As one of the fastest-growing and most exciting fields of work, many students aspire to become an engineer. Freshers and college graduates have significant earning potential, and most jobs offer stability and personal satisfaction. Engineers need several unique skills, and that makes jobs very demanding and hard to get. An engineer has several possible job types and opportunities available to them.
Most jobs in the field of engineering require you to have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an engineering college or university. A Master’s degree or a Ph.D. can ensure higher pay and greater perks in your job. Besides your academic degrees, your technical experience and soft or communication skills would be put to test in your daily tasks as an engineer.
Soft skills refer to those skills required to adapt to the various workplace cultures and understand and work with different kinds of people, problems, and situations. Leadership and communication skills are very important to become successful as an engineer. Soft skills such as these complement the ‘hard’ skills, like programming and technical knowledge regarding your particular line of work, that you may need in your daily work.
Important skills for an Engineer
As an engineer, several branches can be your choice, and there are skills particular and unique to your industry. The skills, credentials, and expectations would vary significantly between the different fields. It is important to gather and learn about your preferred stream of engineering and your job before you apply for it. You should understand the job requirements and expectations, and give a great emphasis on the skills pertinent to the field in your resume. Mentioning specific details regarding your education and experience in your resume, cover letter and interview garners interest towards you as a candidate.
The soft skills or social skills needed in almost every industry is similar. Though they may seem unimportant at face value, interviewers grade and pick up on deficiencies you might exhibit. Without proper interpersonal skills, even the most technically-trained engineers might find it difficult to climb up the ladder in their jobs or companies.
Knowledge of the Industry
As an engineer, you have an ample number of available industries in which you choose to work. Depending on your choices, there might be some hard skills you need to master to be successful in your field. Without proficiency in particular hard skills, it would be difficult for you to flourish in the field of your choice.
Engineers are the backbone of society, and they create and solve everyday problems for making life easy. They need technical skills particular to their industry to succeed, and formal education in the specific field is required.
As an engineer, communicating and relaying concise and precise information among your team members is extremely important. Additionally, you would also have to communicate with clients and customers, who might not have a technical background. It is necessary to be able to understand and translate the ideas and information into non-technical or easy words, for everyone to understand. You would have to break down the complexities of the idea into an easy and understandable analysis. Due to the high demands of technical skills, communication often tends to be a weakness among many new engineers. Communication skills include emotional intelligence, presentation skills, active listening, ability to negotiate and motivate and cope with the stress of tight deadlines, and hard work.
Engineering involves solving complex problems and making problem-solving easy for everyone. As an engineer, you should have the creative ingenuity to apply existing ideas and knowledge in new and unique ways. You would have to brainstorm and think outside the box to solve your problems and complete your projects.
Attention to Detail
Most projects professional engineers solve are complex, and take a lot of time. Many collaborators work to solve the same problem, and even minor errors can give great mistakes. A little mistake in the initial planning stage can often affect the outcome, and you would have to work on it again. Sometimes, the failures can mean the loss of not only money but also lives. So, engineers need to have a detail-oriented eye and keep a check for mistakes that might affect the result.
As an engineer, there are several skills, that come in handy in your work. Engineers solve complex problems, in an attempt to make newer discoveries and inventions easily available to the general public. Some other skills that you might need as an engineer are:
- Reading Comprehension
- Deductive Reasoning
- Inductive Reasoning
- Independent Thinking
- Passion for Improvement
- Commercial Awareness
- Environmental Awareness
- Equipment Diagnostics
Make Yourself Stand Out Among the Crowd
It is very important to ensure that reviewers and the hiring agency find something worth their time as they read through scores of resumes and cover letters. Your application and resume should catch their eyes and leave a mark.
Get to know your industry more by talking to professionals or studying about it on the internet. Researching your choices is the first step you should take before you proceed with your resume or cover letter or interview. Engineers are responsible for the building, creation, and modification of solutions for various problems in several complex fields. You should take time to research the specific technical skills you need for your field, and highlight them in your resume.
It is redundant to mention skills that you would not be requiring in your job. You have to make sure that your resume matches your skills, especially the ones employers are interested in. Your cover letter should mention any particular project that you worked on or contributed to. Give a brief description of your role in the project and what you learned and applied in your work. Your interview would be a great opportunity to present your work to your employers.
Engineers work to make the life and work of others easy and efficient. So, your projects and researches should be of some value to someone else. You should be ready to explain your previous work with real-life scenarios and examples, wherever possible. Do not mention only the successful results, but also the unsuccessful ones – the problems you ran into and how you overcame them. This would give an insight into your communication as well as your problem-solving skills.