When you think of the skills you need to succeed in your career you likely think of the hard skills, like coding and web development. But soft skills are just as valuable and highly used across industries.
When you’re looking to advance your career, you’ll usually be competing against people who have very similar and competent technical skills. As an IT recruiter, we’ve seen time and time again how soft skills give candidates a bigger boost to the top of an employer’s list. So which soft skills best enhance performance? And which ones are the most desired by employers?
When presented with unique problems, a critical thinker is capable of using facts, their experience, and their creativity to develop a solution. There are many skills that contribute to critical thinking, like independent thought, troubleshooting, analyzing problems from different perspectives, and asking the right questions.
Flexibility is important too. You should be able to apply critical thinking strategies to all aspects of your job.
When speaking with someone, active listeners make eye contact, nod, and try to really absorb the other person’s message. You may even want to repeat what someone said to confirm you comprehend their message.
Active listening skills aren’t about listening better, they’re also about making your clients, co-workers and management understand you value what they have to say and take their concerns into consideration. That makes for the most productive relationships.
Verbal & Speaking Skills
Verbal skills are akin to public speaking or effective communication, it’s the key to a productive conversation. Asking the right questions and being understood is imperative. Yet, the best verbal skills are more about how you speak than what you say. For example, instead of starting a question with “why,” balance your criticism with praise or ask “what”, and you’ll find more elaborate answers that lead to more successful conversations.
Often, IT professionals need to record their processes, write reports, and follow up with email correspondence. It’s important to not neglect basic writing skills, such as grammar and sentence structure, so your writing and communication are always clear and easy to understand.
A more advanced skill is adjusting for different types of writing or audiences. Recording your process might require you to mention several detailed features. When reporting to management, your writing will require more summarized details.
Conflicts inevitably arise, but good listening, verbal, and writing skills can help you prevent and overcome any problem. Whether you are comfortable with conflict or not, you will need to handle many stressful situations in your career. De-escalating a conflict, expressing empathy, and understanding a client or co-workers’ complaints are all important skills that help with conflict resolution.
IT Recruiter & Soft Skills
To land your top IT job, focus on improving some of these soft skills. Our IT recruiter service in Toronto provides transparency in what a company is looking for in terms of technical and soft skills. We also provide you with practical and honest feedback on areas of development. If you’re looking for an IT position that compliments your hard and soft skills contact Live Assets. You can call us at (416) 572-1020 or send us your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org