I’m happy to announce that the Effective Help Desk Specialist Skills book was just released. The primary goal of this book is as textbook for colleges, universities, high schools, or vocational/technical schools, though anyone pursuing an IT career can use it to understand the skills they need to be successful.
Woo Hoo! Happy to see that Amazon has named this as a #1 New Release in Technical Computer Support
The book covers both “soft” personal skills and “hard” technical skills.
Help Desk Specialist Skills – Hard Skills
Hard skills are specific, measurable skills such as configuring and troubleshooting systems. They include:
- Technical skills
- Security skills
- Troubleshooting skills
- Business skills
Certifications are one way these skills are measured. For example, the CompTIA Security+ certification helps demonstrate technical and security skills and is valuable to have on your resume.
Some people think that top-notch hard skills are enough to succeed in a technical job, but that isn’t the case. They also need to have a good mix of soft skills.
Help Desk Specialist Skills – Soft Skills
Soft skills are much more subjective than hard skills. They are typically associated with personal attributes and indicate how successfully individuals are able to work with other people in teams, and how effectively they are able to interact with users. They include:
- Communication skills
- Personal skills
- Writing skills
- Training skills
I sometimes hear from readers complaining that they can’t get a job or aren’t getting any callbacks for interviews and imploring me to help. To me, the reason is obvious – a lack of adequate soft skills. As an example, here is a snippet of a recent email I received from some one named “Bob” (not his real name). How many errors can you identify in this email?
How many errors do you see?
“The subject of my email is that I need help, the help I need from you is job. I know you know and have made a lot of contact over the years through out your career and it looked like these days you have to know somebody to be able to get a job.”
Some people might think that an email doesn’t need to be grammatically correct. However, when pursuing a job, every interaction is an audition.
Imagine if you owned a company and you were trying to fill a job where the employee would work from home. Would you be inspired to hire this person?
I never met Bob but I would guess that a lack of communication and writing skills is preventing him from getting interviews and job offers. I tried to explain this in my response but never heard from him again.
Maybe he understood and chose to improve his soft skills. He also could have decided to ignore my advice and might still be struggling to break into the IT field.