Tracy Cashman – Partner & General Manager, New England Information Technology Division
There is a stereotype that some technology jobs involve sitting alone at your computer in the back room all day. Those jobs, if they ever existed at all, are long gone. Soft skills are becoming a bigger part of the technology workplace. Be prepared for these additional requirements in your preparation and interviews as a job candidate.
Polish the Hard and Soft Skills
Great technology knowledge and experience is a must, but most candidates interviewing for the position probably have those skills. Soft skills can be a differentiator. What do I mean by soft skills? Soft skills are your ability to be a great communicator, leader, or team player as you connect your technology skills with other aspects of the business.
Why soft skills? Now, tech pros are expected to work with internal and external customers, manage vendors and contracts, and connect with off shore employees among other tasks. Be ready to highlight examples of projects where you worked with the business side, other teams, or third parties. Also, writing skills are becoming more important. Many tech roles include responsibility for documentation, managing relationships over emails, and similar tasks. As such, you should be prepared if employers request a writing sample. Be sure to capture these samples when you can, particularly if you work on proprietary information at your current company. This will save you from scrambling at the last minute during the interview process.
Being prepared to display soft skills during the interview process is critical for technology candidates. The interview itself is the ultimate trial run. Show off your technology skills and distinguish yourself conversationally. While technology skills set the bar, you need to make the soft skills known to get over that bar.
Tracy Cashman is a Partner & General Manager of WinterWyman’s New England Information Technology division. Tracy blogs to provide strategic job search advice for candidates as they make their next career move. To learn more about Tracy and the information technology jobs she is working on visit www.winterwyman.com. WinterWyman is one of the largest and most recognized staffing firms in the Northeast, currently serving clients in the New England and metropolitan New York job markets with additional technology contracting capabilities nationwide.