By Glenn Schmidt, Talent Agent
If you think you are at the top of your game as an IT professional just because you know the latest and greatest technology tools, software and trends, think again.
Many technology professionals believe all they need to land a job, or a promotion, are the talents and know-how for their primary job function. But the reality is that where technical expertise ends, the need and requirement for “soft skills” begins.
First, what are “soft skills”? Basically, these are those characteristics and capabilities that are non-technical, such as communication, leadership, team-building and presentation skills. For example, if you have read any articles about companies recruiting members of the military, one of the most attractive skills military veterans posses is leadership.
Developing these qualities may increase over time with experience, but it’s important for all IT professionals at any level to be aware of and begin to increase their “soft skills” to add value for an employer. For a more complete list of some of the top “soft skills” for IT workers, take a read through this blog post from Tech Republic.
So why is it so important to acquire “soft skills”?
To begin with, for those currently seeking employment, the job market is competitive and you may find yourself qualified for a job that hundreds of others are qualified for as well. You need to be able to differentiate yourself from the pack, and demonstrate that you have more to offer to a prospective employer.
Furthermore, if you have chosen a career path for management you will need more than excellent technical expertise to be considered for such positions. Communication, for example, is a key component to being an effective manager. Being able to convey a message – written and orally – to a variety of audiences including subordinates, peers and executives, could help you achieve your management goals.
Communication and leadership are only a few “soft skills” to add to your capabilities and areas of expertise. There are a host of others that can be developed, and could be the key to landing your next dream job.