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Finally got a start date for my new (internal) job. 3 weeks from now.

I’ve worked for the same public service organisation since 2002 (agency temp until Jan 2004 when i became permanent).

I’ve been in Resourcing since 2015 (forecasting emergency call demand) and am now moving to workforce demand.

Edited by Derfel Cadarn

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The recent discussion on LinkedIn has me wondering - do any fellow academics on here use ResearchGate?  I've found it fairly useful in developing contacts/networking the past couple years and think I should up my usage now that I'm about to earnestly (and finally) go on the market.  Any thoughts or advice?

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6 hours ago, DMC said:

The recent discussion on LinkedIn has me wondering - do any fellow academics on here use ResearchGate?  I've found it fairly useful in developing contacts/networking the past couple years and think I should up my usage now that I'm about to earnestly (and finally) go on the market.  Any thoughts or advice?

I haven't heard anyone praising it much, nor has it come up in one of the nineteen thousand workshops and conversations and seminars on going on the market I've sat through at this point, but that may be disciplinary - I have been told a presentable official page, on the department website or wherever, with non-broken links to CV, papers, etc, is important (not a graduate student-looking one that just has a blurb with a typo from three years ago.)

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2 hours ago, Datepalm said:

I haven't heard anyone praising it much, nor has it come up in one of the nineteen thousand workshops and conversations and seminars on going on the market I've sat through at this point, but that may be disciplinary

Oh, no, to be clear I haven't had anyone praising it.  But I made an account just cuz I wanted to read an article that was on it a few years ago, and since then I've had people contact me unsolicited interested in what I do/my research/yada yada.  So, I dunno, seems like something I should explore.

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12 minutes ago, DMC said:

Oh, no, to be clear I haven't had anyone praising it.  But I made an account just cuz I wanted to read an article that was on it a few years ago, and since then I've had people contact me unsolicited interested in what I do/my research/yada yada.  So, I dunno, seems like something I should explore.

Be very skeptical of unsolicited approaches on Linked-In.  A genuine collaborator or peer in academia wouldn’t reach you via that route. 

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12 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Be very skeptical of unsolicited approaches on Linked-In.  A genuine collaborator or peer in academia wouldn’t reach you via that route. 

Oh yeah, not sure if my LinkedIn account still exists.  I was referring to ResearchGate.  Even then, I'm always skeptical.  Hell, there's phishing scams if you just go to a damn conference these days since the emails are all public.

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4 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Be very skeptical of unsolicited approaches on Linked-In.  A genuine collaborator or peer in academia wouldn’t reach you via that route. 

I had I think one semi-genuine interaction on ResearchGate, with a professor I'd been very slightly in touch with into whose department I was actually later admitted. So it probably didn't hurt and some for-real people are on it - that said he was also clearly trying to get a chapter for a volume (in more experienced retrospect) and I was leary of it then and would be doubly so now. I've found twitter plays, somewhat effectively, the role of some networking and familiarity-building and its probably pushed a few doors a couple of inches wider, but I'd never approach anyone for something formal through either of them.

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I have never really done this, but I've read that that kind of aggressive connection-seeking is in fact the way to find jobs on LinkedIn and that it's not seen as weird.

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Some time ago I was sharing in the thread and soliciting feedback on how my institution's job board was pretty unclear as to whether one could include a cover letter or not.  

Well, they've switched to a new format where there is a clear option to include one or leave it on the "no cover letter" default button.  

Question is:  If there's now no question that a cover letter is an option how vital would including one be?  My hunch is that one's odds are probably significantly improved by the inclusion of a good cover letter versus not including one at all, but I have no real knowledge to base this on.  

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I've not used ResearchGate. I looked at it once, don't remember why, but I've literally never heard it mentioned in any academia setting. My networking so far has been mostly conference attending and visitors at my institution. A couple via email, but that's dicey because I get a LOT of spam emails. So I'd be nervous of cold emailing someone (although the spam ones are usually glaringly obvious, so maybe that's silly). Networking is hard for me because I'm awkward and introverted but my advisor is pretty good about helping facilitate it, pushing me to meet people and introducing me and stuff. Haven't really had any collaborators yet, though, and I'm a couple years away from needing to seriously consider job prospects.

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On 8/22/2019 at 9:29 PM, Triskele said:

Some time ago I was sharing in the thread and soliciting feedback on how my institution's job board was pretty unclear as to whether one could include a cover letter or not.  

Well, they've switched to a new format where there is a clear option to include one or leave it on the "no cover letter" default button.  

Question is:  If there's now no question that a cover letter is an option how vital would including one be?  My hunch is that one's odds are probably significantly improved by the inclusion of a good cover letter versus not including one at all, but I have no real knowledge to base this on.   


Cover letters are incredibly stupid, but they are de rigeur. Do not believe them if they say the cover letter is optional. Follow the standard format for yours, but be incredibly enthusiastic. This is easier to do when you've been in the field for a while and are applying for something you actually give a shit about instead of just wanting to be paid.

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On 8/21/2019 at 3:24 AM, DMC said:

Oh yeah, not sure if my LinkedIn account still exists.  I was referring to ResearchGate.  Even then, I'm always skeptical.  Hell, there's phishing scams if you just go to a damn conference these days since the emails are all public.

I get emails almost every day from Research Gate saying 'person X has cited you' or 'person you were on a paper with has published a new paper'. Also get the odd confirmation request, e.g. 'did person Z write this paper?'. That's about it. Never had any creepy connect attempts and I see if as harmless. I don't work in research though so my interaction with it must be way below that of anyone doing pure research.

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12 hours ago, Inigima said:


Cover letters are incredibly stupid, but they are de rigeur. Do not believe them if they say the cover letter is optional. Follow the standard format for yours, but be incredibly enthusiastic. This is easier to do when you've been in the field for a while and are applying for something you actually give a shit about instead of just wanting to be paid.

I seldom include cover letters unless it's for a job I really, really want. Online applications are parsing for key words and phrases in the resume itself and I focus my energy on that. Could a cover letter be a difference maker in getting further in the process? Couldn't say*, but I generally at least make phone screens unless I'm immediately discounted due to not meeting the educational requirements. I certainly don't include one for internal postings where word of mouth is what gets a person interviewed as much as, if not more than, the resume itself. 

*Every industry is different in what is the difference maker in getting noticed/moved through the process. 

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On 6/17/2019 at 3:09 PM, Iskaral Pust said:

So about that re-org going on in my firm: I was in full-on depression last week as it was announced, especially since most details were still TBD and the only real announcement is that we're changing yet again and a stupendous asshole will now have huge sway over lots of people.  My motivation dropped to zero and I couldn't find much solace for those of my team who will fall directly under that sway. 

The president of the firm is still making a big effort to tell me that this is being done with the best of intentions and it will turn out fine.  And reassuring me that I personally will have a significant and central role to play.  I appreciated his effort and I want to believe him but I suspect the lived reality will be unpleasant.  Regardless, I'm tired of losing sleep over this -- figuratively and literally.  I'm done with being stressed & disappointed about it, now I want to figure out how to live with it.

So I'm navigating my options internally and thinking about external options too.  I know I have a couple of extremely likely alternatives that would be easily available (but no guarantee of perfect fit), but I'll use this time to explore other, more exotic possibilities too.  As in type of firm, not location; I'm trying not to relocate my family again.

I know it’s tacky to quote my own post but I wanted to share an update and I figured most people wouldn’t recall the catalyst for this. 

So the re-org is ongoing (slowly, showing a painful lack of planning or forethought) and I’m still not too happy about it.  I connected with a recruiter about possible options. He immediately put me in line for a senior role at an incredible firm.  I did an afternoon of interviews with them in July, and did a second round full day of interviews today. 

The recruiter called me an hour after I had finished today to let me know they want to offer me the role.  It does involve relocating back to the northeast, which I’ve been discussing these past few weeks with my wife.  She’s really on board. 

So nothing certain yet but I could be making a move soon.  

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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12 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I know it’s tacky to quote my own post but I wanted to share an update and I figured most people wouldn’t recall the catalyst for this. 

So the re-org is ongoing (slowly, showing a painful lack of planning or forethought) and I’m still not too happy about it.  I connected with a recruiter about possible options. He immediately put me in line for a senior role at an incredible firm.  I did an afternoon of interviews with them in July, and did a second round full day of interviews today. 

The recruiter called me an hour after I had finished today to let me know they want to offer me the role.  It does involve relocating back to the northeast, which I’ve been discussing these past few weeks with my wife.  She’s really on board. 

So nothing certain yet but I could be making a move soon.  

Good deal. Won't congrats you until it's official but nice to have that option. Senior role? Check. Incredible firm? Check. Wife on board? Check. Leaving a really disappointing situation? Check.

Feels like you're on the right track here. Heading to NY if you make the move or somewhere else in the NE?

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4 hours ago, Mexal said:

Good deal. Won't congrats you until it's official but nice to have that option. Senior role? Check. Incredible firm? Check. Wife on board? Check. Leaving a really disappointing situation? Check.

Feels like you're on the right track here. Heading to NY if you make the move or somewhere else in the NE?

It would be CT specifically, but very close to NYC by train or car for making trips into the city.

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4 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

It would be CT specifically, but very close to NYC by train or car for making trips into the city.

That makes sense now that I think about. Beautiful up in that area. My ex was raised around there (a bit further out along the coast) and I went to visit her folks a few times.

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On 8/27/2019 at 5:34 AM, kairparavel said:

I seldom include cover letters unless it's for a job I really, really want. Online applications are parsing for key words and phrases in the resume itself and I focus my energy on that. Could a cover letter be a difference maker in getting further in the process? Couldn't say*, but I generally at least make phone screens unless I'm immediately discounted due to not meeting the educational requirements. I certainly don't include one for internal postings where word of mouth is what gets a person interviewed as much as, if not more than, the resume itself. 

*Every industry is different in what is the difference maker in getting noticed/moved through the process. 

I've had a question about the bolded for a while. Can you just write key words or phrases in white so that the system sees them, but a human looking at your resume would just see a regular application? 

Additional application question in general. Is there a template that works better than others? I think my resume looks solid, but I'm still using what the honors society gave me in college eight years ago and it's no where near as flashy as some I've seen.

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Does anyone have advice on how to go about getting a pay rise?  Ive never done it before. I’ve been at my job for a year now and it’s a small team with a moderately high turnover, so I’m now one of the longest-serving members, yet still on the same pay as the newer people.

I understand that you should always go in prepared to walk away from the job if they refuse. From looking around at other local jobs, I could without too much difficulty find a job in a similar domain that would pay a starting salary of about 10% better than what I’m on, probably with better progression prospects.

Would I be wise to ask for a 10% increase then, or should I go slightly higher? Given that with experience and general ability I’m a valuable part of the team, but if I don’t see any other jobs with more than 10% higher it would be a risky move with nothing to back it up.

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1 hour ago, Stannis Eats No Peaches said:

Does anyone have advice on how to go about getting a pay rise?  Ive never done it before. I’ve been at my job for a year now and it’s a small team with a moderately high turnover, so I’m now one of the longest-serving members, yet still on the same pay as the newer people.

I understand that you should always go in prepared to walk away from the job if they refuse. From looking around at other local jobs, I could without too much difficulty find a job in a similar domain that would pay a starting salary of about 10% better than what I’m on, probably with better progression prospects.

Would I be wise to ask for a 10% increase then, or should I go slightly higher? Given that with experience and general ability I’m a valuable part of the team, but if I don’t see any other jobs with more than 10% higher it would be a risky move with nothing to back it up.

The best approach will vary from firm to firm, so your first step is to get better informed about the attitude and norms around pay at your firm.  Ideally you need to chat with your manager or a colleague with several years of tenure, assuming there is a reasonable level of trust and transparency.  

You need them to describe how and when pay increases are decided and delivered.  E.g. most big companies give pay raises once per year as part of a fixed cycle of performance reviews, promotions, bonuses and pay raises.  Many unionized jobs get pay raises that are directly linked to tenure, seniority and/or role definition, with no individual variation for performance.  But very small companies might be entirely ad hoc and based on the level of profits and the mood of the owner. 

Big companies that have a regimented annual compensation cycle will still consider mid-year adjustments, usually for exceptional circumstances like a counter-offer.  That usually requires the employee to have a job offer in writing with higher pay.  And if the company doesn’t make a counter-offer, you have to be ready to go. 

Then you also need to understand the company’s attitude to junior employees. You’ve been there only one year, and it sounds like there is a lot of turnover at the junior level.  The company may have a business model based on crappy pay and high turnover, or they may be willing to make a special effort for the few employees who have proven sticky.  They might view new employees as “on probation” for at least the first year and not eligible for a raise until after that point.  You need to get a feel for their perspective and attitude rather than only considering your own. (I’m not saying your perspective is wrong, but if you want to persuade them then you need to frame your request from their perspective).

Once you have a clearer idea of how these decisions are made, then you can plan your attack.  You might ask your boss for a raise now based on relative seniority and greater productivity.  You might ask your boss to promise that you’ll get a hefty raise at the next annual cycle.  You might ask about a promotion to the next level, which would come with a pay raise.  You might get a job offer elsewhere and ask your current firm to match (this takes the most effort).

Best of luck.

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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