The soft skills IT employers want (instead of experience)

In today’s jobs market, employers with IT jobs to fill are increasingly looking for people with soft skills as well as those with the ability to code.

Here are some soft skills IT employers want, giving you something to offer when applying for jobs if you don’t have much experience to talk about.

The skills IT employers want

1) Communication

It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. Especially in IT, there’s a stereotype of very awkward and shy software and web developers which means employers can be attracted to good communicators.

Reference specific instances in your CV or application detailing when you’ve demonstrated the ability to communicate clearly, listen well, or tailor a message.

This can be either spoken or written communications, such as any time you’ve done any public speaking or student events and societies.

2) Commercial awareness

Demonstrating knowledge of the industry you’re going into is a definite plus as far as most employers are concerned. For instance, do you know:

  • About the company you’re going to join?
  • Its niche in the market?
  • Its major competitors?
  • The latest developments in the industry?
  • Any important trends sure to shape the industry in future?

You might also consider becoming a member of a professional industry body. This can be a double win, showing your industry awareness to a potential employer and helping raise your awareness too.

3) Adaptability

Not having the hard skills desirable for a position isn’t necessarily the end of the road. However, it’s going to call for the ability to adapt on your part if you’re going to succeed.

IT employers know this. So if you can demonstrate that you’ve taken challenges in your stride in another job or in life, learned a new skill on a course or at university, or shown you can adapt to a change in any situation you can show you are worth considering.

4) Persistence

This is all about showing you finish what you start – no matter how long it takes or how hard it is to find the right solution.

Again, persistence is a key soft skill to talk about if you want an IT employer to consider you for a position where you might be needing to start a long process of training to gain the other skills they need you to have.

It’s a quality that’s valuable in almost any career, but jobs like those in data call for an extra level of resilience and persistence. Being able to talk about a situation where you’ve demonstrated it can be a great way to overcome a potential lack of hard skills.

5) Willingness to learn

Perhaps the key attribute that employers want in a candidate they’re hiring for an IT job who doesn’t have all the hard skills they want is the willingness to work to gain those skills.

It’s also a positive for your employer in other ways. Acknowledging you have more to learn means you are less likely to be a know-it-all, for instance.

Demonstrating this can be as simple as saying so. If you’re applying for a job you don’t have the desirable skills for though, it’s also likely that you’ve just completed a course – either reskilling, upskilling, or at university.

This makes an excellent subject to start talking about when it comes to showing your willingness to learn.

Looking for IT jobs with different skills to those employers are looking for?

Let’s talk about it. Ernest Gordon is a specialist engineering and IT recruitment agency. Here you’ll find exclusive opportunities you won’t come across elsewhere.

Set up a commitment-free chat with one of our advisors today and let’s see if we can match you with a position that matches your goals.