How to Improve the Likelihood of a Job Offer After a Interview

Posted in Uncategorized

It is interview season for many recent college graduates and veteran jobseekers looking for  new opportunities. To ensure success, there are a few things that a jobseeker can do to improve the likelihood of a callback after a phone interview or a preliminary face-to-face one.  Some of these techniques are well outlined in an article in today’s NY Times Business section entitled  “Had a Job Interview but No Callback? Here’s What to Do Next Time”

While some of these recommendations are fairly obvious, I highly recommend that you review the list of things to do to improve the likelihood of success which is either to get to the next interview level or secure a job offer. Personally, the best advice that I have to offer is to have a positive attitude, exude confidence and do whatever it takes to impress an interviewer so that you can move to the next level. Frequently, many jobseekers have doubts about a job that they may be interviewing for.  In these instances, it is a good idea to forget about those doubts and be totally invested in a winning performance.  Do not tank a job interview because you may not like an interviewer or you have some doubts about whether or not the job is a good fit for you. If a job is not right for you, you can always refuse an offer if one is extended.  The goal of any job interview is to get to the next level or secure an ofter!!!!!!!!

Although US unemployment is at record lows-4.3% (lowest in 16 years), securing a new job is still highly competitive.  To that point, my son, a recent college graduate, is on his third interview (phone screen, face-to-face interview and now a skill-based assessment). Put simply, it’s still tough out there to get a new job.  Therefore, it is incumbent on all job seekers to use whatever tools that are available to them to impress interviewers and move to the next level!

Until next time,

Good luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!


The US Job Market: Too Much Technology or Not Enough?

Posted in BioBusiness, Career Advice, Uncategorized

Depending upon your political views, there are two prevailing economic theories on the existing US job market. From a Trumpian standpoint, technology is the bane of the existence of the American manufacturing sector whereas, from a liberal perspective, technological innovation in the US is not growing as much as it needs to sustain the US economy.  Both perspectives are explored in an article by Neil Irwin in the NY TImes Sunday Business section.

On one hand, many Trumpians believe that the US economy has become too volatile and uncertain. According to Mr. Irwin

The economy has become too volatile and uncertain. Perhaps the dissatisfaction is driven by globalization, automation and the decline of employers’ implicit promises to offer workers jobs through thick and thin. These factors have made it harder for people to get good-paying jobs and to hold onto them for decades. High levels of inequality mean many of the benefits of growth don’t accrue for people at the middle and bottom of the pay scale.

All of this has hammered people without an advanced education and left them feeling unmoored and without opportunity, even if by narrow measurements jobs are plentiful and compensation is rising.….In short, one could summarize this set of complaints as the economy’s having become too dynamic for its own good.

On the other hand, the counter argument goes like this:

 A new report from the Economic Innovation Group, a research outfit funded largely by technology executives, suggests that the real problem isn’t too much dynamism but too little.

They cite federal data showing that in 1977, more than 16 percent of firms in the United States were less than a year old, a figure that had fallen to half that by 2014. New businesses have similarly done less to power new jobs than they once did, while the biggest, oldest firms account for a rising share of economic activity. Market concentration increased for two-thirds of industries between 1997 and 2012, the report found. That coincided with a steady rise in corporate profits as a share of gross domestic product, and in a decline in the share going to workers’ wages.

The job market has become less fluid. The proportion of workers who change jobs in a given year has fallen from 12 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2015….

Most startlingly, the creation of new companies has been concentrated in a small number of metropolitan areas: Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. From 2010 to 2014, those five regions created as many net new businesses as the rest of the country combined. If you didn’t live in them, or were unwilling to move to them, you were out of luck.

Put simply, the US economy and job market is not dynamic enough.

Irwin offers two different remedies to address either idea:

If you look at globalization as the main problem, you might see some Trumpian renegotiation of trade deals and arm-twisting to get companies to keep jobs at home as being in order. But you could also argue for a more generous social safety net and government funding for retraining.

If you believe that increased market concentration is a central problem, you might consider tougher antitrust enforcement, a favorite of liberals, but also explore conservative arguments that complex regulation creates an unfair advantage for big companies that can employ scores of lawyers.

Finally, Irwin concludes:

Of course, the too much versus too little dynamism diagnoses aren’t mutually exclusive; there are probably elements of truth in both. Maybe the economy really isn’t working for many Americans because globalization, automation and changing labor practices have thrown them to the wolves. But maybe there are also deep-seated structural shifts preventing communities and individuals from tapping the great opportunities the modern economy offers.

The point here is, that the American economy/ job market change rapidly and jobseekers must learn to quickly adapt to remain employed.  Further, contrary to Trump’s simple minded rhetoric, there is no quick fix for the US job market. To that point, saving a few corporate jobs here and there and threatening companies who move manufacturing outside of the US may sound good, but in the end, it is no substitute to a coherent well-thought-out job strategy to help displaced workers get the jobs that they so desperately want and need.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

Some Sobering Statistics About Today's Job Market

Posted in Career Advice

I mistakenly received the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) rather than the NY Times today and while I think that the WSJ is a great example of unabashedly biased journalism, there was an article in the publication about today’s job market that contained some interesting statistics.

The article entitled “Gloom Widespread As College Grads Face New Math” offered the following:

  • Unemployment among college graduates is 4.2% vs. 9.7% for high school grads
  • Eighty percent of recently-polled white male college grads believe the economy is heading in the wrong direction
  • Wages for employees with four-year college degrees fell 8.6% between 2000 and 2010
  • The unemployment rate for recent college graduates is 10.7% as compared with an overall unemployment rate of approximately 9.1%
  • More than 14% of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 (ca. 5.9 million) are living with their parent and nearly 25% of them have college degrees

These are pretty sobering facts about the job market in the one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Is it any wonder why the Occupy Wall Street movement is gaining traction among American college age youths?   As recommended by the article’s author it may be time for Americans to follow the advice of the actor Peter Finch (Howard Beale) in the satirical 1976 movie Network

"I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs… And go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out and yell, ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!"

If you truly feel like doing this maybe you ought to find your way down to the Occupy Wall Street protest!!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!


The Job Market: Dressing For Success

Posted in Career Advice

Last month, while I was presenting my seminar “Interviewing Insights and Tips: Winning That Next Job” at the Experimental Biology Meeting in New Orleans, LA, I realized that I hadn’t covered what to wear to a job interview. Until the meeting, I didn’t think I had to  mention— that while interviewing men—must wear suits (and appropriately-colored, professional-looking shoes) and women should wear suits with pants (or a skirt with an appropriate length) and shoes with reasonable heels (usually less than 3 inches). I saw more cleavage, bare thighs and high heels, not to mention men with atrocious footwear choices at the meeting than I care to admit. Not that I am a prude or complaining about the cleavage, thighs or high heels that I observed—what red-blooded American male would?  That said, it is vitally important to remember that there are professional dress codes that everyone is expected to adhere to while on the job or at national, regional or local professional meetings.

Phyllis Korrki, who writes the Career Couch for the New York Times, wrote a great piece on professional attire in this past Sunday’s Times that I think every prospective job candidate or employee ought to read. And, when it comes to cleavage, exposed thighs and high heels in professional settings she had recommendations similar to mine. She wrote “Women think they have to dress sexy to get noticed in the work world. It’s what they see on campus and what they see on TV and in movies. Cleavage is not a corporate look or what you want to be remembered for. The same goes for very short skirts and extremely high heels. Also, make sure the top of your thong, if you wear one, doesn’t show above your pants.” 

For you guys, as a rule of thumb, wear black shoes with gray, blue and black suits and brown shoes with all others. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

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While we scientists are trained to ignore appearance and not pay attention to dress codes—the reality is—the way you look may make the difference between having a job or not!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!


Job Market For Bioscientists May Be Better Than Expected

Posted in BioJobBuzz

The US economy has lost about 7.1 million jobs since December 2007 and nationwide unemployment is hovering around 8.5 percent. Despite the lost of  about 80,000 pharmaceutical jobs over the past three years and unprecedented consolidation taking place in the life sciences sector—Merck-Schering Plough, Pfizer-Wyeth and Roche-Genentech—the job prospects for scientists at biotech companies, medical devices and diagnostics, and government appear to be stronger than anticipated. While drug discovery and sales jobs may be scare, there are rapidly emerging opportunities in the fields of medical communications, regulatory affairs, biomanufacturing, clinical trials management , bioengineering, medical devices/diagnostics and website development and management.

President Obama’s promise to restore science to its rightful place, his reversal of the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and an unwavering commitment to alternate energy technologies suggest that the future may be very bright for bioscientists. For example, there are massive hiring initiatives at federal agencies like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Unites States Department of Agriculture (UDSA) — as the Obama administration attempts to overall these agencies— and funding levels at the National Institutes of Health are on the rise (aided in part by a $200 million Challenge Grant stimulus program).

While the road to economic recovery may be a long one, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are currently engaged in life sciences research should “stay the course and not jump ship just yet.” The life sciences industry is more recession proof than others and it will be one of the first to experience an economic turn around. And, when it does it is best to prepared to find a job!

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

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How to Keep Your Job Whether or Not We're in a Recession

Posted in Career Advice

Over the past few weeks, I have seen many posts on various career and job blogs offering people advice and tips on how to hold on to their current jobs. In my opinion, most of these posts didn’t offer any new or insight tips on this topics. Instead most of the suggestions were obvious and rather pedestrian. For example, be pleasant to your boss, show up on time, don’t leave before the official work day ends, volunteer to take on new projects yada, yada, yada.

While these suggestions may help to some extent, I think that the best way to keep a job is to think strategically and learn how to manage it to your maximum benefit regardless of prevailing economic conditions. In other words don’t wait until you are in a precarious situation to become a model employee. With this in mind, I came across an extremely insightful article on job retention in the business section of today’s NY Times.

The author, who has been a practicing psychologist for 22 years and a “boss” for the past couple of years, provides insights on job retention from both employee and managerial perspectives. I highly recommend that you read this article—even I learned a thing or two!!!

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting (hang on to your current one if you can—its tough out there)!!!!



Some Interesting Statistics for Job Seekers

Posted in Career Advice

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but according to a recent survey of 3,000 job seekers conducted by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas the time it takes to find a job is growing longer. For example, the median time for job searches conducted by those winning positions grew from 3.6 months in the second quarter to 4.4 months in the third quarter of 2008. Also, it found that 13.4% of job seekers relocated to take new positions in the third quarter of 2008. While this is up from a first quarter figure of 8.9%, it is still lower than the percentage of job seekers (15%-16%) who relocated in 2006 and part of 2007. 

As layoffs increase and the US economy worsens the percentage of people willing to relocate for new positions will likely increase even as home prices continue to fall. Unfortunately, some job seekers may find themselves trapped (despite a willingness to relocate) because of an inability to sell their homes. Put simply, this may be one of the toughest job markets in recent history.

However, as a well known recruiter once told me: “All too often, job seekers allow themselves to get mired in the doom and gloom of a failing job market. However, if they can remember to approach a job search with a mindset of “all I need is a single job offer” then they will undoubtedly be successful.” That said, while your next job may not be the one that you really wanted, simply having a job is what matters in uncertain financial times.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!!!