Helpful information for STEM workforce job seekers
The best jobs have hundreds of candidates clamoring for them. How do you stand out?
The following tips and resources will help you leverage your best qualities, distinguish yourself from the masses, and protect your professional image and reputation so that everything from your resume to your online digital footprint helps you put your best foot forward in your job search.
Résumé writing tips
The dos of résumé writing:
- Do list your GPA, but only if it is good and if you are a recent grad (3.5 and above only)
- Do highlight your achievements, not just your responsibilities
- Do optimize for applicant tracking systems
- Do use keywords at the start of your bullet (example—Process Improvement: Updated workflow by designing an app with Perl)
- Do tell the truth
- Do make your resume “scannable”
- Do provide context
- Do quadruple check it for typos
The don’ts of résumé writing:
- Don’t overstate your value
- Don’t have an unprofessional email address
- Don’t just list keywords to “trick” the ATS (Tell your story and the keywords will fall in place)
- Don’t waste space with hobbies, headshots or other photos
- Don’t use jargon
- Don’t list your high school, unless that is your highest level of education
- Don’t exceed two pages
- Don’t have typos
Most overused résumé jargon: Team player, utilized my skills, proactive, responsible for, detail oriented or goal oriented, problem solving skills, salary negotiable, hardworking, my wheelhouse, results-driven, and rockstar, guru or ninja.
Improve your personal digital brand
We all have a digital brand, whether we want one or not. If you are on any social media or contributed to a blog or a company’s website (or university website), then recruiters and potential employers can find you. Guess what, they are hunting for you. So, how do we improve our digital brand and put our best foot forward?
- Check your privacy settings so that posts intended only for your friends aren't also seen by potential employers.
- Follow your industry and follow your dream job(s)/company. As a recruiter I look to see what your interests are. Don’t worry—I won’t judge if you follow a Kardashian, but I do want to see that you are career focused or passionate about your work.
Ask your HR team or manager if your company uses employee profiles on their website or on social media. Get your name out there in a professional setting. (Note, we do and would love a profile from you!)
- Publish! If given the opportunity to blog or contribute to anything searchable on the web, do so. This allows you to control the content that you want potential employers to see.
- Create a personal professional website or blog. Again, this is helping you be found and showcase what a valuable employee you will be.
- Be aware of what you say about your industry. We all have bad days at work, but going into detail on social media is not always the best avenue.
- Be aware of what you say about politics, religion, etc.
- Respond to industry news on LinkedIn and defend your response. By the way, have a profile (up to date) on LinkedIn.
- No, really. Check your privacy settings.
Showcase your communication skills
Communication skills are a significant recruiting discriminator. Many of us take this skill for granted, but all of your experience, education and accomplishments can be brought down by poor communication. So, take a public speaking or technical writing class, or join a Toastmaster’s club to hone your skills! Not sure how to showcase your communication skills on your résumé? Here are a few great examples:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Confident, articulate, and professional speaking abilities (and experience)
- Empathic listener and persuasive speaker
- Writing experience in technical, creative and factual
- Excellent presentation and negotiation skills
For more information about ORAU’s Workforce Solutions, contact us at 865.576.3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.