Author Archive

Resources for Learning How to Use LinkedIn

Job Search, Networking, Resources No Comments »


The Start-Up of You, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

I’m on LinkedIn – Now What?  Jason Alba

How to REALLY Use LinkedIn  Jan Vermeiren and Bert Verdonck
(free download at

LinkedIn Success  Wayne Breithbart

Job Searching With Social Media  Joshua Waldman

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Other Resources and Articles About LinkedIn – Online  member success stories using LI  information on webinars and videos about LI  info on Job Seeker Premium within LI  less-than-totally-flattering blog July 23, 2013 about LI letting applicants “pay” for top listing among candidates = controversy about LI Premium value   free download from Joshua Waldman’s website  for undergrads  infographic on LI usage (5-2013)  a wiki loaded with info on LI  to get a map of one’s network  good info on LI

Grim Job News for Academics

Big Picture Thoughts, Job Search, The Economy No Comments »

It was so easy to find grim news on tenure-track jobs for academics in general (not just historians and anthropologists), that I’m going to include links to a few of the best and yet the most depressing articles, just for your night-time reading enjoyment.  (Note that not all are from the immediately recent past; the problems have been building for more than a few days.)

Academics Receiving Government Aid, (2012)
Four Academics on Food Stamps, (2012)
The PhD Now Comes With Food Stamps, (2012)  These three articles in the Chronicle of Higher Ed in May, 2012, spawned a series of articles in other publications, including the Huffington Post, Number of PhD Recipients Using Food Stamps Surged During Recession: Report, (2012) and Adjunct Nation,  When Faculty Can No Longer Teach: PhDs on Foodstamps Center Stage in Academe, (2012)

State Budgeters’ View of Higher Education, (2013) A report from the National Association of State Budget Officers, described in Inside Higher Ed, unsurprisingly finds that many states have cut funding for higher education – more than for prisons and Medicaid, and warns that tuition raises will not be enough to save the institutions.

Is Your College Going Out of Business? (2013)  Mark Cuban’s startling article generated a storm of comment (760 within just a few months), most of whom agreed with him, and while the article spotlights undergrad education, if public research institutions should “go out of business,” grad schools will go with…

A Grim Year on the Academic Job Market for Historians, (2012) from AHA, Perspectives on History (The title of this article, and the sad facts, could be repeated with any number of academic disciplines, mostly humanities and social sciences, but the “harder” sciences are not immune to the threat.)

Here are two more, earlier articles full of devastating statistics, which generated a storm of comments. But not much changed.
The Disappearing Tenure Track Job, (2009), Inside Higher Ed
The Disposable Academic, (2010)  from The Economist

The Chronicle Launches the Adjunct Project, (2013)   The Chronicle of Higher Education recently launched an interesting “Project,” which it terms a “tool.” They began collecting salary data from individuals teaching as adjuncts, and the site now allows a search of adjunct salary data from individual institutions. It also offers advice on working as an adjunct (and teaching).  It may be a little too scary for good bedtime reading.

Actually, most of these articles are a bit too scary for good bedtime reading…


Networking Success Stories

Job Search, Networking No Comments »

I’ve just discovered LinkedIn’s new blog of networking success stories (only 5 so far), written by members of LinkedIn, who have achieved something desirable while using LinkedIn. Interestingly, only one is a job-getting success.

You can find them all linked above, but in case you don’t have time at the moment…

  • One is how a mother (and television producer) was able to find and connect patients and parents of patients with rare diseases and doctors who treat them, and she was able to bring media attention to the problem.
  • Another is how an author got a book contract with a major publisher, by connecting with the publsher’s rep.
  • Another is how an unemployed undergrad landed several job offers, including her dream job.
  • Another is how the Board of a non-prof filled its membership by searching LinkedIn for the kind of people (qualified and local) they wanted to participate with them on the Board.
  • The last one is how it happened that an American science writer was invited to Rome to report on a little-known-in-America award for the sciences and humanities (because the awards committee searched for an American to offer the expense-paid trip).

The authors tell their stories here, and how they did it, or how it happened for them. I encourage you to read these stories and take heart. In the spirit of  “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus….” –  Yes, you can do this too.

Some Tips:

Recognize that you have a much greater chance of being found if you have completed your profile, and if you demonstrate that you are worth being found (and contacted).  I don’t mean that you have to be a super-guru in your field, but you do have to show that you’re involved in your work, that you have a genuine interest/knowledge in it, and that you are “approachable.”

Have contact information on your profile.

Remember that networking can include giving as well as getting. Only some of the authors above were searching for success, or trying to make something happen for themselves.  Some of them were found because someone else was searching for them, and some of them were doing something altruistic.

It seems most fitting to end with a quote, the last sentences in the first story —-

“You can find almost anyone on LinkedIn. A great question to ask when you get connected with someone on LinkedIn is: What can I do to help you?” – quote by Cari Levy

What’s The New “Endorsement” Feature In LinkedIn All About?

Networking, Resources No Comments »

More of my colleagues are noticing the new feature on LinkedIn, called Endorsements, which began appearing as an option in September of this year.  By now, a good amount of air (and electronic words) have been used in discussing it.  Most of us either love it or hate it, and apparently LinkedIn plans to keep it.  Here’s a fairly balanced article on it from Forbes, that includes a number of useful tips on actually using it.

I suggest that you read the article and consider your options, especially that of selecting your skills and listing at least ten?

Can I further suggest that you list what we might call your “motivated skills”?  They’re  the ones you prefer using, not the ones you have to struggle to make yourself get started on doing.

That way, you’ll be suggesting to readers of your profile (including recruiters), that they keep you in mind when they are looking for someone to help with the particular skills that you most enjoy and will probably continue improving.

You do not want to list skills that you struggled to learn in grad school, that you did to pass the course or write the thesis, and would have to re-learn before you could use that skill at an employer’s level of expectation.

Career Book Bargains for Holidays

Resources No Comments »

Just thought I’d throw in a note about the Kindle mania that is at least temporarily causing some authors to lower their book prices – and you don’t even have to have a Kindle to save money.

For example, all of Martin Yate’s Knock ‘Em Dead series of career books (on job search, resumes, cover letters, etc.) have now been made available on Kindle, and they’re on sale at Amazon for $1.99 each – but only until December 15 (five more days from now).  That’s not a bad price for the books that are normally priced around $10 each for paperbacks.

You can find the Kindle versions of Yate’s books here, and you can find all the versions here.

If you want to download Kindle’s software to read on your PC, try this link. (I actually prefer to read nonfiction on my larger PC screen.)




for UW PCP

Big Picture Thoughts, Resources No Comments »

PostDoc Stories  (background, situation, emotions, solution, lesson)  and resources  (followed by a series of links to articles of interest to postdocs)   2012 webinar on leaving the bench (also see a list of other articles here on career path changes)  a blog on science bench problems   links to thoughtful articles on a variety of relevant topics (grad school, post docs, non-academic careers, professional issues, big picture and career management)

Some Useful Online Websites for Career and Job Search (free)

Job Hunter’s Bible  – for basic career-design information (classic Richard Bolles, who wrote the equally classic What Color Is Your Parachute?)

The Riley Guide  – for basic skill building in job hunt

Job-Hunt  – for articles and literally thousands of links to information on the job search, anywhere in the U.S.
Job-Hunt for Washington State Only
Dr. Kate Duttro’s articles on Careers for Academics on Job-Hunt

The Versatile Ph.D.  – for multiple forums on the topic of careers after (and before) the Ph.D., written and read by current students, post-docs and alumni of varing degree

UW Career Center Articles on Academic Careers   -for articles, relevant UW events and other resources relating to academic careers

UW Career Center Articles on Careers Beyond Academia    -for articles, relevant UW events and other resources relating to careers beyond academia

Jibber Jobber and Fresh Transition  – for two sites  that help you plan, organize and track your job search (and contacts)

Wordle   – for a new way (using Word Clouds) to check the match between your resume and job descriptions

Preptel   – for articles on Applicant Tracking Systems  (click Resources for articles)

 Visual CV  – for a career portfolio website that you can use to store and display your choice of your career materials

Tools for Self-Assessment

All of these tools are available to anyone. Cost ranges from free to low-cost, but it’s important to have have help to make sense of it, to see how insights can be applied to your own situation and what they mean to you as an individual.

UW Career Guide DS Exercise pages     The basic exercises on these pages can be used to draw out your Dependable Strengths, which in turn, give clues to one’s preferred ways of working.

VIA Survey    The (free) VIA Survey includes a listing of your Character Strengths. (The full 18-page report can be purchased for $20.)

Strengths Finder  Assessments    The code is accessed through several books by  Marcus Buckingham, Douglas Clifton and/or Tom Rath (Gallup organization)  Three of these books are:  Now, Discover your Strengths (Buckingham and Clifton), Go Put Your Strengths to Work (Buckingham) and Strengthsfinder 2.0 (Rath)

Reach Personal Branding Assessment    Another tool that may bring out important clues, in a very different way.  (Basic tool is free, but needs interpretation.)




How Long Does It Take To Get a Government Job?

Job Search, The Economy No Comments »

I recently got this question and am sorry to tell you that the only possible answer is, “It depends.”

I have seen both extremes in the government hiring process (when I was a career counselor at a major university). The stereotype we hear is “about six months….” and it’s as good an answer as any – in general.

One extreme case I remember was a grad student in International Affairs, who was focusing on Eastern European Studies. He waited nearly three years for his state department job to come through. (That is, he was on the list of approved hires for that long, before a position actually came open!)  This was the longest waiting period I have heard of.

I also remember getting a call from a government agency hiring manager who was about to attend a campus career fair the next day, who wanted to me to alert the students in a particular discipline that her local agency office had just received a budget increase and they had to be able to hire three people within the next ten days, or they would lose the money.  That was the shortest government hiring period I ever heard of.

Here’s another situation I heard of occasionally (which is more common for entry-level jobs, especially those at bachelor degree levels). You can recognize these when you see a job listed as open, but there’s no application deadline. It usually means that an agency is simply collecting applications in anticipation of hiring a large number of people at the same time, with the same job title, but at different locations across the country. (I’ve seen them for the Forest Service and National Park Service, but many other agencies have multiple openings, too.)  Again, the actual date of hiring may depend on that agency’s budget, and they want to have a number of applicants in reserve when the budget increases, or in case the money comes through at the last minute. (Think congressional approval …..)

In some ways, you can look at the patience you may need while waiting for a government job as part of the criteria for being able to work happily in government – it is a bureaucracy, after all, with all the pros and cons that come along with it.

International Students Studying in the US Need to Know Early About H-1B Visas

Job Search, The Economy No Comments »

Especially if you are in grad school in the US, it is in your best interest to know about how H-1B visas work, if you hope to work in the US for 1-2 years after you attain your degree. The number is capped and all the slots may be filled early in the year. Even if you plan to graduate in June, your job search should begin by January or earlier, to have a better chance for one of those visas.

If you are applying to a large business organization, check to see if they have H-1B visas available before you spend great effort applying. If not, go find another employer who will have or has H-1B visas for the year when you expect to graduate.

Note that few small U.S. businesses know about the H-1B visa process. If you find a small business that wants to hire you, you may have to help them get you through the process. (The more you know about it very early in your student career, the more you’ll be able to move through the process to get the outcome you want.)

Two important points to be aware of:

  • A limited number of H-1B visas are given annually – 85,000 this year, and only 20,000 are reserved for graduates of US universities
  • US Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting H-1B applications in early April this year (for new employees to begin October 1), and all visas were gone by early June.

According to attorney Carl Shusterman, who specializes in recruiting issues, in an article in Recruiting Trends, “Of these 85,000 visas, 20,000 are reserved for persons in possession of an advanced degree from a university in the U.S. Last year, the 20,000 cap was reached on October 28, while the 65,000 cap was reached less than one month later on November 22. This year, all 85,000 visas were already exhausted in early June.”

Note that there are some exceptions to the H-1B rule, in that some kinds of organizations are exempt and can hire without the H-1B. This includes accredited public higher education institutions and their affiliated nonprofits, as well as research organizations (nonprofits and governmental).

However, in all cases, to get details that apply specifically to you, see your campus office that serves international students, and/or find an immigration attorney for clarification.

Is Your Resume Obsolete?

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Our online identities are increasing in importance just as our resumes are declining.

This REALLY interesting article in the Wall Street Journal/Careers explains that more employers are going beyond resumes to source candidates for their positions.  It’s like a huge signpost pointing to the need for all of us to pay more attention to our professional online identity. Read No More Resumes, Say Some Firms and you’ll actually want to begin work on your LinkedIn profile – even Twittering, let alone updating your Facebook pages!

But beyond your online identity as a profile (which usually is a thinly veiled resume), how can you show up as interesting enough to an employer be found?  And valued?  The author, Rachel Emma Silverman, describes several creative ways that companies are using social media to find people they want, based on what they can see in their online activities.

What I see is that these creative employers are looking for candidates’ strengths that happen to match company needs.

(Full link to article – )

For more information on finding your own strengths, come back, I’ll be posting more on that soon.



for PSCDA, 4-7-2012

Job Search, Networking, Resumes No Comments »


“Assessment” Tools for Discovering and Articulating Strengths   360 Reach Personal Branding assessment tool (Basic tool is free)   Dependable Strengths (self-assessments)  Clifton StrengthsFinder  (1.0 and 2.0)  Code accessed through several books by  Marcus Buckingham, Douglas Clifton and/or Tom Rath (Gallup organization)  Realise2 (Marketed as a strengths assessment AND development tool)  VIA Classification and Inventory of Strengths (Billed as the scientific study of character, and the “backbone” of the science of positive psychology”


Articles on (and Definitions of) Social Media and Job Search Techniques   (a search on Mashable for job search and social media 2012)  (pretty current)  Social Media and Job Search   Social recruiting and your job search,  by Alison Doyle  How to use social media in your job search,  by Alison Doyle


Top Social Networking Sites (and Articles, Reviews and Comparisons)    (April 2012)  2012 Social networking Website Comparisons article by Don Peppers


For more current, and very lively, discussions of job search, resume techniques, cover letters and anything job-search related, look at LinkedIn’s  Career Central Group – managed by Phil Rosenberg (an uber-connector, recruiter and prolific writer of inflammatory articles on related topics)   company has developed an ATS-look-alike computer process (called Resumeter) to “grade” resumes for “Fit” with a job description – claims that ATS determines the keywords and phrases used (for Resumeter™, sign up for 7 days free – normally $25/month after that)
…Articles of particular interest on the resources part of the site  “Technology: Foe or Friend?”
Information cited:
…At most companies, computers read your resume, not humans.
…About 75% of resumes are discarded for low word match..
…More than 20% of resumes have formatting issues (per machines).
…Only 1% of total applicants get an interview.
…worthy of a news flash: Today, most employers no longer share your résumé with hiring managers. Hiring managers receive a summary report generated by Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software that removes bias-causing problems, tracks EEOC compliance and performance, and supposedly levels the playing field across the applicant pool. Regardless of how your clients are getting into the company – friend, job board, recruiter, or online application – everyone goes through these ATS systems
….A survey of more than 300 biotech and health care job seekers showed only 20% knew the importance of keywords and the correct way to use them strategically in a résumé. About 80% knew the importance of doing pre-interview company research, but none of them thought about using that research to devise and derive keywords to use in their résumé.
— Quotes above from   by Jon Ciampi


Also see   Word Cloud tool


For continuing information on the topic later, see Seattle Career Trainer   ( )