Soft Skills on a Techie's resume: You must be kidding

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To illustrate potential versatility
Very often people are hired to do one specific job and then, over time are asked to perform other tasks related to, but different, than the task they were hired to perform. For example:
• A programmer may be asked to write documentation
• A tester may be asked to do training
• A Data Base Administrator may be asked to present a database’s structure to a newly formed programming group
• A technical leader may be asked do project management
• A programmer or tester may be asked to do business analysis

All of the above examples have one thing in common, the job incumbent is being asked to do something outside of his/her primary job description. Your ability to the tasks such as those examples above makes you more versatile to the team, therefore, more valuable to the manager.

To give the resume reviewer the best possible picture of who you are
A well written resume provides more than a simple list of your skills and job experience. At its best, it gives the reader a mental image of who you are and what value you can bring to the organization. That said, you want your resume to provide the reader with insights beyond just your technical ability but also who you are as a person. This, of course, includes more than just your ability to perform a specific technical task. It should also answer the following questions:
• Will this person require continual supervision or can he/she be self-directed?
• Will this person be easy to manage or be a difficult employee?
• Do I think this person will get along with my existing staff members?
• What is the risk of hiring this person and are his/her skills worth the risk?
• If needed, does this person have the flexibility to perform tasks outside his/her specific job description?
• Does this person have the potential to grow professionally within my department and/or the company in general?

In closing, now that you know why it is important to include soft skill related information in your resume, remember that in next week’s blog I’ll explain how.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com
or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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