A few weeks ago now, we read an article stating that Boris Johnson had come out against working from home – see news article. This started a conversation in our office with everyone sharing their own opinions, so we quickly asked the guys to put their thoughts in to a few sentences and posted them on our LinkedIn.
Working from home DOES work! STEM Recruitment Solutions were early adopters of a work from home lifestyle. As experts in the field, we asked our consultants how they feel about working from home:
“Having the flexibility to work from home or in the office is a great benefit and provides a good work-life balance. I feel productivity has increased, and with no travel involved, can get my head down with no distractions. Working in the office is also important for interaction with colleagues and keeping that ‘team vibe’ going.” – Sharon Boyd
“I honestly prefer working from the office with STEM. I really enjoy the atmosphere and find it much easier to communicate with the team face to face and to respond quickly to changing situations. On the other hand being able to mix up my schedule and never miss important events with the family is something I would never want to give up. This was one of the key policies we introduced when we set up STEM and everyone has benefitted from this since day one.” –Gavin Gallimore
“As a working parent, WFH has allowed me the flexibility of both working from the office and engaging with the team, whilst being present for my family as and when I need to be. I thoroughly enjoy hybrid work, and the interaction of an office environment, plus the support from my peers. However, being offered remote working throughout the week has maintained a structure which was imperative to my personal situation.” – Nikita Pennie
“I really think it is beneficial to work from home a couple of days per week as you can focus more and be more productive due to less distractions. I can also spend less time commuting in busy traffic getting to work, so less stress!” – Debbie Watson
“I prefer to have a hybrid working approach. I feel at home I get more work done as I don’t have many distractions (except from the occasional postman). My dog likes me better for it too and I can be more active at home on my lunch breaks. In the office, there is a great atmosphere and a lot of team bonding even if it’s just making a coffee together. Being in the office also offers morale boosts as you can see the excitement with new clients and placements!” – Kayleigh McLeish
Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing the beautiful faces of our team in the office. However what we love even more is seeing and hearing these positive impacts of a WFH/hybrid approach! We can see how this has positively impacted our business through our results too; we are growing year on year!
What do you think about working from home after the past 2 years? Let us know!
Getting your first job following education can be intimidating. Why would any of these successful and influential companies want to hire me? It’s easy to forget that employers want to hire graduates; we are eager to learn and pick-up new skills; the things we learnt are fresh in our minds; and we do not have any bad habits. So how do we get these companies to notice us in a sea of fresh graduates all foaming at the mouth for their first wage? In this blog I have identified 6 key steps which help you bag your dream job.
Internships and Placements
Although not everyone is in a position where they can justify completing a low paying internship; if it is something you can sustain, it will really impress an employer as you are being pro-active in expanding your skillset. If you are fortunate enough to be offered a placement throughout your studies, do not turn it down! Having experience in the field will put you head and shoulders above others when applying for a graduate role. During your placement or internship make sure to:
Impress your supervisor and ask them if you can use them as a professional reference
Write down all the machinery, equipment, techniques, and software you used to include in your CV
Reach out to them to see if they are hiring when you begin applying for jobs – placements/internships are a great way to get your foot in the door
Networking can benefit you in your job search and helps you make more contacts within the field who can provide you with information and advice. Networking can be done in numerous ways, however, the easiest and most common form of networking is done through social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter. A simple way of gaining contacts within a similar industry is to search companies you are attracted to and add people who work in a role that you might be interested in. Once you are connected to these people you can see what they had done before taking on this role – where they worked, what they studied at university etc. You can also use social media to connect with people who work within recruitment, wether this be a recruitment agency (like us at STEM Recruitment Solutions) or company hiring managers. Networking can also be done throughout your time at university by getting to know your lecturers and attending job fairs.
Deciding which role is right for you
It can be difficult to decide which path in STEM you would like to go down when you leave higher education. First you must identify what is truly important to you when looking for a job. Do you have kids and want to be able to work form home? Do you want to work shifts to beat the traffic where you live? Do you just want a high salary and will do any work? Regardless of your answers to these questions, it is important to take a step back and analyse what you enjoyed and did not enjoy during your studies. It is easy to be sucked into applying to any job you qualify for, however, what is the point if you are not going to love it? I myself studied forensics and pharmaceutical chemistry at university, and after 5 years of hands-on laboratory experience, I realised that lab work wasn’t for me, and so I began looking for a customer facing role. If you are happy in your job, you are more likely to excel!
Your CV and Cover Letter
What to include
Writing your CV is often the hardest part of finding a new job as selling yourself to an employer can feel unnatural and embarrassing. It is challenging to identify the skills you have that are useful to the job you are applying for, but altering the phrasing of your experience to make your CV stand out is simple! ‘I worked in a cafe when I was at uni’, does not sound very impressive. However, ‘Alongside my studies I was responsible for caring for up to fifty customers at one time, whilst providing excellent customer service and processing payments correctly.’ No matter how irrelevant or unrelated you think your previous work experience is, you will have gained skills employers look for in any role, for example, time-management, team work, leadership and problem solving.
The format of your CV is important to ensure you are providing employers with the necessary information to offer you an interview, without bombarding them with a sea of words and images. Templates with extensive colours and structuring (no matter how pretty they look) will only distract the reader from what you have written. Instead, use a simple template and create lists with bullet points – avoiding long and wordy paragraphs. There are many simple templates available on Microsoft Office Word. This can be downloaded for free through your universities email address here.
When a cover letter is written correctly it can make you stand out significantly during the hiring process. A cover letter should be addressed to the hiring manager and should be written in a letter format. Before writing a cover letter you should read the job advert you are applying to and write down the key skills they require successful candidates to have. For example, if a role requires an MSc, you should include a brief description of your final project and the grade you received. The qualities a successful employee will have are included in a job advert – such as hardworking, a team player and self-motivated -, these are ‘key words’ and should also be included when you are describing your work ethic. You should finish your cover letter by stating when you are available for an interview in the coming weeks and how they should contact you.
Preparing for an interview can seem a daunting challenge, however, this is your time to impress an employer and show them what you can bring to the company!
Here are some key points to consider when preparing for an interview:
Research the company and its products
Be nosey – look up your interviewer on LinkedIn and find out what their background is so as you can talk to them about it
Ask the dress code prior to your interview
Write down 10 scenario questions in the STAR format and memorise them before your interview. Examples of the STAR format can be found here and scenario questions here
Don’t be embarrassed to take notes into your interview to ensure you don’t forget anything; employers will be impressed that you have prepared beforehand!
Make sure to ask questions at the end of the interview (I would suggest 3-5). This shows that you are interested in the job and would like to know more
Due to COVID-19 many interviews are now done over teams and zoom. If this is the case, make sure to download the relevant app on your laptop AND your phone – technology can be temperamental, and you always want to have a backup if there are any issues. Ensure your background is clean and bright so as not to distract the interviewer. If you are fortunate enough be offered an in-person interview, make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early so as you have time to read over your notes a final time before your interview starts.
Dealing with rejection
If at the end of the application process you have been successful, congratulations! However, if you have not been successful in this scenario, you have still gained interview experience and now your next interview will not be as nerve-racking. Following a rejection make sure to ask the person who interviewed you/ your agency for feedback to help you improve for your next interview – sometimes there is just someone who has more experience than you. Regardless, getting to the interview stage amongst hundreds of applications is an achievement and you are another step closer to bagging your dream job!
Remember the only thing standing in the way of you and a job in STEM is yourself.
Comments Off on STEM are Branching out with a Blog!
For years now STEM Recruitment Solutions have been working at the top of the recruitment industry in Scotland. Whilst we are an established recruitment consultancy with a proven history of success, we are constantly looking for new methods through which we can help both our clients and our candidates. We want you to gain a better understanding of our team and what makes our recruitment consultants the best of the best.
Through this blog we will be able to:
Offer valuable insight into the job hiring process specifically related to the STEM industries in Scotland
Showcase the talented consultants we have at STEM Recruitment and the value that they can offer you in your job hunt
Give tips and tricksyou can add to your CV and cover letter to give you the edge you need
Help you get to know our team better
Share our own career stories and the lessons we have learned after years in the industry
Bring you along to industry events and conferences
Keep you up to date on relevant industry news
We hope you join us as we journey down this avenue to aid our clients, candidates and you in navigating the STEM industry together.
Check back soon for our first STEM blog from Megan on how to make an entrance in STEM.