On April 17, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending a roundtable discussion at the Mason Enterprise Center in Fairfax, VA alongside a number of recruiters and business people who were invited to brainstorm with CTWS, George Mason University’s Aaron Miller and students David Marques and Dylan Donlon-Moyer on the most important foundational skills that they look at when recruiting IT candidates.
I was personally intrigued to hear from the recruiters. Interestingly enough, while there was agreement that foundational skills are very important, there were very few skills they could agree on as the most important. This led to various discussions that were important for the students and me to hear firsthand.
In today’s workforce, I learned that recruiters are looking for the foundational skills that are more relevant to the work their organization need most. This left me with a key take away. As a future job seeker once my fellowship is done, I will keep in mind and that it is important to first understand my top skills and find roles that require those skills. I learned that this can go a long way in securing a job interview which would hopefully lead to my dream job.
I believe that everyone is good at something besides just their academic training. From the workshop, I learned that it’s important to align what you are good at as a result of your professional training and become the best “you” before putting yourself in front of recruiters. That’s important before taking the next step in your career.
What I heard from all recruiters was the fact that they are more interested in the foundational skills that fit the role they are trying to fill. They all agreed that no individual can possess all the skills and that is why it’s important to focus on foundational skills that meet the requirements of a given role. They believe that someone's soft skills may be hard skills to another person and that is why it’s important to look at them on a role by role basis.
Key Takeaway for Me: Work on your foundational skills and align them with the technical skills of a particular job role, then you will set yourself up for today’s workforce.
Joshua Eyaru is Program Coordinator for the Center for Technology & Workforce Solutions and an Atlas Corps Fellow.