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Developing Soft Skills for Job Hunting

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Looking for a new oil and gas engineering job is an exciting challenge – but there’s no denying that job hunting can be a stressful process.

So, how can you make sure your job search is a success? When looking for work, job hunters must apply all their skills to their search – including soft skills.

The assistance that soft skills provide is often overlooked so, in this article, we break down what soft skills are, explain how and why you should apply them to your oil and gas job search, and share some of our own tried and tested job search tips.

Why you need to promote your soft skills

When it comes to job hunting, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd – and if you want potential employers to notice you, just saying that you have a particular skill is not very meaningful.

Instead, it is better to demonstrate that you possess this quality by sharing examples of times when you have used it, thereby enabling a hiring manager to visualise your skill awareness.

Sound good? If you’re ready to find out how to use your soft skills to help you find oil and gas engineering manager jobs, let’s dive in!

5 soft skills that are essential for job hunting

1. Networking

First thing first, it’s important to build connections with people who can help with your job search. In fact, sometimes when it comes to landing your dream job, it really is about who you know.

When considering networking and reflecting on how I secured previous roles with employers, I was a little surprised to find that all but one of my jobs was sourced through networking.

In fact, over the last twenty-five years, all my positions have come through former colleagues or referrals to head-hunting, with my first job sourced through my family network - and only one job was formally applied for.

So, develop your contact lists – speak to your friends, family, and people you know in work. Contact professional associations and lean on anyone, such as former colleagues, that can generate leads for you to follow up.

If you’re not comfortable networking in person, don’t stress: search your dream company on LinkedIn and join any groups that their hiring managers might be part of and begin networking online instead.

2. Perseverance

Adapting positively to challenging circumstances (resilience) and persistence when times are tough (perseverance) are closely related skills that are also essential for successful job hunting.

Remember, failure is a large part of trying and rationalising this thought will aid your resilience. Of course, it’s difficult not to get down when you are rejected or perhaps worse receive no feedback – but this is where the importance of resilience comes in.

Rather than let dejection take over, flip it around and use the rejection as a learning opportunity.

You can assess your interview performance and identify any areas for improvement, recognise mistakes that need to be minimised or removed, and also note things that went well to do next time.

Taking a more positive approach to the hard knocks that come with job hunting will not only protect your general wellbeing, but it will also improve your hiring chances too there’s no better place to showcase your emotional intelligence than in a job interview!

3. Resilience

A big part of developing resilience is rationalising what is going on and understanding your influence on a situation or the likely outcomes. So, do expect your CV to be rejected frequently, do not expect regular feedback, and remember only a small percentage of any application group are interviewed.

Remember, you might have as little as 10 seconds to impress somebody reviewing your CV. While this is difficult to accept, I’ve been there reviewing hundreds of CVs, and it is true.

Recruiters and hiring managers develop keyword search skills and can be incredibly efficient (ruthless) at shortlisting candidates. Some of this is even now automated with AI, and there is also self-selection where you inadvertently deselect yourself through a series of online questions.

For these reasons, you must always keep in mind the critical requirements of a role you are applying for and cover them in your application, and try to remain resilient and maintain a positive mindset throughout the duration of your search.

Also, don’t miss this blog for our ultimate list of oil and gas CV dos and don’ts.

4. Think about your audience

It is also worth giving some thought to your target audience.

When interviewing for oil and gas engineer manager jobs, it is possible that the hiring managers conducting your interview are from a different generation to you, typically an older one.

Of course, we’re not making generalisations, but it’s important to be aware of potential generational differences because understanding them will help improve communication and relationships.

Given the potential generational differences, consider focusing on promoting your skills that cross generational divides such as communication skills, flexibility, and team-working.

5. Keep learning!

Finally, it’s important to allow time for upgrading your existing skills or acquiring new ones.

Not only can investing in upskilling provide you with a competitive edge over other candidates, but with the oil and gas industry changing so frequently, it’s essential to showcase that you remain current in your field and that you have the necessary skills to thrive.

In fact, the most effective job seekers are continually refining and adding top their skill sets to make sure they are always ready to the next exciting opportunity.

Do you stand out from the crowd?

When it comes to job hunting and interviews, it’s essential that you consider how you stand out and do not just say what you did, but also emphasise what skills you developed, how you grew them, and what you learned from applying them.

Most of all, remember that in terms of your job search, perseverance means not giving up on finding a job position when things are tough, and resilience suggests that you can bounce back quicker and stronger from the challenges you experience job-hunting.

How Orion Group can help you find your dream oil and gas role

With over 35 years of experience in the industry, Orion Group specialise in placing oil and gas engineers in their dream roles.

Our dedicated oil and gas engineering team work on offshore and onshore engineering roles, across the UK and internationally, which means there is no one better placed to help you with your job search.

To be first to know about the latest oil and gas engineering manager jobs, register your CV with us today for exclusive access to our newest vacancies or contact our team to learn more about how we can help.

Alternatively, you can download the complete Soft Skills for Job Hunting Guide here

About the Author

Ross MacRae has worked in Human Resources for thirty years. He is Group HR Director & Deputy MD, a member of the Orion Group board of directors and is in his tenth year at Orion.

Key responsibilities include leading the Orion ISP recruitment out-sourcing capability and account management of a key and fast-growing client. Ross also directs Marketing, Commercial, Business Management Systems and HR functional services within the business and has a number of divisional teams report to him.

Key skills are driving a performance-based culture, leadership team trusted advisor, talent analysis, benefits provision, keynote speaker, leading people strategies and directing diverse teams across multiple sectors, functions and regions.

Ross is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD and a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals retaining a PGDip in HR, PGCert in Management and BA Degree from the Open University. He is also a member of several advisory bodies providing sectorial, regional and career guidance.