Acquiring technical skills only takes you so far because employers demand so much more than that. In this day and age, an IT graduate needs to be a team player and communicate the concepts to the company’s clients with complete clarity. This helps the company and the professional growth of an IT graduate in tandem.
As is the case, the IT firm recruiters may often be looking for multidimensional skills in a candidate. This can include the ability to assist colleagues, be very self-critical of their potential and outline a path for them to complete their work accordingly. These skills are not technical by any means, but nevertheless, they are required in many kinds of fields, not just the IT field.
Rest assured, interpersonal skills are a part and parcel of all modern day workplaces to say the least.
Why is it Necessary?
The IT graduates can read a bunch of job ads and they may realize that each of these ad postings requires more than just technical understanding. The soft skills are required not just only in an IT business, but in many other lines of work too.
The IT graduates may also be up against social science and arts graduates at times and may not be shortlisted due to underdeveloped soft skills. It is advisable for the IT graduates to take part in debate/speech competitions where they can hone their communication skills. Presenting in front of an audience and collaborating in a team environment are skills that will always be required in a marketplace.
Listed below is a roundup of all the soft skills that are needed in the present IT firms:
Clarity in Communication
Since the IT systems are the lifeline of every organisation irrespective of its size, the IT professionals should be proficient in communicating with individuals at every level of the organisation. This can range from company directors, help desk individuals or computer users for that matter. The ability to listen, understand and explain the problem at handsets an IT graduate apart from the rest of the lot. Other than that, the IT professionals in client-oriented roles should be fully able to communicate the problem and outline its solution in a manner that is appropriate for the layman.
These are the pointers for IT professionals to polish their communication skills:
- Think on your feet
- Think carefully before speaking
- Develop an ability to listen patiently
- Understanding the audience and tailoring the communication in that manner
Organising and Planning
In essence, the IT industry is a project-centric industry. Sound organisational and planning skills are all the more necessary to enter the next job. With competing priorities and aligned deadlines, it becomes a race against time to deliver tasks when necessary. Therefore, planning makes it easier to foresee issues and rising challenges beforehand. Keeping a window for contingency is an added bonus.
These are some pointers by which you can showcase your time management skills:
- Highlight the time allotted to each individual task and map out an action plan
- Showing a contingency plan and anticipating challenges beforehand
- Structuring a task/project professionally
Enthusiasm, Motivation and Drive
A burning passion to learn more and learn from your mistakes is required in this fast-paced industry. An IT graduate should be more accommodating of the rising challenges, pushing new boundaries and have an inkling of what lies ahead. IT firms quickly warm up to passionate candidates as they stand out from the crowd.
These are some pointers that can distinguish you from other candidates at an interview:
- The ability to bounce back from day to day setbacks
- Quick turnaround time and capacity to do more
- Being optimistic and enthusiastic even when conditions may be extraordinary
- The determination to achieve the results regardless of the setbacks
Being in the IT industry, pressure can often be overwhelming. Thus, defining problems in a timely manner is much-needed. It is prudent to map out the problem, find its root cause and then find the appropriate solutions to it. However, problem-solving often exceeds the standard technical issues. It may also include listing down issues in existing procedures and highlighting the necessary improvements that can be made. It is could be a case by case scenario.
These are the following pointers for strengthening problem-solving skills:
Ascertaining the capacity to acknowledge potential problems before they arise and acting beforehand to prevent them
- Looking at the problem from many angles
- Solving a problem with a cool head and using a logical approach
- Ensuring to refrain from being reactive
Be a Team player
Being a team player is a multidimensional skill, it is acquired after a considerable duration of time. For IT graduates, this skill can be acquired during their university years. As they enter the job market, they may realize that no man is an island and they may need to work with different personalities. Handling different personalities is a soft skill that can be learnt at university. This enables the higher-ups to notice this wide array of skills and promote the individual up the chain of command.
A team player must be able to navigate the anger-sensitive situations efficiently, manage each individual according to their personalities and have an ability to listen very patiently.
These are the pointers to inculcate the ability to be a team player:
- Maintain positive relationships even in crisis situations
- Sharing information with juniors and support them in their learning process
- Being respectful of alternative views
- The capacity to be focused on the objective at hand
- Fully understanding the motivational angles of the workforce
- Lead by example
Being Assertive and Confident
Self-confidence is an acquired soft skill and never goes out of fashion. It is also a reflection of one’s personal sense of worth. If an IT graduate can fully demonstrate that his work is worth the employer’s while, the employer will most likely hire the candidate.
These are the pointers to be more assertive:
- Be more communicative
- Give a complete briefing of the problem
- Outline its solution
- Keep a neutral tone at all times
Kiera Fletcher is a writer by the day and reader by the night. She holds an MBA degree. She has been working with a digital and social media marketing specialist. Before stepping into digital marketing, she had gained 5 years’ experience as a creative and web content writer and had been working for Online assignment help UK for 3 years. For the love of writing, she writes as a freelancer for several blogs and websites in her spare time.