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November 13, 2000
Volume 78, Number 46
CENEAR 78 46 p.37
ISSN 0009-2347
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A wide variety of tools are available for chemistry career building

Kevin MacDermott
C&EN Washington

The U.S.'s recent economic upswing has given those seeking new jobs something to smile about: There are lots of open positions that need to be filled. There are, however, lots of candidates to fill those jobs. Fortunately, there is no shortage of tools and aids that job seekers and career changers can use to find and secure new positions. Out of the wide selection available, here are a few resources that professionals in the chemical sciences will find useful for career planning.

Internet-based resources

There are literally hundreds of websites designed to make your job search and career decisions easier. It seems as if new sites pop up daily, and each new site makes the search a little bit easier. More and more career research can be done from your home computer, and more and more jobs are being secured this way. But, as we advised last year, don't give up on the Yellow Pages and your local newspapers just yet--instead, check out their Web pages. Several sites offer Yellow Pages services, and many newspapers, such as the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/jobmarket), theLos Angeles Times (http://www.latimes.com/class/employ/), and the Washington Post (http://washingtonpost.com/wl/home.shtml), offer their classified sections online.

http://www.acs.org/careers.html--The American Chemical Society's Office of Career Services site offers visitors links to job postings, career development programs, and job search advice. Some services, however, are available only to ACS members. ChemJobs, for example, has two parts: the Professional Data Bank and the ACS Job Bank. In the Professional Data Bank, ACS members may enter a résumé online, and employers can search the database to find candidates for their job openings. The ACS Job Bank, which can be accessed directly from C&EN Online (http://pubs.acs.org/cen), is a searchable index of jobs listed in the classified section of the past two issues ofChemical & Engineering News as well as ads that appear only on the Internet. The Job Bank has been recently redesigned for easier navigation and accessibility and also features a wide variety of articles from C&EN on career issues. For example, readers can find a new section for women chemists that features additional links to articles and publications on women in science and engineering.

ChemJobs is free to ACS members and student and national affiliates. The service can be found at http://pubs.acs. org/plweb/index1.html.

http://www.academploy.com--The Academic Employment Network Web page lists academic job openings for colleges and primary and secondary schools. Listings are for all levels--administrative through faculty. Visitors can post résumés, review state certification requirements, research various school districts, and browse listings of current openings.

http://www.chemsoc.org/careers/careers.html--Chemsoc, hosted by the U.K.'s Royal Society of Chemistry, features a wealth of chemistry-related jobs in the U.K., as well as a long list of links to international employment resources, and offers advice on résumé (or curriculum vitae) preparation as well as interview techniques.

http://www.chemistry.com/--Called Medzilla, this website concentrates on the career needs of the scientist. Thousands of scientific position openings are posted here. Apply for listed openings, contact a headhunter, browse career-oriented articles, or join an online chat group on Medzilla.

http://www.newscientistjobs.com--In addition to the positions advertised in its print edition, New Scientist magazine offers an online database containing more than 1,000 jobs and various forms of career guidance. Users can even receive weekly e-mail updates on positions fitting their individual criteria. Registration is required, though the services are free. One such service is New Scientist Careers, where those preparing to leave college and look for their first job in the sciences can find advice on job searching, interviewing, applications, and résumés; information on various fields; and personal accounts from fellow job seekers.

http://recruit.sciencemag.org/--On this site visitors can search Science's extensive selection of classified employment ads and find advice on career issues. (Hint: While searching the job list, check areas besides "chemistry," because there are many more chemistry-related positions listed under different headings.) Visitors can also subscribe to Next Wave, a weekly online publication that covers scientific training, career development, and the science job market. Some universities, government agencies, and other organizations have purchased site licenses; see the list of subscribers at http://nextwave.org/misc/info.dtl#sublist. An individual one-year subscription to Science's Next Wave costs $19.95. ACS members have free access to Next Wave through ChemCenter's members-only site, http://www.acs.org/register/html/ccplogin.htm.

http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/--This site is the U.S. government's official employment site, managed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Visitors can browse federal job openings and even apply for vacancies through an online form. (Hint: Use the site's alphabetical job listing option--there are lots of chemistry-related positions here.) Also on the site is information on internships with federal offices, salary and benefit information, and outplacement assistance.

http://www.sciencejobs.com/bio/--Sciencejobs.com--sponsored by BioMedNet, Cell magazine, andNew Scientist magazine--offers a wealth of career guidance and job postings for professionals in the biosciences. (Hint: There is a large selection of openings listed under the "biochemistry" category.)

http://www.careers.wsj.com/--This site has a bit of everything for just about everyone. Published by Dow Jones & Co., the site contains copious information and services, including job listings, discussion of human resources issues, salary information, industry profiles, employment-focused editorials and analysis from Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition editors, and résumé evaluation.

Although they're not geared specifically for scientific careers, large Internet sites such as Yahoo Careers (http://careers.yahoo.com/), Excite's classifieds page (http://www.classified2000.com), CareerPath.com (http://new.careerpath.com/), Job Sleuth (http://www.jobsleuth.com/), and Monster.com (http://www.monster.com/) can boast thousands of listings and a good deal of attention from employers. Monster Talent Market (http://talentmarket.monster.com/), Monster.com's latest project, lets employers bid on users' résumés in a virtual auction.

Books and periodicals

Although the number of career-oriented websites continues to grow, printed sources such as books, magazines, and newspapers are still good sources of valuable career information. Many printed resources, particularly newspapers and magazines, have Internet versions, but in many cases, smaller publications offer only print versions, many of which are available at your local library or by subscription.

"2001 What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers," by Richard Nelson Bolles. Released in October, the updated guide is split into two sections: The first has information on finding a job; the second is a workbook and resource guide to help readers determine their ideal job. The book has its own website, http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/, on which author Bolles offers his own set of resource picks and employment articles. The list price is $16.95.

"Working for Your Uncle: The Complete Guide to Finding a Job with the Federal Government," published by Breakthrough Publications. This second edition, authored by the editors of the Federal Digest, offers readers descriptions of thousands of federal positions and the applications needed to apply for them. Also included is information on the various federal agencies, explanations of practices and terms of hiring, and the contact information for personnel officers. "Working for Your Uncle" is available for $19.95.

"Job Opportunities in Health & Science," published by Peterson's offers company listings, supplied by Hoover's Online (http://www.hoovers.com), that are arranged by state and industry segment. Listings include a description of the company and contact information for its personnel department. The book is available for $18.95. Peterson's publishes several employment-focused books, including "Internships 2001," an annually updated listing of approximately 50,000 internships, and "Job Seeker's Almanac," which is a broader collection of company listings culled from several industries.

"The Directory of Executive Recruiters 2000," published by Kennedy Information LLC. This annually updated reference--now in its 29th edition--lists thousands of recruiters, arranged by specialty and geographic area. Known as the "Red Book," it sells for $44.95 and is available in most bookstores. This year's edition includes a free CD-ROM with additional career advice.

"Career Renewal: Tools for Scientists and Technical Professionals," by Stephen Rosen and Celia Paul. It offers good advice for all job seekers, whether they are looking for their first job or looking to switch careers. The book was reviewed in C&EN (April 6, 1998, page 72). "Career Renewal" sells for $24.95.

"Alternative Careers in Science: Leaving the Ivory Tower," edited by Cynthia Robbins-Roth. Twenty-three scientists who work in "alternative careers"--such as technical writing, venture capital, patents, and research funding--contributed chapters. This book is available in bookstores and costs $29.95.

"Great Jobs for Chemistry Majors," by Mark Rowh, Stephen E. Lambert, and Julie Degalan. This edition of the "Great Jobs" series, published by Vgm Career Horizons, gives chemistry students preparing to enter the working world insights into assessing their own skills and interests and then choosing a career path, writing résumés, interviewing and networking, and evaluating job offers and bonuses. This book sells for $11.95.

"The Scientist As Consultant: Building New Career Opportunities," by Carl J. Sindermann and Thomas K. Sawyer. For those looking for a new tack in their career's course, this book offers advice on starting a consulting group, obtaining start-up funds and initial clients, legal considerations, and dealing with international agencies. "The Scientist As Consultant" sells for $29.95.

"Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2000-01 Edition," published by the Department of Labor. This annually updated reference describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects for several occupations. The handbook is free on the Internet at http://stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm. Hardbound ($51), paperbound ($49), and CD-ROM ($23) versions can be ordered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Publications Sales Center, P.O. Box 2145, Chicago, IL 60690. A companion publication, "Career Guide to Industries, 2000-01 Edition," which includes further information on selected industries, is available for $21.

Most of these books are available in bookstores or through online booksellers such as Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com) and Barnes & Noble's BN.com (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/).

ACS publishes a selection of books that can be useful when looking for a new job or making a career change. The following titles, as well as others published by ACS, can be ordered through the ACS Office of Society Services, phone (800) 227-5558, e-mail: help@acs.org.

"Current Trends in Chemical Technology, Business, and Employment," which provides information on technology, business, economic, R&D, and hiring trends in industry, government, and academe, is free.

"ACS Directory of Graduate Research" is a listing of master's- and Ph.D.-degree-granting departments of chemistry and allied fields in the U.S. and Canada, with names of faculty, their research interests, and lists of their recent publications. The 1999 print edition costs $70 in the U.S. and Canada and $85 internationally. A fully searchable Internet version, DGRweb, is available by subscription at http://pubs.acs.org/dgrweb/.

Despite the ease of posting a vacancy notice on the Internet, many employers prefer to use print to carry their announcements. Classified advertisements are published in many magazines, including C&EN (see page 72 for details on placing an ad) and Chemical Engineering Progress, published by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (see http://www.aiche.org/careerservices/jobs/available.asp).

ACS Career Services

In addition to the online services noted in the Internet resources section, ACS Career Services offers a variety of employment services to ACS members and student affiliates. For more information on the services listed here, contact ACS Career Services, 1155--16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036; phone (800) 227-5558 ext. 4432; e-mail:career@acs.org; Internet: http://www.acs.org/careers.html. Products listed below can be ordered through the ACS Office of Society Services, phone (800) 227-5558, e-mail: help@acs.org.

Publications. "Professional Employment Guidelines," "The Chemist's Code of Conduct," "Coping with Job Loss," "Tips on Résumé Preparation," "What a B.S. Chemist Should Consider Before Accepting a Position," "The Human Genome Project and Chemists' Future Jobs," "Nine Steps to Career Success," "Conducting an Electronic Job Search," and "How To Write a Teaching Philosophy for Academic Employment" are some of the publications Career Services offers. Many are posted on the website, http://www.acs.org/careers/empres/pubs01.html.

Salary information and workforce analysis. ACS publishes annual volumes of statistical data about the chemical profession and the salaries paid to its members. "Salaries 2000" reports on members' salaries by degree, type of employer, and experience. C&EN published a special report on the results of the survey in the Aug. 14 issue, page 46. The full survey report, which costs $150 for the print edition, also offers data on employment status and demographic characteristics. "Starting Salaries 1999," available for $29.95, contains the results of a survey of new graduates in chemistry and chemical engineering. C&EN published the results of the 1999 survey in the March 13 issue, page 12 .

Career Services now offers two periodic news reports: "Chemical Employment in Small Companies" and "A Statistical Summary of Chemists in the U.S.," both of which are free and can be downloaded from the Career Services website.

Employment Clearinghouse. Operating at national and regional ACS meetings, this service gives job applicants an opportunity to interview with employer representatives. ACS national meeting registration fees can be waived for unemployed members who register as job applicants at the clearinghouse.

Career Guidance Program. ACS Career Services offers several options to its members, including career consulting, where consultants provide assistance with job search strategies and other employment issues; mock interview sessions, where chemists attending national meetings can videotape a practice interview and receive feedback from ACS personnel on ways to improve their interview skills; and ChemCareer Connections, a moderated Internet career forum where visitors pose and discuss questions related to career development in the chemical sciences.

Workshops, presentations, and videos. Presentations are offered at national and regional meetings on conducting an effective job search and on strategies for successful job transition both within and outside chemistry. On request, workshops also are offered at local section meetings, colleges and universities, and industrial work sites. Videos on how to conduct a job search, make a career transition, prepare a résumé, and interview for a job are available; contact Career Services for detailed information.

Experience opportunities

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One of the best ways to determine if a career is a good choice is to experience it through an internship, co-op, or similar program. In addition, on-the-job experience is advantageous when looking for permanent placement. The ACS Experiential Programs in Chemistry (EPiC) collects and distributes information on internships, co-ops, summer jobs, study/work abroad, and service-learning opportunities. The 2000 "Directory of Experience Opportunities" is free to ACS student affiliates and $10 to all others. To order a copy of the directory, contact the Office of Society Services, phone (800) 227-5558, e-mail:help@acs.org, and ask for product No. DEX00. The directory is available free on the Internet and can be accessed at http://center.acs.org/applications/epic/epicmain.cfm.

ACS Office of Professional Training

The ACS Office of Professional Training offers two brochures on career planning. For students planning to go to graduate school, "Planning for Graduate Work in Chemistry: Suggestions for the Student Considering Advanced Study" includes information on choosing a graduate school, how and when to apply, and financial support. For undergraduate students looking for a career in industry, "Planning a Career in Industry" is available. The full text of both brochures can be found on the Internet at http://www.acs.org/cpt/hp.htm under the publications link.

Chemical & Engineering News
Copyright © 2000 American Chemical Society

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