Working in Manufacturing: Important Soft Skills
July 26, 2022 7:45:00 PM

As we enter into post-pandemic life, job seekers need to know what manufacturing jobs will look like in the future and how to get one. Today, we’re discussing the importance of soft skills and how they can help applicants stand out on their resume.   

As businesses continue recovering from the pandemic, manufacturers are readily looking for workers to fill a plethora of available positions. MAU has recently posted about the types of manufacturing jobs that industries will be looking to fill in the next few years and the skills that will be required for them [insert career tips blog], but are there other skills that are needed to make a good candidate? What if someone doesn’t have every requirement listed, are there other skills they could put on their resume to make them stand out?

While experience in a job is important, other skills, known as soft skills, can make a difference in a candidate. Soft skills are personal attributes that support things like situational awareness and help an employee get the job done. They are the unquantifiable qualities that make a person a reliable worker. These are things that can’t be measured on a spreadsheet or analyzed; they are attributes that make a person unique and capable of working in a manufacturing plant. They can be things like digital skills, creativity, writing abilities, people management, negotiation, patience, and diplomacy. These skills can make a candidate stand out when they are lacking in other experience, and these skills are absolutely needed in manufacturing.

Top Soft Skills to Stand Out in Manufacturing:

Communication
Communication is a great skill to highlight on a resume because almost every job requires communication. Communication is important in both navigating tasks and working with coworkers. Manufacturing specialists and engineers are often seen as being lone wolves, but no one should be isolated when working in a manufacturing plant. Workers need to be able to collaborate, handle conflict, and get things done by efficiently communicating what they need. Communication is also needed to ensure that projects are done smoothly and safely. Poor communication can lead to poor performance and unsafe working conditions. Showing you can communicate will let recruiters know that you can be trusted to handle working in a complex environment like a plant.

Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills are important in any job, like communication, but are especially necessary for manufacturing. To have interpersonal skills means that you are able to handle people well and is tied closely to communication. If one person is hard to work with, the whole team can suffer in manufacturing. Employees will have to report to managers and work with other workers in a manufacturing setting, so it is important to tell recruiters that you can work well with people and be a team player.

Timeliness
On the surface, this skill seems to be the simplest one to have, and it is. It is very easy to be on time; however, this is a skill that a lot of workers don’t seem to possess. If deadlines aren’t met, it can cause huge delays in shipment, so even though this skill seems simple, it is one of the most important to have in manufacturing. Being able to get work done on time and within a timeframe is important in the fast-paced, detail-oriented manufacturing industry. The industry needs employees that can finish a project quickly and correctly to meet their timeframe.

Adaptability/Problem Solving
Nothing would ever go wrong in a manufacturing plant in an ideal world. Machines would run smoothly, parts that needed to be assembled would always be pristine, and products would always be shipped on time. Sadly, this is not a perfect world, and more often than not, in the world of manufacturing, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Of course, things also go wrong at the worst time possible.

Attention to Detail
A lot of problems in manufacturing can be avoided with attention to detail. There is a lot of moving parts in a manufacturing plant, both literally and figuratively, so it is important that workers can keep up with the smaller details. Losing sight of the small stuff is easy to do and can lead to some dangerous situations, so being able to demonstrate attentiveness is important to anyone wanting to work in a plant.

Putting Soft Skills on Your Resume:
Hopefully, you’ve identified some soft skills that you can highlight to recruiters. Now, the question is, how do you do that? Do you just list soft skills on your resume? In one sense, you can absolutely put soft skills under a skill section of the resume; a better idea is to sneak these skills into other parts of your resume. For example, try to highlight soft skills under previous experience. Maybe you had a role where you needed to be detailed-oriented. Emphasize that on your resume. If you had a role that required strict deadlines, be sure to include that in your description. You could have even won an award or recognition based on your problem-solving abilities. The goal is to be creative with where and how you list your soft skills.

A way to ensure you include soft skills is first to list which ones you think you possess. Then look at your resume. Think about which positions required you to use different soft skills and find a way to mention that on your resume. You could also put soft skills on a personal statement that goes at the top of your resume. A personal statement is also a great way to introduce your goals and reasons for applying to the job as well.

Soft skills are a great way to stand out in the job search, and there are many others you can list besides the ones we mentioned above. Soft skills tell the recruiter more about who you are. They stress what makes you unique and specially qualified to work in manufacturing. Take time and think of what makes you unique as a worker and how those qualities can help you in the manufacturing world. You may not think they are that important, but soft skills are often what leads a person to find success in their career.

To read more about important soft skills, check out these links below:


About MAU

MAU Workforce Solutions is an innovative global company with extensive experience providing solutions for success in staffing, recruiting, technology and outsourcing to our clients, employees and applicants. Headquartered in Augusta, GA since 1973, MAU is a family and minority-owned company offering better processes and better people to create efficiencies and greater profits for our clients. Our relationships with world-class companies, our training programs and our culture of family allow MAU to offer better results, better jobs and better lives to those who work with us. For additional information about MAU, visit www.mau.com.