Attributes Valued by Employers

Specific Skills

Technical Knowledge

Technical Knowledge is going to be key when applying for a role in an IT business. There are many sub-categories in the IT industry which means that employers will be recruiting different people with different knowledge of IT applications. There is essential knowledge required in most IT jobs such as using Microsoft Office or similar applications efficiently and effectively and there would be requirements of knowledge in other applications if applying for more advanced jobs.

For example, if a web design company were looking to recruit new web designers and developers, they would need to look for candidates with different skills. They will be looking for someone with creativity and numeracy skills to become a designer and they would be looking for someone who has coded in many languages such as HTML,CSS and PHP to become a web developer. That was just one section of the IT industry. There are obviously more sections of the IT industry but it comes to show that Technical Knowledge is key when it comes to an employer hiring an applicant.

Health + Safety

Health and Safety is really important to know when working in the IT industry. You should be able to know what environment you will be in when working and what your employers requires in being healthy and safe in your environment. As you are working in the IT industry, you must follow the IT health and safety rules. Some of these rules include;


  • Not having any food or drink near computers or machines
  • Do not leave wires lying on the floor
  • There must be enough room for you to work (not too cramped)

They were just some rules that you need to follow.


Your employer's must provide you with certain things so that it is healthy for you to work. Some of these things include;



  • Provide adjustable chairs
  • Provide foot rests

Working Attitudes

When you are working, you must have good working attitudes. Most working attitudes are linked to your personal skills. If you have improving personal skills, you will most definitely improve the working attitudes you have when you are at work. Key factors of working attitudes are determination, reliability and punctuality. You need to be determined to keep going at the task what you are doing when working. If a manager or colleague asks you to do something with a particular deadline you must do it to prove you are reliable and anyone could ask for your help when needed. You must also be punctual. You must commit to your work, even if you are having a bad day, just go to work on time and get your job done.

General Attributes

Planning Skills

It is really important that you have planning skills. There are going to be times in your work when you are going to be asked to complete a project or a task. If you make a good plan and follow it accurately, there is no reason why you wouldn't be able able to accomplish the task. Although there maybe times when you don't have time to plan, try and think the steps out in your head before doing them. You have to be thorough in your plans but don't be too thorough as something may arise and you may need to do something in a different way so you should always have other options to your plan. A plan will give you a focus on the task in hand. If you focus on the task then you will complete it faster and better. If you are doing something in the IT industry, like designing an application or creating a website, you need to have a plan to make sure all of the things have been thought through.

Organisational Skills

Organizational Skills are probably the most important skills that would be required of you in the IT industry. If you are organised then you will be more efficient. You will be able to direct yourself to the right place as you would know what you require as you are organised.

You need to be organized in the IT industry because if you are not, then you will lose time and money and you cannot do that if you are working in an IT environment.

Time Management

Time Management is very crucial when working in the IT industry as everything is based on the time. If you do not use your time wisely then you will fail when trying to achieve something in this industry. If you are approached by a customer and they want something doing, you have to do it in the time that you have. For example, if you are an app developer, you will have to make sure you use your time wisely to meet certain deadlines so that you can finish creating your app.

Team-Working

Team Working is very important when in the IT industry. Most jobs in the industry depend on people to come together and work as a team to get the best they can out of a company. If you work as a team, you will have a whole other bunch of people to help you, plan, design, build or test a project which you are working on. Although there are a lot of jobs out there which require independence, I think most employers in the IT industry would rather people working as a team than working on your own.

Verbal Skills

Verbal Skills are important from everyone in the IT industry. Even if you are given a role of something which you can do independently, you are going to have to speak and communicate with someone about your task. I think if you do not speak to someone correctly, they may have not have the clearest idea about what you said and may do something wrong. For example, there is different sections in IT and if you do not communicate well verbally with other sections then you might have thought something different to what they had said.

Written Communication Skills

Not all communication is done verbally, sometimes you have to communicate via written messages or e-mails. I think these are sometimes more important than verbal skills as with text or words, you may not understand how someone has written something, so you have to work harder to understand what they mean. For example, if you are sending an e-mail to a colleague, they may not have understood in which way you have tried to explain something.

Numeracy Skills

Numeracy and IT are very much related. Nearly everything is based on numbers and shapes. If you are a designer, you have to think about shapes and dimensions to make sure your designs are accurate. Your employer would expect you to use maths to calculate operations. If you do not have good numeracy skills then what ever you are working on will not be the best it can be.

Creativity Skills

Along with the logical and numerical side of different projects, creativity is key. If you want to become a software developer, you will have to make sure that your program functions properly and also looks good to attract customers. The actual content of a project could be really detailed and precise, but you have to make sure the content looks presentable and eye-catching to make the customers attract to your project.

Attitudes

Determined to do something

Being determined is an attitude that you should always be. If you feel like the task given is out of your reach you will have to persevere and be determined to do it. That way you might actually surprise yourself if you do complete the task. Determination is key if you want to progress in any industry.

Independence

Independence is highly valued by employers. When doing a task by yourself, you will know what you can do, not what you can do with other people. Working independently will enable you to focus on the task that has been set. Once you have worked independent then you will be able to review how much progress you have made. At the end of the day, the work you have done would have been yours and no-one else can take credit and also if you haven't done enough then the employers know that there is no-one else to blame for the lack of completed work.

Dependable

Being dependable is important in an IT workplace. You may be asked by someone in your work to do a task, you must be able to be depended on. If people know you are dependable, they will probably ask you for help when they need it. It's not just even tasks to help people, if you do complete tasks well earlier than your deadline, your manager will note that he/she can count on you if they need more help.

Problem-Solving

Problem-Solving is key in the IT workplace. You may come across errors and problems when working on a computer. Being a great problem-solver would require you to locate the problem, look for solutions and then solve your problems with these solutions. You could come across technical and personal problems that you can hopefully resolve.

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are very important in the IT workplace. Whenever you work in a team, there needs to be a leader. If you decide that you want to be the leader for your team then it proves that you would take responsibility for the actions in your group. Your leadership skils will encourage your team members to be motivated and work well as a group.

Confidence

Confidence is key when working in the IT industry. You could be really good at the profession that you do but you can't show the off the work that you produce if you are not confident with yourself. Confidence shows that you do think highly of yourself and the work you produce. You will need to be very confident if you want to be interviewed and considered for jobs. Employers think that if you are not confident then you may not show the best parts of you.

Motivation

Motivation is a really important skill to have. It is important that you are self-motivated and motivate other team members. If you have self-motivation then it shows the employer that you are willing to work and produce what you do very good. It shows that you have a positive attitude towards work and you will put out all of the stops to get the job done. If you motivate other people then your employer will think highly of you. Not only can you work off your own back, your encouraging others to work as well.

Principles of effective communication

General Communication Skills

Cultural Differences

Most place will have different people from different cultures and backgrounds. They may speak differently to how you speak, such as faster, slower or even sometimes in different accents or languages. You have to respect other people's speaking and understand what they are saying. You may sometimes have to ask someone to repeat what they have said but that is okay as it may be hard to understand someone.

Adapting your voice and Terminology

Sometimes when working, you may approach or be approached by someone who makes you change your voice or increase your terminology. For example, if an pensioner starts to communicate with you, you probably may change your voice to a softer tone and would use more technical vocabulary. If you were speaking to a teenager, you may relax your tone and use less technical vocabulary.

Use of technology

When you cannot communicate to someone verbally, you will have to write what you want to say. You can present this speech in an interesting way using technology. This will make the communication more effective. You can use tools such as PowerPoint, Prezi and Padlet to make your text into fun and interesting concepts. If you use technology then you can engage an audience more effectively.

Questioning and Answering

To improve how effective your communication is, you can use questioning and answering. Questioning your audience shows that you want to understand them and shows that you care about what their answer would be. Answering is also important as it would feel like you are trying to make conversation. You have to both listen and talk to make communication effective.

Interpersonal Skills

Body Language

Body Language is literally the language of the body, how the body is speaking. When you speak you could use body language. Body language can emphasize the speaking that you are giving. For example, when you are trying to stress a point, you could raise your hands in the air to show that you mean what you say. This can improve the effectiveness of the communication what you are giving.

Use of Intonation

Intonation is the way we say things. It is important to use intonation when communicating as it tells the other person how you are feeling when you speak. For example, you can say 'We've got 2 hours left' in a happy way, a scared way or a desperate way. You can say the same thing but it may mean different. This is where the pitch change will come in. If you say it in a high pitch and tone then person who you are communicating with will probably know that you are saying it happily. If you say it slow and in a low tone, they will probably think that you are scared.

Positive and Negative Communication

Communication can be split into positive and negative. Negative language is when you use words such as No, Don't, Won't and But. When the majority of these words are spoken, they are perceived in a negative way. On the other hand, Positive communication is when you use words such as Happy, Yes and Will. When the majority of these words are used in the workplace, they suggest that you are happy to do something or about something.

Verbal Exchanges

Verbal Exchanges are phrases that you can say when you see someone or are talking to someone. For example. exchanges could be greetings like saying hello to someone when you walk past them or they could be long conversations leading to discussions. Both types would be effective communication.

Active Engagement

Active Engagement in communication is acknowledging the other person that is communicating with you. You can respond to someone talking to you by simply giving them eye contact and nodding. Giving the person eye contact shows them that you are looking at them and look like you are listening. Nodding can show that you have listened and you have understood. This shows that active engagement makes effective communication.

Signing

Signing is like using body language but to show what you are saying not how you are saying something. You sign differently for different audiences. For example, you may sign images for pensioners who may not be able to hear efficiently and you may sign for young children who may not understand words that you are saying. Signing is important for effective communication.

Lip-Reading

Lip reading is important when communicating. Lip reading is like body language, one person demonstrates it and the other figures out what the body is saying, but this time it is the lips. We speak with our mouths so what other thing should you read when trying to understand another person. As well as lip-reading you should always read the persons body language to help understand the lips.

Communication in Writing

Emoticons

Emoticons are graphics which contain a face. The faces vary depend on the one you choose. There are the main faces which show the emotions of happy, sad, angry, crying and love. There are however hundreds of more emoticons which can be used to show the other person how you feel. You usually use emoticons when you are talking to friends or colleagues. You should't really use emoticons when communicating with people in a higher authority to you.

Letters

Letters are perfect for effective communication. You can write everything in a letter, how you feel. what you are doing etc. Usually written in formal English but can also be informal, letters are usually sent expecting to receive a reply. Letters are effective as they can mean alot in either a small paragraph or a few pages.

Fax

A fax is a piece of paper with images and text which has been printed via a fax machine and has been instructed to do so from another fax machine. Faxes are like printed versions of emails which are effective in communication because you may not check your emails very regularly but you will check to see what is printing from your fax machine so you will be interested and hopefully respond fast to the faxer which will make communication efficient and effective.

E-mails

E-mails are electronic messages. Emails can be sent from anyone to anyone. Usually emails are sent from colleague to colleague. Emails are effective in communication even though they are not verbally communicated. Not only can you include emoticons and express a message in words, you can send attachments as well so you can emphasize your message by showing them other things.

Spelling and Grammar

Spelling and Grammar effect communication in so many ways. Spelling is important as words can be spelled similar. If you mean to say one word but mistake a letter and say another, the receiver of your speaking may get confused by what you are trying to say which will make the communication ineffective. Grammar is also important in effective communication as if you don't use grammar correctly, you may not make any sense. For example, if you are communicating with your manager you would want to use perfect grammar as you do want to make sense to him, especially in his higher position.

Relevance

Relevance in writing is important. The only time when working when you would want to write a letter or email would be to a colleague or a manager. If you did want to write to them, it would be for something important. That's why you do not want to be irrelevant and get distracted by other things. You want to make sure that the thing you are writing about is related to the point you wanted to make. If you do keep your writing relevant then your communication would be effective.

Proof-Reading

Proof Reading is key when it comes to your writing. When you are writing to anybody, you should always proofread your message, even if it is your colleague or when it is your boss. If you do not proof read you writing, you may not discover mistakes which when sent could be confusing to your receiver and it wouldn't be effective as he/she would not know what you are talking about.

Note-Taking

Note taking is important, not for speaking but for listening. If you are listening to someone speak, which could be for a long period of time, you can take notes so that you can review later on as you may not have understood what they meant at the time. If you take notes then it shows that you are prepared to be a listener to someone talking.

Barriers to effective communication

Background Noise

Any noise made will engage your brain to be focused on it. So when you are trying to focus on communicating with someone, background noise is going to be a distraction. Background noise can sometimes be more engaging than communicating with someone next to you. You only tend to find background noise in busy rooms with people or in a city with cars. If there a lot of background noises then you will probably have ineffective communication.

Distractions

Distractions are everywhere. You can get distracted from doing anything. From writing letters and emails or talking to someone in person, distractions will prevent you from communicating with someone. This will result in ineffective communication.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers prevent you from communicating effectively. Physical Barriers are implemented by the environment in which you are in. Some of the barriers are mentioned above like background noise and distractions but there are also technical ones if you are writing electronically. Other physical barriers are barriers such as being in different locations and different time zones. If you are in a different time-zone to the recipient then you may not be able to find the right time to communicate.

Location

Location is one of the most key barriers of communicating effectively. Obviously, if you are in a different location to the other person, you will not be able to communicate face to face. This will limit the amount of context in your message as you cannot see someones facial expressions or body language in an online message or a letter, only summarized emoticons displaying related feelings. Another point about being in a different location is that the time zones may be different so you may not find a suitable time for both of yous to communicate.

Lack of Concentration

Like distractions, lack of communication will make your communication ineffective. You need to concentrate on what the person is saying to you to be a good listener and to respond to them. If you do not concentrate on what the person is saying to you then you will mis-hear and may not be able to respond. That's why you have got to make sure you are concentrated when you are communicating.

Languages and Accents

Languages and Accents can change the effectiveness of your communication. There maybe sometimes when you cannot hear or understand what the other person is saying. If you cannot hear properly then you won't be able to listen to the speaker which will result in poor communication.

Mechanisms to reduce the impact of these barriers

Background Noise

Background noise is usually present in busy areas. The best solution to use to improve the effectiveness of the communication is to move to a quieter area, somewhere where there is not many people talking or where there isn't alot of noise. Another solution to improve communication where there is background noise is to move closer to the person you are talking to.

Distractions

Distractions are hard to prevent. that's why they are a distraction. Little distractions are okay ie, looking away for a second from the person your talking to but you should try and stay focused when communicating.

Physical Barriers

Physical Barriers are very hard to resolve, that's why they are barriers. The physical barriers mentioned above are distractions, background noise and technical ones such as network failure to send messages. The first two solutions have been given solutions above but technical failure hasn't. If writing messages online and something breaks, your message will not be sent and you will have no communication method. These problems can't be solved as such but you can try and prevent your system from crashing by regularly updating and maintenance.

Location

Location cannot be helped. You are where you are and you cannot face to face communicate with someone if they are not in the same location as you. However, there a solutions which could fix this. You could use video messaging. Using video calling can allow you to see and hear the person you are communicating with, so this is kind of a face to face conversation.

Lack of concentration

If you are not fully concentrated on speaking and listening with someone then your communication will not be effective, In order to resolve this, you should try and isolate yourself and the person you are speaking to into a place where you can keep concentrated, This way your communication will be effective as you will listen and speak to the other person.

Language and Accents

Language and Accents are not problems. A person will have them because of the environment they were brought up in. They do however, make it harder for you to understand them. If you do not hear the other person properly, you could simply ask them to repeat what they just said. That way it wouldn't be rude of you to say I just can't understand you.