So, for a little bit now, I’ve been discussing the importance of “soft skills” in the 2014 IT job market. The following posts all touch on how the market is favoring those IT professionals who are, well, softer:
- “A Career in IT: ‘It’s All Ball Bearings Nowadays’“
- “IT: Your Friendly Neighborhood Strategic Business Partner“
- “The Road to Promotion: Culture, Culture, Culture“
Today, I’d like to highlight perhaps the top 10 soft skills in demand, things that you need to show, not tell, in your next career move.
1. Strong Work Ethic
When I first started writing resumes, it was considered bad form to put “hard worker” or “hard working” on a resume because it was one of those… no duh….things. Who doesn’t think they are a hard worker and have a strong work ethic? But increasingly, in today’s market, employers are demanding professionals to demonstrate a strong work ethic. One way to do that would be to prepare a Problems-Solutions-Results (PSR) page as an addendum to your resume. It can showcase problems you have faced and how you have worked to resolve them.
2. Positive Attitude
Here’s one that can be tough for some personality types. Let’s be real. It isn’t that you are negative necessarily (although others might perceive it that way); it’s more likely you are direct, to the point, and in your mind a realist. Unfortunately, though, these traits aren’t always well received in today’s corporate market (neither is a healthy dose of sarcasm) even if sometimes they are what’s needed. So finding a way to be direct while being sure to end on a positive note will go far.
3. Good Communication Skills
Many times people only focus on the verbal and listening part of communication skills, but in today’s world, writing skills are at a premium. So showcasing your background in this area is important too.
4. Time Management Abilities
5. Problem-Solving Skills
Again, here is where the PSR mentioned earlier would come into play.
6. Acting as a Team Player
The PSR could also provide you with an opportunity to showcase the work you’ve done in a team environment. A Testimonials page could do the same thing by letting your colleagues “refer” you through their kudos of you.
8. Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism
Inevitably, you will be asked a question during interviews about a time when you had to take criticism and what you did with it. So be prepared to provide an example.
Here is where an Innovation page could come in handy. Outlining ideas for changes in business operations or procedures that you see that could enhance business activities and show adaptability is highly sought after.
10. Working Well Under Pressure
Once again, the PSR page is a great place to demonstrate a scenario where you handled pressure and came out strong.