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

January 2022
« Dec    
Hot buttons. 2. Online Presence
Filed under: Recent Posts, Networking, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 6:47 pm

You are in a faster evolving situation, Readers, than even a
decade ago.  Besides needing to learn the latest and critical
tools, trends and factoids of chemistry, biology, physics,
geology, math, statistics and software, the digital world is
transforming at an alarming, hard to keep track of pace.

Eight critical elements for your online presence include:
1.  security - your personal information, including purchases,
apps used, websites visited are critical to accumulators.
  - delete unused apps
  - review spp permissions, keep them current
What do you share and post online?  Avoid exposing
photos, security settings, banking-investment-biometric
data and log-ins
  - With your associations changing your social networks,
friends and contact lists will evolve.  Periodically review.
  - Post only about others as you would have them post
about you.
Do you protect your digital devicesAll are hackable.
Have an action plan for infections and malware.  [I 
regularly purchase AV software, but also use my home
owners insurance rider for computer issues
  - use multiple passwords
  - check your social media privacy setting;  they change and 
are different on different devices
  - check for https://  and tools
2.  Personal websites
It is incumbent on nearly all readers to consider and continuously
update their personal website.  It is not a resume or CV and
offers things outside your professional boundary and deeper
meaning of you (In mine I list my genetic genealogy and my
professional academic genealogy.)
3.  Marketing
Whether you are a student, post-doc or employed in
industry, government or academia, the internet is the leading
element now in marketing.  It is both”push and pull,”requires
that technical professionals become a student of the continuously
evolving discipline of marketing
4.  Research
In the digital age, it is replete with the expansion of uses.  Mobile
tools are personal assistants in too many to name ways.  It includes
remote control of simple and complex devices.  Research tools.
Digital tools permit visualization and simulations.  Computational
power incorporates statistics.
  - from an early age, engage and pursue beneficial uses and solutions
to practical problems.  Learn from others.
  - practically bring statistics into your daily, professional and practical
existence.  Others are doing it to you.
5.  Networking and Communication
6.  Chemical Information and Government Resources.
Too often academic institutions seek originality and avoid
resources that are publicly available.  It can be a missing
link to discovering or disproving hypotheses.  
  - explore how Chemical Information resources can work for you.
  - Federal resources and reports are available through 
databases and search tools.
7.  Publishing
Many societies and commercial publishing firms have been the
mainstay of scientific and technical publication the 20th century.
It is steared by technical reviewers and editors.
The 21st century sees the Internet providing free, open
access publication that is overtaking slow to evolve print
organizations.  Textbooks are fair game.
  - Adapt to the new world of Open Access.
8.  Business, Economics and Non-profit organizations
Watch-Outs. 107. Considerations Resumes for Post Doctorals
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Post-docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:27 pm

Industrial positions are often the description I hear
from PhDs and post-doctoral fellow.  Honestly,
these professionals seek a position as a scientist or
engineer in business.  That means ironically that
they need to project a profit motive or problem
solving motivation in their background and interests.

As you probably know recruiters are bombarded 
with a large number of public relations packages.
So they use many times either a screening routine
or software ATS for uploaded documents that screen
the packages for keywords and words in context.
The recent issue of Money magazine has an article
What your resume should look like in 2018“  by
Kristin Bahler.  I agree with many of the concepts 
yet the interpretation is significantly different for
professionals with several years of experience.
Bahler presents things that business might be 
expecting for recent BS candidates.  It is altogether
different for Post-doctoral fellows in terms of content.
For them, there is a need to convert an uninterested 
reader to an interested professional reader.  Thus,
critical information about what professionals are 
expected to do need to be incorporated, like
 - ability and experience in a fast paced environment
 - experience winning grants writing proposals for 
different groups
 -  managing budgets and negotiating experiences
How do you represent this if you are a post doc with
more than a couple of years experience?
Consider creating a new addendum for your resume
package called a “List of Projects” where you list
project work, areas of leadership responsibility 
(often outside the technical realm) and interesting
projects that required you to do the extraordinary.
Some mention of List of Projects might be presented
in your Linkedin profile (which must be up to date)
and your web-page (which leading post docs will
have for an internet presence.).
Another conversation might address internationals
seeking employment in US.  So often, Visa issues 
cloud their futures.  One of the questions they might
pose during their post doc is to ascertain if the 
sponsoring organization will sponsor their visa 
application.   The range of potential employers is
limited if their Visa situation is problematic.  Can
they seek employment in a start up for which they
are well qualified?  Since start ups can fail and make 
them need to fall back on a back up job search,
sponsorship can be lost.  
It seems imperative to seek employment in large
organizations or government institutions where
the visa can be obtained with commonly more
What might a post-doctoral application contain:
-cover letter
-resume (with reference to Linkedin profile)
-list of references (not part of resume)
-list of publications, patents and presentations
-research summary
-list of projects
    easy to read, error-free, neat looking,
    containing keywords
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Professional Behavior. Dealing with Catastrophic Challenges
Filed under: Recent Posts, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 3:34 pm

We recently observed close friends living in CA who lost
their home and most of its contents to wildfires.  Another
friend was overtaken by back pain making it difficult to
work.  A third friend lost her husband suddenly.

These are hard things to face.  So is losing one’s job and
other “black elephant” events.  
This entry offers some ideas for actions you can do
at separate stages in your career.
 - develop a detailed “master resume” [  2 ], develop a
credible internet presence 
 - monitor daily your credit card and financial records,
noting unusual events.  Have an action plan ready–
 - have an 
action plan ready for losing credit cards, cell
phones or cars
.  Don’t wait for the unfortunate event to happen–
have paid up insurance, contact numbers organized,
detailed information to provide 
 - record retention file guidance retention
1 year:  payroll stubs, bill statements
6 years:  income tax records and related forms
7 years:  critical slips, statements and cancelled checks
Permanent:  investment records, pension papers, insurance
policies, contracts, personal-  birth certificates, military,
marriage, divorce, adoption, naturalization and citizenship
real estate
 - always enroll in substantial disability insurance
 - continue all the early career record-keeping
 - formulate a document location spreadsheet, what is in
your safety deposit box
 - have a list of people and institutions with their contact
information for banks, brokerages, lawyers, physicians
 - formulate a will, powers of attorney, and care for
children:  instructions who would raise them in your
 - organize important family photos, papers and records
 - take the initiative to ward off identity theft 
 - visit trust attorneys and determine who you would like
to represent you
 - interview and work with a financial adviser
 - organize a checklist for what to do when a loved one
dies [see comment]
 - wealth transfer planning
Professional Behavior. Digital Breadcrumbs, Candor and Linkedin Profiles
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 7:41 am

Calvin Pappas wrote about things to improve your Linkedin profiles
recently.  I found it interesting in that it separates Linkedin from
the majority of profile settings by managing and controlling access
and viewership.  This allows, in other words, you to manage your
profile’s “digital breadcrumbs.

This connects us to Elizabeth Charnocks book– “E-Habits” which
attracted my attention recently.  The Toronto Star offered an interesting
article describing her company, Cataphora, which creates mathematical
models of our digital presence
to assess witnesses for prosecuting
attorneys, ‘bad apple’ analyses of employees [’banana peel throwers’],
future employees or whistle-blowers [Dorian Grey effect– fake
images of themselves]  and other common sense images of people’s
habits that may reflect character traits.

One area of relevance to professional behaviors is the consistency
of your resume to other digital images and reflections of you on the
.  Their software models whether there are (intentional or
unintentional) discrepancies in your public relations documents with
the “digital YOU.”

She offers the idea of a website that creates one version of your

This leads us to receiving feedback from mentors to providing feedback
and upgrading our habits to be more in sync with our true goals.  Ed
Catamull’s Creativity Inc
talks at length about how speaking with candor
in a  trusting and digestable manner makes us better and our efforts more
productive.  He writes about the formation and development of Pixar and
generalizes on the trial and error processes they evolved in digitizing
creative efforts.

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Watch-Outs. 94. Personal Presence, Job Search Tips, Academic SEO
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Networking, Mature professionals, Technicians, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:06 am
Our world is emerging, evolving yet some things remain
as good habits in our job search.  This entry shares 
sites describing impressions and trends in how we appear
and what we wear is received by recruiters and interviewers.
We also uncovered an entry while targeted at academic
career track takes its key concepts from business development
and branding.
The third entry is a frank advertisement about the things
people with advanced technical degrees should be doing to
find opportunities and openings.  So often they display the
“prisoners’ dilemma” working for a faculty member exclusively
depending upon him or her to figure out what career path they
should choose and when and how to pursue that path.  It does
not work that way, as it is really your prime responsibility.  No
one tells you that.            
SOURCE:  WSJ 2-21-16 “Why Dressing for Success Leads to
There is an unconscious, nonverbal communication that
people offer in the clothing we wear for different circumstances.
You need to be aware of this as you enter the job market and
continue throughout your career.  Many of the comments
reinforce the importance of quality clothing and good grooming.


SOURCE  The Academic Triangle Blog
This article offers using marketing principles to increase your
search rank on Internet search engines.
-  Google scholar profile
-  Google +, Researchgate  ,
-  use of keywords in titles and abstracts
-  author a thoughtful blog
-  affiliate with panels, group discussions, and committed networks


SOURCE:  Cheeky Scientist
You must get out of the laboratory to find your next position,
as foreign as that world and experience may seem to you.
This cheeky scientist entry frankly spells out the realities for you
in the highly competitive, different “human” world of impressions,
relationships, and being in the right place at the right time. 

Most jobs are not advertised and many emails and uploaded
documents are not read or at least responded to. Committed
networks and referrals are key.  Take all opportunities to
differentiate yourself.
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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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Watch-Outs. 62. Security, Shortage of Skills/Positions, Trends in Technical Societies
Filed under: Position Searching, Job Offer (Situations), Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 6:30 pm

Over the last few years in graduate student self-assessments, one
of the leading values that they express is  for Security.  In a sense,
we can all relate to the desire for a secure future. 

Interestingly, very recently an accomplished scientist who was hired
by a drug discovery company CEO was publicly fired
(ie.  story in the WSJ) for not rapidly leading his team to develop
new profitable products
He had been there but 7 months
Security needs “a 21st century meaning in technical careers.”
It is the ability to look where fields and needs are moving and
proactively seek out skills preparing us to contribute and
have further development plans.

Desperation, exasperation, and despair appear in the eyes of many
STEM field graduates about what they will do for STEM JOBS.  It is
more about “minding the gap” between what is taught and practiced
in your education and training and what is needed in emerging and
growing fields. 
   Just as the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky
said ‘pay attention to where the puck is going to be, not where it
has been.‘ 

What societies do you belong to?  What local sections do you
actively participate in?  How do you decide?  What is offered and
WIIFM (what is in it for me)?  Just as the Internet has triggered
changes in marketing and sales of books, consumer items, and all manner
of knowledge sharing (MOOCS, weblogs, webinars) it is also changing
the playing field for technical societies. 

SOURCE:  Career Planning Career Mapping Tool MONSTER
Monster has put forward a forward seeking tool that might
be of value to your thinking process about managing your

However, leaving this on a computer or in a cloud file
while seeming to be current misses the urgency humans place
in face-to-face interactions. 

Plan to develop mentors, sponsors and referrals by working hard
to help others meet their goals.  Lou Adler offered salient advice
- get help in being a “perfect fit” for an opening.
- people who refer you for an opening, help themselves by helping
- know what recruiters seek when filling a position (they work for
the company), and give examples in your resume and relate stories
when you interview

is also about protecting your valuable information,
reputation and computer resources
.  In a podcast I recently listened
to I became convinced to explore ‘Krebs on Security.
- security tools
- patches

We need to “keep up with the times.”  If my university is not dedicated
to doing it, I need to find other avenues.  If my employer does not have
the funds or give me the time to do it, I have to find other avenues.
We must keep abreast of evolving needs of employers. 
EXAMPLE:  25 years ago only a few places sought HTML coders. 
Ten years later, your entry card was punched with HTML experience. 
HTML is less a key but a commodity today.  Jobs can be had with a
lower salary or for niche hiring (projects). 
Other experience with cloud computing and analytics seems a better path.

There is a “gap” between curves of skill level in what we learn and
what is needed in positions.  Peter Grey points out to independently
learn and gain experience in emerging technologies and critical ‘hard
skills’.  Gain experience and meet goals in new areas of challenge
instead of repeating previous career path efforts.  Learn from and keep
peers in your network.

Further reading from a recruiter about STEM jobs.

The debate goes on:  Is it worthwhile to belong to a technical
professional organization

The presence of the Internet and online Open Access Technical literature
might influence some segments of the professional population.
The need shifts depending upon the fields that you are involved,
your current and future needs, and your personal assessment and
how you would use the society for your advantage (WIIFM).

Some questions to help you decide about society membership:

Are you stuck where you are with little or no help out? (connections,
networking, sense for where field is moving and what is emerging,
access to leaders and hiring managers, finding solutions to problems,
finding resources and tools to solve problems)

Do you have mentors to ask about alternatives for decisions?

Do you feel that you are doing something that has already been solved
by someone else before?
  (Googling your question does not help!)

Are there situations that a group effort in advocating a cause would
be much more effective?

Some questions to help you decide about belonging to a large, broadly-
involved organization or a smaller, more cutting edge, faster moving

Do you want to be elected, volunteer for and serve in a leadership
?  (chances are better in smaller org.  or a local section)

How are you planning to continuously improve and update your
skills to be prepared for the future

How will safety and common good be served best?  Prevention
(like checklists) rather than band-aiding failing flow chart or procedures

BONUS:  It is noteworthy to point out an organization that is
reinventing itself as it sees the changing landscape in publishing.
The way they are doing it is an example to point out.

Resume Format and Content Suggestions
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 11:21 am

Kudos to Jean Cummings on a nice post updating her
resume suggestions.

Resumes are confusing sometimes in the sense that some
reviewers wish one page only and others look for a detailed
chronological flow.  Some writers find it hard to figure out
what not to include if we have been doing work in several
areas or several projects.

As Jean and others have pointed out, many Internet submissions
use Applicant Tracking Systems ATS to match to keywords
and also explore your online presence.  The keywords will be
examined  as they are in an accomplishment context.  (i.e., not
“just listing” keywords, as might have been done earlier.)

- Please consider refraining from using Word tables, graphs, headers
footers, etc. as they don’t always translate in an upload.
- Jean and others suggest saving as .doc and .txt and uploading the
latter to save format arrangement for easy reading.  (If the instructions
specify .pdf or .doc it is wise to use the specified format.)
-  Jean suggests using ’simple form bullets’ rather than stylized ones.
-  ATS scanners recognize standard headings and not novel ones

Jean recommends not using full formal address unless restricted
to a geographical area.  We agree on listing Internet profile addresses
where appropriate.
-  Jean points out using a job description  in the experience section
where keywords can be inserted.  It might be that accomplishments
can provide the point of inclusion in technical resumes, detailing
the technical skill provided in the Highlights or Qualifications section.
Abbreviations or acronyms seem to be part of technical resumes.
The first time one is used the full text name should be given along
with the shortened version.

-  Consider including separate documents for depth of :
       papers, patents and presentations
       research summary
       management summary and
       other items Don Straits lists in his resume suggestions.
   keeps the “resume” shorter and readable and allows us to
expand on related items.  Keep the summary brief.

Of course Internet profiles will do a similar task in providing
breadth and currency of activities.

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Outplacement Firms. 2014.
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:36 am

Five years ago this blog reminded readers of services
that outplacement firms provided clients who had been
severed from an employer.  My experiences with them
had been stunningly meaningful personally in gaining an
better understanding of the differences in different people’s
emotional impact of job loss and emotional resilience.

I recall my wife and I speaking with a psychologist about
the different ways people react to job loss.  Back in the day,
DBM, the firm hired by my former employer, provided
valuable tools to re-start my career.  Fast-forward to today,
our transcription of Outplacement services that are expected
might involve:
  - understand, reflect and deal with emotional impact to
individual and family
  - series of personality instruments. with guidance and
  - job lead resources, now enhanced by the Internet and
niche job boards and search tools (tracking system, too)
  - building resumes, cover letters, critiquing them and
printing hard copy (plus secretarial and posting services)
  -  Online presence development such as Linkedin profile
and appropriate webpage web presence.
  - up to date tools for do relevant company research, all
within an office with privacy and facilities.

L Weber and R. Feintzig authored an interesting piece
about the “shrinking outplacement services” people are
finding in the current market. 

To me this only emphasizes the importance of Career
Services offered at Universities and leading technical
professional societies, like the ACS.

Weber and Feintzig report that tighter budgets and
competition from web only packages is minimizing the
individual “facetime” with experienced consultants
(from a worload of one to 30-40 to one to 150),
providing restricted phone access in its place, providing
sterile one directional on-line webinars and courses
online for training , and online self-service help to white
papers for resume and cover letter building for generic

It is a given that Push-Pull marketing strategies need to
bring in a number of Internet assets to successful job

There is little mention of this trend impacting
unemployment numbers, where it likely plays a significant

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Year End Highlights
Filed under: Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 4:12 pm

Most of the readers or browsers of this blog are tuned to
careers in technical disciplines– chemistry, and its affiliated
sciences and engineering, physics, biology and physical
sciences and medically and material sciences.  Much of
the blog’s attention addresses
 - mainline job hunting skills and trends,
 - public relations documents (CV’s, resumes,
cover letters, research summaries, research proposals,
list of publications, list of references and the like)
 - interviewing and its continuum before, during and after
formal interviews,
 - decision processes and thinking.

This year in addition to these topics we have ventured
into a series of wise skills, which differentiates highly
qualified candidates from those who eventually receive
job offers.
  intentional attention
  NOW to overcome procrastination
  audience analysis, key to delivering an impactful presentation
  mentors and board members for start-ups.
  committed networking

We continued to delve deeply into the nuances of INTERVIEWS
since after all this is usually where our performance bears
on the hiring decision.  As situations arose during the year
on various parts of the interviewing continuum and its zeroth
, the personal self assessment, topics included were:
  mock interviews
  interviewing “red flags
  business interview apparel
  screening interview questions
  academic interviews
Several career and job trends were highlighted, including:
  interdisciplinary areas
  marketing strategies
  job growth areas
  Job descriptions
  Internet presence
  job search approaches

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Chemistry Jobs in the Future. Present Shock vs. Era of Abundance
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 1:48 pm

I was so pleased that in each of the last two weeks to
be able to meet with undergraduates at Niagara University
and UCONN and share with them some observations
about employment trends.

There are two headline areas that were shared.  The
first headline is that careers have morphed into something
less predicable, more varied and much more dependent on
technical or hard skills, soft skills and wise skills. 

Along with this morphing is a media domination of our
that Douglass Rushkoff has written about freeing
ourselves from the tornado of effects that the loss of
personal narratives, change of the perspective of time and
multitasking to ground ourselves in a purposeful, nurturing
world.  [Suggestion:  Do a personal self assessment and pursue
mentors to establish goals and create a narrative.]

The second headline is the Chemistry Jobs– Simplified
View paradigm of four concentric circles
, where the to
the center is the more focused on the disciplines of
chemistry, engineering, materials isolation, fabrication and

The second circle from the center is Chemistry based jobs
and includes extraction, manufacturing, regulatory, sales,
technical services, quality control and design.
The third circle from the center involves science-related
jobs, including biology, geology, physics, medicine, toxicology
astronomy, space science and the like.   Also, policy,
journalism, business and research and grant management,
association and organizational advocacy.
Finally, the fourth concentric circle is science inspired jobs
which include venture capital, economics, futurist and movies
and TV.
[from the VISION 2025 ACS Presidential Task Force of
Dr. Marinda Wu, p. 18]

There are untold numbers of ways chemistry skills and background
can and do provide jobs and future careers.  To help them develop
we encouraged gaining experience via
  internships [undergraduate research fits here, as well],
  purposefully develop co-curricular skills,
  know the importance of referrals and committed networking,
  have a professional internet presence and
  be willing to work your way up.

We are seriously living in a time of abundance.  Wise futurists
provide many diverse possibilities, including Diamondis,
Anastas and Vaitheeswaran.

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Internet Presence. Blogging and Linkedin ideas
Filed under: Networking, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 9:55 am

While traveling recently I read Kindle books about topics
relevant to your online presences.

Topics                Author              Title    J. Kidder    “The Professional network
                           B. Patrick    your career cannot afford
                                                to ignore

Blog Posts          S. Scott       “How to write great blog
                                                 posts that engage readers

A dispassionate view of Linkedin that provides an updated,
relevant foundation for what you want to include, who
the audience is
and how to profitably use this corporate
tool that is provided to make a profit [90% of users do
it incorrectly, lacking either professionalism, keywords,
headline and formatting or strategy].

In-person networking gives an order of magnitude better
connection, yet, Linkedin is the ultimate platform for
connecting with people, industries and professions
when distance, time and resources prevents face to face

Some headlines-  meaningful headers and readable format,
links to credible digital content, strategic use of keywords
in context.

Common misuses- having hoards of network members,
where most pay no attention or do not work for each
Lack of understanding that having many common
background networking members is not as
helpful as having varied broad-expertise and
experience network NARROW FOCUS.

It is worth noting that a number of things
that are advertised are efforts to further the

Steve Scott wrote his e-book about doing writing with
a purpose that is part of project that has an audience that
has value and increases readership.

This book talks about 19 ways to engage audiences,
pointing to four major divisions, namely:
1. MVPs - massive value posts
2. FPs - filler posts
3. UPs - updates
4. Bonus Content

Now we should understand Steve is providing his readership
information and ideas that monetizes his efforts.  It is
hard work that is not dependent on one or two tools to
continuously improve.
He likes doing Authority blogging, rather than developing
niche sites.  [A broader list of blogging books is here. ]

Ideas to enhance readers appreciation include:
 - list post with links
 - number a series of items
 - video or active audio content
 - questions and answers
 - instructional tutorials
 - announcements
 - interviews
 - give aways
 - contests

1 comment
Attending a professional meeting. Seeking to speak with a prominent person
Filed under: Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 7:27 am

We met last week to talk about planning for an international
conference TT will attend next month.  He seeks to speak
with a leader in the field
of nanotechnology applications in
cancer therapies at the meeting.

So we considered completing a IDP Individual Development
for Biomedical fields, as TT is a post-doc in pharmaceutical
sciences.  This is a personal technical document that puts down
on paper (computer is more likely) goals and accomplishments
during the last (approximate) year, including formal summaries,
proposals written, ideas generated and scoped out for future
proposals, presentations, meetings attended in-person and virtually,
technical expertise recently obtained and used to achieve results,
clinical activity, teaching, mentoring and leadership activity inside
and outside your field, including training and courses attended and
led, and service.
Part 2 scopes out a comprehensive plan for TT’s foreseeable year.
It includes research project goals, anticipated publications, patents,
presentations, proposals, workshops, meetings and training.
Longer range goals follow with an informal “gap analysis” and timeline
for accomplishing your goals.  If there are issues that might limit
or require further work with help from others, it will help to
list as well.

Then, we reviewed TT’s profile to see if it strongly
makes a similar case.  In his case, it did not, so we suggested
several revisions that moves his Internet presence from one
more like a doctoral candidate to a full-fledged post-doctoral
researcher with accomplishments, results and strong breadth
and depth.  We are seeing the Linkedin profile complementing
individual’s resume while containing keywords it also identifies
group affiliations and online contributions which are generally
outside of what is contained in resumes.

So, it makes sense to include the profile in the
resume heading and the resume file, stored in a cloud location,
linked to the profile document.

Some small updates to the resume/CV were suggested before we
moved into pre-meeting preparation.  We talked about going
through lists of attendees and presenters and people who are in
the speaker’s group alumni.  He did not know any.  Fortunately, I
did have a connection with CK.  So, we made a plan for TT to reach
out to CK and ask for a referral/connection at the meeting. 

Then we practiced delivering TT’s introduction and elevator
to the leader in the field.  The first attempt was rather
informal, using the person’s first name.  This is a clear no-no.
Let Dr. “Iwould Liketomeet” know you will keep it formal until
Dr. “Liketomeet” asks you to be informal.  [This can be a noticeable
turn off for some to be too quick to be informal.]

It is noteworthy to mention that a “warm introduction” through
someone in the person’s group helps.  We formally practiced
strategies for making contact, introductions, what to bring to
the meeting, what to wear, and how to follow up after the meeting.

Other class members have recently attended meetings and
reported similar experiences.  So, these strategies and
tactics are tested and proven to be effective. 

These are networking interviews, information and mock
interviews that are part of the “before segment” of the interviewing

1 comment
Resumes. Font Sizes and Headings
Filed under: Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 6:57 am

Our class submitted their current resumes this week
as we began our strategy of strengthening their
public relations documents for each person’s
career path.

I was struck by:
  - some resumes that had the NAME in
the HEADING section 20 and 30 point, while the text
was 10 or 11 point. 

  - Other resumes did not contain addresses, only email
addresses in the HEADING space.

  - Most did not have their names on each page of the

Please consider using a font that is a common print
medium font with a size of 11 point or greater for
most of the document.  Typical fonts are: Arial, Times
New Roman
, Verdana, or Courier(less).

Your name in the heading can be 1 or 2 points larger than
the remainder of the document.  U-Washington,

[Please note:  for other fields, like advertizing or
marketing, outsized or unique name fonts are possible
simply due to the nature of visual effects in those fields.]

Very unusual circumstances might suggest not including
one’s street/city address.  Despite not eliminating you
from consideration, it is expected that at the top of page
one your formal street address
(with US State two letter
abbreviation and zip code) is provided.  Phone (with
area code 123-456-7890, no parentheses), email and
Internet presence (web-page and/or Linkedin profile)
is expected there as well.  If you use Skype and are outside
of the country, I have seen Skype address listed.

I suspect in a short time we will be listing our telecon
media, as well, whether it is Facetime or Skype or Google +

Throughout your document, for technical resumes please
use a maximum of three levels of highlighting, consistently,
while not overly using them as placement and ease of locating and
reading is important.  [So, in this piece, ALL CAPS IS USED
FOR A HEADING, underlining to bring out key points, and
different fonts to show the different font styles.]

Please have your name and page number on each subsequent
page of your document.

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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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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

1 comment
Negative Demonstrations of Networking
Filed under: Technicians, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors
Posted by: site admin @ 5:01 pm

At the undergraduate seminar at Niagara last week the MUD cards
revealed a dozen questions.  Ok the group is composed of
undergraduates and that means– take each question seriously
and ask for follow up questions for clarification from them.

One of the questions:  Can people network in a negative way?

It is very common and necessary that we network using Internet
tools.  We always advise people to plan, monitor and update their
Internet presence.  Be mindful of how you are represented
or how your name, whether it is you or “another Jane Doe,”
on the Internet– in words, photos, opinions, or orally, shows up.
Besides this, generally, most approaches to connect and share
in a network can be misused by involving:.

poor, un-professional image(s) or the wrong take(s) on an image
-  the wrong set of people

-  the giving or taking of bad information or advice

-  taking too much time or not enough time

-  deleteriously affecting one’s physical, mental or emotional health

-  uncontrolled spreading of personal or proprietary information

preventing you from being with, working with or meeting the
right people

See also the blog on social networking negative effects.

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Digital Media. Open Access Debate. Trends and thoughts
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 11:44 am

“Open access” in chemical literature has been
debated for years while chemistry seems to
lag behind other sciences in adoption, as reported
in “Open access in chemistry: information wants
to be free” by Kuras, Kahn and Vickery.

The surveyed logic is funding and journal
quality, but also the stance of the ACS and
impact of the implied “reward system.” formally
influence the rate of adoption of new publication
models.  The authors suggest continuing adoption
resulting from funding sources encouragement
and impact of Internet presence on professional
recognition for scholarly work. 

Resources and recent news

Nature posts three new open access websites.  The
news item provided good links to Science and PoS.

PubMed (biology, medicine, biochemistry) and arXiv
(physics and Math) sites are highly promoted in
a recent eBook that I am reading by David Eagleman
(Why the Net Matters).

1 comment
Committed Networking and Planning checklists
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Job Offer (Situations), Mentoring, Leadership, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 9:11 am

Several times I was struck by nice impressions and
surprises recently.  What all of them seem to reveal
is that we should not take things for granted.  We
should regularly check in on commitments. 

A colleague sent me her revised business card.  It had a
nice design but I do not recall it containing a Internet
presence link.  What struck me most was that the font
color seemed to blend into the background.  Have
higher contrast.

Another colleague happily shared that she received an
offer for a full time government position.  She had a
number of concerns that she wanted to talk about and
a short timeline (3 days).  This STRONGLY points to her
efforts at COMMITTED NETWORKING.  She could
send the happy note and ask to speak.  We spoke at
the recent ACS meeting and were up to date.  I had
time or would make time to speak with her. 

Not only did I offer ideas and directed helpful instructions–
 request to speak with the hiring manager/supervisor and
have a offer letter in hand,– but also connected her with
a colleague in my network
who knows about the concerns
she may have.

In the next few months, there will be a number of
engagements for me.  Planning for one in three months,
I had offered and felt received verbal confirmation
for two topics.  I wrote abstracts and sent them in.
Contact was made to make travel and hotel arrangements.
Then for some reason I thought, let me see what is
advertised for what I will present.  Surprise!
Only one of the two presentations and the second
topic that was an add-on.  That turned my head.

Before travel begins, I have a check list that also
includes all contact information and a plan to
share my travel details and a way to contact me.
Trust but verify early and often.  It can be done in
subtle, yet friendly ways

Finally, over the last half year I have been working
with a strong team on a critical task.  The leader
of the effort, takes special effort to ask me to
personally participate.  So, not only do I listen
and try to remain in step with the group in offering
comments (disruptive or “me- too” quips hold back
progress), I make directed effort to meet and
exceed requests to follow through on
commitments, realizing of course that it is
the team effort and not what just I say that has

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