As an engineer, potential employers weigh your technical skills and experience heavily. They want to know that you have the chops to handle the job. However, you can meet all the technical requirements but not land the job. Why? Because employers are also looking for soft skills. These are the critical skills that have nothing to do with technical ability and everything to do with people’s ability.
Here are five soft skills to showcase that will help you land a great engineering job.
Excellent communication skills are a must-have for all engineers. After all, you will always be working as part of a team. It is essential to be able to listen effectively, provide direction effectively and even to communicate technical information to non-technical stakeholders.
Can you think of a single engineering project that you’ve worked on that had no surprises, challenges or roadblocks? Probably not. You can always expect the unexpected. Budgets may change, project scope may change, equipment may unexpectedly go offline or shut down, team members can move on unexpectedly, even the weather can seriously impact certain types of projects. Employers are looking for engineers who can adapt quickly and adjust their approach any time an unforeseen issue arises.
As an engineer, you are adept at math and science which are not thought of as creative fields. They are based on facts and formulas and rules. However, as an engineer you are a problem-solver and employers are looking for people who can look at a problem and find new and creative solutions – solutions that could save time, money or lead to innovation.
No matter how large or small, engineering projects are extremely complex and require the work of an entire team. As an engineer, you are a critical member of that team so it is important to be able to demonstrate your ability to work well as part of a unit, especially among diverse teams made up of people who have different approaches and perspectives.
Engineers need leadership skills because even if they are not in supervisory roles, they typically take the lead on projects. To succeed, engineers must be able to see the big picture, set an example, present new ideas and motivate teammates when stress levels are high and morale is low.
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