I was recently chatting with a few people about the reality of quantifying how good you are at soft skills, professional development, and how you could somehow show you would be a good team and cultural fit.
Pluralsight has solved this problem for technical skills. They have what is called Skill IQ, which allows you to take an assessment and come out with a score of how proficient you are in a certain skill (such as programming, design, graphic arts, etc.). These skills are easier to assess than soft skills. “How do you do this programming thing?” can have one, or a best, answer. However, “Are you a good listener” is…. too subjective.
I had a friend who sent me his resume. A developer, he had a section of his programming languages, with a designation from “novice” to “expert” by each language. Skill IQ is a much better way of communicating how good you are at any particular thing because they are based on the assessment, and compared with other people who take the assessment. Not only are you getting your own score from the assessment, you can see how you compare to others. That is really cool, and much better than a self-assessment of “expert” or whatever.
Personally, I think you can come up with some good questions that can help you assess soft skills, but I haven’t put too much thought into how that would work. Maybe one day I will.
For now, I have a suggestion on how to help quantify your soft skills, your professional development, and your cultural fit. This is right in-line with my blog post from yesterday, on the two things you need to prove in the job interview process (one of them is the cultural/team fit).
First, go to YOUR profile in LinkedIn.
The easiest way to get there is to click on your picture, name, or title from the top-left of LinkedIn:
Then, scroll down until you see the “Add profile section” button.
This comes up pretty soon after you scroll down (sorry if this part gets outdated, LinkedIn changes things regularly):
Then, lick on Accomplishments, then Courses.
When you click on Accomplishments, you get more options, including Courses. I have seen a lot of people add courses to their Profile… this is where they do it from. Note that if you click on “Courses” you can add ONE course. If you want to add any more you have to click on the PLUS icon. Or, just always click on the PLUS icon!
Then, add your course information.
I put the name of the Pluralsight course I created (I figure if I created it I can claim I watched it, right?). You would put the names of any courses you took anywhere… if you want access to my Pluralsight courses (I can get you a 30 day pass), just reach out to me ([email protected]). I don’t know what the number means, so I’m just putting what course number it is for me (this one was my 31st course), and the third box is to associate that course with a particular job title from your Profile.
I put (Pluralsight) in the course name because I think that adds validity/credibility.
The courses will show on your Profile, under Accomplishments, like this:
As a hiring manager I’m not going to look at that and say “Oh, Jason took an innovation course. Now I know he is innovative.” Or, assume that I’m good at having difficult conversations, or that I’m a leader. I’m not going to assume any of those, but I will have a better understanding of what you are interested in, where you are looking to improve, etc.
When I was on Dr. Paul Jenkin’s podcast last week I spent time looking at his bookshelf. I do this when I go to people’s houses… I want to know what they read, what books they buy, and what interests them. This helps me know where their mind is, what they do and think about in their spare time.
This is similar. This is your “bookshelf” to give me a little more insight into you. It’s not a perfect assessment of your soft skills, and how you’ll fit into my team, but I think it can contribute to me having a better understanding of those things about you.
Plus, it’s free, and easy to do. In the time you scanned this blog post, you could have added three courses :p
Again, if you want a 30 day pass to Pluralsight, hit me up ([email protected]).