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

June 2020
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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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Academic Interest in Patents
Filed under: Post-docs, Legal matters
Posted by: site admin @ 9:55 am

More and more chemists at universities
are filing inventions and working with
their university technology transfer offices.

A thoughtful article by B. Halford
(C&EN 5-25-09, p. 39) addresses
both the benefits (financial) and
responsibilities (awareness, recording
in notebooks and inventorship details)

of graduates and post-doctorals, in
addition to professors, in becoming
knowledgeable about patenting,
the patenting process and its significance
in the commercial world in light of the
1980 Bayh-Dole Act.

The article wisely points out that this
could be well worth the effort.
(in addition to listing patents on your List
of Publications, Patents and Presentations.)

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Post doctoral considerations
Filed under: Recent Posts, Interviewing, Position Searching, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 7:58 am

This is another in a series of entries on post
doctoral studies as a step in careers in
chemistry fields.

Two notes of interest are brought out for your
attention.  The first is a link to a broad discussion
about the pros and cons of doing a post-doc
as a step before obtaining an industrial position.
It complements previous discussions in this blog
about careers in pharma  1 2 , non-profits,
industrial R&D and academic careers.

The second note is part of a response to a
member who is nearing the end of a post-doc
at a Research 1 university and wishes to go
into an academic career.  She has not found
success yet and has discovered her previous
teaching experience at a non-US institution does
not translate to experience at a US institution.

Her work has explored some new areas of
biotech but not produced many publications till
this point.  Since she is keenly focused on an
academic career, her next option is to consider
academic post-docs which focuses on the many
elements of teaching chemistry.  My suggestion
“There are teaching post-docs that will enable you
to separate you from others looking for academic
positions.  They can be found at Boston University,
Trinity University (San Antonio), University
of Georgia, University of New Hampshire and
Tufts University.  Look at each one to learn what
their expectations are for teaching, course
development, educational research, etc.”

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Postdocs 2.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Networking, First Year on Job, Post-docs
Posted by: site admin @ 3:50 pm

A recent article was forwarded to me from on careers for post-doctoral scientists
(”Careers for Postdoctoral Scientists:  Beyond the Ivory Tower by Peter Gwynne;

The article points out what one might anticipate as
one moves from an academic position to an industrial
one.  It is not only for post-doctorals but for most
scientists in general.  Let us focus on post-docs.

It is true that people with post doctoral experience
have a “leg up” on those without when applying for
industrial positions in certain fields, like pharmaceuticals
and biotech.  Where the role of a post-doc can vary
from group to group, generally positions are more
research leadership oriented.  This can involve
“supervising” some staff in the universities. 
However, it is a general observation that this is not
like the supervision one needs to do in industry. 
Many post-docs interviewing for industrial roles
wish to be a supervisor or a group head, when,
in fact, they have not had the breadth and depth
of supervision training that is required for industrial
roles.  They have, for the most part, only had
some sense of technical leadership.

More often than not post-docs bring this mindset
into interviews and are surprised to discover their
post-doc role not being considered as managerial

In fact, when a post doc succeeds in being asked
to join a firm, it is quite possible that a supervisor
is assigned to assist in the transition to bring the
post-doc up to a fully contributing staff member. 
It is not becasue of any lack of skills, it is because
of the difference in culture, pace, realities, and 
practices.  The Gwynne article introduces some
of these, using “quote bites” from a group of
pharma/biotech companies.

The article points out two strong suggestions for
post-docs who wish to enter the industrial job market.
(1) strongly consider doing several informational
interviews with people who have done a post-doc,
interviewed and started an industrial position to learn
what it is like and if they like it.  Consider this even
before doing a post-doc!
In other words, do a bit of long term career planning
three to five years out in time.
(2) have a good idea what it is like to work in your
selected companies.  Prepare by, for example, using
your post-doctoral mentor for learning what the
company is like. 
(A general observation is that post-docs don’t
make use of an extremely strong ally, their advisor,
enough when going for positions.)

For those who can take advantage, there is a useful
workshop offered at national ACS meetings that gives
a sense of many important things a recent new hire
should know early in their career.  It is
“First Year on the Job.”


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