Using journal reference as contact

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Using journal reference as contact

Postby John » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:38 am

Is it wrong to cold call references (e-mail & phone) used in a journal article for a potential job from their company?

Using journal reference as contact

Postby Don » Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:35 am

I would like to hear what some of the industry PI\'s say about this, as well as the moderators.

I my opinion it is a good way to begin networking for your jobsearch (as well as the rest of your career). To be specific, I would not call up and say \"Hi, I saw your paper, can I have a job?\" Although I strongly doubt that is what you planned. I would use it as an opportunity to being to see what kind of work they are doing and what kind of people are doing the work. You can start to interview them to determine if you think their firm is a good fit for you (something far too few people do before taking a job). As you get to know them better, you can learn about openings in their labs, etc.

I actually did this when I was applying to grad schools. I found papers that I thought were interesting, and called the PI\'s on the papers to talk with them about their work. It worked very well for me, and I found a lab that really worked for me.

Again, I would like to hear what the moderators have to say about this. They probably have a very good barometer for this kind of thing.


Using journal reference as contact

Postby John Fetzer » Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:27 am

It would be OK depending on how you do it and the person's attitudes. Networking is two-way and not just for job seekers to use as their tool.

If you do this now and continue doing it in the vein where you express real interest in the paper and do not immediately start asking for a link to an interview, you will be better received. Maybe two or three e-mail exchanges or as a small part of the first phone call.

Most people offer little, but ask for a lot in cold calls. They think this model is the only one to use, but whu do we hate spam and telemarketers so much?

Establish a link and lead up to your need. It might take more time per person, but the success rate is higher.

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Using journal reference as contact

Postby Kevin Rogers » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:03 am

Probably the best way to do this is if you are present at the same conference as the authors you are interested in..... They wull have more time to talk then.

Although I realize this situation doesn't occur that often it is worth baring in mind.
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Using journal reference as contact

Postby Michael Smith » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:06 am

Is this advice for an industry or academic position? Some comments made on this forum suggested that if you are cold calling a PI about a position, you should attach a CV because they are usually very busy and probably don\'t want to bother having to reply to you to ask for it. Personally, I agree with John that establishing some communications before inquiring for a position would yield a better success rate.
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Using journal reference as contact

Postby Paul » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:46 am

Hi John,

Good question!! I would be cautious to expect too much from this type of approach, especially by email. Believe it or not, publishing a paper usually triggers a rash of enquiries or approaches to the corresponding author. During my PhD I published a paper and was listed as the corresponding author because my mentor was busy and didn't have time to stay on top of the process. I got several emails asking about employment in "my lab" and even had some people claiming to have followed my work over the years!!

I think its fair to consider approaching someone but do your homework first. I think its an excellent idea to research conferences that that PI might be presenting at and contact them to enquire if they have available time to meet with you. Also, base your approach around your interest in their work, rather than your need for employment! Think of questions about their work or what their work means to yours.

Just consider the fact that, when an email address gets posted, the whole world can see it and that you are unlikely to be the only person interested. An approach should be your attempt to show your intelligence and your genuine interest.

Good luck,


Using journal reference as contact

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:07 pm

John, that is what networking is. Networking has several elements, and one of them is the "cold call." See this month's article in Next Wave for some examples and things you can do to improve your networking:

Networking is More Than A Job Search Tool

Don's advice is excellent, because the LAST thing you do on a call like this is jump in with "Do you have a job for me?" Instead, build the relationship as best you can. Exchange papers of interest, ask good questions, etc. All before you send a CV!

I would use the phone, and not email, for these contacts,
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"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
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Using journal reference as contact

Postby Emil Chuck » Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:16 pm

As much as I may appreciate and agree with having electronic copies of journal articles, I miss the "reprint request card." That was a wonderful way to be collegial and start potential collaborative conversations. Plus it would thrill any first-author grad student to be called "Dr." (as I should know).

I absolutely agree with Dave's points and everyone else's about putting yourself out there first and showing yourself as an equal or a colleague before begging for "the job." You can certainly do it, but it's much easier when the person really recognizes you and your talents.
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Using journal reference as contact

Postby Kevin Foley » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:26 pm

?Most people offer little, but ask for a lot in cold calls?but why do we hate spam and telemarketers so much??

As a hiring manager, I can really relate to that comment, John!

We?ve all heard the old adage about real estate and location. Likewise, when you are hunting for a job, there are only three things that you need to worry about:

1) networking

2) networking

3) networking

Despite this fact, for some reason, we seem to spend a lot of time on this forum talking about interview clothes, CV formats, headhunters, or whatever. Obviously this is because networking requires most people to move outside their comfort zones. It?s damn hard work!

But if you really want to find a great job in industry, you need to drop everything else and spend 100% of your time networking. [I would say 90%, but as this forum illustrates, that 10% inevitably grows into 90%! Hell, you can blow 90% of your time between Monster and talking to headhunters, thinking you are working really hard, and never find a job.]

But there is much more to networking than just talking to people.

The one thing most job hunters forget, is to place themselves in the shoes of the people they are trying to networking with. Ask yourself the question: ?What?s in it for them??

Say I publish a paper and someone calls me up on the phone to chat about it. Are they someone famous? No. Are they one of my competitors? No. Do they want to collaborate? No. Do they have a great idea for me to try? No. Did one of my friends suggest they talk to me? No. Well then, why are they calling me??? It doesn?t take more than 15 seconds to figure out they are ?networking.? But they completely forgot to think about it from my perspective. Why should I spend my valuable time talking to you about my work or my company, when all you are really doing is making small talk before broaching the subject of a job?

The answer is that I?d be stupid to waste my time talking to you.

The single thing to remember when networking is that you need to convince the other person that talking to you, and ultimately hiring you, is in his or her own best interests. What can you do for that person or company that they really need?

Let me repeat that question: What can you do for that person or company that they really need?

If you can?t answer that question convincingly, you are just wasting their time, and ultimately your own.

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Using journal reference as contact

Postby Kevin Rogers » Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:17 pm

This thread is confusing me greatly. As I understand it the aim of a (cold) networking call is to create a mutually benefical relationship which might lead me to get a job.

What do I have, as a person who has mostly done blue skies type research in academia, to offer a hiring manager in industry that would be benefical to them ?

All I can think of is my skills as a potential employee. As Kevin says above all the other possiblities are pretty easy to dismiss. So then basically I am relying on the goodwill of the hiring manager to listen to me and maybe put me in touch with some of his/her contacts.- no ? what am I missing here ?
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