Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Returning to STEM

Week 7: Finding your STEM opportunity

Introduction

Last week, you looked at how networking can help you to tap into the hidden job market, and how you should make sure to give as much time to this aspect of returning to work as you would looking for advertised vacancies.

This week, you will be practising and developing skills in locating, and applying, for work, and hopefully also finding some valuable information sources that you can use in the future. Who knows, while practising these techniques you may just find the job you are looking for! Searching for employment is really like a job in itself, a project that needs management. With that in mind, you might want to make use of the time management techniques that you identified in Week 5. In fact you may wish to consider looking for a job as a marketing campaign on behalf of yourself!

Listen to Sue talk about finding and getting jobs:

Download this video clip.Video player: 38063_stem_week7_512x256.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

SUE BLACK
Hi there. This week’s all about the practicalities of finding and applying for jobs. So this is where you really get down to business. You'll look at job seeking techniques, including tapping into the hidden job market. You'll also be revisiting your CV and LinkedIn profile to make sure you're presenting yourself in the best possible way for the job you want.
You'll learn some great tips about how to get your CV noticed and stand out from the crowd – what to write in a covering letter and speculative application. You'll hear from employers and recruiters about how best to present yourself, including your career gaps on your CV. Finally, you'll look at what's perhaps the most scary part of returning – interviews. And get some great advice about how to make the best impression.
Interviews can be scary. The way I stop myself from completely freaking out is to think of myself as being excited rather than scared. All that adrenaline flowing and a racing pulse, that's because I'm looking forward to the challenge of the interview, and the opportunity to meet some new and interesting people. Interviews are a two-way process.
I'll be looking to see if I like them too. And if I would like to work with them. You need to be able to get on with the people you're going to be working with, so remember to be your best self. And have some questions ready for them, too.
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The first part of the work for this week is all about finding job vacancies and where to look for advertised posts. You’ll also be going back to LinkedIn to see how you can research and reach companies or other organisations that you are interested in working for or with.

In the second part of the week, you will work on tailoring your CV and applications to specific vacancies. Your CV will be your best marketing tool, regardless of whether you are planning to respond to an advertised vacancy or an opportunity that comes up via one of your network of contacts. It will also be important if you are planning to go on to further study or retraining. Whatever your next step, you will need to be able to present your career story in the best possible light.

By the end of the week you should:

  • be familiar with a range of online job search resources
  • be able to adapt your CV for a specific purpose
  • be able to write a cover letter and a speculative application
  • know the importance of preparation in order to perform well in an interview.
RTS_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371