Every tech job you apply to will have a list of IT skills that you must possess in order to land the job. However, hiring decisions are based on much more than your list of hard skills. Hiring decisions are made based on your experience, your performance in the interview, as well as soft skills and transferable skills that show you can function well as a member of a team and that you will add value to the organization. If you want to stand out, focus on these transferable skills.
Verbal and Written Communication Skills
Modern IT pros do not work in isolation. They work closely with other members of their team, and they often have to communicate highly technical information to users, clients and members of the organization who do not “speak tech.” The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in the written word are critical success factors for almost every IT role. A well-written resume and cover letter and strong interview performance can demonstrate these skills, but try to work in anecdotes about times you successfully communicated complex information to a non-tech professional.
It’s not enough to simply pull numbers or generate high-level reports for your bosses. To add value, you must be able to draw both conclusions and inferences to help leaders make stronger decisions. In order to demonstrate analytical abilities, include references to projects in which you had to analyze data for a boss or for a client.
The Ability To Prioritize
IT pros almost always juggle multiple projects and each project has its own set of deadlines and priorities. It is important to be able to look at a lengthy to-do-list and understand what to tackle first and where to invest your time. This isn’t easy to demonstrate on a tech resume, but you can list software and platforms you use to stay organized like Asana, Google drive, etc.
Creative Problem Solving
One of the biggest complaints of bosses everywhere is that their team lacks the ability to problem solve creatively. If employees are constantly coming to them with problems, they struggle to keep up with their own work. To demonstrate the ability to innovate, list projects in which you solved problems that no one else could seem to solve. Ideally, focus on the ways your solution(s) led to the project staying on track or being completed early or under budget. Use numbers whenever possible.
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