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.
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.
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.
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.
From Dennis Brown:
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
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.
DECISIONS WHEN BEING DOWNSIZED
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.
ONLINE MARKETING WITH LINKEDIN
SOURCE: L. Garver, Career Hub Blog, Part 2
We highlighted Louise’s first part and feel part
2 might be compelling reading for some.
-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
-Be up-to-date and consistent.
STUDENT SERVICES USING ALUMNI
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.
STOLEN CELL PHONES
SOURCE: G A Fowler, WSJ 5-29-14, D1
“...to 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
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
- 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
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
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.