Quantify Your Qualities: Collaboration & Communication

Education concept: computer keyboard with Head With Gears icon and word Personal Skills on enter button backgroundDoes this list look familiar?

  • Programming / Application Development
  • Help Desk / Tech Support
  • Networking
  • Mobile Apps and Device Management
  • Project Management
  • Database Administration
  • Security Compliance / Governance
  • Business Intelligence / Analytics

These are the top 8 in-demand IT skills for 2014, according to the most recent survey by Computerworld Forecast.

Included in the survey were questions about soft skills – the skills needed to work effectively within a group or with customers.

According to the survey, 66% of respondents cited the ability to collaborate as a needed skill, and 62% cited the ability to communicate effectively with business users as important. Culture fit also ranked as a highly desirable characteristic.

In a tight job market, these soft skills will set you apart from competing top technology talent. Conveying your soft skill set on a resume or during an interview is a strategic move in presenting yourself as the most viable candidate.

Using phrases such as “team player” or “hard worker” will not distinguish your resume from anyone else’s. Quantifying your experiences and results will turn any clichéd statement into a standout accomplishment.

If you were a member of an application development team developing the back-end of an interactive website, how would you describe the project, the production life cycle, and the role you played in creating the finished product?

  • How many people were on your team?
  • Whom did you interact with?
  • How were the business needs determined?
  • What was your specific role on the project?
  • How long did it take to complete the project?
  • What were the results of the project?

A few specific sentences answering those questions will demonstrate your ability to collaborate effectively. Being able to describe the business needs, your interactions outside of the team, and how user concerns were determined and addressed will illustrate the ability to communicate effectively with key stakeholders – whether they are other team members, other teams, internal end users or external customers.

Look critically at your resume. What can you change that will highlight these important soft skills?

Quantify the hard skills as well. A list of the technologies you have used will provide a bird’s eye view, but it won’t clearly establish the level of use nor the expertise with the tools you used to complete each project.

Remain competitive in the IT job market. Quantify your soft and hard skills on your resume, and you will stand out.

Corporate Media Specialist, DPP 

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