Last weekend we were part of a team presenting a job search
workshop for undergraduate chemistry field majors at UConn.
It was well attended and provi ded resume reviews and mock
interviews in addition to four topical discussions tuned to this
Four discussion areas from the day workshop are presented to readers.
1. Thesis or non-thesis masters is a graduate school option that was
new to many. The thesis option involves a specialized project with
a professor. It can require a longer term of study due to the research
in your domain. The non-thesis option often involves a mini project
or a comprehensive exam to meet the requirements of the degree.
The exam is taken after you have completed certain courses.
Choosing the thesis option can allow you to receive an assistantship
during your program.
Some fields prefer the thesis option as it allows a learning by doing
a new project to come up with outcomes. If funding is limited, a
project reaches an end or facilities are not available the non-thesis
option can be preferred. Some fields, like geology, have reported the
non-thesis option has advantages as reported a Colorado School of mines.
2. Some firms reportedly use Jobvite to facilitate hiring. People
have reported problems uploading their documents. Jobvite specifies
that resumes need to be Word or “unlocked PDF” file formats
and that after uploading to populate application fields, you need to
use the attach button to include part for your application file.
You need to follow uploading instructions to the T. Some instructions
include word limits, some seek a specific number of writing samples,
and others have specific deadline dates .
Barbara Safani points out that many people make the mistake of
taking their formatted Word document and uploading it into a text
box on a company website. Formatting is lost. So it is prudent to
follow the specific job search instructions.
3. Traveling to an onsite interview can be a challenge. Ask for
specific directions to specific gates before you go. Know who you
are to meet and their telephone number in case of a delay, expecting
to arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled first meeting time.
Interestingly a number of companies now require following ITAR
regulations. Thus to facilitate the special ITAR badge bring your
passport with you if you are an international candidate.
4. I was surprised that my colleagues felt it was fine to ask about
salary during the onsite interview. This might be the case, if you
had a very promising position in hand or were working in a good
You should always be ready to respond to a salary requirements
question or what has been your salary in the past three positions…
There are pitfalls for coming in low or coming in high. So, a response
to that query would be here is a range and you would consider any
reasonable offer where you can make a difference doing something you
are good at.
Yesterday I enjoyed a conversation with a resume reviewer
who has a senior level position in a government organization.
He shared several poignant remarks about his experiences
when he often reviews resumes to bring in candidates to
interview for technical positions.
An email came from Lee the other day:
“guidance on contacting a job poster before sending a resume”
which seemed curious.
Was it a poster session?
Was it a position seen on a job board?
Did it ask to upload the resume to an online address?
We clarified things over the next few days. He read an
attractive job board posting on Linkedin for a firm that would
make sense for his career path.
But, we know you help yourself in obtaining an interview if you
can be referred by an employee or better yet the hiring manager.
To do that Lee might informally contact an employee who is
part of your network or extended network and pursue at
least an ‘information interview.’ It would possibly allow a
‘networking interview’ as well. [Parts of the Interviewing
Continuum, see the side bar for details on each type of interview]
My suggestions to him included:
1. CONTENT It would be important to formulate the public
relations documents incorporating keywords that will be sought.
2. FORMAT If you can speak to someone who does interview
for the company you can ascertain if there is any specific
elements and style resume reviewers prefer. (business style
focus, chronological, technical focus, research summary,
particular cover letter, Europass format for international, etc.)
3. Does he have network members who work at the company?
Has he spoken with the network contact about the position?
(Think about possible win-win situations– employee referral
can lead to a bonus for the employee.)
4. Liz Ryan wrote a nice piece how Linkedin can assist the
job search process of narrowing down the companies, finding
hiring managers, learning about the culture and interview
expectations you may encounter. This too could lead to a
pull marketing mechanism since you might be able to curate
your Linkedin profile to be picked up by recruiters.
5. Plan a follow-up campaign that includes thank you notes,
talking up the network participants, modifying the PR documents
as appropriate, setting a timeline for follow-up communication
and including it in the cover letter.
6. Do detailed research on the firm. Patents, business results,
7. Enter total information into your job search spreadsheet
that tracks all communication.
Internships can provide excellent interludes where we experience
what it is like in an organization (conversations, interactions,
, assignments) can perform new and goal oriented work
(goal-setting, application of know how and knowledge),
can meet and work for a short term mentor, and see how
things are done in another setting (culture).
My career had three “internships”– two in a medical school
biochemistry lab and one in am NSF Center of Excellence
program. That was then, now interns need to be more proactive,
especially near the end of their internship experience.
In fact, I suggest doing AfterActionReviews of your
internship program and keep it in your Master resume
portfolio. AARs are recognized as a knowledge transfer
and retention tool for capturing implicit and tacit pieces.
[See Knowledge Management.. Administrative Services link]
For those early in their careers, it might be useful to start with
- outlining all the tasks and assignments, completed and
- communicating in person
- seeking feedback on areas of improvement
- asking for longer term connection with people in
your thank you communication.
People in your junior and senior years [REU programs and
such] and in your graduate career level are advised to display
the maturity of performing AARs, drawing conclusions and
offering reverse mentoring.
Detailed description of AARs: S. Salem-Schatz, D. Ordin,
B. Mittman, “Rapid Post-Project Assessment“
We led a seminar discussion that resulted from the
thoughts of Don Street about addressing the process of
reviewing our public relations documents. Don relates
that (1) first we must convert the “uninterested (or uninvested)
reader” to an “interested reader”.
Then we need to (2) convince that interested reader that
we have the insights, background and hard skills to be
successful not only in the interview, but also in the position.
The seminar discussed these after reviewing “what counts”
factors and expectations for positions in different career paths.
SCREENING WITH TRADITIONAL DOCUMENTS
It is common knowledge that most corporate and government
employers use applicant tracking system software or
grade submitted applications packages. Thus, targeted
resumes using specific key words are important to convert
the uninterested to interested reader. Much the same
occurs in academia using CVs and cover letter to introduce
yourself to the review committee.
NEW AGE SCREENING WITH LINKEDIN
Recruiters now also strategically use your Linkedin
profile to predominantly screen potential candidates, but
also interrogate an in depth profile on you. Part of
push-pull marketing that we should perform.
We then reviewed some “other ” documents that may
enhance your candidacy, including, corporate career path,
- linkedin profile
- list of projects
- accomplishment summary (research, for example)
- field research (business development, for example)
- synopsis of patent, copyright, review article
- summary of industry insights
For academic career paths, “other” documents include
- teaching philosophy
- research proposals (preparation helped by having research
- note also Heilmeier commandments
- start up funding and equipment list
- course description and syllabus
- “five slides” document (prepared for screening interviews)
- management philosophy
- registration in ResearchGate
Government positions “other” documents include
- Master resume in USAJobs.gov
- targeted resumes with keywords throgh USAJobs.gov
- DD-214 military record
look also at federalgovernmentjobs.us/forms.html
where you are asked about KSAs knowledge, skills and
In today’s competitive and uncertain, virtual and interactive,
career and job-assignment marketplace, technical resumes
are only one part of your public relations portfolio.
INTERNET PRESENCE: LINKEDIN PROFILE
Any consultant or reviewer who examines and critiques
only one document is shortsighted and not necessarily
offering you up-to-date advice. Why? We are approaching,
if we have not already reached, a ‘virtual presence’ world.
Your presence (or absence from) in the Internet is larger
and may be more critical for you achieving your goal of
interacting with company representatives. You have to
pay strong attention to addressing this market place.
The profile can be targeted differently than your specific
resume file that you send to each individual company.
Lindsey Pollack and Arnie Fertig highlight many
features of resumes vs. profiles and Linkedin’s mission.
In addition, it can be valuable to have a master resume
that you maintain throughout your career. It contains
all your personal information from which you
choose items to include in targeted resumes and
Organization, ease of reading, use of significant-in-
your-field keywords and ethical behaviors are important.
(Resumes also: brevity, specificity and clarity)
CONTENT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ROLES
I respect Tom Kellum who reported that resumes
“rule people out.’ In the business side of the enterprise.
the hiring authority seeks a person who can help her
reach her goals faster. The resume, he points out, reveals
the past and not the “intangible futures.” On the technical
side of the enterprise, describing our accomplishments
reveals our Key Skills and Abilities KSA which can be
applied to solve problems and innovate.
So, not only are there differences in hard copy and
virtual documents, each of which is searchable, but
also different roles will represent us with different
styles of content.
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.
So often career consultants get requests to review resumes
by nearly-ready-for-thesis-and-defense PhD or MS student or
a post doc. When career consultants ask, for good reason,
what position are they applying for, they say:
The resume they send me will not land them an interview.
The reason is: the document is an incomplete mixture of a
CV and a resume that does not answer the questions each
kind attempts to offer to the reviewer.
The resume writer, not knowing what career path to aim for first,
might best begin by completing a “master resume” or complete
CV with all personal date. Jessica Holbrook Hernandez nicely
described the Master Resume as a resource document containing
every skill, valid dates, all positions and accomplishments,
no matter whether in school, as a volunteer or for employment.
All of the information does not necessarily end up in a
targeted resume which would be sent to land an interview for an
industrial position nor in a CV for academic positions.
In all cases, though, we need to include Keywords used in
the field or industry. If a person applies to different organizations
for example, one might use NMR for another you might use MRI.
I am always surprised that people use some standard Office
format, when they should realize not everyone uploads
preserving the formatting. (Read the instructions link for
uploading) Or, that your name should be on
each page with its page number, except page 1.
Another surprise is presuming that the resume reviewer
will be able to figure out the formatting or will understand the
unique meanings of things like: ‘pristene graphene,’ phi
lambda upsilon, and ccd (not charge coupled device).
In 2014 the resume document alone is insufficient. So
much transpires on the Internet, you need to also have
a strong, attractive and complete profile on the web. One
of the most common is a Linkedin Profile. A solid
commentary on areas to emphasize is given by Interns over
40 blog. It is not a bad idea to list this information in the
Recent graduates and post-docs seem to be better prepared for
industrial positions now if they have either been in a co-op
program or been involved in internships. We point to a broader
article on the practice of internships and highlight useful
ideas (namely proceed with caution for unpaid positions and
have a very good idea why you want the experience and what
you will do with the experience.).
While I still recommend value in creating a master
resume or CV to capture all of your experiences, credentials,
projects, avocations, and areas of work interest, specifically
targeted with keywords ready for scanning documents are
what a leading resume coach recommends.
One of the better recent articles describing retirement
planning is pointed out. It points out some considerations
that might influence organization, planning and spending
INTERNSHIP ROUTE TO EMPLOYMENT
SOURCE: The Economist, 9-6-14, p. 61
“Generation i” (small i)
From one point of view this article reviews the history
of interns and experiences of mostly “unpaid internships”
which seem to be a last choice option. The “comments”
section offers a rebuttal that the article misses paid
internships in technical positions lasting 2-6 months.
Paid internships in the best of cases (25%) offers
an in-person experience that is outside of the academic
arena and is an investment in you.
UPDATED PERSPECTIVE ON RESUMES
SOURCE: Career Hub, Jean Cummings
“The Kind of resume that works now“
Jean really emphasizes the need to study the job
description carefully and pick out the job titles
and keywords unique to the position. Then
incorporate them into your cover letter and your
resume in context. ATS software is the rule such
that once it is scanned and sorted reviewers spend
5-6 seconds reading an easy to read, specific,
and targeted resume.
SOURCE: R. Kapadia, Barrons, 9-22-14, p. 23
Point by point discussion first discussing myths
- spending in retirement is fluid, not constant
- within 10 years of retirement, half are single,
especially lower educated
- the impact of children/minors is substantial
Then, covering Important steps which include:
- regularly updated budgeting, manage your cash
flow and plan state and federal taxes
- have fewer fixed expenses; pay things off
- behavioral economics applies– in down
years, spend less
- very good advice on tax diversification
Added notes on Long term care
- it will happen
- industry is changing , select broadest definition
of care givers, begin reimbursements after
calendar days (not service days)
- pay attention to elimination period
Another map to consider for career management in
the UK is offered by Vitae. Where this NESACS blog
describes a focus on the interviewing continuum, with
the zeroth level (self assessment), steps before, during
and after interviewing, Vitae partitions the career
management steps into:
- understand yourself
- plan your career
- hear from others
- virtual interviews
- explore the market
- network and develop matches
Jean Cummings wrote about the significant rise in the near
future of contract technical workers. To be competitive in this
emerging marketplace of multi-national and multi-cultural
professionals, she highlighted being able to
1. present your goals, values and attributes to different
audiences who may ask for your services or you see a match
to what you can offer. (your brand statement)
2. describe stories that provide clear examples of your efforts,
outcomes and impacts. (STAR or SARI, situation-task-action-
result or situation-action-result-implication)
3. develop habit stacks (demonstrating desirable soft skills)
and wise skills that will differentiate you.
This is a daunting task. She offered two dozen tips for working
with recruiters for getting their attention, positive feedback
and interest in bringing you on-board.
We have a changing world, mostly out of our control.
Recently we can find airline prices for one part of a
merged airline be different than that offered from a
second part, although they are the same seat on the
David Brooks spoke about a dialog individuals might
be having with themselves later in life, mostly, that
shines a light on perspectives of life.
Finally Sarah Lewis speaks about success in a different
vein where striving for personal mastery and why we might
do a blog like this.
SOURCE: S. McCartney, WSJ 5-15-14, Airline Riddles:
the story behind price gaps on flights shared by American
and US Airways,…
While most of us know that airline seat prices for flights
can change from one moment to another based on
market and availability, this article addresses another
interesting phenomenon about the same seat being
sold at different prices by different parts of a merged
airline. One suggestion in the comments is to use Expedia
to explore reservations.
Interesting reading for cost conscious travelers.
RESUME SUCCESS vs EULOGY VALUES
SOURCE: D. Brooks, TED Talk: Should you live by your
resume or your eulogy; 3-14
Modern society features a view, Brooks opines, that favors
cleverness and being a cold calculating person for advantage.
When a different view might be taken to earn the life well
lived. You go into yourself examining your weaknesses and
wrestle with what you wish to be.
Brooks often writes thoughtfully about thoughts, actions
SOURCE: S. Lewis, TED “Embrace the near win“
Carefully articulate story telling about archers gaining
mastery over an art over time with patience, diligence and
grit. It is different than the accomplishment of the moment,
Lewis hits the nail on the head for what professionals seek.
It is challenging for people in technical fields
to consider the changes in the employment marketplace
today. So much can seem to be against our better natures
where we are taught that deep study and inspiration can
A. Big prize awards are offered for innovative ways of
solving human problems or for commercial innovation,
using crowd-sourcing approaches [See Chapter 5 of the
Second Machine Age, by E. Brynjolfsson and A. McAfee]
B. Digitized, specialized robotic equipment replace
people doing certain tasks. And strange concepts like
Maravec’s paradox: high level reasoning requires little
computation, but lower level sensorimotor skills
require enormous computational resources.
These and many other examples lead critics to dismiss
all of these as re-packaging things for the wifi-computerized
Recently, a faculty member asked me what I proposed to
do in a workshop. Before I could answer, he smiled while
dispelling his disbelief, you are not going to just talk about
“polishing the apple”.
The supply and demand picture of technically trained people
continues to shift and while your technical substance needs
to be strong, you need to recognize the need to stand out
from other equally qualified professionals. You can learn
to improve listening skills, demonstrate curiosity and
make a compelling case for yourself in voice, style and
nonverbal communications. You can do this without being
inauthentic or deceptive in your motives.
Specific evidence is in creating cover letters and resumes
that are specific, clear, easy to read and brief (error-free, too)
They do not have to be encyclopedic and cover all aspects.
Yet, they need to be targeted and show an understanding of
marketing to your audience/customer.
Specific evidence is also in knowing what apparel is expected when
you arrive for interviews, and how you connect with people
in informal and formal settings.
Again, you are marketing a product– yourself.
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
- 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
NOW to overcome procrastination
audience analysis, key to delivering an impactful presentation
mentors and board members for start-ups.
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
level, the personal self assessment, topics included were:
interviewing “red flags“
business interview apparel
screening interview questions
Several career and job trends were highlighted, including:
job growth areas
job search approaches
This might be a controversial entry describing what happened recently.
A hand full of situations of professionals who have asked for
specific mentoring assistance from me are shared.
HE WAS LISTENING ALL THE TIME IN SEEKING A POSITION
MM has a world of experience going for him. He is a service
veteran who returned to graduate school and has finished his PhD
in materials science. We worked hard on his public relations
documents and interviewing skills.
He told me when we met in June that he landed a full time position
in a government engineering facility. saying he was most comfortable
in the military environment. I congratulated him on his achievement,
but offered my thoughts that he may find his career stifled. If he was
happy, secure and challenged by what he was tasked to do, I was pleased
Speaking with one of his classmates, I learned that he was starting a
new assignment in the US PTO (patent and trademark office). Now,
I was pleased. He was listening– landing one position in government
is like getting your foot in the door and other opportunities can open
up to you.
TECHNICAL SKILLS ALONE WILL NOT GET YOU A POSITION.
IN START UPS ESPECIALLY
AG asked if we could have a conversation about his start-up
venture. He had formulated a good idea and was seeking advisers
and help getting started. We agreed that he could pick me up at
the airport and discuss things over lunch.
He made his “idea pitch” to me with enthusiasm, passion and promise.
He even asked for a small amount of follow up involvement. Then,
I had to ask some “stinging questions.” Does he have mentors in
the field? which I learned from Tom Ashbrook’s podcast. I asked AG
if he was planning to have a “board of advisers?” While he did not
he thought it was a solid idea.
Did he have a timeline, first product innovation and a first customer
in mind that will shake out the bugs? He and his collaborator had
initial notions and a start, but it is still in the formative stages.
Then, I asked for a business card. He had one but it did not
describe what he and his business can do for customers. Then,
we reviewed his personal performance–listening skills, body
language, small talk, willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ and more.
AG is technically skilled. Technical skills alone do not get
you the job or assignment. So, my role as a mentor was to
provide honest, objective feedback. His role was to assess
it and provide appropriate follow-up. It should involve three
1- donor motives; were my motives in his interest?
2- idea merit; what was the merit of each point. Did he note
and create a strong plan to follow up and execute?
3- response; what will emerge from the ideas and assessment
yielding productive results.
My future involvement will depend on how well he responds. If
he only comes back with items he wished for me to do, it may
take a long time to respond. If he creates a “punch-list” in
project management lingo– mentors, board of advisers, first
customer, first product, business card and such, in addition to his
request, the connection was made.
Speaking with a mentor is a two way street. Communication is essential.
FOR A POST DOC, CHOOSE A “ROCK STAR”, DO YOUR
HOMEWORK AND KNOW YOUR CONTACTS REPRESENT
YOUR FIRST PROFESSIONAL ASSIGNMENT.
Several people seek help figuring out what they will do next.
None want to follow an academic path and each is in a
different technical field.
So, we work on identifying their “target rock stars” that will
enable them to land their desired position. Once they have their
list we reduce it down to their top three and work on each one
separately by revising their master resume into their targeted
working document. Then hard work goes into making an initial
contact, through a common associate, at a meeting, through
their graduate PI, or other “warm” connection. Followed by
a winning cover letter of request.
As we have mentioned before, special considerations need
to be incorporated into this letter, revealing what you seek,
that you have read and benefited from his/her work, that you
have ideas of your own, and that you would be willing to
write proposals for funding. It is not going to be successful
if you cut and paste something someone else has written.
It needs to be authentic.
This role of mentor I sense is different than the student’s
perspective of a mentor.
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
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,
Gawande talked about invoking coaches, just like other professionals,
and provided some real life examples of how attention to some
little things that an objective expert observer might point out.
We see many coaches for executives, for golf, for singing, for
musicians…Some are most helpful. Some provide standard responses,
that may not be helpful. Some inspire alternative ways of doing
things. Even experts have room for improvement.
SENIOR LEVEL RESUMES
We have not touched on senior level public relations documents.
There is a need to present a perspective. At the higher levels, terms
like branding, leadership, staffing and application of resources
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-
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-
- 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 Linkedin.com profile.
His publications and presentations were linked in the
Experience section with limited technical
wording, providing documentation without over use of
If anything it was short on Honors and Awards and
Affiliations. I wonder if at that point is anything more
than an observation.
One of the outstanding things about the ACS Career
consultants program is the wisdom of training
programs that keep us informed and updated on
trends. This happened last weekend in Ft. Worth.
The first nuggets of golden information was on
Federal government employment. B. Bohnet of
calltoserve.org told about the “government
tsunami” that is about the strike as mission critical
occupation holders leave federal employment
HOW TO FIND POSITIONS
There is an art to searching for positions in government
service. L. Roberson (NASA) reinforced the notion
to (1) initiate your search with broad terms, like physical
scientist or biological scientist, and narrow terms down.
(2) Develop a strategy, learn from others’ approaches and
(3) save your search terms for re-use.
(4) Plan to search weekly. Announcements come out weekly
submission windows close on Fridays.
(5) Continuously learn in this process. There are noteworthy
webinars and presentations in specific cities and websites.
(1) Applications are rated on a point system. Top point
getters get the interviews for positions.
(2) Note several classes of people receive special points–
disabled, vets, peace corp,
(3) Input offered was to use the keywords given in the
job description. The exact keywords.
(4) Organize your resumes so that you have a master resume
and targeted resumes for different positions and save them.
Check back regularly.
Future posts will provide more information about this
Here is a “mini-, online- workshop” on Electronic
tools for your job search. Of course, you can go
to a far off place, pay admission, hotel, travel and
related expenses to attend a workshop. But, eh,
for electronic tools, should this be the way…right?…
Let’s give it a whirl. And, oh, by the way, if any others
out there have good ideas to share, please send them…
Couldn’t help but notice some MEGA USEFUL guidelines:
Post Public relations documents “in-the cloud”
List of Papers, Presentations, Patents
List of Projects (if appropriate)
Patent or Technology summary (if appropriate)
Management philosophy (if appropriate)
Look at General listings of web-sites (for Texas, make specific
for regions you are interested. This site points to
Use LinkedIn.com (search this blog for specific entries)
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
- 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.
Over and over, people early in their career can not fathom
the key differences and similarities of these two public
In fact, we may offer some help in that a curriculum vitae
CV can represent a “master resume” or starting point.
Nonetheless, CVs can also be organized to be more
easily readable and targeted for specific academic positions.
Think of the long term value of continuously maintaining
a CV. From the master CV/resume you can select items
to go into targeted CVs (reorganized to match needs) or
targeted resumes (shorter to show match to needs). This
highlights the need to develop specific resumes for each
position and a different one for job fairs.
Both named documents, CVs and resumes, serve you when
they are well organized and easy to read. A simple analogy
was offered by B. Sucher as opening your refrigerator or
kitchen food cabinets.
Does it look like a random placement wherever there was
room at the time?
Does it look distinct with easy to locate items, unique,
keyword accented, and professional ?
If it is like the former it will not be read.
If you go to generic placement centers in institutions, many
will offer what business centered documents are preferred,
rather than scientific and technical organizations seek. That
is one of the clear values of working with industry professionals
associated with professional societies. My experience with
outplacement firms and unemployment centers, bless their
hearts, models and examples are similar. Do your best to
meet with people in the industry or company you seek to
work in– honestly it will serve you well.
None of the places one goes for advice will support
incomplete or factually distorted documents either.
B. Safani wrote about well known misrepresentations
in resumes that stand as eye-openers. In fact, one person
early in my course this year asked me what I felt about
lying in resumes, as everyone does it– to which I said
now you have met someone who has not, nor does not
recommend misrepresenting anything on a CV or resume.
It did reveal to me a little about her expectations.
Resume reviewers pick up distortions in resumes
and can easily verify things that do not make sense.
In one resume, a person wanted to pass off that he
had business training in MBA courses that he did not
take, but audited. In another, a person wanted to
reveal “leading a collaborative project,” which seems
like an oxymoron.
Finally, I agree with the observation made by D. Dib
that resumes are finding serious competition from
Internet based profiles, like LinkedIn.com. I also note
a significant comment by L. Kursmark that Heading
information in on line resumes or profiles are becoming
shorter due to internet security issues. 1
We have talked about Mid-career resumes and
have recommended to show that your resume
demonstrates a clear match in the sections in
the “resume red zone” on page 1.
It is a challenge when a mid-career person seeks
to make a transition to a different area. While the
person may have performed many of the tasks and
mastered many of the desired skills.
It is imperative for mid-career people to consider
their unspoken advantages especially all the soft
skills and maturity that they bring. These include
[See 2 ]
2 planning and prioritizing,
3 being able to pick up when and how things
need to change during a “losing streak” and
4 understand some important things to do when
things are well.
One way to point this out is including some
thought-provoking terms in the OBJECTIVE or
QUALIFICATIONS. This may be “fast-learning
and adaptable” which can be expressed in a skills
based resume by listing skills statements that
match the job description’s need.
There is also an opportunity to link in a
“WORK HISTORY” section to a google
document providing “Selected Projects”.
This replaces the numerous bullets one may be
tempted to list under each employer, yet may not
be strongly pertinent to the position being sought.
In this way it resembles what Engineers and
Accountants can do in their resumes where
they have not produced publications that
scientists produce. Similarly HONORS and
AWARDS for team accomplishment can
When reviewing the details of the resume,
we inquired as to crisp, detail-containing stories
that bring the skills to life. This preparation
is key to differentiate from other candidates,
especially from recent grads who have
exposure to recent advances at potentially