Entering The Job Force? Start Here

  • Entering The Job Force? Start Here

    April 13, 2021

    Entering The Job Force Start Here A career in manufacturing can lead to steady, well-paying work, especially once you've gained some experience. Many manufacturing positions don't require a college degree, and with some, you can move up the pay scale by getting a certification or two-year degree from a technical or vocational school.

    If you're just beginning your career in manufacturing, it can be tough to know where to get started. This guide will help you get your job search off on the right foot.

    Research Specialties

    "Manufacturing" is a general industry that encompasses quite a few specialties. Do you want to go into casting, machining, additive, or liquid materials manufacturing? Are you more interested in being an instrument specialist or a machine operator? You may even choose to start in assembly line work, then move into a more specialized role.

    As you're researching those specialties, pay particular attention to the qualifications you'll need. Browse job openings in your area and look at the required skills, as well as any certifications that are needed. You can then make sure you check off all the boxes before you start officially looking.

    Be Willing to Pay Your Dues

    Yes, manufacturing careers can be lucrative, but as with any profession, experience matters. You may have to work at a lower wage for a short time to qualify for those better-paying gigs. Before you start, though, research the market and learn which skills are most in demand. Then you can strategically move up the pay scale.

    That said, you likely have skills that you can easily apply to manufacturing work. Research various careers within manufacturing and see if any of those skills are a match for your own background. The more you can put on your resume, the more likely you are to get a better wage right off the bat.

    Know the Technology

    Manufacturing can be highly technical. Although you can learn the technology on the job, if you walk in the door knowing it, you can give yourself an edge over other candidates. You'll need to be able to operate special equipment like drilling machines, hobbing machines, or grinders.

    The problem with learning the technology side of manufacturing is that each manufacturer will use different equipment. Things are constantly changing, too. Today's equipment may also use artificial intelligence to maximize productivity. If you can research modern tools related to your specialty, you'll make a better impression during the interview process.

    Know Your Soft Skills

    The specialized processes and technologies you'll use in a manufacturing job are only part of it. In fact, in recent years, employers have realized the importance of soft skills. An employee with a strong work ethic who is a quick learner can be far more valuable than a less motivated employee who has the certifications and experience on paper.

    Below are some examples of soft skills that translate well to manufacturing jobs. If you excel in these areas, make sure you emphasize them during the application and interview process.

    • Attention to detail. Manufacturing can be a high-stress environment. Even one missed step can lead to errors, injuries, and death. Being able to pay attention to instructions and follow them thoroughly will serve you well in a manufacturing environment.
    • Teamwork. It usually takes multiple people to accomplish every task in manufacturing, so having a teamwork-oriented mindset will appeal to employers.
    • Adaptability. Changes are inevitable. The ability to quickly learn new processes and shift up the way you do things can come in handy in a manufacturing environment.
    • Dependability. This particular skill comes in handy no matter where you work. But it's one thing to say you're dependable. Your resume and interview responses should reflect how your dependability paid off in your previous roles.
    • Interpersonal skills. Your ability to work well with others will make you stand out above other candidates. Often this is something you show in the way you interact with the hiring team while you're interviewing.

    Craft Your Resume

    Although some manufacturing jobs will have an online application for you to complete, you'll need a resume with many employers. You can find manufacturing resume templates out there, but any standard resume template will do. The key is to make sure you emphasize the very things that an employer in the industry is likely to look for first.

    If you're just starting out in the field, your education and certifications will be most important. Even jobs outside the industry can help. Those soft skills like teamwork and communication will translate well to any job. If you worked in the restaurant or retail industry, list those, but mention the responsibilities you had and the skills you used that will show an employer you're a good candidate.

    The job search process can be challenging, but there are plenty of resources to help you get started. Express Employment Professionals has listings for manufacturing jobs in your area on its website. Call us at (615) 441-8898 to find out how we can help you find the right position to fit your skills.