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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hard and soft skills for IT jobs

Having the technical abilities required for a job is an important part of getting hired, but so is possessing valuable soft skills. The combination of a person's hard and soft skills are often what gets them chosen over another qualified candidate. Being able to demonstrate relevant capabilities during an interview can help land a job, but applicants need to know which skills employers find most important before they can give examples.

Significant soft skills
Soft skills are determined by a person's ability to communicate and interact with other people. These capabilities are usually not listed in the main portion of a resume, which is why interviewees need to be able to give examples of them during an interview. There are a variety of soft skills that people possess, but the ones employers are the most interested in include:

  • Team player: According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 77.8 percent of employers look for job candidates who can work well on a team. IT professionals have to interact with co-workers and occasionally do team projects after being hired by a company, depending on the type of job, and employers want to know a new employee can handle group settings.
  • Communication: Good ideas can quickly go bad when workers don't effectively communicate with each other. Job candidates need to be able to display instances where communication skills were effectively used in the past. A clean resume and articulate answers during an interview will also lend evidence to this ability.
  • Planning: Determining which projects are a priority can lead to efficient task completion and can demonstrate a person's planning abilities. Employers like organized and focused workers so that the company can continue to run smoothly.

Valuable technical skills
A person's technical abilities, more than anything else, will help them land a job. Employers need to know that you actually know how to do the job they advertised for. When it comes to IT positions, however, there a few skills that are in higher demand than others.

  • Mobile development: As smartphones and other mobile devices become increasingly popular modes of Internet connection, companies are frequently in need of IT professionals who know how to create responsive websites and mobile apps. Having experience creating user-friendly and visually appealing websites is a highly coveted ability by employers, CIO noted.
  • Data security: With all the recent cyberattacks in the news, companies are more conscious than ever of the potential security threats posed by the Internet. People who know how to strengthen and monitor data security would be an invaluable member of any team.
  • User experience design skills: When users come to a website, if they can't find the information they want quickly or if the design looks too dated, they will leave the website to find another one. Companies don't want this so that's why they look for people with design abilities who will be able to help layout intuitive websites that are user friendly and visually appealing.

It's fairly simple for IT professionals to learn these skills or brush up on them with certification courses. For example, those who want to improve their data security abilities could acquire a CompTIA Security Certification, and someone who wants to improve their design skills could take a course on JavaScript or Adobe CreativeSuite. With the demand for IT professionals on the rise, now is the perfect time to hone these valuable skills and demonstrate needed expertise to employers.

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