Technical Vs Interpersonal Skills For IT Graduates

In the IT industry, it is clear that having good technical skills and knowledge is really important. However being the most technically smart person doesn’t always land you a job. Here are some reasons why:

In IT, interpersonal skills are just as important as technical skills. When I was a recruitment consultant recruiting for IT managers, I often would say, “You can learn and teach technical skills however you can’t teach a person to have a good personality”.

You show personality by demonstrating your interpersonal skills and how you build relationships with people as this is crucial if you want a successful career in IT.

I once had an IT internship student say to me, “But I am in IT, I don’t need to have interpersonal skills”. That is wrong! IT in many companies is about 70% customer service and 30% technical skills.

In every IT role, you need to have the ability to interact with your colleagues and clients. If you are in networking/helpdesk or a support role you will need to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively, trouble shoot, explain the issues and provide a solution. You may even have to further follow up the enquiry with other departments across the business. This means communicating effectively across the business.

Here are a few ways you can demonstrate your effective interpersonal skills:

When recruiting, many companies will ask you about your technical skills. As a graduate, you may not have a lot of work related experience. However during your studies, there would have been times that you demonstrated your technical abilities whether it be completing a project or an assignment. You could even use times where you helped friends set up computers or created your own personal website.

Always remember to say exactly what you did, what coding you completed, and what system and software you used. However don’t forget to incorporate your interpersonal skills with your answers. For example, if you are talking about a group project, instead of just focusing on your technical skills, explain how you communicated what you did to the team, what ideas you bought to the project and how you approached any objections other team members may have had.

For graduates, it is also really important to utilise your customer service and part time experience to demonstrate your interpersonal skills.

Interviews are definitely hard and it’s not easy being a graduate. Also, different countries have a different recruitment process. However in Australia, having local experience and strong interpersonal skills is highly desirable so take effort to gain those, and don’t forget to list them in your resume.

Are you thinking about a career in IT but worried about the competitive market or skills needed? Speak to one of our mentors today who will be able to guide you on the IT internships available.

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