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The Role of Soft Skills in Hiring: What Companies Are Looking For

Zak Brocchini

  • 05-24-2024
  • Blog articles

In the fast-paced world of technology, the industry is constantly evolving, with new developments and innovations shaping the way modern businesses operate. While technical proficiency and expertise are always the priority, in the current hiring landscape there is renewed focus on the importance of soft skills. Interpersonal or people skills encompass attributes like communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability. Soft skills are now being highly prioritized along with technical abilities when making hiring decisions.

The Growing Importance of Soft Skills

Traditionally, technical skills are the primary focus of engineering hiring, with an emphasis on qualifications, certifications, and technical knowledge. However, in the current market, companies are requiring strong soft skills as they play a crucial role in the success of technical projects and teams. Communication skills are essential for effective collaboration and client interaction, while adaptability and problem-solving abilities are crucial for navigating ever-changing engineering environments.

As engineering teams increasingly work in cross-functional teams and interface with non-technical stakeholders, the ability to communicate complex technical concepts in a clear and understandable way has become a coveted skill. Additionally, soft skills play a critical role in leadership, with companies recognizing the need for people who can effectively manage and mentor team members, as well as communicate and align initiatives with overall business objectives.

Showcasing Soft Skills

When showcasing your soft skills, it is important to go beyond technical qualifications and certifications on your resume. Here are 3 tips to effectively highlight your interpersonal communication skills:

  • Provide Concrete Examples: One of the most impactful ways to showcase your soft skills is by providing concrete examples of how you have applied them in real-life situations. When discussing your communication skills, for instance, you could highlight an instance where you effectively communicated complex technical information to a non-technical team member, resulting in a successful project outcome. By using specific examples, you provide tangible evidence of your strengths and make it easier for potential employers to see the value you can bring to their organization.

 

  • Leverage Feedback and Recommendations: Another way to showcase your soft skills is by using recommendations from colleagues, supervisors, and clients. These testimonials can demonstrate the positive impact of your interpersonal abilities on team dynamics and project outcomes. Seek out recommendations from those you have collaborated with and incorporate them into your resume, LinkedIn profile, or portfolio. Additionally, when attending interviews, use these recommendations as a basis for sharing success stories that illustrate your soft skills in action.

 

  • Highlight Soft Skills in Action-Oriented Language: When describing your experience and achievements, use action-oriented language that reflects your soft skills. Instead of simply stating that you have good problem-solving skills, explain how you identified and resolved a complex technical issue, showcasing your critical thinking abilities. Similarly, when discussing your adaptability, mention specific instances where you successfully adapted to changing project requirements or quickly learned a new technology. By describing your soft skills in action-oriented language, you demonstrate their practical application and effectiveness.

Conclusion

In the competitive field of interviewing, the need to showcase your soft skills has become increasingly evident. While technical prowess remains crucial, companies recognize that a well-rounded professional with strong soft skills is more likely to contribute to the success of projects and foster a positive work environment. As such, strive to showcase your soft skills alongside your technical expertise to stand out in the hiring process, demonstrating your ability to communicate, collaborate, problem-solve, and lead in addition to your technical capabilities.

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