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IT Professionals Need to Have People Skills Too

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

With the competitive job market of today, the more skills a professional has, the better. Students in the information technology (IT) sector have a growing list of demands that they must meet in their daily lives that essentially all revolve around the work they complete on a computer. However, the IT professionals who truly stand out are the ones who have an impressive set of soft skills as well.

The technology industry boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada, but there is still significant competition to land jobs of the highest quality and with the most appealing benefits. Before these workers can actually flex their programming muscles, they have to win over recruiters and business leaders with their personality, confidence and etiquette, particularly in the interview room.

Tim Collins, CEO at Stafflink Solutions, told ComputerWorld Canada writer Brian Bloom about the types of qualities that candidates should aim to develop before applying to their dream jobs. Good adaptability is one of these coveted traits. No matter what the projected position is, eager applicants should be able to showcase their ability to shift gears and complete whatever task is at hand, even if their strongest skills are in a different area. Employers want to hire individuals who can react quickly and efficiently to sudden changes, as most workplaces experience these types of scenarios on a daily basis.

A good "fit" is also an essential part of the selection process when employers are looking for a new candidate. This match is typically decided upon because of the person's soft skills. Before the technical recruiter even sees the candidate, the person must often make it through interview rounds with human resources and other managers of the team they will potentially be working for. These professionals may not know exactly which talents and expertise are most valuable or how the candidate's credentials stack up compared with other professionals going after the same position. As a result, the IT candidate should put their best foot forward in every stage of the interview process.

Most recruiters rely on open-ended questions to gain the most realistic opinion of the candidate and to encourage them to open up to the employer. Confidence is key in these types of situations, as well as strong communication skills. Rambling on or having nothing to say can be awkward and uncomfortable for both parties, and can ultimately be the make-or-break factor in whether or not a job offer is made.

Students who are pursuing careers in IT can enroll in programming courses at CDI College and work on their interpersonal skills in the classroom with their peers. For more information, fill out the form on the right.

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