Many of us spent the majority of our job-hunting time with the newest website and the hottest smartphone applications. And if you’re eager to find a position that fulfills you, then you’ll begin examining the best tools for your craft and the prevalent applications for your location.

But we often forget that our presentation ability – resume writing and interview mastery – help us stand out and are equally valuable. Not surprisingly, after passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, our student’s biggest challenge is to make that shift from technical mastery to cultivating and showcasing their soft skills.

Often your technical skills get your foot in the door, as employers use your resume as one item on a long checklist to shortlist the best candidates. But it is your soft skills that win you a shot at the most rewarding positions. Your time management, your initiative, your communication skills, and your willingness to accept responsibilities are the skills that are critical to stand above the sea of competing candidates.

These skills are more critical than ever as employers struggle to find ways to be competitive and to be productive. They recognize that teamwork, leadership, and communication are built through soft skills development.

So how do we put our best foot forward and how do we avoid making the biggest interview blunders?

Asking professionals in positions that you want is a great start. Yet, how do we know the advice is not simply anecdotal accounts, full of survivor bias, that lead us to draw false conclusions?

To give our students the critical edge, we leveraged the research The Ladders, Career Builder, and The Muse, to gain actionable information from hiring managers. Hiring managers help us avoid the false conclusions or survivorship bias by considering those that didn’t win the positions as well.

So here is a graphic that summarizes the advice of over 5200 hiring managers, gathered from surveys, and studies with CV screening applications and eye tracking software.

Written By
Mike Grossman is a Professional Engineer who helps Engineers in North America prepare for professional careers. He is passionate about marketing, traveling, and self-development.

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