Young people in the Millennial generation face one of the toughest challenges when it comes to finding and sustaining employment.
Unemployment for this age group is high and there are fewer millennials landing themselves a ‘job for life’ that was so common in previous generations. That being said, it’s not all doom and gloom. Millennials have some of the most exciting prospects compared to other generations, particularly those pursuing STEM careers.
In many industries there are companies searching for high quality technology specialists, mathematicians, scientists and engineers but competition is fierce, and you really do have to be the best of the best when it comes to searching for employment.
Here are just a few practical tips for what you should (and shouldn’t) do to secure your ideal STEM opportunity.
TAKE THE QUIZ
DO: Define your goals
When you start searching for employment, define a goal.
This can be a daunting prospect if you are just starting out and you haven’t really identified exactly where you want to be, but you should try to be as precise as possible.
The more specific you are, the more effectively you can tailor your CV and cover letters and avoid wasted time in your job search. Before you start looking for a STEM career ask yourself:
> > What area of STEM are you really interested in?
> > What would you like to do?
> > What values are important?
> > What is your purpose?
> > How to do you hope your career will progress in the next 5 or 10 years?
DO: Know your audience
Now that you have a good understanding of your goals, you can begin to target the specific companies who operate in this niche you have identified.
Write a list of the companies in the area of STEM that you are interested in and then explore the types of jobs that these companies offer. If, for example you are looking for work as a software developer, understand the types of companies who regularly advertise these vacancies, what values they feel are important and what skills they require.
DO: Understand your value
With the information from the first and second step, you can begin to tailor your CV and cover letter to outline what value you can bring to the company.
This is important because you need to differentiate yourself from the other STEM candidates applying for the same opportunity. Try to answer:
> > What contribution or benefit could you bring to the company?
> > Is there anything unique about yourself such as a distinction in your STEM qualification?
> > What have you achieved?
> > How have you positively influenced others?
> > What benefit would an employer get over employing you than another candidate?
DO: Know where to search
The whole job search landscape has changed considerably and there are so many ways that you can secure connections. Network on LinkedIn, make use of STEM Careers advice, and attend events specifically for STEM employees.
By following these four strategies, you will be well on your way to finding your ideal STEM employment opportunity. Let’s now take a look at things you should avoid.
DON’T: Overlook the basics
Attention to detail is everything in the STEM industry and failing to pay attention to the basics can only lead to disappointment. When sending applications, carefully follow the instructions, review your CV and cover letter for errors and ask relevant questions for the STEM industry during interview.
DON’T: Have an elaborate CV
No matter how much you want to set yourself apart from the other candidates, an elaborately designed CV probably won’t have the results that you expect.
Keep your CV clean, simple and professional, incorporating relevant keywords and phrases for the industry. Include key terms such as problem solving, attention to detail, team work and analysis and communicate your knowledge in either Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.
DON’T: Give Up
Searching for a job can be a lengthy task and one that is filled with detours and disappointment for millennials. Don’t let defeat knock you off course. Use it as a learning experience and remain motivated.
Although there’s never a guarantee that you will get a job in any field, this practical advice should give you a good head start to securing your ideal STEM career.
Gifs via Giphy.com
Edward Mellett writes for PracticeReasoningTests.com
Author: Edward Mellett
Edward Mellett is the founder of Practice Reasoning Tests, a free to use careers website for jobseekers.