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Assemblers and fabricators need this skill to succeed

CareerBuilder | September 19, 2017

Underneath the typical responsibilities of assemblers and fabricators lies a need for good leadership skills to get the job done.

Leadership is an important skill for assemblers and fabricators, but it may not be immediately obvious why. On the surface, assemblers and fabricators don't necessarily hold leadership-oriented positions, employers in this industry often indicate that leadership skills are important for potential applicants. Underneath the typical responsibilities of assemblers and fabricators lies a need for good leadership skills to get the job done.

Good leaders are good communicators

Leadership and the responsibilities of assemblers and fabricators

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the majority of assembler or fabricator positions are team-based — in other words, they require working in small groups. Assembly teams are responsible for putting together either partial or complete products, and individuals on these teams may rotate between different groups rather than perform tasks on a more permanent basis, so applicants need to demonstrate versatility and flexibility — two hallmarks of a good leader.

Team assemblers may or may not have leaders, and group members may have to make decisions on the fly that can affect the productivity of the entire organization. According to the BLS, team production techniques have been a key factor in the continuing growth and increased productivity of the manufacturing sector. This not only increases the quantity of goods produced, but also the quality of those products. Because of how integral teamwork is in assembly positions, you should include solid leadership skills on your resume to increase your chances of getting hired.

What do good leadership skills look like on a resume?

Good leaders are good communicators. Since most fabrication and assembly involves working in groups, it's important to effectively communicate with your teammates — for example, informing your group that you need additional time to complete an assembly step. Communicating your needs and concerns to your group will ensure that your team doesn't hold up a production line; after all, employers are looking for employees that will increase the productivity of their organization, not hinder it. And because teams are comprised of diverse groups of people with a variety of work and communication preferences, a good leader will be perceptive to the ways their teammates prefer to interact.

Strong listening skills are also important. While you should be confident enough in your workplace to share your needs with your team, you should also be receptive to the concerns of others — for example, do they need extra time on an assignment, or a teammate to check on their work? Being an active listener means making sure your co-workers are comfortable communicating openly with you — an important leadership quality that will come in handy on the assembly line.

Although the core tasks of assemblers and fabricators will usually be consistent, there will always be problems that may arise. You’ll need to think quickly and exercise good judgment to help lead your team past any potential roadblocks. This includes assessing potential solutions, taking into account the opinions and ideas of other team members and using your communication skills to make sure you're on the same page as the rest of your team when you decide on your course of action.

Indicating leadership skills — effective communication, active listening, quick thinking, sound judgment, etc. — will better your chances of being hired, and exercising these skills in your position (even if it's not a leadership role) can lead to increased responsibilities and even promotions.

Putting leadership on your resume

Since leadership is a soft skill, it can be hard to communicate leadership skills on your resume, particularly if you don't have much experience. The best way to explain your strengths is to use specifics. Think about certain jobs or tasks you did in the past that required working in groups. What were the outcomes of these projects? By providing specific details and facts (such as numbers or statistics) about these experiences, you can prove that your leadership skills are indeed what potential employers in this industry are seeking.


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