I remember my younger days when we were told that in order get into restricted entry degrees at the University, we needed to ace the required subjects for a good three years consecutively at high school. But wait, taking the right subjects and passing them with flashy “Excellence” grades weren’t enough. The entry to fancy courses particularly those that had interviews, screened for “well-rounded scholars” who maintained a steady balance between work, study and a million other extra curriculum activities. So we did as we were told, planted trees, sang in the choir, started up social chess clubs…only to name a few.
Arriving at university we soon realized the real game was just beginning. Surrounded by many other talented, ambitious intellects who were all eager to the hit the ground running starting exciting careers once graduated, I remember asking myself what it would take to “stand out” when it came to applying for jobs. In almost all cases, recruiters will expect to receive a resume, few pages of paper that is supposed to reflect everything we are about!
So bear with me for few precious minutes as I walk you through some fundamental facts regarding understanding corporate recruiting process.
Firstly, get yourself familiar with the fact that your resume will face a lot of competition. On average, the first resume is received within 200 seconds after a corporate job has been advertised. Furthermore, employers start the interview process as soon as they start receiving quality resumes, so get yours in fast!
On average 250 resumes are received for each corporate position advertised. So do not be surprised to know that on average your resume is reviewed or most appropriately ‘scanned’ for only 6 seconds, as suggested by recent research study from TheLadders reports. Yes, these are 6 golden seconds for a resume to make it into the “yes” tray for further in depth review.
The recruiter focuses the narrow time scanning four major areas including education, job titles, companies you worked at and start/end dates . So it is crucial that a resume presents these four areas in an easily accessible and standout manner that would take up 4 seconds. This leaves the recruiter with 2 seconds to find whatever else that you believe is interesting/exciting or unique to you. Although cover letter is a chance to provide further information and elaboration on your uniqueness and strengths, you might want to know that about 17 percent of recruiters do not bother to read cover letters (BeHiring).
The importance of a professionally organized resume that ‘markets’ relevant information sought by the recruiters , is further emphasized by TheLadders’ resecent research report. A scannable format without any changes to the content increases the rating of a resume by a significant 60 percent.
The reality is that the recruiter is usually looking for reasons to reject you and so a single error could easily ruin chances. 61 percent of recruiters will dismiss resumes that contain typos (Careerbuilder) while 43 percent will disqualify potential candidates due to spelling errors (Adecco). The use of inappropriate or unprofessional email address will increase the rejection of a resume by 76 percent (BeHiring).
A professional and fit-the-criteria resume will get you through the initial screen by the recruiter only guaranteeing a later more thorough review. During the next stage, also referred to as the “knockout round” the recruiter will consider your resume for more details such as achievements, qualifications, specific skills and tools that you can bring into the role. Surviving the “knockout round”, will then get you into the phase of telephone and numerous in-person interviews, depending on the position and the corporate advertising the role.
To summarize, it is recommended to research the position description thoroughly. This gives you valuable knowledge as you can tailor your resume with a list of keywords that the recruiter is looking for. In addition ensure that you have created a scannable resume with key factors presented in powerful and easy to find, manner.
Final advice that I would like to share here comes from experts and strategists in corporate recruiting. There is much better chance of employment through having corporate contacts and/or referrals. This is mainly due to the fact resumes which have contacts/referrals associated with them, will be reviewed much more closely.
New Zealand’s patent legislation was updated last week in the most sweeping changes for 60 years.
The Patents Bill has spent more than 10 years in the making and has been on the Parliamentary Order Paper for five years.
The Bill had overwhelming cross party support and passed the third reading with a vote of 117 for and only 4 against.
A last minute amendment tabled by the Green Party that sought to exclude patents for organisms and traits in organisms was voted down. Baldwins’ client LanzaTech was mentioned during the debate as an example of why it is essential that New Zealand companies retain the ability to patent novel microorganisms.
The debate provided some humorous moments particularly when Chris Hipkins suggested that “We should patent Mr Henare and then make sure that there is a clear restriction that no more are to be produced.”
This was quickly followed up by Hon Trevor Mallard who noted “Tau Henare is not patentable, because to be patentable you have got to be useful.”
Trevor Mallard’s comment does highlight one of the important changes the Bill introduces. To be patentable, an invention must have a specific, credible and substantial utility.
In addition to the utility requirement, the Bill seeks to increase the threshold for granting a patent in New Zealand by introducing examination for inventive step which does not occur under the current law. The Bill also requires that inventions are novel in light of any information made publically available anywhere in the world rather than only information available in New Zealand. Patent applicants will also have to meet the higher threshold of showing that the claimed invention is patentable on the “balance of probabilities”, rather than the current requirement of being given the “benefit of the doubt” as to patentability.
A number of specific exclusions to patentability have also been introduced into the legislation. Plant varieties, human beings and biological processes for the generation of human beings have been specifically excluded. Also included in the new law are exclusions from patentability for methods of treatment of human beings by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practised on human beings. These exclusions reflect current practice in New Zealand.
One of the more controversial aspects of the Bill excludes computer programs “as such” from patentability. This amendment brings New Zealand into line with the position in Europe. While this is not a ban of software related technology, it will likely mean that computer programs are not patentable, but that embedded computer programs that improve or change the way a machine works are patentable.
The changes bring New Zealand into line with most overseas jurisdictions and mean that examination by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand will become more rigorous. It will become harder to obtain a granted patent in New Zealand and this should result in patent monopolies only being granted for genuine innovations.
The changes also mean that granted patents are more likely to be valid and enforceable which will provide increased business certainty in relation to patent rights for patent applicants and competitors.
The next stage in the process is for the Bill to receive Royal Assent. Officials from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment believe this will happen as early as the middle of next week. However, the Bill won't come into force until the new Regulations are drafted. Government Officials consider that this is likely to take around nine months, and are predicting that the new Act will come into force after the middle of 2014.
The United States Supreme Court has made a U-turn on the patentability of DNA. In AMP v Myriad, the Court held that “a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated”. Previously, naturally occurring DNA could be claimed in isolated form.
The case relates to two genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, discovered by Myriad. Women with mutations in these genes face significantly increased risks of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Screening tests for these mutations, which Myriad offers for about US$3,000, has obvious value to women who have a family history of these cancers.
Despite the extensive research required to discover the genes, the Supreme Court was critical that “Myriad did not create anything.” The Court acknowledged the genes were important and useful, “but separating [the genes from the] surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention”.
A significant part of the human genome has already been mapped and therefore fewer patents are being filed for isolated forms of naturally occurring DNA. The Supreme Court did confirm that cDNA is not a product of nature and therefore patentable. Therefore, its decision on isolated DNA will probably have little impact on biotechnical research. However, there may be major implications for inventions based on other naturally occurring compounds, since the “did not create anything” reasoning could be applied to them.
Researchers are now free to conduct experiments using the naturally occurring BRCA genes. However, Myriad’s screening tests are still patented because the tests use transformed host cells, which do not occur in nature. Myriad actively enforces its exclusive right to the tests and refuses to grant any licenses to them.
Even if the screening tests were not patentable (and many are not since the decision in Mayo v Prometheus), it is doubtful whether tests will be more available to the public in the future. The Court has arguably removed the financial incentive for companies to invest in research inherent to the patent system. The decision may also force companies to resort to trade secrets to protect their intellectual property, and potentially some information will never be in the public domain, and consequently under perpetual monopoly.
Most of the world, including New Zealand, Australia and Europe, allow claims to isolated forms of naturally occurring DNA. In fact, the Federal Court of Australia recently confirmed that Myriad’s claims to the isolated BRCA genes were valid, applying the “artificially created state of affairs” test from NRDC v Commissioner of Patents. The same test for patentability is used in New Zealand.
|Through the Tertiary Comvita Science Challenge, students get a rare opportunity to work alongside industry to tangibly develop concepts and provide innovative solutions to public health challenges. The Tertiary Comvita Science Challenge this year requires student teams to enter a game or Gamification pitch document which aims at motivating and improving the real life physical activity behaviour of its players. The challenge opens on the 1st of June with entries closing on the 9th of August.
A top prize of $5000 will be awarded to the team which develops the best written and presented pitch video clearly outlining how their game concept would work, why players will be motivated to play the game, and how the game will in fact change players real life physical activity.
Image was acquired from
Networking encompasses so much more than ‘business opportunities’Those few people that leave University with personal networks, have simply made it a priority to meet as many different individuals as possible. They’ve attended various events, some closely related to their chosen pursuits, some vastly different. They’ve met supporting views to their own philosophy, and equal amounts of opposing views. They aren’t there to exclusively make business contacts; they’re there to meet interesting people, the basic and often misconstrued principle behind networking. Take Pejman Nozad, a rug dealer from Iran Whatever the vocation we have chosen as our own, networking allows us to discuss our choices with other involved persons. Some discussions may be as brief as an introduction, and many more may last an hour. We may keep in contact with only a small percentage, but we learn from every encounter. Networking encompasses so much more than ‘business opportunities’ or just ‘business’ in general. In today’s interconnected, multi-disciplinary world, networking carries the potential for catalysing the change that our generation seems so eager to effect. Make the most of the open doors provided to you and attend as many of these events as you can; the worst that could happen, is you could make a friend.