iPhone, Android, iPad, or Nexus – what Apps work for you?

Today's latte, Google Play.

Today’s latte, Google Play. (Photo credit: yukop)

Back in 2012, I asked my subscribers (click here if you would like to subscribe to the newsletter) to tell me what apps they have on their smartphones and tablets.  Here are some of the responses (the programs that are no longer around are strikethrough:

Andrew de Guttadauro, expert in business development (IP, M&A in the biotech world), said, “Here are the ones that I currently favor:
Communication:  Skype (great for saving money when overseas and a wifi connection is in hand)
Organization:  Evernote & Pocket (I’m a big believer in cloud-based software and these two apps work great in tandem to allow one to clip, tag, organize, and store just about anything that comes across a computer, smart phone, tablet, or other similar device)
RSS & News Streamers:  Reeder, Flipboard, Zite, and Feedly (admittedly, this is overkill, but I’m a news and media junkie and these apps all do a wonderful job of combining my RSS feeds, and other news sources of interest, into organized news channels/feeds that are more pleasing than the underlying RSS engine – Google Reader, in my case)
Task Management:  I favor Wunderlist because, like my other apps, it’s platform-agnostic and cloud-based, so I can access my “to do’s” whenever and however I like or need (Remember the Milk is a good alternative)
Data and Info Storage:  Dropbox is great, but it’s important people realize that Dropbox isn’t especially secure as the company wants to give users the choice of security/encryption software so it’s important to use 2-step authentication plus “True Crypt” if using Drop Box to store anything even remotely sensitive
E-mail:  I use the native Apple app for Outlook but favor Google’s Gmail app to access the latter service (despite it being from Google, this app could use additional improvements).  I also recommend using Xobni if possible, to help sift through Outlook more efficiently.
News and Sports:  ESPN, Huffington Post, The Atlantic
Travel:  Kayak
Web:  Chrome’s my favored browser on all devices
– Shopping:  Amazon (via app on iPhone or via browser and website on iPad), Target app
– Dining:  Open table, Yelp (applicable in the shopping category as well)
Social Media:  LinkedIn
– Bookmarks:  X-Marks
– Media:  Amazon streaming, Netflix streaming, Hulu Plus, HBO GO

That pretty much covers the apps.  I would recommend to everyone that 2-step authentication should be used on any site where it can be enabled and that separate signups be used on any site where possible (never use Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn username/passwords to access other sites as you’re needlessly exposing yourself to sequential hacking).  Finally, I use a password management tool but do not have the app loaded on either smart phone or tablet as it makes me too antsy viz. potential loss of the device. I also don’t have bank or insurance apps loaded on my devices for the same reason and would recommend using such apps only if you don’t keep permanently signed in to either (I’d rather access such info through the added hassle of the web browser instead).

I hope this proves helpful and look forward to hearing what others are using.”

These are available in both Apple and Android.  Reeder, True Crypt, Xnobi and X-Marks are Apple-specific.

Personally, and many devices later, I have many that Andrew had and some others.  They do multiply!!



Navigation (Google maps)
News & Weather (native Android)
Calendar (native Android)
Contacts (native Android)
Messenger/Messaging/Voice Message
Voice Recorder
Voice Search
Gmail and my other emails
Adobe Reader
Out of Milk (but only for grocery shopping)
an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a music player
Kindle and Play Books
and my camera and gallery
Plus more, of course.

I’ve only linked a few of these, all the rest can be found at the app marketplaces. 

What do you have on yours?

What do LinkedIn and romance novels set in the 18th century have in common?

18th century Redingote A Promenade 1797 - LinkedIn and romance novels

How can LinkedIn and romance novels set in the 1800’s have anything in common?

Have you read (in Jane Austin novels) how people would get all dressed up and go to the park at a certain time to “promenade”? What do LinkedIn and romance novels have in common?

It is the place to see and be seen – followed up by invitations to tea/coffee. Not much has changed – it is now simply virtual – LinkedIn is the place to see and be seen and now we drink more coffee than tea. 

LinkedIn and romance novels and 1960's promenade

Is your LinkedIn profile “all dressed up”?

Do you have all of the parts of LinkedIn filled and showing your very best “dragon-slaying stories”? Or do you just have your name, current title and employer and perhaps the last job you held?

Can we even tell if you might be interested in a job we may be looking to fill?

  • Are you using the keywords that a recruiter or hiring manager may be looking for?
  • Are you following your college so that your old college pals can find you?
  • Are you in groups that your “tribe” belongs to?     

Is your picture professional and recognizable?

First, do you have a picture on your profile?  Can we recognize you if we met at Starbucks? Do you look employable? Professional? Since LinkedIn changed where they put the picture, be sure to look straight ahead into the camera.

Can the casual viewer figure out how to get in touch with you outside of the LinkedIn protocol?

Some people feel that LinkedIn can make them too vulnerable to identity theft. But you can get around that a bit by using an email address only for LinkedIn (and perhaps Google+).  Don’t allow people to see your phone number, don’t use your middle initial, etc.  But if people can’t look you up, a resume to an online job posting won’t get you seen either.

It is not what you know,
or even who you know.

It is who knows you. 


Do you need someone to optimize your LinkedIn Profile? click here

Changing industries?

Kerry Hannon on changing industries“Changing industries? Meet people. If there’s a particular industry you’re interested in, join an association affiliated with it.  Look for volunteer opportunities in that field. Attend industry and professional meetings and conferences. Glom on to alumni groups and the career center at your alma mater where can find help with resumé polishing and smoothing your interviewing skills along with offering networking opportunities. Join LinkedIn. It’s great way to build a professional network. Employers troll it for perspective hires.” Kerry Hannon


Kerry has great points!


In addition:


Immerse yourself in the new industry – subscribe to trade magazines, learn as much as you can about the industry, Google it, subscribe to blogs about it, look for groups on LinkedIn, see if there are groups on Facebook, look for the Twitter hashtag, see if YouTube has any videos about it, go to a physical library and ask at the information desk, read the trade magazine there, find out which companies are in the industry in your town.


Is this industry at all close to the one you want to leave? The biotech development of drugs is not much different from the development of biofuels.  The auto industry has much in common with the large appliance industry (big metal box with lots of moving parts bought by consumers).  What do you know that could be of use in the new industry?


What are the overlapping functions?  Are you in one of them?  For example: Finance and accounting takes place in all industries and even non-profits.  Sales crosses many industries and technical sales does as well. Research may well transfer.


Where are you coming from and where do you want to go?  Do you have a list of skills?  Check out O-Net the latest version of the Directory of Occupational Titles that the Department of Labor puts out. Which of your skills match those used in your preferred industry?  Check out the advanced search function on O-Net.


There are many things to do in the world, many occupations.  What do you want yours to be?  Only you can choose.


What do you think?  Comment on this post!





Do You Use These Alternatives to Your Resume?

There has been quite a bit written about alternatives to resumes these days.  But can you get away with just your LinkedIn profile?


Résumé (Photo credit: Michael Paul Escanuelas)

A résumé is a marketing piece designed to get you the interview, not the job.  It is also a scratch pad for the interviewer.  Either way it is a summation or abstract of your work history, not your whole life  or even your whole work history, on two pieces of paper.  Even a biography is edited.  If you have ever tried to document a whole day of your life with pictures and posts, you know that a résumé must be edited.  It only needs to go back 10 years, but it must address the problem(s) that the particular interviewer is trying to solve by hiring someone.

It is only one piece of your marketing collateral.

The others could be:

A number of separate hard-copy marketing pieces: If you are in sales or business development, your sales record or your deal sheet. If you are in early research, your publications list or patents.  What are you proud of in your job?

Your CV

– curriculum vitae or the story of your education and work, publications, speeches, articles, books and book chapters.

Your LinkedIn profile

– don’t waste this space by simply posting your generic resume, use it to highlight those things that you like to do and are good at doing.

Get your free LinkedIn Profile Checklist here

Google+/Google Profiles

– This is one of the hot new things, especially for the tech world at the moment

Your Facebook profile

– more casual but do edit your life on this; it is public and there may well be things that you don’t want the entire world to see.

Your Twitter page

– choose a nice background and do some editing of the things you have posted.

Your personal website or blog

– show what you are good at, write about the issues in your field, take a stand or ask a question.

Your video resume

(posted somewhere or sent as a free-standing document).  The point of this is really to answer the question of your personal presentation: Do you dress appropriately for the job?  Is your speech clear and understandable to the hiring manager?  Do you have any quirks or tics that might become annoying over time.  Do you seem self-confident and capable?

Your YouTube postings or channel

– can you do a presentation about your skills? Or is this your video resume?

An Infographic (re.vu, visualize.me and kinzaa.com)

— best used for graphic design jobs, this is the latest on the scene.  Some are excellent, but none can be read by Applicant Tracking Systems.  Consider this as an extra that you take with you to an interview or something that you post on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.  It should not be your only marketing piece.

Remember that each of these must be targeted to your audience.  A hiring manager may well want to see your CV, but has no time for a video (free standing or on YouTube).  A recruiter or HR person wants something that fits into her workflow and if you make her download your LinkedIn profile she may simply pass on your candidacy.

We have entered the age of marketing, brand marketing and personal marketing, employment marketing and candidate marketing.  There is information galore on the internet to help you learn, but remember that no marketing piece gets you a job.  Only you in an interview can do that.

Are you in the biosciences?  Want to talk about your job search strategies?  Book a call here

Job Search Tip #45 – Target Your Networking

Targeted Networking

Networking takes time, energy and even a little money.

You don’t actually want to network with everybody.  Billions and billions of people in the world!  You don’t have the time! 

You don’t actually want a job at just any company.  You want one at a company that will be interesting and use your skills and expertise appropriately.

So you must make some decisions: what companies interest you?  Why?  What is the criteria for an interesting company?  Which ones meet those criteria?

Who do you know who works at each one of those interesting companies?  I bet your mother-in-law’s cousin does not.  But your former college roommate might.

Tools to use in your networking include LinkedIn, Google+, LabRoots, even FaceBook and Twitter.  Are you using them?



Finding and being found

So how does finding your next job really work? Some people, when about to lose a job or just after finishing an assignment, think of themselves as “being available for reassignment” or “available”.  This may work for rock stars, star athletes and other people, famous for their particular skills and expertise, but it really does not for the majority of workers.  If it does work for you, stop reading.

For the rest of us, job search really is about finding and being found.  You have to do both.  Waiting to be found is like being the average-looking high school good girl who is “available” but still doesn’t get asked to the dance because the average high school boy just didn’t ask.  


message in a bottleSo how can you find the right next job and how can you be found? 

The first step is to know what skills and expertise you have and how to express those skills in the language of the people you want to know about them.  The internet has given us the expression “keywords”.  These are words and phrases used in your area of expertise that are searched for by recruiters, used in job postings, spoken by hiring managers when they ask HR to find someone and used over the cafeteria tables by the teams that work for them.  They are specific and technical.  They are rarely aspirational or even motivational.  Do you know what your keywords are?

You can find your keywords in your old resumes, your old performance reviews, your old profiles.  A better place to find them is in the profiles of people with titles you want, job descriptions of jobs you want, on the websites of the companies you are most interested in and in conversation with the people in the companies you want.

Some examples:

  • Actinobacteria
  • Bacillus
  • Bacteroides
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Drug Discovery
  • Escherichia coli
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Operon
  • Pseudomonas

Yes, it is very specific and won’t find you “Any job” (as in “I want a job, any job”).  It will enable you to manage a career you really want.  Remember that hiring managers don’t hire generically, they hire to solve a specific problem.  Yes, they do want more than that, but to get in the door, you have to speak their language.

How do you use these keywords to be found?

Use them, in natural language and in lists, in your online profiles, your introductions, your resumes, your conversation, your posts and comments on LinkedIn Groups and G+ Communities and BioWebSpin Public postings and wherever people look at you. (Well, not on a sign around your neck at the grocery store!)  Work them into your PAR statements and “dragon-slaying stories”.  And make it sound natural, not like you just plunked them in randomly.  You need to sound like you actually know what a “metabolic network” (or whatever your keyword is) is and why it is important. 

What doesn’t work:

Using “fluff” words or overused desperate phrases like:

  • Highly qualified
  • Results focused
  • Effectual leader
  • Has talent for
  • Energetic
  • Confident
  • Professional
  • Successfully
  • Proactive

You need to show that you are these things using your keywords in PAR statements. 

detective with magnifying glass 700x900Yesterday I received by US Post a well written letter on expensive paper from an experienced Executive Vice President of Operations for a medical group.  He is looking for a job. I’m not sure he is finding one. Never mind that I don’t work in that particular part of the industry.   I’m sure he hired someone to write the letter and send it for him.  I can pick out the keywords, but it isn’t easy.  I have no idea what his medical group specialized in (and medicine is very specialized).  I know he is a Vet, I know his phone number.  I can reach him only by US mail or by phone and no way to email him.  His lovely letter went in the recycle bin.  Do all recruiters do that?  Probably.  Some have “do not send a resume” notes on their websites, some take resumes but simply warehouse them until (if ever) they get a search.  Some few will connect with him, but what is the ROI on his investment in hiring a writer and sending these willy-nilly. 

If I were in his specific part of the “healthcare” industry, I would look him up on LinkedIn. So for this article I did.  Now that I have seen it, I’m a bit more interested.  He has some background in my industry –  Parexel, Pfizer and clinical trials operations.  These did not appear in his letter. Most of the letter is rather desperate, focused on why he is looking or rather generic “There is no such animal as a perfect candidate for a healthcare senior executive position”.  Yes, it does finally tell me what position he is interested in (CEO, COO of a medical group) , but I’m a pretty straight forward person with no time to waste. 

I would be happier if he had used the content of his letter (or some portion of it) to invite me to LinkIn with him.  If he had, I would have accepted his invitation (as would most recruiters – but don’t have more than 10% of your LinkedIn connections be recruiters) and let him know that, while I’m glad to be connected, I don’t have anything on my desk at this moment that would suit him.  I would have checked with him as soon as I did.

I would have liked a LinkedIn invitation like this:

Hi, Connie,
Do you recruit COOs and CEOs for medical groups and companies doing clinical trials in X?  I’d love to be connected with you if you do.
I have X years managing teams and a record I’m proud of.  Please take a look at my Profile here (link).
Thanks for your time,

Or if he had found me on LinkedIn, he could have invited me directly.

Remember that we are all very busy.  The harder you make it for someone to notice you, the harder you make it to be found. 

The Right Tools for the Job

tools 3My Dad was a woodworker.  He built furniture. My Mom was a homemaker and baker.  Both of them would always get out the tools and materials needed before they started a project. 

Job search, if nothing else, is a project.  It is not simply a wish.  What tools and materials do you gather to accomplish this project?

The materials you will use are your skills, expertise, desires, career goals, etc.  These will always be unique to each person. 

The tools you use will be used over and over again.  Jobs may only last 3-5 years these days, so you will be doing job search projects at least 6 times in your working life.

The most useful tool is your professional network and the means you use to keep track of it and maintain it. 

I use:

  • Outlook to track my scheduled meetings, calls and coffee dates
  • Access to keep my lists and data (I have all the people I’ve ever talked with about jobs, their contact info, where they work and what their title is, sometimes who their boss is)
  • Excel (as the way to put the info into Access or instead of Access)
  • MailChimp  and AceOfSales to manage my regular emails and newsletter,
  • LinkedIn to keep up with some of my network (not all use it!),
  • Facebook mostly for my non-career network (grandson pictures! And politics!),
  • Google+ to explore this amazing platform and as a supplement to LI and FB
  • Twitter to join the conversations,
  • Pinterest to stay informed visually
  • YouTube to connect with people who prefer this media
  • and some specialized sites like Biowebspin. 

I also use the US Postal Service and cards that my sister makes by hand (such art!). 

But these are general tools, useful for many things.

For a job search, you may want specialized tools like JibberJobber or SuccessHawk.  Although these may be the “mini doughnut maker” or the “120 piece diamond tip carving burr set”, those tools you lust after but never actually use. 

You will also want some lists, checklists and templates.

  • Lists of your skills, the tasks you are competent in and like doing, your expertise, your keywords
  • PAR statements for each problem you have solved
  • Checklists of the process of job search
  • Resume templates
  • Follow up content templates

If you are starting a job search this year, what tools do you already have?  What tools do you need to acquire?  Have you gathered your materials before you start?

Tell me what you prefer!

Networking for the rest of your career

Keep your network shinyThe people you network with now have the potential to be there for the rest of your life

*Keep your network shiny

How can you keep your network shiny? What do you have in common?  Can you introduce them to someone else in your network? Provide an interesting link? Share a babysitter?

*Stay in touch

This means reconnect at least once a year.  Some people once a quarter, others only when they have a birthday or new job. Your best friend, daily?  A physical card, a phone call, an email, LinkedIn…..

*Technology helps

What is your plan for using it to maintain contact with your network?  How much time will it take each week?

Not everyone will be online – Gramma is probably more likely to want you to call and other people are too busy to post often.

Where will you look and how much time will it take to keep your network shiny?

I like Accompany because it scrapes the web, RSS feeds, Facebook and Twitter for postings and mentions of the people and companies you add to it and it provides a dashboard to see it all.

Google Alerts www.google.com/alerts scrapes the web and will let you set alerts for topics or companies or people.

Checking these sites (or the emails they send you) can take as little as 15 minutes a week.  If something special has happened to your contacts you can send off a quick email congratulating them, offering a suggestions, providing a connection, etc. I’m using Contactually for this

How big is your career network? Who, in your industry, knows you?

revised 4/20/17


Job Interview Prep: Are You Keeping Up in the Interview “Arms Race”?

Can you keep up in the Interview “Arms Race”?

by Peggy McKee, Career Coach

Guest Blogger

Recently, I asked this question on LinkedIn:

Do you think that a job seeker has to be MORE prepared than before?

I’ve been thinking about how different the job market is today from even a few years ago.  Between the current economic times and our ridiculously high unemployment rates, I think that candidates have to be more prepared than ever before—do more research, be more assertive, demonstrate their motivation, and go the extra mile in their follow up.  This is what I’m seeing as a recruiter, but I wanted to know if that’s what hiring managers think, too.

I got a very interesting response.  The overwhelming feeling is that yes, job seekers do need to step up their game because it’s an employer’s market now and they are able to pick and choose who they want—and yet they’re very surprised by how many job seekers haven’t gotten the message.

Well, here it is:  the bar has been raised. 

One even called the current job market an “arms race.”  If you want to win, you’ve got to constantly be finding ways to be better than the next guy.

will you win the job competition?

Today’s hiring managers are looking for knowledge, hunger, and creativity in their top candidates.  They are expecting you to bring your “A” game every time.  And if you don’t, they can just wait for the next candidate because it won’t be long.

Here are some of the best job search tips I got from this discussion:

  • Start your interview prep well before you have an interview scheduled.  Two days is not enough time to prepare for an interview.  Get your interview skills down pat and then start looking into companies.
  • Research everything.  The internet has made researching a company very easy, and if you don’t do it, you just look lazy.  Use Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, news articles, everything you can find about the company—mission, goals, obstacles, enemies, and opportunities.
  • Be able to tell the hiring manager what’s in it for him.  Why should he hire you?  What are you bringing that the other candidates can’t?
  • Develop your brand.  That idea throws some people, but it just means to have a consistent message about what you’re an expert at and how you bring value to an employer.  If someone else was going to describe you, what would they say?
  • If interviews are going to be more competitive, you need to generate more interviews.  Give yourself the best chance possible.  Contacting hiring managers directly is the very best way to do that.  And I don’t mean 10 of them, I mean 100 of them.  If you want a job, you need to approach it like it’s your mission in life (and right now, it is).  Go all out.


updated 4/4/17