There is almost limitless potential for IT candidates when it comes to a job search. While technical skills are an obvious requirement, employers often look beyond just ‘hard skills’ – so what other skills might you need to demonstrate?
Despite saying there are other skills required of IT candidates, you aren’t going to get very far without the technical knowledge in the first place.
Your CV should include, and be specific about, the IT skills you have and describe how they have been used in previous roles or been beneficial to other businesses you have worked for.
The keyword here is also ‘competency’. You need to be able to hit the ground running. Of course you should be given time to learn about the business, service or product, but if your employer believes you have firewalls, antivirus and backup expertise, then you should be able to demonstrate this.
This ties into competency. If competency is the ability to perform a skill or function well, then conviction is your belief or confidence behind that ability.
This is important for IT personnel in all situations, but particularly if your role is a decision-making one. Others will feel more confident in your decisions if they feel you are confident about it yourself.
That doesn’t mean you are always right, or always need to be, so don’t mistake conviction for arrogance or an unwillingness to listen to others and change direction. But it does mean you can explain why you feel your point of view may be the correct one.
Verbal and written communication
This applies to most, if not all, jobs, but it is particularly relevant in IT support roles.
Quite often, technical or IT personnel are in a position of ‘knowledge power’. Simply put, you probably know more than the other person on technical matters. This can make others feel unsure or even uncomfortable, especially if they aren’t technically proficient themselves.
Think carefully about how you discuss technical issues with colleagues – don’t assume they know what you know and don’t be patronising either.
The best colleagues are those who can demonstrate their expertise with a caring approach and in a helpful manner. Be friendly and understanding when it comes to the IT issues of your colleagues or customers – it might seem simple to you, but not to them.
These are two skills rolled into one, really. An ability to solve problems, IT challenges and so on, is a must. But patience is the ideal companion to problem solving.
In a similar way to your confidence rubbing off on others, if you can demonstrate patience while solving challenges in the workplace, it will certainly put your colleagues at ease.
Think about it – a colleague, or a customer, thinks they have lost all their recent work on their laptop. You have the technical skills and knowledge to fix the issue, the conviction and belief it can be done, while your empathetic, but calm and collected manner helps soothe the frustration of the person concerned.
A business will also be keen for you to get on with the challenge with little to no direction. You are, after all, the expert in this area.
Hopefully you can begin to see how many of these work together to create a much more rounded employee and one that will be hugely appreciated by the team.
A desire to learn more and a desire to work hard and do your role to the best of your ability will be key traits any employer will be looking for.
The IT sector, and general technological improvements, means it’s ever-changing. Employers are looking for focused and motivated individuals who are proactive in building on their technical knowledge and keep up to date on the latest technology trends, certifications, and best practices.
Planning and organisation
You’ll potentially be managing a lot of enquiries and issues. Not only will you need to be able to manage the workload effectively, but you will also need to prioritise jobs.
Some tasks will be more important than others, so it’s important to deal with these first, while ensuring that other colleagues or customers do not feel they are being ignored. Again, this circles back to your inter-personal skills.
There are many more skills the ideal IT candidate will possess – if you’d like to discuss these further, then get in touch with the Anne Corder Recruitment team so they can get to know you and ultimately find a role that suits you.