Blue Collar Jobs Helpful Resources – Areas of Focus
Personally, I’ve been subjected to a bunch of online tests as part of the interview process. To even make it to the interview process, I had to have a resume that set me apart from the other 100 candidates. In the manufacturing environment, the emphasis on the resumes for incoming candidates isn’t terribly strict, however, a couple basic things get people taken out of the mix right from the start. I’ll cover how to create a basic resume AND how to avoid some common mistakes. In the meantime, check out this portfolio that comes in handy when you land your interview and need to bring a copy of your resume with you.
Interview Prep –
Sure, you can find a bunch of potential interview questions online (here are some examples). As I mentioned, the world is changing. The person you are interviewing with most likely deals with someone that sits in an office most of the day. Going beyond the questions asked, do you know what’s acceptable to wear? Are you comfortable explaining your experience? Do you know how to handle a question you don’t know the answer to? All these things are likely to come up and if you don’t take the time to prepare for what is realistically going to happen, you’ll likely get passed over. Oddly enough, I’m asked quite a bit about what to wear to an interview. Here are a few of my go to items when a suit isn’t required.
- Docker’s Straight Fit Pants – great choice when you need to look a little nicer but don’t want to spend big on the suit.
- Amazon Essentials Oxford Shirt – tucked in and paired with your khaki Docker’s, you’re looking professional but not over dressed. Something blue looks good with the khakis.
- Columbia Belt – this ties the pants and the shirt together.
- Socks – It might sound stupid but if you go white, it’s just not right. Pick these up and use the brown pair with this combo.
- Clark Shoes – I love Clarks. They are comfortable and stylish but not overdone. You can also use these on date night to show your lady how nicely you clean up.
Interview Questions –
I’ve interviewed many people in my career. When I ask a question, I’m looking for more than just your answer. I’m looking at your body language, listening to the details you provide, and trying to determine how you’ll fit in with the rest of the team. Here’s where I think most people get the interview process wrong. While a good part of the interview is about you and your experience, a key factor is what value does the interviewer think you can provide. How do you communicate your experience and value without coming across as arrogant? Here is a good book on body language.
How To Get Promoted –
you landed the job, good for you! Now, as the months and years pass, how do you not get stuck in the same role without the potential to move up and make more money? In a world of endless metrics and super advanced computer systems, how can you show the leadership team you can deliver more? This one is very interesting to me personally because I see so many people get the mix wrong – someone ends up as being viewed as a suck up vs. being helpful. I’ll dig into some ideas and strategies that will set you apart from the rest.
Building Soft Skills –
This is arguably the most important topic on the list! Blue-collar workers, in my experience, tend to view soft skills as unnecessary or as a sign of weakness. Neither could be further from the truth. Soft skills don’t have to be soft. Personally, one of the best compliments I’ve received in my professional career is when I was told I have an iron fist covered with a velvet glove. I’ll take you through my approach and how to build these softer skills. Believe me when I say that if you can develop these skills, even a little bit, you stand to set yourself apart (in a good, promotable way) from so many people.
Becoming A Leader –
The last manufacturing facility I worked in suffered from a massive turnover rate and had a hell of a time bringing people in to train and retain. In my humble opinion, this happened because the plant was focused on management being focused on leadership. Knowing the difference between these two things is something even the most experienced, and highly paid, executives struggle with. If you know the difference and can use the appropriate approach at the right time, you can be way more successful that your colleagues and promotion competition.