IF you are looking for a job, and are a Chemical Engineer, or perhaps any other kind of highly-qualified, highly employable person, here is my advice:

The job market is currently good -- according to the Media, the Anti-Media, and many other indicators; but Summer is always a slower time in the Job Market (except when it isn’t), so now it’s probably a wise time to sit down, take note, and figure out ways to avoid NOT getting the job you want, when it’s pretty clear to you that: (1) Yes, that is a good job; (2) I do want that job; and (3) I would accept an offer for that job if one were extended.

Actually, though, jobs are plentiful, and we can always pick and choose, right? Wrong!

I’ve been a professional Recruiter for almost 30 years, and I have both a ChemE degree and a Philosophy degree from the World’s highest-ranked academic department (Princeton University, class of 1981). I have an enormous network of brilliant and outstanding people, and have placed Engineers and Scientists for some of the most outstanding startups in the World, as well as major multi-billion dollar super-corporations that are household names; and one thing I can assure you of is the fact that however plentiful you think the leaves on the “Job Tree” are, there are less of them, even in the most robust Economy, than you would like.

Therefore, in all good Conscience, let me suggest a few things:

(1) Do NOT forget to proof-read your resume. Errors in the resume indicate a lack of seriousness about your professionalism. If you submit a resume with errors, hiring Managers will be inclined to think that you find errors to be trivial -- which is not an impression you want to create! Please double-check not only with spellcheck and grammar-check options, but also ask a literate friend (who is fluent in the language of the country to which you are applying for work) to see if you have made any major errors. Not only that, but also check to make sure that you are not using bizarre type-fonts or orange paper with black ink, etc. Odd formats do not impress anyone, except in extremely rare cases.

(2) Do NOT expect all the good jobs to be advertised on ‘LinkedIn’, ‘Indeed’, or other conventional job-boards. Instead, do ACTIVELY contact companies that you have an interest in about jobs. Researching Dun & Bradstreet is good advice, but even more so, try researching Crunchbase or AngelList, etc. One very negative aspect of relying upon online Internet job-boards is that you will inevitably be bombarded with spam from numerous sources, and with dubious likelihood of positive results, if you post your resume with them. Instead of doing that, restrict yourself to replying to bona-fide ads for specific positions.

(3) Do NOT treat “cover-letters” like they are an outmoded formality without any use. In fact, they are highly useful for job applicants who present resumes to companies, because they allow the Candidate to explain what he/she has done previously that makes a good “fit” or match, with the position. A blase’ attitude about formalities like cover-letters, correct spelling and punctuation in resumes, and lack of concern about actually TARGETING where you want to send your resume are all hall-marks of a job-search conducted with less-than-superior skills. You can do better! You are the hunter, yourself, and you need to use cunning to find your quarry.

(4) Do NOT forget to follow up with Companies that you have applied to! This is perhaps the biggest error that job applicants make. You can always contact the Human Resources department of any company, or the hiring manager for the job, IF you are determined enough to do it. HR Staff are usually overwhelmed with their own duties, so getting back to potential new hires is hardly on their to-do list. Make the call yourself! Introduce yourself, explain why you are interested in the Company, and what job(s) you are interested in. Do NOT by shy! Also, try to avoid calling more than a few times per day... Do NOT put yourself in an awkward position of “stalking” your future Employer.

I hope these tips are helpful. I have many more, and am happy to provide them.

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