Five keys to looking for a job if you have a STEM background

19 of April of 2023

The job search is an arduous task where we face thousands of questions and insecurities. Where do I start? What are the companies going to value? How many resumes do I need? No one teaches us how to get a job, and the STEM sector is no exception. But don’t worry: in this article. I’m going to tell you five key steps to reaching your goal if you have a STEM background.

1. Define and analyze your goal

There are an infinite number of positions within the STEM sector, and you need to be specific about which ones you are interested in before you start sending out resumes. Analyzing your professional profile (training, experience, soft skills, hard skills …) and what’s in demand in the labor market will be key. The goal is to compile a list of positions that interest you, that you’re qualified for, and that are in demand in the labor market.

Next, you simply have to find out what your target position or positions require. That is what you will have to demonstrate throughout the entire hiring process to convince companies. If you find any gaps in your profile, you can improve this by taking training courses on endless platforms such as Google Activate, SkillsBuild, EDX, etc. 

2. Create your resume

The resume is your cover letter and the first picture that the company will have of you. While the content is the most important thing, you also need to choose a design that allows for clear reading, and if you use a design that’s tailored to your sector… You will succeed! Think about the first thing they will see. You can design one for free on design platforms like CANVA.

As for what to include, the most important sections on a STEM resume, beyond contact details, are academic and complementary training, hard skills, and professional experience, if you have some.

You can also include other sections if they add value, such as your website, LinkedIn profile, professional and academic achievements, volunteering, professional background, soft skills…

Remember that it’s best if you create a resume for each different position that interests you and tailor each one to the requirements listed in job listings.

3. Be visible to companies

Now that you know your strengths and the position you are interested in and have created your resume… The most important step is yet to come: introducing companies to your profile. There are multiple ways to do this, but here I’m going to highlight 4:

  • Job portals: This is the most common way, but that’s not why you have to stop doing it. In addition to registering on those general portals, you should also sign up on sites specializing in the STEM sector, such as Tecnoempleo, Ticjob, Getmanfred, Circular, and so on. Finally, you should upload your resume on the portals of the companies that interest you.
  • Online presence: In addition to needing a LinkedIn profile to be found by the thousands of recruiters who use this social network, I also recommend considering using other social networks such as GitHub or creating a website, blog, or portfolio where you can show some of your projects, knowledge, and opinions and thus stand out.
  • Contacting companies: You can send your resume to the company or send a message to people who already work there through LinkedIn or e-mail.
  • Attending industry events and training to increase your network of contacts. Remember that networking is one of the ways to access that 80% of jobs that isn’t posted.

4. Prepare for your jobs interviews

If a company knows you and decides to invite you in for an interview, you should know that most of the success in an interview is defined by preparation. Here are eight things you need to know before going to your interview:

  • Your answers to the most frequently asked questions.
  • The job and what they require.
  • Your strengths in relation to the offer.
  • Your resume and its weak points.
  • The mission, vision, and values of the company interviewing you.
  • The company’s dress code to choose your outfit appropriately.
  • The time it takes to get to the interview and thus be on time.
  • The name of the interviewer.

Also remember that more than 80-90% of the information we convey is through non-verbal communication. It’s not just what you say but how you say it.

5.Learn how to deal with the monsters inherent in the job search

Considering that the goal of the search is to convince a company of all we can contribute, one of the most important factors is a good attitude and self-confidence. Both factors can suffer a blow from factors inherent to the search, such as: dealing with rejection, uncertainty, and doubt. It’s best if you face the rejections that are inevitable in any search by being a good sport and having a sense of constructive self-criticism. Just as we’re not born knowing how to ride a bike, we’re also not born knowing how to find a job. Practice and continual improvement are the keys to your success.

In conclusion, having a clear goal, good preparation, ongoing learning, and a resilient attitude are key to finding a job in the STEM sector. With these tools, you can stand out in a labor market that, while not as competitive as others, is still demanding in the search for top talent, so you always have to stay up-to-date and be prepared to stand out in the job market.

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