Sure, your field is in high demand and has a low supply of qualified professionals but from the companies, we’ve heard that they look for something that some “tech workers” just don’t have: soft skills, including collaboration, leadership, and critical thinking.
This means that you gain even more negotiating power with potential employers when you bring strong soft skills to the table. If you want to gain the best opportunities, read on.
1.) Be a Problem Solver
Some info from the other side: One big topic in the recruiting world is how to find and hire critical thinkers. Build this skill with empathetic thinking. ASK YOURSELF: Do you see common frustrations around you? What is the best way to solve these problems with technology? This is your opportunity to make an impact and create value for others.
2.) Be a good Communicator
NOT the coffee chat kind (albeit, still important), but the professional business kind. This includes writing, listening, and presentation skills. Technology touches everything – and can improve (mostly) everything. This means that people from all departments will want solutions you have to offer, but you need to really LISTEN if you want to understand their needs. And you won’t be able to share your solution with your boss and/or your team internally if you have trouble speaking about and presenting your ideas.
Build your communication skills by practicing active listening and look for opportunities to speak up in meetings.
3.) Be a People Person
No matter how great you are at your technical skill set, if you can’t build a rapport with people, then you won’t last. Practice your collaboration by seeking out opportunities to work in a group environment, for example at university or even better use your hobbies to come up with a project that forces you to speak to and work with (many) people.
How to Show Off Your Soft Skills?
Below are some quick ways to demonstrate potential employers that you’re then they need.
- Explain a solution you’ve delivered in terms of the economic and stakeholder value it created for your company (internship positions) or even for your extracurricular activities
- Clearly communicate that you understand the purpose behind your past projects, again as above during the internship(s) or other roles. WHY were you given the task(s)? What was the overall outcome of your contribution?
- Talk about times that demonstrate you’re a positive team player
If you learn to master the soft-skills code, you’re likely to get noticed and hired more quickly. After all, where would you rather be in 10 years? Alone, sitting behind a screen… or surrounded by a dynamic team to help you take projects to the next level?