While technical prowess is going to be critical to any candidate looking to move on in the field of engineering, no hiring manager is likely to overlook soft skills. Every candidate is going to need to complement their hard (technical) expertise with soft skills.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are interpersonal and character traits that allow individuals to effectively interact with others. This can include being able to listen and accept feedback, to be collaborative and to function within a specific work culture.
Your soft skills can be influential in not just getting the job, but in overall success within the company.
3 Soft Skills to Include on Your Resume
Engineers will be studied for their measurable talents, but the intangible - language proficiency, capacity to work with teams and attitude - demonstrate that you can navigate professional and social situations. This will be important to hiring managers who expect you to create, cooperate, lead and organize alongside others.
While you do not need to deliberately state soft skills the way you would technical, make sure your resume shows you have, at the very least, the following three critical soft skills.
Surveys have shown one of the biggest peeves with the average employee is a lack of communication. Whether with clients or team members, without effective listening and speaking there's greater chances for misunderstandings which can lead to lost time and money. Many engineers don't give communication the importance it deserves. Many of them are so used to doing the bulk of their work alone - as in software development or CAD designing - and do not concern themselves with effective communications. If hiring managers do not believe you can actively and smoothly interact with others, they may see you as difficult. Make sure your resume delineates your experience working with teams, writing reports, giving presentations, attending conferences and other job-related social activities.
The seasoned engineer knows that unforeseen challenges can crop up at the drop of a hat. The question is do you have the ability to identify solutions, modify situations and adjust actions accordingly to quickly circumvent them? Flexibility is a critical component that any engineer needs, especially in the tech frontier, where trends and procedures constantly evolve and industries are forced to reshape internally to stay in the game. Hiring managers and organizations are not interested in candidates that can't bend with the needs of the company. An unwillingness to adjust for the unexpected will be a detriment to any candidate.
Leadership is not merely about giving orders. It's about inspiring others to do their best. Hiring managers want engineers that convince colleagues, clients and customers to follow their positive lead. Leaders make fast decisions in the face of adversity. They deliver on time despite obstacles. Leaders show resourcefulness, loyalty and promote trust. They relate to others and take initiative. Leaders can look forward to a rewarding career. You definitely want your resume to demonstrate how you've blended a variety of skills in ways that led to successful results with your teams and projects.
A resume that expresses technical acumen by itself will not always convince hiring managers to pick up the phone. Give them the soft skills that play a key role in employment and advancement.