Posts in Category: Job Seekers

5 Tips for a Great Interview!

5 Tips for a Great Interview!

Preparing for an interview is one of the best ways to avoid feeling nervous, so don’t underestimate the rewards you will reap by taking the following steps:

  1. Prepare! Even if you are applying for a job that you feel confident about performing the responsibilities, it’s still important to take some time to re-read your resume and the job posting. Look at sample interview questions - they can easily be found on the internet and then think through how you would answer. Talk with friends and family members about the interview process and ask them to share some of their interview experiences.  

  2. Look at the job posting and your resume to see what experiences or stories you could highlight during the interview that are relevant to the position for which you are applying. Make sure that your resume genuinely reflects your work history, including job titles and dates you were employed.

  3. Use your active listening skills. Active listening is giving full attention to the interviewer and offering non-verbal feedback, such as a smile, a nod, or a slight lean forward to show your interest. This conveys that you are enthusiastic about the job. Active listening also allows you to better hear important job requirements and better hear and understand the questions.  

  4. Respond fully to the questions. If you do not understand the question, ask the interviewer to repeat the question or ask for classification. Answer succinctly and confidently.

  5. Mean business! Help the interviewer visualize you in the role by communicating about the job and the business in a professional manner. When given an opportunity to engage in small talk, typically in the beginning of the interview, ask questions about the business. Make sure you maintain good posture and dress for the work culture. If you are unsure of what that is, ask prior to the interview.  

Tips and Tricks for a Great Job Fair Experience

Tips and Tricks for a Great Job Fair Experience
  1. Dress to make a good first impression. Business casual is acceptable but make sure your clothing is neat and clean.  

  2. Go to the employer! Don’t wait for the employer to reach out to you. Introduce yourself and be prepared to ask a question about the business, job opportunities, internships, etc.

  3. Prepare! Before the job fair, practice how you would answer conversational questions, “What kind of work are you looking for? Why are you interested in my company? Tell me a little bit about yourself?”

  4. Share something unique about yourself to stand out among the other job fair participants.  

  5. Have fun! Job fairs are a great opportunity to practice your interview skills in a less formal environment.  

What’s Cool About a Career in Manufacturing

What’s Cool About a Career in Manufacturing
  1. You get to work in a casual environment.

  2. You have many opportunities for improvement/advancement. 

  3. There are many different jobs to choose from.

  4. Your work is “hands on.”

  5. You get the satisfaction of seeing the end result of your efforts right away.

  6. You work with many different types of people (different ages, cultures, backgrounds, positions).

  7. You constantly learn new things.

  8. You work in a team-oriented workplace, solving problems together.

  9. You can choose from different shifts.

  10. You get a wide variety of work assignments.

  11. Every team member is responsible for product quality.

  12. Often manufacturing companies pay your tuition for any training you may need for the job you are performing or a job you will have in the future. 

Manufacturing drives our local and national economy.  Factories produce products and create jobs that keep our state and country strong. 

Building a Personal Brand

Building a Personal Brand

Personal branding is a way a person wants to be seen and known. Why is personal branding important? People make choices every day that help build their brand. When it is time to enter the working world, a personal brand is what an employer will consider. If your current or future employer viewed your social networking accounts, status, updates, tweets, postings from friends or other public pictures or writings, what impression would they have of you.  

How to build a personal brand?

  • Start now! Once words, pictures, content is posted, it will be difficult or impossible to remove.  Before posting anything, ask yourself if it is something you would want to explain to a future employer? 

  • Your personal brand should convey truthfully the positive aspects about yourself.

  • Companies express themselves through their actions, appearance, and choices – all of which build a reputation.  Choices you make now are part of the brand you are building. 

Myths About Manufacturing Careers

Myths About Manufacturing Careers
  1. Manufacturing is a poor career choice. Sometimes manufacturing gets a bad rap! It is dirty and dangerous, or there is fear that lay-offs will take place due to automation. Manufacturing looks much different today. There is a need for workers at all levels in manufacturing, such as entry-level positions, service technicians, programmers, application engineers, software engineers, and more. Jobs are also available in accounting, marketing, sales, and customer service.  Many manufacturing companies are high-tech, and production facilities are safe, clean, and they work very hard to protect the well-being of their employees. 

  2. Manufacturing jobs are on the decline. There are more unfilled manufacturing jobs than there are qualified workers to fill them. With baby boomers retiring, there aren’t nearly enough employees entering the manufacturing workforce to fill the open jobs. 

  3. Manufacturing jobs don’t pay well. Manufacturing is a massive industry with many different positions. Because there are so many manufacturing jobs available, companies have increased their wages to remain competitive.  

  4. Robots are replacing humans. Automation replacing workers rarely happens. While robots eliminate some jobs, it’s also creating jobs and making them safer. Robots allow manufactures to shift their focus to adding more skilled human workers who can design, innovate, and think critically.  

Key Skills for Technology and Manufacturing Careers

Key Skills for Technology and Manufacturing Careers

Step 1: Life Basics

Focus on excelling at the "life basics." All the skills in the world won't allow you to have a promising career if you aren't reliable and people find you difficult to work with. Develop habits now of showing up, being on time, staying "on task," being polite, showing a willingness to learn, and having a positive attitude. Regardless of the career path you choose, these good habits will serve you well. 

Step 2: Hands-on Experience

Get hands-on experience with projects around home or work. Seize any opportunities you have with friends or family to get experience with mechanical or building projects. Even simple projects like changing the oil in the lawnmower, changing the car battery, building a birdhouse, or deer blind are good ways to learn some basic skills like using simple hand tools, reading a tape measure, etc. If you have a job, ask your boss to involve you with mechanical projects around work. Better yet, try to find a summer job or school-to-work opportunity at a machining or fabrication shop so they can immerse you in manufacturing and work with others who have already chosen careers in these fields. Working with hands-on projects also gives you the chance to experience pride in building or fixing something. That sense of accomplishment is a key reason so many people find significant gratification in careers in welding and machining. A student who knows their way around a workshop or has some basic handyman skills have a leg up on students who have never used a tape measure or spun a wrench. Most career opportunities in advanced manufacturing require people to have good manual dexterity. Being good with your hands and enjoying that type of work are essential traits if you consider this career path. 

Step 3: The Basics Matter

Pay attention in school—the basics matter. Plain and straightforward careers in advanced manufacturing rely heavily on math and reading skills. Daily, most jobs in advanced manufacturing require individuals to perform basic math calculations quickly. Just as frequently, they use some geometry skills to determine layouts and complete similar portions of their job. While a machinist may never need to apply calculus, using basic math, geometry, and some algebra is essential. Having a solid ability to work with fractions and knowing how to calculate the sides of a right triangle or the circumference of a circle are examples of everyday skills for welders, machinists, and fabricators. Also, don't underestimate reading skills! Given the technical nature of advanced manufacturing, there is a lot of technical detail communicated on blueprints, equipment operating manuals, standard operating procedures, etc. Being able to read and absorb this information is vitally important quickly and accurately. 

Step 4: Choose Electives

Choose your electives wisely. When you take different elective classes, choose those with a mechanical, technical, and math slant over other electives. Ideally (if you are in or will go into high school), your high school will offer welding and machining classes. These should be at the top of your elective choices. If your high school does not offer welding or machining classes, get in touch with CWIMA and let us know. We work with many high schools, and we may donate equipment or find other ways of providing better training opportunities for your school. Like nearly all facets of modern life, welding and machining heavily depend on computers. Most modern machining centers are CNC. Welders are computerized. Robotic welding relies heavily on skilled programmers with strong welding knowledge. Classes in geometry, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), computer programming, science, physics, and even wood shop are other examples of electives that help build the skills needed for your career.

Employability Skills for Manufacturing Jobs by Heidi Garski Hammer

Manufacturing jobs are some of the most in-demand opportunities in the workforce. These jobs are often associated with blue-collar work and images of factories, production lines, and assembly workers come to mind for many people. But manufacturing has changed a lot in recent years and now requires a variety of skills and training. If you’re interested in working as a manufacturing engineer or another type of manufacturing professional, it’s important to understand what skills you need to get hired. Whether you want to build cabinets on your own as a cabinet maker or manage teams as an industrial engineer, knowing what they look for can help you stand out from the competition. To excel at any type of manufacturing job, it’s useful to develop your employability skills – or transferable skills that can be applied across roles and industries. Here’s everything you need to know about the employability skills required for successful careers in manufacturing jobs.

What Is A Transferable Skill?

A transferable skill is any skill that can be applied to a variety of industries and roles. These are the kinds of skills that employers look for because they can be applied across different types of positions and industries. Some examples of transferable skills are:

  • Critical thinking: This skill is used to analyze situations and see the connections between different parts of a project or issue.
  • Interpersonal skills: This includes skills like communication, team-building, or influencing others.
  • Negotiation skills: This includes the ability to work with people to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. These skills can come in handy in almost any field, so it’s important to build them up. If you focus on developing these skills, you can take them with you to almost any job.

Developing Your Employability Skills

Manufacturing jobs require a variety of skills, but many of them can be considered employability skills. Here are a few tips to help you develop these skills:

  • Build up your professional network: You never know where your next job opportunity will come from. Building relationships with people in your industry, as well as your colleagues, can help you explore new opportunities.
  • Develop a specialty: Building up your skillset makes you more desirable to employers. But specializing in a certain skillset, like electrical engineering, will help you stand out even more.
  • Pursue a certification: Earning a certification can help you expand your skill set while also showing potential employers that you’ve put in the effort to improve your abilities.
  • Build your academic knowledge: You can’t rely on your on-the-job skills alone. You need to have a strong academic foundation in order to apply your skills in the right way.

Manufacturing Job Skills List

Here are a few skills that are common among manufacturing professionals. You can use these as a guide to help you identify which skills you need to develop.

  • Critical thinking: This skill is used to analyze situations and see the connections between different parts of a project or issue. Critical thinking skills are often applied in manufacturing to solve problems or model potential outcomes for a project.
  • Interpersonal skills: This includes skills like communication, team-building, or influencing others. Interpersonal skills can help you lead project teams or collaborate with other departments inside your company.
  • Negotiation skills: This includes the ability to work with people to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. Negotiation skills are often used between departments or with suppliers to create win-win scenarios.
  • Teamwork: Manufacturing work often requires a team-based approach. These skills can be applied to your career and help you work more effectively in teams.
  • Planning: Planning for projects is an important factor for success in manufacturing. Planning for the right resources and materials, as well as forecasting and scheduling, is essential to manufacturing work.

Negotiation and Influencing Skills

These skills often overlap, but they all play a role in manufacturing. Negotiation, for example, can be used to work with suppliers to create a mutually beneficial contract. Or, you can use these skills to team up with other departments to create win-win situations for your company. This can help you collaborate more effectively across teams. Influencing skills are also helpful in manufacturing because they allow you to motivate others to complete tasks or help support your goals. Following the right leadership skills can also help you stand out as a leader to your team members.

Electronic Engineering and Computer Programming Skills

Electronic engineers are responsible for designing and building electrical circuits and systems. These engineers use computer programming skills to create the systems they design. Computer programming skills often go hand-in-hand with electronics engineering. If you’re interested in developing these skills, you can find a variety of courses at local colleges or online. You can also find part-time or freelance work as a programmer if you want to explore these skills without getting a full-time job.


If you’re interested in a manufacturing career, it’s important to understand what skills are necessary for success. You can use these skills to help you explore the many different manufacturing fields and find the best fit for you. Knowing what skills are important for manufacturing jobs can help you better prepare for these careers. If you’re interested in manufacturing, it’s important to develop these skills to help you succeed.

Why You Should Consider a career in Manufacturing

Why You Should Consider a career in Manufacturing

You'll be joining a high-demand industry. The manufacturing industry is experiencing a skills gap – meaning there will be more available jobs than there are qualified workers. A few reasons for that is a shift to “reshoring” or bringing manufacturing back to the US from overseas, as well as the Baby Boomer generation soon entering retirement. This means there’s a high demand for hardworking employees. In fact, it’s estimated that there will be 3.5 million new skilled manufacturing jobs created in the next decade.

Manufacturing offers good pay and benefits.

According to, the average manufacturing salary is over $63,000. Many full-time jobs also come with benefits such as health insurance and retirement fund contributions. While wages can vary based on location, employer, and experience, the bottom line is you can make a good living with a career in manufacturing. 

You'll avoid student debt.

The average student debt of a college graduate today is over $31,000. The rising cost of higher education has made a four-year college degree unrealistic or not the sure investment that it used to be. If you’re graduating from high school or looking to switch to a new career, you can gain an entry-level position in manufacturing without accumulating student debt that will follow you for years. This also gives you the chance to start adding savings for retirement sooner. There are many different paths into a career in manufacturing including apprenticeships and on-the-job training.

Work with new technologies.

If you like learning about and using the latest gadgets, you could turn that passion into a career. Manufacturers are constantly adding new technologies to improve productivity, quality, and safety. Some examples include 3D printing, robotics, analytics, internet of things (IoT) connectivity, blockchain, and more.

Have job stability.

As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, not all industries are safe during uncertain economic times. However, many manufacturers were considered essential businesses and stayed open while other industries were shut down. Plus, since the job market is in high demand, employers are offering higher wages and better benefits to retain skilled workers.

Have access to opportunities for advancement.

Once you get your foot in the door with a manufacturing employer, there are many different ways you can advance your career. From working up to a manager role to transitioning to a different department such as sales or operations, you have opportunities to shape your future.

Take pride in making something real.

When so much of our lives are digital today, there’s something fulfilling about making something tangible that you can hold or use. Depending on your job, you can make products that are used in everyday life or you see out in the real world. You could also take pride in making products that help others such as medical devices, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and more.

Stay active.

Not everyone is interested in sitting at a desk for eight hours a day. If that sounds like you, good news – many manufacturing jobs keep you moving, active, and collaborating with others.

Get involved in a personal interest.

Since manufacturing is used in so many different industries, you could find a career working in an area that matches one of your personal interests. For example, if you are a motorsports fan, you could work in automotive manufacturing. Or if you like technology, you could help build the next big electronic device. 

Use creativity and problem-solving skills.

Contrary to popular belief, manufacturing jobs are not all repetitive, assembly-line style tasks. Actually, many modern manufacturers are looking for workers who offer fresh, creative thinking and can solve problems – for example, figuring out a better way to set up a machine for a job.

Top 10 Reasons to Consider a Career in Manufacturing

Top 10 Reasons to Consider a Career in Manufacturing

"What do you want to do when you graduate?” Finding a career that’s right for you can feel overwhelming. There are many boxes to check, including a role that matches your interests and skillsets, allows you to provide for yourself and your family, and offers the right combination of stability and opportunities. Whether you’re just starting your career or looking to change your path, here are the Top 10 Reasons why now is a great time to get into manufacturing!


1. It’s Exciting

Manufacturing covers a wide array of industries – it’s difficult for people not to find it interesting. Manufacturing spans some of the most interesting high-tech industries, such as aerospace, food technology, machine monitoring, and pharmaceuticals. Not everyone gets the opportunity to tell friends about their day-job, but when you’re working on the latest developments in aerospace, people want to listen.

2. It’s Safe

To the contrary of what’s widely believed, the days of workers crammed into darkened sweat-boxes, handling dangerous chemicals and machines that would gladly rip off a limb are now, mostly, resigned to history. Things have come a long way. Robots, machine monitoring, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and automation are all employed to ensure that the workplace is a smart and safe one.

3. You’re Creating Tangible Things

Manufacturing is all about producing things which go on to help people live their lives. And there’s very little that’s more satisfying than seeing the fruits of your labor and saying “I made that”. Workers in manufacturing are responsible for bringing products into stores, and maybe even set pieces into blockbuster movies. If you work in a bank, you shuffled some numbers today – and those numbers got shuffled by someone else. Manufacturing produces tangible products.

4. There’s A Career Path

There’s more to manufacturing than fabrication and welding – although, these days, these are highly skilled roles. Automation has taken a lot of the dangerous, repetitive work away from the factory floor, leaving many specialized tasks behind for talented individuals.

As the baby boomers retire, there are opportunities in leadership, as well as opportunities in sales, business development, marketing, product research and development, and HR. Manufacturing can provide stability and life-long career paths.

5. The Cutting Edge

Manufacturing has always driven innovation: 3D printing, the IIoT, drones, robotics, for example. We adopt new technologies before they become widely available on the consumer market, so we get the opportunity to use and perfect the development of these cutting-edge technologies. It’s a great reason to get up for work in the morning.

6. Contributing

Manufacturing makes a significant contribution to home and global economies, as well as puts food on the table at a local level. With a substantial contribution to GDP, manufacturing helps raise the standard of living for workers and consumers, while lubricating the economy. We’re also producing products that make lives easier, so not only is the contribution financial, but we’re adding to the quality of life for millions of consumers.

7. There’s a Need

There’s a huge skills gap in manufacturing. In 2011, the National Association of Manufacturers identified that there was a 67% deficit in available, qualified workers. That means that there’s a huge opportunity for training, and for those hoping to develop life-long skills. The world of work has become transient as our economies have shifted to a service-based focus; the “job for life” in those industries has become a thing of the past. But manufacturing is here to stay and needs skilled workers, especially as the baby boomers are retiring, leaving huge gaps in the workforce. 

8. Diversity

With the massive demand for skilled people, there’s a huge array of career progression opportunities in manufacturing. The image of repetitive production lines and grubby overalls is not the new norm. Of course, those roles are still available for those who want them, but technology has stepped in, leaving wider possibilities for skilled workers. It’s not all shop-floor working; there are opportunities in prototyping, product development, as well as the many office and marketing roles.

9. You Get Paid

Manufacturing offers competitive pay and benefit packages. There’s a higher percentage of workers in manufacturing with retirement plans, in comparison with other private sector industries. And there’s often a good range of health care benefits available, and on a more generous basis than in other industries.

Pay, on average, is higher for equivalent roles in other industries.

10. New Skills

As manufacturing adapts to new technologies, so do the roles. There’s a distinct push for people with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills, as machines require programming and new software needs development.

Companies are struggling to recruit people with these skills; partly because it’s not widely understood that these skills are required. But for highly qualified, technical specialists, manufacturing offers excellent potential for a great career.

So, there you have it – ten reasons why it’s great to work in this exciting industry. If you’re interested in getting involved, speak to your local careers advisor, or approach your local manufacturer directly and let them know what you have to offer them.