If you’re hoping to pursue a career in technology, you might think that at the top of every employer’s wish list are multiple coding languages or data analysis.
But actually, there is increasing demand for employees with a softer skill set.
To identify the skills and experiences employers value the most, ZipRecruiter evaluated job openings in technology and found that soft skills — the personal characteristics that help people work well with others — topped the list. Employers are on the lookout for skills such as sales and marketing, customer service, communication, hospitality and entrepreneurship.
One of the soft skills that saw the largest increase in year over year growth was communication. Demand for communication skills was up 77.2 percent from last year, according to ZipRecruiter.
“It’s one of those skills that is prevalent across every company and every position,” Yasmin Sahami, senior manager of talent acquisition at ZipRecruiter, tells CNBC Make It. “I think companies are, more and more, seeing the value of what great communication skills can bring.”
This goes for careers that might not traditionally be associated with such skills, Sahami said. Even if your career is more technical than creative, or you won’t be interacting with clients, it’s important that you’re able to express yourself effectively to coworkers and managers.
Clear, direct communication is also important for new graduates, or those in the early stages of their careers. To demonstrate their abilities, applicants should consider all of their previous work experiences and effectively communicate the skills they learned from each on their resume.
A summer job at a restaurant might not seem important in a job application for a tech company, but if you were able to sell a new entrée to customers, you’ve demonstrated several of the top skills and experiences employers desire. This kind of job also demonstrates customer service and hospitality abilities, two other skills that made the list.
If you don’t have a lot of professional experience, it’s also okay to include academic achievements, as long as they demonstrate skills you will bring to the workplace. You could talk about a class project where you managed a team, showing leadership and project management skills. Or, if you had a work-study job or volunteered on campus, you could include skills you picked up during those experiences as well.
“No matter what your position is, you are utilizing some sort of soft skills,” says Sahami. “If you sit and reflect on that and think about how you’re using those skills, that’s very effective.”
Read more: CNBC