We looked at the top 5 strengths in every major tech description.
Job interviews require a staggering amount of self-awareness. One of the most dreaded (and personal) interview questions is:
Recruiters are probing for honesty, commitment to personal growth, and ability to learn from mistakes.
To avoid a TMI gaffe, tailor your answers to the job description and research the interview process ahead of time. Choose personal strengths that enhance your perceived suitability for the role and avoid weaknesses that detract from it. For a sales position, “having trouble delegating” is a negligible weakness; “fear of rejection” is not.
We've done a bit of research into the most common people skills mentioned in tech job descriptions . For each one, we've listed examples of strengths (and weaknesses) that demonstrate you’re a fit by having transferable skills. Whatever your skillset, remember to bring concrete examples of times you applied your skills in the workplace.
Strengths: Empathy, listening skills, confidence, open-mindedness
As you create design deliverables, you’ll gather input from other teams. This means partnering with developers, product managers, and users. Every team has different needs for UX: engineers need mock-ups and wireframes, marketing benefits from user research, sales needs customer journeys maps...you get the idea. Understanding how you can help makes you indispensable.
Strengths: Public speaking, confidence, an eye for visuals
Persuasiveness and compelling oration are key to moving UX projects forward. You’ll need presentation skills to extract the best user insights during research and testing. Presentation becomes even more crucial afterwards, when you present your findings to management and sell them on a recommended course of action.
Strengths: Time management, managing ambiguity
Agile teams move at lightning speed. Their goal is to release a minimum viable product, “fail quickly”, and iterate. Some companies prioritize quality instead, and expect top-notch work in the shortest possible time frame. Products may exhibit defects in the beginning, so you might find yourself juggling multiple problems at once.
Strengths: Writing, communication
Aside from explaining design to non-UX people, you’ll need to advocate for your research. UX designers spend most of their time pitching ideas and ensuring the customer is heard. You’ll need to convince various teams by appealing to their interests. For instance, sales is interested in why a certain product feature causes customer churn, while marketing wants to reduce website bounce rate.
Strengths: Deadline-oriented, thrives under pressure, responds quickly to changing priorities
Software requirements change continuously because of bugs, market conditions or competitive products. With many engineers working on the same product simultaneously, you may need to undo certain code changes or fix bugs to alleviate “downstream effects.” You may also be on a tight production timeline contingent to a product launch or company event.
Strengths: Problem-solving skills, analytical skills, critical thinking
Problem-solving is an engineer’s most sought-after skill. Much of your time is spent “debugging”—detecting and correcting errors and bugs—and the answers are rarely obvious. Show that you have experience interpreting business requirements, helping executives frame problem statements, or working with product teams.
Strengths: User empathy, customer focus
At every stage of the software development life cycle, engineers must make decisions that benefit the end user and the business. Many engineers leave it up to UX teams to own user requirements, and QA teams to clean up their code. Engineers that stand out take the initiative and collaborate.
Strengths: Self-motivated, entrepreneurial, fast learner
Engineers must update their skills consistently to master new programming languages and technology changes. Contributing to open-source projects on GitHub, mentoring a junior developer, or learning a new programming language shows you're dedicated to professional development.
Strength: Writing skills
Documentation can make or break software production, determining whether teams stay on budget and launch on time. You may also need to write ReadMe files that instruct users how to install and use the software. Blogging experience or a general aptitude for writing goes a long way.
Strengths: Work ethic, self-motivation, enthusiasm
As the main liaison between engineering, marketing, sales, and support teams, product managers occupy a unique leadership position. Hiring managers want to hire a visionary who motivates others and keeps teams on track with production deadlines. Show that you can inspire others while holding them accountable.
Strengths: Communication/presentation skills
Most PMs have no direct reports, given the intersection of their role. This means you have to influence others even without explicit authority. Employers will gauge your ability to cultivate a shared vision between disparate teams by communicating in ways that resonate with them.
Strength: Leadership skills
Ambiguity is a staple of product development. When user testing shows negative uptake or an engineering team falls behind, PMs need to right the ship. When describing your leadership skills, demonstrate your experience setting things right after a project nosedives. Show that you can hold teams to account and prescribe a new way forward if Plan A fails.
Strengths: Leadership, project management
PMs are idea machines for advancing product or business strategy. The best ones encourage collective brainstorming not just as an activity but a culture. They’re also entrepreneurial; they constantly observe goings-on internally and externally and suggest improvements.
Strength: User empathy
PMs make trade-off decisions every day between customer needs and business requirements. While user empathy is a desirable quality, take it a step further and show that you understand how to create a cost-effective customer experience.
Strengths: Problem-solving, revenue focus
Statistical computations are only useful if they unearth insights that touch the bottom line. Show that you’re revenue-focused and understand which data insights matter most, not only to senior management, but other parts of the organization.
Strengths: Communication, listening, storytelling
Data scientists must communicate complex information to internal (and sometimes external) audiences. You must be able to adapt your communication style to your audience and eliminate jargon. If your strength is storytelling or using visuals, mention those. Perhaps you even have experience explaining your job to very young children.
Strength: Time management
In data science, time management pertains not only to meeting deadlines, but knowing when a project is complete. There are virtually no limits to how much you can clean data or do exploratory data analysis. Show that you can do these within a reasonable time frame and depth of analysis.
Strengths: Analytical thinking, problem-solving
Analytical skills hinge on your ability to infer business trends or customer pain points from data. Emphasize your aptitude for spotting the unexpected and telling new stories with data that benefit the business.
Strengths: Patience, problem-solving
Data scientists need to work with management to frame problem statements to set the scope for their data analysis. Often, business executives don’t fully understand their data or their customers. Patience and a willingness to teach non-technical people how to understand data insights are key strengths for this role.
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