Tips to improve your chances of finding a new STEM job
Whether you’re looking for permanent job opportunities or a contracted role on a project, finding a new job within STEM industries can be a complex task.
There are several aspects to consider to optimise your chances of landing an interview for the roles you apply for. These include writing a standout resume, boosting your professional network and choosing an employment agency to smooth out the job-hunting process.
In addition, the interviewing landscape has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with more and more companies conducting interviews online to adhere to social distancing guidelines. This new format requires a degree of preparation to ensure you make a great first impression.
Here at Airswift, we have more than 40 years of experience in helping candidates find their perfect roles within STEM industries. We can offer expert advice on all these areas and are dedicated to ensuring you find a job matching your skills and career goals.
Top tips for getting a new job in a different industry
At some point in your career, the desire to explore opportunities in a different industry might seem extremely compelling. The 2020 GETI report shows that 77% of employees would consider switching careers in the next three years, and career progression is one of the main reasons cited.
Start by conducting reasons on industries of interest. Research potential roles and opportunities and speak to professionals working in these industries to better understand these roles.
Upgrading your skills is also vital to ensuring you have the right set of abilities to take on your new tasks. Next, you'll want to rebrand yourself to ensure that your skills, work experience, and work ethic are aligned with your target role.
Finally, shadowing professionals in your role or industry of interest can be a great way to get a feel of what it's like to work in these positions and also gain valuable experience that you can carry into your next role.
Write an effective cover letter
Cover letters give you the opportunity to make a great first impression, and research has shown that nearly 74% of hiring managers prefer to receive resumes that are accompanied by a cover letter.
A well-written cover letter allows you to showcase your immediate value by providing the hiring manager with a summary of your skills and experiences and talk about how they align with the key requirements of the role you're applying for.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a compelling cover letter, and our blog on the different types of cover letters provides you with a helpful overview of some of the most common ones. We also share our top tips on how you can write a cover letter that is designed to impress!
Resume writing tips
One of the first steps in conducting a job search is polishing your resume. Your resume is an important tool for landing job interviews, so making sure it sets you apart from other candidates is essential.
Make sure your contact information is up to date and clearly visible on the page
Keep it short and simple
Include your educational background
List the skills you have that are relevant to the job you’re applying for
Mention your work experience
List any relevant projects you’ve worked on
Keep the style clean and easy to read
Optimising your resume summary
Once you’ve mastered the basics of writing a standout resume, it’s time to optimise your resume summary.
A resume summary is one of the best ways to grab a potential employer’s attention. Think of it as the trailer for the rest of your resume; if you have a lot of experience in your field, you can allude to it in your summary to entice the hiring manager to read the rest of your resume.
Searching for specific companies you want to work for
Planning and scheduling your job search
Building up a professional network
Virtual interview tips
Once you’ve conducted a successful job search, the next step in the application process will be the interview stage.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures have been put in place in countries across the globe, meaning that many industries have adopted virtual interviews.
However, interviewing via video conference is very different to interviewing in person, and there are many factors to consider.
These include ensuring your technology is set up correctly, preparing your environment, communicating confidence and projecting a positive attitude.
Alternatively, these tips on acing your telephone interview are also great to have on hand if the company you're interviewing with opts to speak with you over the phone. For phone interviews, these are the mistakes you'll want to avoid:
Not taking it as seriously as you would an in-person interview
Failing to prepare ahead of time
Not minimising opportunities for distractions during the interview
Choosing an employment agency
Working with an employment agency can be very helpful during the job hunting process, as they can take away some of the time it takes to look for a job.
Even if you’ve found a role on a project, the employer might ask you to choose an employment agency to help with the HR side of the recruitment process.
Either way, finding an agency that aligns with your expectations and career goals is important. They must have the right industry experience to help you find your desired job.
Building your personal brand on LinkedIn
Building your personal brand is essential if you want to get recognition for your work accomplishments and stand out to potential future employers.
Remote communications have become an essential part of the hiring process for many businesses, particularly as they implement social distancing measures following the COVID-19 pandemic.
With that in mind, it is becoming more and more common for employers to request video applications from candidates as part of the hiring process. This provides the chance to give them an idea of your personality and whether you’d fit in with their company’s culture from the very first touchpoint.
1. Plan your video 2. Check the audio and sound quality 3. Talk about experiences and skills that are relevant to the role 4. Re-shoot if you need to 5. "Proof" your video 6. Edit your video
Applying the STAR technique to job interviews
During job interviews, behavioural questions are designed to test out your suitability for the role.
However, it can be daunting when you’re asked one behavioural question after another in one interview. The STAR technique effectively prepares for behavioural questions by describing the situation, focusing on the task you carried out and the actions it took to do so, and discussing the results.
Five key soft skills to develop in an age of technology
As technological advancements continue to grow, many emphases are placed on employees' technical abilities. Those with strong coding skills and professional certification are often the most in demand. However, employers have started to pay more attention to soft skills such as time management, communication and collaboration abilities when seeking out employees.
Problem-solving. The way you use the information you collect allows others to see a range of other competencies, including logic, imagination, decision-making, and perseverance.
Adaptability. Being open to finding diverse, unconventional solutions to new problems showcases one's ability to be resourceful and calm in the face of change.
Intuition and logic. Both of these skills tie into the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to problems that arise based on expertise and decision-making abilities.
Communication. Communicating clearly and efficiently creates room for better collaboration, ensuring that everyone has the information they need to perform well and eliminating confusion and inefficiencies.
Leadership. This is essential in the technologically forward workplace as it lets you stay organised and keep your team on track. Good leaders are those who can motivate others to work together to achieve a shared goal.
Stay safe by spotting these recruitment scam red flags
Recruitment scams occur when scammers create fake job opportunities to bait job seekers into providing them with personal information or sending money.
1. The recruiter's email is from a free account 2. The recruiter requests for payment or unrelated personal information 3. The recruiter is evasive when asked questions relating to the job being advertised 4. The recruiter offers you a job without setting up an interview 5. The job offer sounds too good to be true 6. The job offer includes an unrealistically high salary
Check on these five things before signing your contract
Well done! An offer has been made and you're just about to sign your contract. Before you go ahead and put your signature above the dotted line, you'll want to remember how important it is to have a thorough understanding of your employer's liabilities as well as your role, responsibilities and job security.
If you’re ready to take the next step and apply online for STEM jobs, what better place to start than our very own jobs portal?
We cover a range of sectors looking for scientific, technical, engineering and mathematics specialists. Our experts can provide you with access to some of the industry’s biggest projects and introduce you to positions available with major firms.
Our unrivalled global presence means you can find a job anywhere in the world. We have an in-depth knowledge of immigration, labour and payroll and tax regulations in all countries, meaning we can offer you support at every step of your employment application.
Visit our jobs board to browse all our current vacancies. You can also create an account to receive job alerts so you never miss out on opportunities within your field!
This post was written by: Rob Boyle, Head of Digital Marketing