As a recruitment consultant that focuses on junior to mid-level staff, I find myself spending a lot of time talking with graduates. Helping graduates find their first steps into the world of employment, and secure their first industrial position is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role.
It was therefore very exciting to be able to visit Aston University in Birmingham last week to meet biological students that were looking to build a career within the life sciences field. The students comprised a good mixture of biomedical Science and biology at all levels from Undergraduate to PhD.
My colleague Natasha Young, and I had the opportunity to present alongside a number of science and technical recruiters, as part of an event run by the Aston University careers department. The event aimed to give graduates a very realistic picture of job hunting within the science fields, and the steps that students needed to take to ensure success when looking for that all important first industrial role. It also gave students the opportunity to learn about some of the biggest players within science and technical recruitment.
During our presentation, Natasha and I spoke about a number of different issues. We focused on the science job market, including average starting salaries for graduates, geographical distribution of work, and the major growth areas within the life science industries. We aimed to give the students very realistic salary expectations and reminded them that a first role in industry is an investment in yourself.
The science job market is very competitive, with the number of students starting a STEM degree showing a consistent increase year on year. Our presentation gave the students some tips on how to differentiate themselves in a crowded job market. The key thing we impressed upon those in the talk was the need for flexibility when seeking their first role. This includes flexibility on things such as location, type of work, industry and of course salary.
We realise though that personal circumstance may mean that many can’t offer this level of flexibility, and so we made clear the importance of having a good CV when seeking employment within industry. This then followed with advice on how to make your CV more attractive to recruiters. Good CVs are clear, concise, have a consistent structure and also outline key analytical skillsets learned during studies.
After our talk, there was an opportunity to network with the students and answer more direct questions about searching for work within the science industries. I was incredibly impressed by the levels of determination displayed by the students, and the quality of questions asked.
We are always keen to speak with graduates that are unsure of their first steps into the science industries. We encourage students to give us a call, and one of our consultants will be happy to guide their first steps into industry. We are also keen to work closely with universities to assist students into graduate employment.
The event was enjoyed thoroughly by myself, Natasha, and all the different agencies in attendance, and we would like to say thank you to Aston University for having us.
If you are a graduate or are still studying and would like career advice, take a look at our Career Zone here.
Or if you would prefer to discuss your career options please contact Peter here.
Author: Peter Smith