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5 Skills Manufacturers Need to Land a Job
Posted on 07/18 by Emma Cercone
In addition to having the right experience and qualifications, manufacturing employers want to see that you have the skills – both hard and soft skills – to do the job right. And they can’t always afford to spend weeks or months training new hires from the ground up. So, what does that mean when you’re trying to put together a compelling resume to get yourself in front of hiring managers?
From assemblers to equipment technicians, machine operators to quality control inspectors and everything in between, manufacturing experts are crucial members of the team in all sorts of industrial facilities and across a wide variety of operations. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the manufacturing sector makes up more than 10% of the country’s gross domestic product, and the value of America's manufacturing industry is the second highest in the world behind China. There’s no question that manufacturers work in an essential industry. But if you’re new to the manufacturing sector, returning to it after some time away, or you’re trying to break into a different area within manufacturing, it can be easier said than done to land a job in this field. Read on as our manufacturing recruiters outline five skills for manufacturing jobs that you’ll need to have to get hired and succeed in this industry.
Manufacturing Job Skills to Include on a Resume
Whether it’s your first time crafting a resume or you’re revamping your old resume to make it more attractive to today’s hiring managers, doing it right is key. And a big part of that is knowing what kind of skills to include when you’re trying to advance your career in manufacturing. Depending on how you structure your resume, you might have a “skills” section where you discuss these qualities in detail. But even if you don’t have a specific skills section, weaving these skills into your work history descriptions will make it clear to the hiring manager what you’re bringing to the table. Here are five key skills for the manufacturing industry to include on your resume:
#1: Strong Communication
Great communication skills are essential in just about any job, and jobs in the manufacturing sector are no exception. You’ll be working in a fast-paced, complex environment with a lot of moving parts, and you’ll want to be able to express yourself clearly and communicate with your fellow team members whenever you need to. Note that communication skills – much like every other skill on this list – are also a crucial part of safety in the manufacturing and industrial sectors. When things don’t get communicated properly, it puts people at risk; that’s what leads to accidents. It’s vitally important that you’re able and willing to communicate when you see something isn’t right, or when you’re unsure of something.
#2: Critical Thinking Ability
Just as important as communication skills is the capability to think critically. Can you identify when a process isn’t working? Are you able to look at the bigger picture and see where bottlenecks are happening? Do you possess the ability to think carefully through multiple possible solutions and choose the best one? Critical thinking isn’t just about preventing problems before they arise, although it’s important for that, of course – it also means innovating when you need to, solving problems on your own without having to escalate every minor issue to a superior when it isn’t necessary. Showcasing this ability throughout your resume will serve you well when it comes time to interview for jobs in manufacturing.
#3: Working Knowledge of Manufacturing Technology and Machinery
So far we’ve looked at some “soft” skills, or the more abstract and personal characteristics of candidates that help them get ahead in the manufacturing sector. But it’s important that we don’t ignore some of those hard skills, too – the working knowledge of manufacturing machinery that you’ll be using day-to-day in your manufacturing role. Of course, this can vary widely depending on the role you’re applying for or the specific area of manufacturing you’ll be working in; operating procedures of certain machines, maintenance and upkeep of equipment, and hands-on mechanical knowledge are just a few examples. Because technology is playing an ever-increasing role in the world of manufacturing, a knowledge of and interest in technology as it relates to manufacturing is another great skill to have. You don’t need to be an expert or a computer wizard, but some knowledge of manufacturing tech can be very helpful. Do some research on machine learning and artificial intelligence in the manufacturing world to give yourself a leg up on the competition.
#4: Attention to Detail
The manufacturing field demands precision and speed. That means attention to detail is essential. And just like communication and critical thinking, the ability to pay attention to the small things is crucial for safety. Jobs that carry some measure of risk – those who work with complex machinery or operate forklifts, for example – need to be able to focus themselves on their task for an extended period and notice when something is off.
Virtually any job in manufacturing requires some level of teamwork. Even if you work on a specific component or machine by yourself, you’re working as part of a larger network of people to accomplish tasks and reach goals. A combination of all the above skills – communication ability, critical thinking, knowledge of manufacturing tech, and attention to detail – means you’re acting as a great and effective team member.
Work with a Manufacturing Recruiter for Job Placement Services
Looking for a job in the important field of manufacturing? We’re here to help. LaborMAX is a specialized manufacturing staffing agency, and our manufacturing recruiters can help job seekers like you format your resume and ensure you’re including the skills that manufacturing employers are looking for. Browse available jobs from LaborMAX and get in touch with us to get started on your job search. We look forward to helping you advance your career in the exciting world of manufacturing.
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