9 Steps To Help You Land The Right Maintenance And Reliability Job

9 steps to help you land the right maintenance and reliability job

April 25, 2023
Adrian Messer explores how to navigate the current job market.

The job market for maintenance and reliability professionals can be competitive, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or just starting in the field, here are some tips to help you navigate the maintenance and reliability job market and help to land a job in a culture that better supports reliability initiatives and provides a better environment where you can grow your own skills in reliability.

  1. Stay updated on industry trends. The field of maintenance and reliability is constantly evolving with new technologies, methodologies, and emerging best practices. Stay informed by reading industry publications, attending conferences or workshops, and following relevant websites or social media accounts. Keeping up with the latest industry trends can help you stay ahead of the competition and demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.
  2. Update your skills. Continuous skill development is essential in the maintenance and reliability field. Identify key skills that are in demand and invest in professional development opportunities, such as training programs, certifications, or workshops. Skills that are in high demand right now include planning and scheduling, experience with CBM technologies, project management experience, and job plan review and creation.
  3. Network strategically. Building a strong professional network can open up job opportunities and provide valuable insights about the job market. Attend industry events, join relevant associations, and connect with professionals in your field through online platforms like LinkedIn or The Exchange forum by the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP). Be proactive in networking and establish meaningful relationships with industry peers, mentors, or even potential employers. Networking can help you learn about hidden job opportunities, get referrals, and stay updated on job market trends.
  4. Tailor your resume and cover letter. Your resume and cover letter are your first impression with potential employers. Tailor them for each job application to highlight your relevant skills, experience, and achievements. Quantify your impact in previous roles by using specific examples to demonstrate your work’s impact on the maintenance and reliability initiatives that you’ve worked on. By customizing your resume, it shows that you have taken time to understand the job requirements that you’re applying for and that you’re genuinely interested in the position.
  5. Be proactive in your job search. Don’t wait for job openings to be advertised. Be proactive in your job search efforts by reaching out to companies, recruiters, and hiring managers directly. Working with a recruiter can greatly increase your chances of being in more direct contact with the company that you wish to work for. Most recruiters have daily/weekly direct access to hiring managers and can help to work on your behalf to showcase your talents and skills and work to get you an interview faster. A recruiter can also help in the negotiating process for not only salary, but also other benefits like PTO and sign-on bonuses. 
  6. Prepare for interviews. Interviews are crucial to the job search process. Research the companies you’re applying for to prepare thoughtful responses to common interview questions, and make sure to highlight your skills, experience, problem-solving abilities, and leadership experience. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses and provide specific examples of the work that you’ve performed. Also, remember that it’s as equally important to vet the job as it is to vet the company you’re applying for.
  7. Showcase your soft skills. Soft skills, like communication, leadership, teamwork, and adaptability are highly valued in organizations. Highlight these skills in your resume, cover letter, and during interviews. Provide examples of how you have effectively collaborated with cross-functional teams, communicated complex information, or demonstrated leadership during a challenging situation. Soft skills can help to differentiate you from other candidates as well as demonstrate your ability to excel in a team-oriented environment and deal with change.
  8. Be flexible. Be open to different types of opportunities, such as contract work, remote work, or even relocation to increase your chances of finding your next opportunity in maintenance and reliability. Consider expanding your job search to different industries or geographic locations, because highly talented maintenance and reliability personnel are in high demand across all industries and locations. Being more flexible and adaptable to different work arrangements or locations can broaden your options and increase your chances of finding your next opportunity. It also will help you land somewhere where the culture is right, the work-life balance is right, and your ability to broaden your skills and impact in maintenance and reliability is heightened.
  9. Stay positive and persistent. The job search process can be challenging, and can take some time. On average, the hiring process for salaried level roles currently is taking  anywhere from 4-6 weeks from initial presentation to offer acceptance. Don’t get discouraged by rejections and setbacks, but rather learn from them and keep moving forward. Stay focused on your career goals and keep a positive mindset, as this can help you to navigate the current job market with resilience and determination.

In conclusion, the current maintenance and reliability job market requires a proactive and strategic approach. By implementing these tips, you can greatly increase your chances of success in landing your dream job in M&R, and be somewhere where your work is meaningful and the culture is the right fit for you.

About the Author

Adrian Messer | CMRP, Vice President of Executive Services, Progressive Reliability

Adrian Messer has worked in the maintenance and reliability field for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has worked with manufacturing and distribution facilities across multiple industries helping to improve their plant’s asset reliability through improved condition monitoring. Adrian is Manager of US Operations at SDT Ultrasound Solutions. Previously he worked with Progressive Reliability to advise companies on reliability-focused contracting & hiring and to find M&R professionals for open jobs.

Adrian is a graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Management with a concentration in Human Resources. He is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) through the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) and is actively involved with SMRP on a local and National level. He resides in Anderson, South Carolina.

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