Aside from being smart, do you have the soft skills that the engineering industry is looking for? You may want to take another look at how you’re presenting yourself in your resume. Engineers might not be marketed for their soft skills, but these abilities and qualities are critical. To really succeed as an engineer, you need to be willing and able to exemplify the relationship and leadership skills that will help you stand out from a crowd of highly technical and qualified applicants. Here are the most important soft skills you should promote as an engineer looking to advance your career.
While many applicants may present themselves as having high-quality leadership skills, many engineers actually don’t know what is required to really exemplify this soft skill. It’s about more than telling a team what to do and how to do it. Leadership is made up of a variety of important abilities, including risk assessment, taking initiative, the ability to engage and motivate other team members, decision making skills, resourcefulness, trust and loyalty, to have and deliver on long term goals, and the ability to deliver products on time and despite obstacles. This is a skill necessary for engineers looking to make a difference.
Just as most professionals work closely with other professionals, it is rare to see each member of a staff work exclusively within their own niche. Team dynamics depend on employees’ abilities to work with each other and build on each other’s ideas. Collaboration, or teamwork as it is often referred to in job descriptions, is the ability to work well with other people from a variety of different backgrounds and mindsets. Keeping that in mind, it’s good to recall positive examples of your teamwork skills in action to show, rather than tell, an interviewer what a great collaborator you are.
As is the case in almost every profession where one works with other people, communication skills are critical to getting the job done. Don’t let the general nature of this common soft skill lull you into thinking it is not important. Communication skills include speaking, writing, listening, and you can’t have good communication skills without the others. Above all, good communication skills are about the ability to share information with co-workers, clients, and supervisors in such a way that results in understanding and collaboration. Which leads into our next skill…
Creativity and Adaptability
Creativity and adaptability are two soft skills that might not always be called on within the engineering profession, but the ability to solve problems certainly will be. In order to really have the opportunity to progress within your career, you need to show your employers you can think outside the box, respond well to unexpected scenarios, and provide solutions to the types of problems that regularly occur within your field. Innovation and a nimble-mindedness can help put you in advantageous situations where your engineering abilities and your creativity are both valuable assets.
For more advice on how to grow your engineering career, contact a recruiter at Verum Technical today.