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

April 2019
« Mar    
Consulting Roles. Things to take away from a dated publication on Consulting
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, First Year on Job, Post-docs, Legal matters, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 4:07 pm

Visiting an experienced technical professional, I asked
how he would help people who are thinking of a consulting
career..  He gave me a text by William Cohen, “How to
Make it big as a Consultant.
”  Then we discussed some things.

The Cohen book was more than 30 years old and did not
include any Internet related nor association-network approaches.
In Cohen are listed direct methods for contacting customers–
1- direct mail
2- cold calls
3- direct response ads
4- directories and yellow pages
5- former employees and directors.
So he does not get into push pull marketing so much in the 
Internet age.  It all seems to be “push” marketing.  It is
confirmed by the “indirect methods”…
a- speaking to groups
b- newsletters
c- professional associations
d- articles and books
e- letters to editors
f- teach a course and lead a seminar
g- public releases and broadcast releases.
These are all still applicable, but likely not relevant!
Clearly having a proactive web page, linkedin page and
pull marketing strategy is not known in 1985 when the
book was written.  There are several other approaches .
It is not an easy task and one that evolves rapidly.
Now there is something in addition to learn from this
exercise….check the publication date of the book, and,
see if there is a more recent edition.  There is in this
particular case.
1 comment
Suggestions for actions if you lose your position
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mentoring, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Observ. Trends, Undergraduate majors, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 12:24 pm

Over a 30 - 45 year career, most everyone gets relieved of their
position.  Sometime it is sudden, other times there are indicators
that some positions will be severed and still other times we are
faced with a choice to stay or leave.

Let me pose that it should be part of our regular personal planning
process that we consider building resilience into our thinking.  Create
your personal action plan, keep your options open and know what
your personal goals, musts and wants are.
As much as possible plan so that it is not a total surprise.
Ruth Umoh contributed a piece offering things to do if you lose
your position.  I cannot agree with her more on
1.  don’t lose your “cool”, stay calm and manage your emotions
2.  personally ask for recommendations from specific individuals
(If someone hesitates at all, or will not provide a good one, move
2a.  these days more and more Linkedin recommendations can be
a useful starter in situations where policies limit employees from
providing recommendations.
3.  You should be continually active in your professional network,
also ask references for their network contacts and ideas.
I found Umoh’s thoughts about cleaning up your facebook, online
profiles and photos and comments something that might be easily 
Formulate a modifiable plan of action that includes 
and pull marketing
, situations where you you meet people 
in person and volunteer roles in professional organizations.
Taking shorter term, temporary roles may be a big plus, while
you enroll for unemployment benefits and update your master
resume, targeted resumes for each position and Linkedin
profiles using current keywords for your industry and field.
Consider asking for outplacement services as part of your
severance package, while being wary of noncompete documents
that you have signed.
Resumes for Technical Roles.What can be done to improve chances to get interviews.
Filed under: Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Mentoring
Posted by: site admin @ 10:42 am

Recently I have received requests to review resumes and cover
letters for people who have completed several post docs and
wonder what can they do to attract interview attention.

First it was important to realize that they do not see the
changing role of push-pull marketing using on line profiles.  
Since online profiles can contain much more information than
resumes and can be accessed in a multiplexed mode, quite often
this is a leading recruiting step.  Push marketing is typified by
sending your resume to a recruiter or uploading to a website.  
Pull marketing occurs when recruiters review profiles on line.
The online profile needs to be very good and show
communication savvy, while being consistent with your resume.
Second.  When I examine the profile/ resume/ cover letter package
I  ask for the job description.  The exact title [cover letter], job code
[cover letter], 
and keywords [cover letter, resume, online
profile-Linkedin] need 
to be listed in the documents.  It is critical
since screening is often done by ATS applicant tracking systems.
One colleague was an ORISE Fellow at FDA and did not mention
knowing about FDA regulations, how 
FDA reviews applications
and industry specific qualifications in the highlights section.
Third.  While the ATS examines the full document, human reviewers
will want to see information that is easy to read, error-free and
to the position.  Please:
  - avoid long paragraphs of information in cover letter or resume
  - use gmail, not yahoo, aol or education-based email address
  - insert your experience section before education, after you
reach five or more years beyond your last degree.
While it might be very true, statements like the following are
not taken seriously:  
‘I believe I am a
quick learner as demonstrated previously where
worked in various fields (materials, analytical and clinical)
and published
. I hope my skills and background are a
for to satisfy the requirements for the … position. I thank you for
your time and enthusiastically look
forward to hearing from you
soon. ‘ [note too many ‘I’s’– whole letter had >16]
for we know other interpersonal, cultural, and nonverbal 
factors can dominate.  [Technical skills alone are not enough.]
While the ACS offers good general suggestions about 
writing documents, specific situations require outside-the-
box thinking.
-  when there is little evidence for scientific accomplishments
via patents and papers, consider creating a List of Projects
addenda that might mention project work on proprietary
material ethically and legally.
-   when seeking positions of some authority and responsibility,
providing information in the affiliations or highlights section
or in the cover letter or in the Linkedin profile where you
point out project and team leadership and responsibility 
revealing emotional intelligence
1 comment
Linkedin Updates. Dennis Brown Suggestions
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Networking, Mature professionals, Post-docs, Technicians, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 11:03 am

 From Dennis Brown:

Ideas 5 and 8 are applicable.  Remember online marketing is
the current state of the art.  Job seekers can use this tool 
for “push Marketing.”
  use of keywords
  involvement in groups
  online presence
  connection to “hubs
1 comment
Other Documents.
Filed under: Recent Posts, Position Searching, Public Relations docs, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 1:48 pm

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. 

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.

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
idea notebook)
-           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
-   targeted resumes with keywords throgh
-   DD-214 military record
-   SF-50
look also at
where you are asked about KSAs knowledge, skills and

Watch-outs. 56. Severance negotiation, Linkedin, Lost cell phones, School Career offices
Filed under: Position Searching, Recruiters, Mature professionals, Legal matters, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 7:40 am

As we know today career management is less about
tactics and cleverness for short term gains and more
defining your values and pursuing longer term meaning
while understanding you will evolve (and shift/change).

Job searching is an activity in career management
that with the Internet has evolved into a marketing
activity with its proverbial “push and pull” mechanisms.
A place of importance is Linkedin and we provide
an appropriate link to two articles about profiles there.

Another trend in job searching from colleges is
moving career services to their alumni centers.

Recovering your cell phone when lost (or stolen) is
pointed out.  While many know about it, perhaps it
is time to do something about it…
Just like your linkedin profile and figuring out what
you want to do.

SOURCE:  A. Sklover, “Lower job, severance or
Unemployment Comp
.” Sklover Working Wisdom
Whether we like it or not, downsizing and its
consequences are a fact of life for most.  Al Sklover
offers compelling thoughts and tools for dealing
with wrenching issues in his blog column.  His
discussion and tools offer value.

SOURCE:  L. Garver, Career Hub Blog, Part 2
We highlighted Louise’s first part and feel part
2 might be compelling reading for some.
She offers:
-finding articles that others may benefit from and
sharing it in Linkedin without expecting anything
in return is valued. 
-Sending alerts about meetings and talks that you
attend is useful. 
-Use alumni tools, from your education, previous
employment and volunteer work to explore valued
-Explore connections who might shed light on
what it is really like at a firm or industry or in a
specific position.
-Be up-to-date and consistent.

SOURCE:  M. Korn, WSJ 5-28-14, P. D3
Job Search meets fundraising.
A twist that might mean allowing students to
imagine what it is like in a new position can
happen when career services moves into the
alumni fundraising office.  Some call it
Student advancement and suggest that is
reveals how the school intends to be accountable
for what is happening after graduation.

SOURCE:  G A Fowler, WSJ 5-29-14, D1
“ catch a thief…
Handy apps can be used to re-capture lost
cellular tools.  The article points out other
things that can be done and mentions cautions
in pursuing your lost device.

BONUS: W. McRaven, WSJ  Commencement

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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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Strategies for your Job Search. Marketing concepts.
Filed under: Position Searching, Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 10:24 am

We need to be proactive, persistent and assertive in our
professional careers
to respond to changes in our
situations often outside of our control or influence.

It seems that few jobs are secure.  Thus, we need to set goals,
objectively evaluate whether we are meeting them and assess
if changes are needed to either our goals or our paths to
reaching them.

In preparing for some presentations, I have been looking for
more material from the business world to apply some of the
terms we see, such as branding, target audiences, positioning
and push-pull
marketing.  For those looking to go into the
business side or entrepreneurial direction would be served to
have some grounding in these concepts.

It seems true, also, that technical careers, with lay-offs
(who would have predicted Kodak, Lyondell, GM, and Polaroid,
to name a few) changing business conditions (who would have
predicted the bubbles and resulting depresssions of 2001-9)
and outside influences (who could have predicted the US
would be a net exporter of petroleum 10 years ago) are
subject to the same consequences.

Sebastiano Mereu created a simple and quick presentation
of some useful business terms
in the context of push and
pull marketing.  For applying these concepts consider
targeted, brief resumes with appropriate addenda (list of
papers, patents and presentations, list of projects, research
summary, for example) for “pushing” job searches.  Consider
creating keyword containing profiles, SEO optimized blog
or website (also Linkedin Premium service) profile, and
volunteer to offer presentations and your services to
represent your skills and expertise.  Then, reviewers, placement
services and jobs are “pulled” to your profile and you.

Barb Poole writes a strong article pointing out how it
is likely wise to apply both push and pull marketing to our
Job search strategy to be effective.  Her business terms
do fit strategies to consider for the evolving technical
R&D, manufacturing, and high tech environments.

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