Technology professionals who also have the ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with a team, and who are adaptable to the ever-changing needs of a dynamic market are highly sought-after by organizations, especially at the managerial and executive level.
How can you get the inside track on an open position? Do this by showcasing your soft skills.
Tech Integration Has Created Greater Communication Needs
Communication is critical in technical jobs because tech has become increasingly integrated into all aspects of business. At the same time, technology is only understood by a fraction of the workforce, so it’s important that technical workers are able to communicate well. They need to be able to understand client and business needs, translate those needs into production, and articulate the results.
A recent report by Manpower suggests that more than half of companies reported that when hiring, both written and verbal communication skills are their most-valued soft skill, followed by collaboration and problem solving. This finding is based on survey data from 20,000 employers across 42 countries.
Hard skills are generally objective, measurable, and teachable competencies that involve some kind of technical ability. In Information Technology (IT), these can include application development, project management, network administration, etc. While hard skills will always be critical in open positions, IT organizations such as IASCA have found that organizational fit, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to reason effectively were more important than technical skills when it came to promoting employees.
Highlighting Soft Skills in Your Résumé
Where possible, it is important to highlight activities, roles or aspects of your accomplishments that demonstrate dexterity with the following soft skills:
- Communication. Many IT projects will affect multiple stakeholders. It is the responsibility of the IT staff to clearly explain the requirements and goals of a project.
- Empathy. Understanding the specific problems of each functional area with regard to IT is essential for coming up with solutions that will benefit everyone.
- Work ethic. When there are tight deadlines and important issues critical to business success, an effective IT professional will focus their time of the critical aspects of a project.
- Relationships. Being able to build and maintain strong working relationships with different managers fosters cooperation and a less stressful work environment for everyone.
- Mentoring. As new employees make their transition into the company, IT professionals can facilitate their development with effective mentoring activities.
Going Beyond the Résumé – Online Profiles Can Help Showcase Your Soft Skills
According to a recent survey of 300 Human Resources managers by Robert Half International, more than half of respondents (56%), said a candidate’s online profile is equally as important as the résumé.
Your LinkedIn profile offers an opportunity to showcase your soft skills. For example, your Background Summary is a great place to describe your work history and overall capabilities. Are you able to take complex terms and communicate them in simpler terms anyone can understand? Write about it in the Summary. In your Experience section, be sure to describe HOW you accomplished goals. Did you take an active part on a team where you collaborated to meet milestones? In the Skills section of your profile, you may also wish to balance your hard skills with a few key soft skills, but remember that only 10 skills display at a time on your LinkedIn profile.
Other ways to emphasize the soft skills you bring to a prospective employer include strong letters of reference, industry awards or recognition, and evidence of contributions to professional blogs, articles and white papers. Be sure to let your Recruiter know the soft skills you bring to the table as well as your technical prowess.
Ready to get started? Contact Phoenix Partners today and get help finding your ideal position and environment.