a list of brand representations for various industrial and
organization job seekers, for example

Able to deliver industrial engineering insights, gained through strong
record of accomplishments to your firm in manufacturing engineering.

Eager to strengthen the mission of patient focused pharmaceutical

Eager to contribute recent degree in Environmental Science and
strong applicable, hands-on testing and evaluation field experience

PRINCIPAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST, with a proven track record
in developing and bringing to market surgically relevant innovations.

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.

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-

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More on Business focused Resumes and Interviews. Achiever Pattern
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Technicians, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:34 pm

A person never honestly knows what interviewers and
recruiters seek when making their case for a product
manager or project manager position.
Accomplishing difficult goals, managing various aspects
of projects are common for experienced workers.

Read an interesting piece by Lou Adler in which he
indicates his admiration for people who have an “achiever
” in their recent experience.  There is more to your
if this is how you wish to market your skills:

 - Specifics
 - Motivation
 - Well thought through examples
 - Understanding of what interviewers will be doing with
     both your spoken (screening and on-site interviews)
     and written (resume, etc.) data:  comparison to other
 - “Presence” in professional settings, Internet, and in
      person, showing confidence. adaptability and
      desire to learn

This is from a “recruiter’s perspective,” a perspective not
many technical people consider.  He has presented this in
various forums (contains several resources) and it has a
following.   For those with interest in start-ups, business
development and are open to new challenges in business
Adler can be a solid resource.


1 comment
Resume reviews. Be Alert to items that bother document reviewers
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Technicians, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:43 am

It was a surprise when I received a resume on a second
pass from one person and on a fourth pass from
another to see some glaring issues that will
“de-rail” these applicant’s application efforts.

 Heading listed name, address, email, phone, but no
Internet presence.  That is possible for only very few
people these days.  For sure, reviewers, if they are
interested in you, will search you on the internet.  Help
them, give your Internet web page or
profile page.

More dramatic than the missing Internet presence followed.
While the resume did not have an OBJECTIVE or
QUALIFICATIONS, it did have a PROFILE section
right after the heading.  The profile was written with
10 ‘I phrases’ in 11-line paragraph form
offering an incredible
listing of “features without benefits”, as expressed in

It is my experience that all resume reviewers and coaches
recommend that “I, my, or our” not be used in a resume
and most CVs.  Anywhere or anytime.  This is common
from many sources like Doyle, LizRyan and many ACS

Equally objectionable are the use of feature phrases
without substantial benefits.  Specifically that means
do not state– results oriented (or bottom-line oriented)
professional, goal-driven, multi-tasker, reliable, flexible,
excellent communication skills, self-motivated,
team player, independent, detail-oriented or catch phrases
that are without benefits. 

A second resume that I reviewed contained the heading
using a Word “header” and nebulous Objective statement:
“To seek a position in a growing company that allows me to
apply my skills in THIS and THAT.  I would like to apply my
diligence and problem solving skills to gain variable insights
in the field of WHATEVER..”

Note:  MY, I,       bad form
Note:  non-specific, “lazy-phrases”
Note:  typo “variable”  [lack of attention to detail]

When we use an Objective it should relate directly to
specific match of skills, interests and experiences the
company desires an individual to possess and you have.

Specifically look into the company to find out who they
want to hire.  Do information interviewing, committed
networking, and industry researching that pinpoints where
your working there benefits their products, business or
services.  Find the KEYWORDS that are relevant to
positions that you seek and are qualified for.

If you do not have this, or if there is more than one
position you wish to be considered for, consider skipping
the Objective, and present your case with QUALIFICATIONS.
Present the most relevant skills, experiences and interests
in your qualifications.

Make your document, especially in the “resume red zone,”
easy to read.  Consider using incomplete yet understandable
sentence fragments
Avoid inserting a bullet or a carrot for
too many things.
  Reserve their use for achievements,
results and things that place you in a prominent light.

Templated forms like Word “headers and footers” seem
to be more of a headache than a benefit.  Sure it insures
that certain information is there, but it might not be compatible
with all electronic forms and there can be too much information
that is repeated.


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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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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

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More on Business focused Resumes
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:40 pm

Recently, two very qualified knowledge workers came
expressing interest in project management and business
development positions for well known firms.  Each supplied
more traditional technical knowledge-worker documents
which may not ‘fit the bill’ for these business management
positions, although their strengths and interests may be
quite useful in these roles.

This entry points out five features that I gleaned by
studying excellent business resumes compiled by a
google search
.  [Specific examples:  Note row 1, col 2
and row 1, col 6]

1.  The second section, the one following the heading, is
often either Summary of Qualifications or Profile, which
is commonly in either bullet-ted or a short paragraph
of keyword-containing phrases (keywords underlined
in the following examples)
  bi-lingual leader who performs well in multinational
  adept at managing all phases of project life cycle from
needs assessment through implementation.
  skilled at using CRM (customer relations management)
and data management tools (statistics and summaries).
  “results-oriented” sales and development
  “ability to leverage skills and capabilities“….  [Multiple
use dimension]

2.  Experience section.  Core competencies for
business management positions includes, but is not
limited to (look for keywords in the job description):
- program and project management (note specific
software is often used and or specified)
- business case development
- strategic planning
- process re-engineering
- performance metrics and definitions
- risk management
- change management
- CRM program management
- negotiation

3.  Interesting structure of the Experience section lists
Title                                         Years (from, to)
Responsibilities:  like co-manage… and support…
Key accomplishments:  like planned, designed, developed
and led…
Again, it is significant to incorporate keywords into this

4.  One intriguing Experience section contained division
of Professional experience between Sales, Customer Service
and Development.  (There could be other elements of

5.  Experience section “action verbs” of accomplishment
include:  implemented, streamlined, constructed a model of…,
generated market initiatives, etc.

An example section also listed Employment history providing

This note supplements the previous note on business focused

1 comment
Business focused resumes and Applicant Tracking Systems.
Filed under: Position Searching, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 8:15 am

More than a half dozen, very strong candidates with
technical accomplishments and distinctive interpersonal
skills have come to me asking for help in crafting
business focused resumes recently.  In our very
competitive tight market they seek alternate career

Business focused resumes are one of three subsets
of resumes that technically skilled knowledge workers
prepare to apply for interviews.  The other two,
chronological, the most common, and used for R&D
and manufacturing positions, and functional, the least
common, and reserved mostly for unique situations,
like change of fields.

Seven notable distinctions separate business focused
1.  Most business focused resumes employ Applicant
Tracking Systems
ATS to screen, search for ‘keywords
in context matching the job description’ and rank incoming
A good video is displayed in the Proptel web-site.

2.  Keywords that are contained in a specific job
description, including inferred information, score
higher in ATS rankings.  Thus, information such as “at
least 4 years experience” might be better stated explicitly
in a business focused resume, rather than listing positions
that clearly show more than 4 years without the specific
statement.  So, both explicit and implicit indication is
Don’t just include what you think is a common keyword,
look for specific keywords in the job description
This also means you need to craft specific resumes for
each company application.

3.  Format- heading information should be in the normal
text of the document, rather than in headers or footers. 
Typical business section headings should be used, such
as Summary [note the difference between knowledge
worker chronological resumes– Objective, Highlights,
and Qualifications], Experience, Education, Honors and
Awards, Affiliations
.  Unique section headings may not
be recognized, like career highlights
Avoid pasting your resume sections into fields, if
possible.  Upload the full document to retain organization.

4.  Keyword listing-  Found it interesting to learn of
the recommendation to include a keyword listing at the
end of the Education section.

5.  Responsibilities- Found it interesting that business
focused resumes using ATS will sometimes look for
not only accomplishments, but also management

6.  Cover letter-  Included in the uploaded file, there
is value in the ranking system to indicate where you
learned about the position opening.
7.  Suggestions are that the length of the resume is less
of a concern than aligning your document and supporting
your credentials sufficiently.  Although recent graduates
are expected to produce something closer to one page.

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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

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

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 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.


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Resume Pointers.
Filed under: Position Searching, Networking, Job Offer (Situations), Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 10:00 am

We might read articles in the WSJ on resumes
with a ‘grain of salt.’  It is focused on “business” graduates
rather than technical, or scientific, and certainly not
academic focused resumes.

Comments to an article on Updating a resume for 2011
seem helpful.
1  - target the decision makers, rather than blanket
your PR documents on job boards [D. King]
2  - focus your skill set, rather than trying to be a
generalist [D. King]
3  - length of resume [1 or 2 pages] is less relevant
than use of keywords in a brief, specific and easy to
read document {human and algorithm friendly}[K. Dew]
4  - submit your resume in a careful, persistent and
respectful manner knowing that not everyone will
like every structure and content element. [J. Seraichyk]
5  - “cold” submissions prove to be less successful than
“warm” submissions via referrals, contacts, or network
6  -  “Job hunting [is]… a solvable marketing problem.
Not merely a resume problem or a recruiter problem or
a networking problem.” [T. Kellum]

  - be willing to test “rules of thumb”, like
only the last 10 years experience counts, I have had recent
proteges use work more 20 years ago be significant
don’t use objective, I have had numerous recent grad and
mid-career people target their resume “red zone” with
relevant Objective and significant Highlights to obtain
interviews and offers
don’t apply for a position in a growing company that you
have no background for, I have recently encouraged a
mid-career person to do just the opposite, citing clear
transferable skills that good interviewers will admire–
she starts in a month.
   -online presence is now half the game plan.

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Are LinkedIn Profiles added to or replacing Resumes
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, First Year on Job, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 8:08 am

The more I correspond and speak with mid-career
people and recent grads, the more I find that a
large segment are finding “LinkedIn profiles” are
providing more opportunities for landing
interviews than their resume.  [Consider listing
yours in your Resume heading.]

  - much easier to access 24/7,
  - keyword rich screening,
  - can be linked to resources, like web-page,
publication files, presentations in the cloud
  - can reveal much more in a short time, than
a traditional resume.

What enables the LinkedIn profile?
[See Tom Merlino article and profile, for example.]
  - You can create your own community on LinkedIn
geared to your own field, sub-field and community.
  - Have links to your lists of projects (in the cloud),
patents, presentations and publications that show
your expertise and accomplishments.  [True, you
should not reveal proprietary information.  That
is the value of a project list with keywords.]
  - Keep in mind “searchable” and “advanced
search capabilities.”
  - Have your profile reveal your interests and needs,
not just that you are there…
  - L-I may be serviceable for entrepreneurs, small
company employees and departments in large
organizations where communication is not far

What else is possible?
Terrific insight into who one might network with
is provided by M. Tullier.   Her STARS acronym:
Strategists- coaching & feedback for goals
Targets- prospects for employers, customers,
Allies- technical experts you can consult
Role models- mentors
Supporters- keep you focused on your goals

For those just starting out, A. Brandt’s file seems
to be a creditable resource.

The summary in these profiles should be
designed for easier reading stating clearly your
goals.  This might seem a bit different from your
resume which reveals skills and your match to an

Your current position trumpets that you enjoy what
you are doing in a real organization, whether it be
as a individual contributor or part of a team.

Just as we are finding wireless communications
tools an extension of ourselves, your LinkedIn
profile is an extension of our resume.  So,
still continue to maintain your “master resume.”
Still develop targeted resumes for applying for
specific positions.  Regularly, update all these
files.  Some people suggest every 2-3 months.

Objectives. For yourself, for your team and project and for your resume
Filed under: Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals
Posted by: site admin @ 5:39 pm

It is not easy to author your objective(s).  To
things worse, it is even harder to read
someone else’s
objective when it is formed
with someone else’s
thought process and words.

No wonder advice for resumes can be to skip
writing an objective statement.  That is, unless
are relating one that is specifically using
keywords and clear message that you are
seeking to meet what a company is seeking.

It is tempting when writing objectives to
and even interchange goals and
objectives.  One
well-conceived document
Tulane Univ.) articulates goals as providing
PRINCIPLES guiding actions,
attitudes and
Objectives are specific, concrete
STEPS to meet elements of goals.  Several

objectives may be needed to reach a goal.

Goals:  broad, general intentions
           can be abstract and hard to measure
Objectives:  focused and concrete achievements
                   can be tangible and measured.
It is commonly said that we should be persistent
our goals and flexible with our objectives in
pursuit of
our goals.

Having narrowed down objectives to focus on
achievements, we need to distinguish different
audiences.  When we are defining what we want
to do to be granted a Ph.D. we recognize there
is a specific audience, your adviser and
that must be satisfied, in addition to

When we are defining our objective for seeking
a technical position with a specific employer, we
need to use the keywords and resonate with the
key skills and abilities the employer seeks.  This
done in a resume in really two sections, the

Audience analysis strongly influences each
objective for resume for each position.  It is
strongly suggested that attention is paid to
what each employer seeks.

Not long ago, we posted an entry about
constructed for yourself and for project teams.
Note the different audience here, as opposed to
a resume objective (briefer, specific) and your
thesis work (outlined to attack a problem or
explore a concept, can be subject to
Smarter objectives are an acronym for

Letter   Term             Less frequently used terms
S          Specific
M          Measurable   Meaningful

A          Achievable     Appropriate, action-oriented

R          Relevant         Results-oriented
T          Time-bound    Timely
E          Exciting           Evaluated
R          Recorded        Rewarding, reviewed

For objectives,
  - know the difference with goals,
  - understand what your audience will seek, and
  - think hard how you can create satisfying personal
or team objectives.

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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”
who are let go in the 21st century. 
these comments might not be
general for the
whole industry and
they may be individual case
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
large firms to protect firms’ reputation
limit the impact of employee lawsuits
unemployment costs, is strong these
  Previously this blog has mentioned
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

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.  

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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
 - Information on businesses, industries and
trends:  benefits, contracts, products,
 - Social networking -;
‘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

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
 - enter into a conversation with the idea
of capturing “how nice it was…”
 - develop a win-win outlook for each
 - set, meet and exceed expectations

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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

Knowledge of self [I like this section, pp 30-38.] 
In a checklist format, he assists the reader in
- 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
- 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

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
- 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.

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Resumes. Relevant skills and courses
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Technicians
Posted by: site admin @ 5:42 am

Suggestions were offered to a capable undergraduate
senior who came to have her resume reviewed.  She
is attending the ACS national meeting and did not
a clear focus on where she wished to work. 
The resume
revealed that.

First we reviewed a draft job search plan she might
-create a target company list
-develop a file system for each company
-build a network contact list and where the network
members can potentially help her make contacts to
-place items into the file:  news stories, ads for
and their competitors, key employees,
product descriptions
-contact recruiters and search firms for the particular
-add business profiles, business reports for key
and industries.  Look up salaries with ACS
comparator and other salary tools.
-create contact and follow-up plans, sorted by date.
use social networking sites.
-create targeted resumes, after doing a

We then talked about how she could ask herself
questions and perform a self assessment with
instruments  listed in the blogroll.

Then, we focused on her “draft resume”.  While not
perfect it was a good start.  Every first resume has
for improvement.  We reviewed the resume file
and showed how to make her resume brief,
clear and
specific, focusing on the courses she had
and techniques she listed.

Courses:  While her placement center recommended
listing all her undergraduate courses to fill in the
we talked about modifying it to included
unique advanced courses which reveal a background
organic synthesis of medically important compounds,
structure activity profiles and advanced experimental
designs.  It is not valuable to talk about the courses
taken in the first 2 years.

Advanced skills:  While the placement center
all the methods she had used in the
various labs, we
talked about focusing on key skills
that might be used
for the compounds her target
companies might see
valuable– microscale, multi-step
synthesis and
several others.

These items seem pertinent for people at early
stages in their career looking for their first

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