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Both Soft and Hard Skills Are Important in IT Resumes

As an information technology (IT) professional, you are probably accustomed to speaking, thinking, and breathing technology.  So now that it’s time for you to apply for new positions, you are likely ready to utilize all of those great technical terms that make your industry flow so smoothly.

But as a candidate writing resumes for individuals who may not exactly be entrenched in your world, you may have to make a few tweaks to have your resume read and understood by others.  Additionally, it’s important to soften your resume a bit to show employers you come equipped with both hard and soft skills and are well rounded.

What are Soft and Hard Skills?

When applying for jobs, it’s good to know the distinction between soft and hard skills, especially as you begin to list experience in your resume.  Even for the most technical positions, employers want to know that candidates come with both soft and hard skills.  So what are they exactly?

Well, the hard skills would be your technical skills—the skills and accomplishments that you’ve acquired that show you can handle the tasks handed to you.  As an IT professional, the best way to showcase your technical skills would be to create a Technical Summary or Technical Expertise section that provides skills and training you’ve acquired, as well as programs, applications, and other important information such as technical certifications, networking/protocols, operating systems, and the hardware with which you are familiar.

This information is critical to your resume and must be included to show you come equipped with the expertise the position requires.  But in addition to these hard skills, an employer wants to know you also come stocked with soft skills such as interpersonal communication, leadership qualities, and an ability to work well in a team environment.  These skills show an employer that you are a well-rounded candidate, which undoubtedly makes you more attractive.

Why a Well-Rounded Resume is Necessary

As you work on your well-rounded resume, you may be wondering why it’s important that you include both hard and soft skills if you’ll spend most of your time behind a computer.  Because even the most technologically driven position requires that you come out and talk to people sometimes.

You may be required to help a coworker install a program, run a training class for numerous employees, deliver parts to different departments, or even work with accounts payable to create budgets for needed software and hardware.  Your ability to work with others is critical to making others’ jobs flow smoothly, so employers would like to know ahead of time that you have the soft skills needed to get the job done.

As you write your resume, it’s important to honor your technical side without ignoring the softer side that makes you a well-rounded person.  By showcasing this in your resume, you show companies why you are undoubtedly the right person for the job.

For additional tips and advice on resumes and cover letters, follow us on Twitter @GreatResume or visit our blog.

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Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. Leveraging more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, Jessica's innovative and brand-driven resume development strategies have secured a 99.6% interview-winning success rate for her clients. As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted numerous times throughout CNN.com, The Chicago Tribune, Monster.com, Local Job Network Radio, International Business Times, and more.
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