The STEM Career Services 7-Step Method to Finding Your Dream Job

Prospective clients frequently ask us about our process and what it’s like to work with us. While all of our work is tailored to each individual client, we’ve found that the majority of our clients need help in the following areas and, thus, we’ve created a dynamic and tailored 7-step process to help you find your dream job. Not everyone will go through all 7 steps in a linear fashion. We customize everything for you based on what you need.

Step 1 – Discover and articulate your skills.

We have yet to meet a client who has been able to fully describe all of their amazing talents effectively on a resume. In fact, at least 90% of our past clients were unaware that they possess, and frequently demonstrate, extremely desirable skills that an employer values and wants to see on a resume. Our first step is to help you see yourself as a highly talented job candidate and not just an academic researcher, scientist or entry-level candidate.

Step 2 – Create a master resume.

A master resume contains all of the numerous and diverse skills and experience that you possess in a format that clearly communicates the value of these skills and experiences to an employer. From this master resume, you can create more specialized, position-specific resumes for each job that you apply for.

Step 3 – Understand how to read a position description and how to create a position-specific resume.

Employers communicate their job requirements through position/job descriptions. However, they are not always straightforward in their writing, nor are their expectations always reasonable. Since our career counselors also work as hiring managers in the private sector, we have written hundreds of position descriptions ourselves. Therefore, we understand this disconnect and can help you determine if you are a good fit or are qualified for a position. We help you understand what skills and experiences an employer is seeking for the particular position, and we help you create a resume that presents you as the perfect candidate for the job, thereby increasing your odds of getting an interview. The position-specific resume will draw from the points that you developed in your master resume (Step 2).

Step 4 – Build an appealing LinkedIn profile and professional social media presence.

A strong LinkedIn profile will help employers and recruiters that are searching for qualified candidates. The top recruiters use LinkedIn and their tools to locate desirable candidates, and we can help you build your profile to show up in more of these searches, thus improving your chances of being contacted by recruiters. We call this “passive” job searching, since you are not doing any work – the recruiters find you based on the quality of your LinkedIn profile. But, in order to benefit from this, you must have a comprehensive and inviting LinkedIn profile. Having a powerful LinkedIn profile is also critical to maintain while you are participating in your “active” job search. When you meet potential employers or network with other professionals who offer to assist in your job search, it is likely that you will connect with them through LinkedIn. Having a well-crafted and informative LinkedIn profile will impress them and further assist you in your job search.

Step 5 – Network.

Although more than 70% of jobs are obtained through networking, many people find it extremely challenging. STEM Career Services believes that networking is an ongoing process and not something that you do only at networking events or at professional meetings and conferences. Our proven techniques will help you become more comfortable networking, and we will help you clearly communicate your skills to the right people and organizations. We will also help you identify networking opportunities in your everyday routine, which will increase your chances of meeting people and finding meaningful connections for jobs. Lastly, we will share our networks with you to facilitate strategic connections in the career fields and companies that you desire.

Step 6 – Apply for jobs and get interviews.

By this point in the process, you are fully capable of applying for jobs and creating targeted, position-specific resumes on your own. We are always available to support you should you need it, but this is where you get to shine. Once you have an interview scheduled, we will prepare and coach you for the interview so you know what to expect and how to respond. Unlike other career counselors, we know how to get you prepared, since we have decades of experience interviewing candidates just like you. Our experience is your advantage.

Step 7 – Select the best position from your offers and negotiate a fair compensation package.

The final step in our process is to help you determine which job is the best one for you and to develop strategies for getting the compensation you deserve.

In addition to the 7-step process described above, we also offer the following preliminary services for those candidates who might not be sure what they want to do in their careers:

Highlighting the world of employment opportunities for STEM graduates.

Most STEM graduates are uninformed about the numerous types of careers they can have and the variety of employment sectors that highly desire STEM-degree candidates. We help you understand the types of jobs available to you that go well beyond industry and academia.

Understanding your passions.

We find that nearly 50% of our clients are unsure about “what they want to do when they grow up,” and that is perfectly understandable. We welcome these clients because we love to help them discover what they are passionate about and how to find a career that aligns with those passions. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of our jobs. We have exercises and assessments to help you learn more about yourself and feel more confident targeting personally satisfying jobs, not just ones that make a lot of money. Job searching is difficult and the last thing you want is to get a job that isn’t right for you and go through this process all over again. Hence, your job search will be much more targeted if you know the types of causes that you care about, the roles that you want to play, the skills that you want to utilize and the company cultures that appeal to you. And we can help you with all of this. With our guidance, you will get it right the first time!