Examples of Nontechnical Skills To List on a Resume

Employers certainly value IT candidates who possess high levels of technical competencies, but it is becoming increasingly common for them to also consider the non-technical and soft skills of applicants. Some of these soft skills may include areas such as critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence and more. For aspiring IT professionals in the job market, here are the top five non-technical or soft skills most companies are interested in:

Unlike other technical positions, IT professionals don’t work in complete isolation. The vast majority of IT employees work in collaborative environments, where they interact with project managers, developers, quality assurance personnel, DevOps teams and other members of the organization. Smart hiring managers look for candidates who don’t just possess the necessary technical skills to perform their jobs, but individuals who also have excellent interpersonal skills.

IT professionals must be able to communicate effectively in group settings and become used to explaining difficult concepts to those who do not speak in the same technical terms. Some of the primary interpersonal skills needed on the job include active listening, negotiation and the ability to work well alongside others of diverse backgrounds and opinions. Essentially, employers want to hire good team players.

As the technology industry is changing faster than any other field, IT professionals must be adaptable on the job. For example, what process worked a year or five minutes ago, might not be the right solution to meet an ever-evolving set of needs. This innate sense of flexibility allows workers to roll with whatever comes their way and not get bogged down in the old way of handling things.

Within this category arises the need for patience. Whenever IT workers have to train coworkers on a new software, system or tool, the employees aren’t likely to grasp these concepts as quickly as those with technical know-how. They will likely learn at a slower pace, which requires a lot of patience on the part of the IT professional. Organizations look for candidates who will take time to help their coworkers learn and not get frustrated when they struggle or aren’t grasping new concepts very quickly.

While not on the front lines of product development, marketing or sales, IT professionals must have the right amount of business knowledge to understand what it takes to “sell” themselves and their work to the rest of the company. They need to have a good sense of business to demonstrate to key decision-makers just how important their job is and how their work affects the organization’s bottom line on the whole.

It’s not enough to have the right technical skills today if IT professionals can’t translate this internal success in external ways. They should learn how to anticipate questions, interact with executives and be confident about the impact they are having on their company. In today’s competitive job market, it’s important for IT professionals to have a strategic mind for business in addition to technical and other soft skills.

Today, it’s not enough for IT workers to just bring their own technical skills to the table. Now, they need to have a wide network they can draw on to learn what other companies are doing and how they can improve their own efforts. While professionals don’t have to have an extensive network from the start, many companies encourage their IT workers to expand their personal contacts to gain experience and key insights that could help them create better solutions for their organization.

Prevent accidents, train non-technical skills | Rhona Flin | TEDxDenHelder

Why are nontechnical skills important?

Nontechnical skills can help make a workplace safe and efficient. They allow professionals to work well together, ensuring that their work environment is positive and productive. Certain nontechnical skills, such as communication, can help prevent accidents and ensure that professionals understand workplace rules, changes and expectations.

Many hiring managers look for nontechnical skills in cover letters and resumes to help predict if a candidate is a suitable match for the position and culture of the company.

What are nontechnical skills?

Nontechnical skills refer to the interpersonal talents and practices that professionals of all careers can apply to their daily work lives. Some occupations may not specifically require these skills, but they are often helpful.

Unlike technical skills, nontechnical skills are rarely formally taught. So, professionals often gain nontechnical skills through experience and from personal characteristics.

Examples of nontechnical skills

Knowing examples of nontechnical skills may help you reflect on which skills you possess and ones that you may want to develop. Heres a list of examples of nontechnical skills to consider:

Communication

Professionals with strong written, verbal and nonverbal communication skills can use their talents to convey expectations, needs and professional opinions to their coworkers. Communication skills are also helpful in customer service or other client-facing careers as professionals in these roles often speak to or message customers and clients, answering questions and solving problems, regularly.

Time management

Time management is the practice of monitoring the time it takes to complete tasks in order to find the most efficient work practices. Professionals with good time management skills know how to prioritize tasks and stay focused as they work. Time management skills are especially helpful to professionals who work under deadlines or complete several tasks per work shift.

Collaboration

Many professionals work with others to accomplish their companys goals. Cooperating with your coworkers is often expected in any career, and being able to do so can help maintain a peaceful and productive work environment.

Collaboration is an especially helpful skill for creative professionals, product developers, engineers and technical professionals who work with others to create a product or complete projects. Hiring managers often prefer candidates who consider themselves to be collaborative because it shows that the candidate can work well in a team environment.

Adaptation

Adaptation skills allow professionals to handle any changes in their work environment with ease while also maintaining productivity. Adaptable professionals are often quick-thinking and comfortable with changes in work instructions, locations and tasks. Adaptability is an important skill for professionals who work in a fast-paced or quickly changing environment.

Public speaking

Public speaking is the ability to make presentations, give speeches or otherwise convey information clearly to others. Professionals who are skilled public speakers are often articulate, persuasive and concise.

Careers in leadership or public relations often require this nontechnical skill, but other professionals may also benefit from public speaking skills because they help display confidence and better communicate ideas to groups of people or individuals. This skill can also help you build morale among your team members and persuade customers when working in a sales career.

Problem-solving

Professionals who demonstrate great problem-solving skills are often self-sufficient and able to troubleshoot issues when they arise. This skill is useful when confronting conflict management in the workplace and may allow professionals to be more independent in their work.

Hiring managers often appreciate candidates who have good problem-solving skills because it often means that the managers can depend on the professional to confront minor issues independently instead of requiring a supervisor.

Active listening

Active listening entails making a conscious effort to retain what another person says and using context and social clues to understand the intended message completely. Professionals use active listening skills to relate to their coworkers and clients and learn new practices and ideas.

Active listening skills can also help professionals follow work expectations and instructions, allowing them to complete their tasks in an accurate and productive manner.

Active learning

Active learning refers to the practice of making an effort to gain new skills and better understand work practices and concepts. Employers often appreciate professionals with active learning skills because they can complete training processes quickly and adapt to workplace changes.

Active learning skills may also help prepare you for promotions, as you can quickly acquire new skills that apply to higher-level positions.

Organization

Organizational skills can help professionals keep their workspace tidy and manage their schedule, tasks and communication effectively. Organized professionals are often reliable and efficient, as well.

Networking

Networking skills are a combination of other nontechnical skills such as communication, collaboration and active listening that are used for building professional relationships. Applying networking skills in the workplace and in other professional settings, such as job fairs or industry conferences, help professionals better connect with their coworkers and clients.

Planning

Proper planning skills involve being able to prioritize tasks, create a workflow, develop a project timeline and otherwise start and finish a project or task in a timely manner. Professionals who possess great planning skills are often also skilled at time management and problem-solving and are able to stay organized and proactive in their work.

Employers often appreciate planning skills because professionals with these skills are often responsible and well prepared. This can allow professionals to be more independent and skilled at strategizing.

Creativity

Creative skills are useful for many careers, especially those in art-related fields. Creative professionals often find innovative work practices that may improve the quality of their work. These skills can also encourage work efficiency and allow professionals to use their imagination, which can lead to higher work satisfaction.

Some companies especially value professionals who display creative skills as these professionals are often skilled in critical thought and promote individuality in the workplace.

Observation

Observant professionals can survey their work environment, coworkers and customers to identify nonverbal cues or trends that may help them better assist others, make decisions and learn new practices. Observational skills are especially helpful for professionals training for new tasks or positions because theyre often able to learn quickly. Observational skills can also lead to more detail-oriented work, which can improve work quality and accuracy.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence skills allow professionals to reflect on how their actions, habits and practices impact themselves and others. This can help professionals determine ways they can improve their active listening, communication, organization and other nontechnical skills to better promote a healthy and happy work environment.

Leadership

Professionals with leadership skills can guide themselves and their coworkers to success. Leadership skills benefit managers and team leads, as well as professionals who occupy team member roles. These skills help professionals make confident decisions, work independently and motivate others.

Tips for improving your nontechnical skills

If you would like to improve your nontechnical skills, consider these tips:

FAQ

What are the example of non-technical skills?

Non-Technical Skills (‘NTS’) are interpersonal skills which include: communication skills; leadership skills; team-work skills; decision-making skills; and situation-awareness skills.

What is technical and non-technical skill?

10 examples of non-technical skills
  • Communication. Communication skills allow you to share information effectively with others. …
  • Cooperation. Cooperation refers to your ability to work as a team. …
  • Adaptability. …
  • Organization. …
  • Collaboration. …
  • Creativity. …
  • Time management. …
  • Prioritization.

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