In high school, math, science and computer classes were easy classes for you. In college, you concentrated on science and math classes and worked through them with ease. Now, you’re in the business world working in a technology related job and all that hard work previously devoted to math and science classes during your educational years is translating into a paycheck. So far so good.

But wait! Did anyone ever tell a computer science student when theywere in school that verbal and written communication skills would become critically important skills to master in the workplace? Stated another way, what does it matter WHAT you know if you can’t illustrate it in writing or the spoken word to your superiors, subordinates and peers in the workplace?

The Corporate View

Technology professionals who one day wish to stop writing code or who wish to stop administering networks need to develop verbal communication skills that enable them to provide clear communication to others. Chances are that this message was not communicated to you in college or you didn’t hear the message when it was communicated.

When major corporations call on executive recruiters to recruit technology professionals for their organizations, more often than not the reason an external recruiter is called upon is to help their client to identify candidates who have both the required technical skills and exceptionally strong verbal and written communication skills. Technical skills alone are not that difficult to find. Add the requirement of exceptionally strong verbal and written communication skills and the search for talent just multiplied in complexity.

Companies place a high enough value on exceptional verbal and written communication skills to engage executive recruiters to assist in identifying candidates who possess such skills.

Verbal Communication

While you concentrated on math, science and computer related classes in college, odds are that nobody told you to also give your best effort in a speech or debate class.

Why is verbal communication so important? The answer should beapparent: Technology professionals who wish to progress to team leadership and managerial roles will eventually spend much more time interacting with their team and with line of business owners across the corporation in verbal communication settings than they’ll invest into working with bits and bytes.

In many IT departments today, the ability to get funding for a proposed project is largely dependent upon a technology professional’s ability to present the business value behind a technology project in a group setting. Failure to properly communicate in a group setting where your audience
is generally made up of non-technology professionals will frequently result in a lack of funding.

Written Communication

Whether you think about it or not, you communicate in writing every
day. Every time you send an email or a text, you leave a statement on a social networking site or you initiate a corporate memo, you’re sending out impressions of who you are, what you do, and how you do what you do in a traceable written form.

When communicating with a human resources person on the inside
of a company you wish to work for or when communicating with an
external executive recruiter for the first time, the written communication you choose to deliver first will serve as a first impression that can’t be taken back.

Technology professionals frequently fail to understand the impact of
their verbal communication. When sending an initial email to a recruiter for example, take the time to write in complete sentences and to check spelling and grammar.

Be sure that the message you share presents a business case. Make it
clear as to how the recruiter or human resources professional can most easily reach you, when they can reach you and most importantly, leave a first impression that will make the recruiter want to reach out to you.

Improving Communication Skills

Technology professionals who are serious about seeing their technology career elevate beyond the level of bits and bytes will do things their peers choose not to do.

For example, technology professionals who wish to overcome a fear of public speaking or who wish to learn to speak in front of groups for the first time might consider joining a local Toastmasters International chapter. These chapters are available across the country and meet on differentdays at different locations. Chapters exist to help members to improvecommunication and leadership skills and build self-confidence.

These are precisely the skills and traits technology leaders need to
master in order to progress.Technology professionals who need to improve their written communication skills might consider taking a college level business writing class or two.

Executive recruiters say that the difference between senior level technology candidates who are considered for “C” level jobs and those who receive offers is frequently quality of verbal and written communication skills.

Isn’t the cost of a refresher college class or the cost of joining a professional speaker’s organization worth it to see your career and future compensation elevate?

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is the President of , a search firm highly specialized in information security recruiting. Jeff’s recruiting career started in 1990 in the general IT recruiting space.
His first information security recruiting assignment landed on his desk in the 1995 - 1996 timeframe. provides full-time and contract recruiting services, job placement services and and is a gateway to various kinds of security education, security certifications and security training opportunities.

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