Rework Your Resume for the STEM Marketplace

Whether you are new to the field, or you’ve been working in STEM before it was referred to as ‘STEM’, you may have some questions regarding how you should craft your resume for your next science, tech, engineering, or mathematics job search. Because Hiring Managers in STEM are often looking for specific skills and style, here are a few general tricks that can help you properly position your resume for the STEM roles:

Move Your Skills Toward the Top

Although sample resumes tend to list skills near the bottom of the document, for STEM positions it is actually more beneficial to list your skills towards the top. This is because STEM jobs are often technical and specialized positions, making your skills one of the first things Hiring Managers will notice. A recent study by The Ladders found that Hiring Managers spend an average of six seconds scanning a resume, so listing skills towards the top will ensure your key qualifications are front and center for them to see.  

Highlight Research

If you are just entering the STEM job market, it is important to highlight any research you have conducted during your time in school or elsewhere. Research is often one of the first opportunities STEM students encounter in regards to obtaining hands-on experience, so highlighting it will help Hiring Managers better understand the breadth of your abilities. Make sure to emphasize equipment you have used, important methodologies, or any published works related to your research. Even if you are not new to the STEM marketplace, valuable research always looks impressive.

Emphasize Relevant Coursework

If you are new to the job market, use relevant coursework to supplement your experience. As many skills required in STEM are gained during your formal education; listing relevant coursework will emphasize to Hiring Managers that you have received the necessary education in those areas. Choose and delve into the courses that have provided you with the most applicable experience relevant to the position you are applying for, and don’t forget to highlight any important projects or presentations that may be of direct interest to the Hiring Manager.

Be Short and Sweet

With the prevalence of resume scanning software and the general nature of the STEM market, it is important to not bog down your resume with too many words. Use succinct language and bullet points to summarize your skills and experience. This improves your resume’s readability and your chances of getting noticed by an applicant tracking system (ATS). It is also important to fine-tune your resume so it is optimized with keywords. These keywords include active verb statements and skills that match the qualifications and expectations listed in the job description.  

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