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Supervisor Job Qualifications

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A job as a supervisor allows you to exercise your managerial skills. The needed qualifications for a supervisory position depends on a variety of factors, such as what processes you'll be managing or the types of employees you’ll be supervising. Regardless of the job some key qualifications can help you land the supervisory position of your dreams.


Previous professional experience as a supervisor will likely increase your chances of landing the supervisor job for which you are applying. That’s because past experience tells the hiring manager that you understand the essentials when it comes to supervising people or processes. The more professional supervisory experience you have, the more likely you'll be eyed as an attractive job candidate.


A housekeeping supervisor may not need education beyond a high school diploma, while a nursing supervisor will need at minimum a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In any field, however, a degree in management will give you a competitive edge over other candidates applying for the same supervisory position. That’s because a management degree tells employers that you understand management theory that is grounded in established best practices.


Some jobs require certification, while others do not. Certification is a third party endorsement of your professional abilities and can be seen as a positive attribute even if it is not required for your position. This tells employees that a neutral third party has conducted an evaluation of your abilities and deemed you worthy of certification. If no certification is available in your field of expertise, consider pursuing general management certification, such as offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers.


Supervisors need certain skills, regardless of what processes they're overseeing or who they are supervising. These skills include communicating well, verbally and written, and the ability to manage many priorities at the same time. Being able to list key management skills on a cover letter when applying for a supervisory role tells the hiring manager that you have what it takes to get the job done.


Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.