The internet is the best job-seeking tool ever invented, right? As it turns out, the manufacturing industry was fairly late to the game when it came to social media. For most skilled workers looking for manufacturing jobs, LinkedIn or other social networks would be the last places to look on a job search.
However, while it’s true that many business and professional jobs are listed on LinkedIn, the last few years have seen manufacturers step up their job-listing game. As precision manufacturing job firm MPS Technical explains, “Though manufacturing firms may have been slower to hitch to the LinkedIn wagon, they now have a strong presence. Manufacturing companies also compete for needed talent. On LinkedIn, they are conducive to communicating with a skilled workforce they may not be able to reach otherwise, and are eager to list workforce positions.”
Part of the new wave of manufacturers on LinkedIn is also due to the social media platform’s policy changes: Last year, the Financial Times reported that Allen Blue, co-founder of LinkedIn, wanted the site to shed its elitist image as a website that only had fitting options for white-collar workers. Blue also explains that understanding the skills of laborers in various geographic areas could help employers plan where to build a factory or a distribution center based on a local labor force’s skill sets.
LinkedIn’s push to attract manufacturing and tech industries is also a reaction to alternative specialist websites like Workhands, a platform designed exclusively to be the LinkedIn for the skilled trades. Marketplace calls the website a “LinkedIn-style job network for the blue-collar crowd.” Founded by two Silicon Valley brothers, the network is designed for carpenters, machinists, painters, and skilled laborers who work with their hands. Rather than uploading your resume, “You can upload pictures of projects that you’ve worked on in the past,” said founder James Dunbar. “You can upload licenses and certificates that you’ve earned and list the tools that you know how to use.”
Whether you’re using Workhands, LinkedIn, or any other professional social media site, here are a few tips for skilled workers looking for jobs in the manufacturing industry.
- Fill out a complete profile. Particularly if you’re a job-seeker in manufacturing, employers will want to know most about your skills profile, so be as specific as possible when filling out that section. For many manufacturers, formal education is less important than skills, certificates, and work experience, so be sure to detail those sections accordingly.
- Connect with the right organizations. One benefit of being on a job site like LinkedIn is the ability to follow some major manufacturing organizations that are also on the platform, like the National Association of Manufacturers. Whether you’re interested in custom metal fabrication, woodworking, or something else, find your relevant organization and make sure to follow their posts in order to see any jobs that could be a good fit for you.
- Utilize keywords. Use keywords to rank more strongly in searches for employees with your skills. Having as many connections as possible is key, but including keywords in your profile can also ensure that you’re found more easily. Look at job descriptions for your dream job, and pull that terminology to use in your profile. JobHunt gives this example: “An Operations Director who finds production, Lean Six Sigma, manufacturing, process improvement, and cost savings in job descriptions could add this achievement to her Summary: Leveraged Lean Six Sigma for process improvement and 31% cost savings on manufacturing production line upon promotion to Director of Manufacturing Operations.
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