Engineers should not underestimate the importance of soft skills
While technical skills are the most important part of your engineering resume, in the current hiring climate it is necessary to also convey your soft skills.
Skills such as emotional intelligence, time management, conflict resolution and working well under pressure are critical in the workplace and translate directly into a team’s success.
Employees need to be team-players and know how to interact not only with each other, but also with the clients.
Soft Skills vs Technical Skills in Engineering
While your degree and technical knowledge are vital in the workplace, they are no longer the dominant focus when considering a new higher. Equally important are the soft skills you possess. These skills are often a deciding factor, especially when recruiters have two candidates with similar technical abilities.
You can no longer rely entirely on your education and work experience to secure a job; you also need to showcase soft skills to sell yourself through your CV or in an interview.
What are soft skills?
Employers use soft skills to refer to the more intangible and non-technical abilities that candidates possess, also known as transferrable skills. They are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence, and emotional intelligence abilities.
- Time management
- Ability to work under pressure
What are technical skills?
In comparison, technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks. They are the hard skills that often require industry-specific training, education, and experience.
- Civil Engineering bachelor’s degree
- Mathematical skills
- Software and technology experience
- Written and oral communications
- Data modelling and analysis
They are typically measurable skills that demonstrate your qualifications and ability to perform the role successfully.
Why are soft skills so important for Engineers?
Your soft skills can be the difference between being an adequate candidate and an ideal candidate.
They relate to how you work with others (whereas technical skills relate to you, in isolation, as an individual), giving your potential employer information to assess how you will fit in their current team.
Over the years, there has been a higher focus on meatal heal in the workplace, employee satisfaction, and positive corporate culture. As a result, employers’ value soft skills because they facilitate success and a person’s ability to thrive in teams.
How to showcase soft skills in your engineering CV and at an interview?
It would help if you spent some time considering what your soft skills are and highlight them wherever possible in both your CV and in job interviews.
While it is easy to demonstrate technical skills through qualifications and certificates, soft skills can be challenging to showcase. As such, you should reinforce any claims of your soft skills with examples of when you used them to achieve positive outcomes. These examples can be drawn from professional, personal, or academic experiences.
Tip one: show communication and attention to detail by proofreading ruthlessly and eliminating any typos and grammatical errors. Your CV can demonstrate your quality of work.
Tip two: examples, examples, examples! Remember to show, don’t tell; simply stating that you are a great communicator doesn’t prove you are a great communicator. Continue your statement by explaining a time where your communication skills assisted in success.
Tip three: research and be prepared. Throughout an interview, you might be asked behavioural questions. Do some searching on questions you think you might be asked in your interview and practice how you will answer these.
Tip four: When attending an interview, be professional, make eye contact, listen closely to the questions, and answer them fully. Remember, both verbal and non-verbal cues are means of communication.
Tip five: understand and know your soft skills so you can discuss and demonstrate them confidently.
Contact us today if you are looking for a role in the Civil Engineering, Construction and Surveying industry, we can assist in finding the right role for your career.
As a professional engineer working within Queensland, it is legally required for you to become a Registered Professional Engineering (RPEQ).
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