5 Soft Skills Tech Workers Need to be Hardwired for Success
When your resume is stacked with technical skills and relevant experiences, landing interviews can be effortless. Your background speaks for itself and tells recruiters you can get the job done. However, when you want to snag an official offer letter and level up your pay, you need to prove you’re more than competent—you’re a well-rounded employee who can drive organizational success.
The right soft skills can give you the boost you need to become every employer’s No. 1 choice. If you’re struggling to land competitive job offers (or even get past the first round of interviews), go beyond rattling off your qualifications. Put these valuable soft skills for tech workers on display to become an IT candidate worth bidding for.
1. Communication Skills
You may be an expert in multiple coding languages and the jargon of your field, but can you communicate with non-technical employees just as well? As businesses increasingly digitize their workflows, IT departments are no longer secluded from any team. Recruiters and hiring managers want confidence their tech workers can collaborate with team members and support stakeholders, no matter their expertise. In fact, 81% of recruiters believe interpersonal skills—more than any other skills—are critical to consider in the hiring process, and 57% believe they’ll grow in-demand in coming years.
During the interview process, you can demonstrate your communication and interpersonal skills by:
- Describing the projects you’ve worked on with the interviewer’s level of technical experience in mind
- Offering examples of successful collaborations with a cross-functional team
- Practicing active listening and asking personalized questions based on what you and your interviewers discuss
2. Critical Thinking Skills
Whether you’re fixing bugs or integrating new technology, you need to regularly solve problems on the job. However, stand-out candidates go beyond repairing what’s broken—they proactively discover new opportunities to improve and identify the best solutions to implement.
Candidates who are clearly detail-oriented, analytical, and resourceful can make the best impression on employers seeking critical thinkers. Sway your interviewers by:
- Sharing creative solutions you came up with, how you decided on each, and how you measured their effectiveness
- Offering examples of times you anticipated problems and brought them up to management
- Providing an example of a time you disagreed with a coworker on an approach to a problem and used logical reasoning to resolve the conflict
3. Project Management Skills
Some teams may prefer Agile while others prefer Waterfall methodology, but all employers need good project managers in their IT positions. When tech workers can stay on top of deadlines and accountable for their tasks, they drive the forward movement of the entire organization. Show off this critical soft skill in tech interviews by:
- Sharing the time management processes you use to prioritize and complete tasks
- Explaining how you kept a project on track after a client or coworker caused a delay
- Offering specific details about any projects you describe, such as your scope of work, budget, and objectives
The technology landscape is always evolving. When you’re gunning for an IT role, you need to show you’re ready to adapt fast. Candidates must demonstrate their ability to pivot, learn, and continue providing value—even if the technical skills on their resume became obsolete next year. You can prove your adaptability in your next interview by:
- Demonstrating curiosity and passion for your field by discussing skills you’re developing, IT certifications you’re working on, and your vision for your career
- Showing a positive attitude toward change and new ideas
- Sharing examples of how you effectively navigated change, like a shift in strategy or a new business process
Empathy has quickly become one of the most in-demand professional skills across industries. Tech candidates with this soft skill can create better user experiences and build rapport within a team by stepping into other people’s shoes.
Demonstrating empathy is particularly useful when IT candidates apply for high-paying leadership roles. The majority (88%) of employees agree empathetic leaders drive positive workplace changes—even beyond their teams. Make your empathy visible by:
- Sharing examples of how you helped your team members, especially if it wasn’t part of your responsibilities
- Explaining how you’ve delivered constructive criticism to your team members or negative news to clients
- Mentioning ways you’ve considered your end user when describing projects you worked on
Solidify a Job Offer with Soft Skills
The technical skills required for IT jobs are, more often than not, minimum qualifications. If you want to impress more employers, you need to demonstrate valuable soft skills—communication, critical thinking, project management, adaptability, and empathy—during your interview process. When you do so, you can land the job offers you really want with the pay you’re aiming for.