Many students believe their technical knowledge is enough to land them the job of their dreams. Well, these skills are definitely important, but in order to land your dream job, you will need to make use of soft skills in interviews to be able to communicate your worth. Soft skills are not only important for interview purposes but they teach you how to communicate in the workplace and adapt to a challenging environment. They also help you to build a personality that suits the company’s culture profile. So, if you’re applying for a job in information technology (IT), here are a few soft skills you’ll need to get noticed:
- You need to have strong verbal communication skills
Because most IT departments are behind the scenes, you’ll notice that some of these individuals lack strong communication skills. While it is certainly changing, as more companies focus on IT as one of their core revenue generating departments, it’s one of the most important fields where communication is vital. Since many managers and supervisors aren’t up to speed on IT terms, you will need to be able to take a complex, technical situation and explain it in layman's terms to individuals who are not in your field. This skill will help you to grow in your IT career as it will give you the confidence to train your staff more effectively as well as communicate the company’s systems to those who need to know more.
- You need to be a great team player
The IT department functions as a team. You’ll be exposed to various projects where different IT skills are required to successfully complete a project. Knowing that, you will need to be a good team player. The reason for this is that when you work as a unit, you will be able to complete an entire project from start to finish as opposed to sections of a project when you’re working alone. If you learn to practise this skill, you will find that many people will want you to be on their team. And a strong team is a motivated and productive team, which is exactly kind of spirit you need when you’re working behind the scenes.
There will be times when you are required to communicate to a group of people who do not necessarily understand what you’re talking about, therefore, you will need to be able to present according to the level of IT knowledge in the room. On the reverse side, you will also need to be confident enough to communicate a project to a group of IT experts who know exactly what you’re talking about. As a result, you will need to have proper planning and organisation skills to make a presentation successful. Confidence, which comes from knowing what you’re talking about, is key. Take the opportunity to try new things. You will always learn from your experience and, hopefully, develop another soft skill.
- You must be efficient in networking
Often times, you will be sent to tech conferences on behalf of the company. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn new skills and meet influential people in your field. While it might be out of your comfort zone, networking will give you the opportunity to reach out to people and ask for help when you’re stuck. As they say, it’s not always what you know but who you know, so it’s important to make an effort to get yourself and your skills out there. You might land a business deal for your company through a networking event, which is a great way to show who you are and boost your career success.
- You must foster a mindset of innovation and creativity
You might think that web development or IT support is a career where you spend hours on one project without the opportunity to ever branch out and try new things. IT in itself is a creative field as you’re providing clients or customers with a solution. You’re helping them navigate through a website with ease and have a better experience with a brand online. Over time, you will need to learn how to come up with unique, creative ideas that can make a project better. For example, it’s not just about coding a site or writing good software, it’s about establishing new ways to solve a technical problem.
Information technology courses in college or university will briefly touch on these aspects, but they mainly cover the practical side of things. However, requirements for an information technology course do include the ability to communicate effectively, as well as to take on other non-IT related subjects such as mathematics. It’s important to keep an open mind throughout your studies and career to set you apart from your peers.
With the way that digital technology is headed, studying information technology courses will result in a demanding career choice. There will always be an opportunity for you to grow. Soft skills, on the other hand, are essential to your everyday life, so incorporating them into the workplace will help you succeed in your future.