by Sharon Boerbon Hanson

You get the interview because the company recognizes you have tech skills. You get the job because the hiring manager is impressed with your business understanding and personal effectiveness skills. You keep the job because you have six of the most highly sought-after non-technical skills that demonstrate your fit into the organizational culture:


  • Clear Communication
    When speaking and writing, make your point concisely and logically. In written communications, have an introduction, body, and conclusion, and make your points in a logical order. Proofread your communication before sending it. Avoid IT jargon and tech-speak with business people. When speaking, remember that your non-verbal attitude is just as important as what you say. Speak with confidence by thinking through the idea you wish to get across.
  • Business Savvy
    Understanding how the business operates, and being able to follow or produce cross-functional process documentation puts you in the winner’s circle. If you don’t know what a swim chart is, go online to find out and learn how to use one.
  • Accounting
    You’ll be a more effective member of an IT team if you have a basic understanding of accounting principles. If this isn’t your strength, find an online tutorial to brush up.
  • Initiative
    IT departments are busy. Don’t sit around waiting to be told what to do. When you see what needs to be done, find a way to simplify, improve, or clarify the project or task.
  • Curiosity
    Be able to learn on your own and find out what you need to know. Employers aren’t in the business of developing your career path or enhancing your skills. If continuing education is offered, accept it as the benefit it is.
  • Teamwork
    The ability to work well with others, gain consensus, and get projects launched and completed is one of the most important assets you can bring to a job. People, not technology, are what life and business are all about.


Sharon Boerbon Hanson is associate executive director of Advance IT Minnesota, a Center of Excellence that promotes awareness of and excellence in IT careers in order to ensure career and business success. She has over 25 years experience in marketing and brand-building, and has over 15 years as a resume and interview coach.