Make Your STEM Job Application Stand Out

Planning on applying for a job or course in a STEM area and want to make your application really stand out? Here are some of our tips on what you can do to make your application pop! 

Extra-curricular activities

If you're applying for a job in a STEM sector, think about the kind of skills that you might need in your desired career, and invest your time in extra-curricular activities that will reflect these skills. If you build up experience and skills in these activities early-on, you'll have lots to talk about in your job application and interview. 

See below for some examples of key skills needed for STEM careers, and how you could use extra-curricular activities to enhance these.

Analytical thinking Any activity that involves having to consume a lot of information will be useful in gaining analytical skills. This could include activities that involve doing research or writing and reading such as working for a magazine or newspaper, or maybe being part of a sports team that requires thinking about strategy. Problem solving Being part of a club like debating or serving on a council or panel will involve problem-solving skills. In a part-time job or volunteer role you may have needed to problem-solve to hit targets. Working to deadlines or to specific targets in any activity – including dram, music or sport will allow you to develop these skills. Innovation and creativity You can harbour creativity and innovation in lots of extra-curricular activities including music, drama and arts-based activities. Other ways you can stimulate innovation include writing or designing things you could write for your local newspaper, write poetry or design graphics and websites.

Self Study

Universities, colleges and businesses offer lots of free courses online. Websites like Future Learn contain thousands of free, online courses (sometimes called MOOCs – Massive Open Online Course) on a range of subjects. Whilst organisations like Barclays and Google sometimes offer their own courses in digital skills. If there is a gap in your knowledge, invest some time into extra, free study - it will show you have a real drive and motivation to succeed and learn more about your chosen career!   

Join a club/organisation

If you’re studying a STEM subject at school or in further education, try to find out if there are any student clubs or societies you could join that might help you meet like-minded people and give you opportunities to learn more.

By joining a club or organisation outside of your studies, you're showing future employers that you have a genuine passion and interest in your chosen area - something that might set you apart from other candidates. 

Volunteer with a local office at your university/college

Are you currently studying at university or college, and hoping to gain a bit more experience? Why not ask if you can help out by volunteering in your department's offices. There could be a range of options for experience – from helping with admissions in a particular department, to helping at open days, on reception or assisting a professor/lecturer.

Even if the actual job isn't STEM-related, working in a STEM environment might allow you to meet and talk to those who do work in your desired career. If you're hoping to work in an academic STEM environment, this will also give you a sneak peek into what your future job might look like!

Check out the rest of the STEM landing page to find out about how you can get more involved!