How To Showcase Your Technical Skills To Non-Technical People

Landing a technical professional job takes more than a list of impressive jargon words. How you showcase your technical skills to a non-technical hiring manager can make or break an interview. 

We explore how food and beverage professionals should showcase their technical skills in an interview to land the perfect technical professional job. 

Let's be honest; trying to highlight your best technical skills to a non-technical hiring manager can feel like explaining social media to your gran as she stares at you with that glazed-over expression, followed by the adage question: “Why can't we just talk to people anymore.”

 But don’t discount your technical expertise or your hiring manager. You have worked hard to earn the credentials you have. And whilst hiring managers may not have “worked” in your field, they must understand what they are looking for. 

The trick is how you, as an industrial engineer, maintenance manager, R&D Manager, or (insert any technical professional job position here), can showcase these specialised skills to hiring managers without losing them in translation. Hint, hint: It all comes down to excellent communication skills. 

The best way to list your technical skills in a resume. 

Food manufacturing resumes must highlight your technical skills, experience, and communication skills. But a simple technical skills section on a resume won’t cut it. 

The best way to show technical skills is to quantify them. Here is where you can demonstrate your excellent communication skills in how you explain your technical experience to non-technical people. 

For example, if you are applying as an industrial engineer at a top food and beverage plant, rather than saying you have implemented food safety procedures” use an example such as “implemented safety procedures to minimise the risk of harmful materials by 25%.” 

Demonstrating the impact of what you have achieved will showcase your expertise far better than a random list of skills. Always remember to match your resume to the job description. 

If the technical professional job calls for certifications such as GMPs, SQF, HAACP, or ISO certification, explain how you have used these certifications to implement new processes and procedures in your career. Building your case with sound examples will set you apart as the highly-skilled food and beverage production professional you are. Read our piece on food manufacturing resumes before you read further. 

Let's Talk Resumes: What To Include, What To Ditch!

3 Tips to showcase your technical skills in an interview. 

1. Demonstrate how your technical skills can help the company to achieve its goals.

Make sure to explain how your experience can demonstrate value to the plant or factory you are applying to work at. For example, if you’re an industrial engineer, list your experience with process optimisation, lean manufacturing, and statistical process control. Help the HR hiring manager picture how your experience will help address some of the problems they are facing and where you can assist. 

      

2. Meet the interview where they are: Tailor your answers based on their base knowledge. 

Rather than bore the hiring manager by rattling off qualifications and jargon, take time to understand their base knowledge and answer their questions based on this. Some hiring managers will have more advanced knowledge and expertise, you should use industry-specific terms to demonstrate your experience. 

3. Quantify your accomplishments: Talk about your impact with examples rather than a list of certifications. 

Food sanitation procedures and food safety certifications are a prerequisite for most food and beverage technical professional job positions. Rather than list that you have the certifications, talk about how these qualifications are useful in your day-to-day job position. 

For example, you may be asked about your experience with quality control. Use your technical knowledge to explain the steps you take to ensure that products meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

It's vital that you show how you work with other departments within the plant to develop the best protocols and processes. This will demonstrate how you complement your “hard” or technical skills with sound communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills  

If you are looking to advance your career, we can help you find a technical professional job that fits your needs. QTalent is Canada’s first food and beverage manufacturing talent acquisition platform that allows you a single platform to build a food manufacturing resume or profile that showcases your technical skills in a friendly manner to potential employers, as well as matching you to the best job listing based on location, compensation, and benefits- just to name a few criteria. 

Romy Zwiers

Author

Romy Zwiers is a journalist and marketing professional with 16 years of experience working across industries with a keen focus on the beverage and food industry, having worked with companies like KFC, Nandos, Cadbury and Coca-Cola.

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