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The Value of Articulating Your Value

5 Jun, 2017

The Value of Articulating Your Value

In a recent article on cyber security skills, Mike Meyers of Udemy for Business™ said:

“ … the skill that’s hard to find among the new generation of IT workers today is the ability to communicate effectively—both in terms of speaking and writing. IT professionals are losing the ability to talk about technical issues so users or non-technical people can understand. Many of today’s IT pros, while technically savvy, lack … the ability to really talk to people and look them in the eye.”

I could not agree more, although I would phrase it a bit differently. Throughout my resume writing and coaching career (25+ years), I have identified a single, unique commonality among my technical IT clients: They can’t speak English!

And no, I don’t mean they are foreign-born. I mean they only talk “tech-speak. As we begin to work on their marketing documents (resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, etc.), they struggle to communicate their value.

Compound this overuse of technical jargon with today’s propensity to write in 140 characters or less, and the problem grows. As Mike Meyers said in his article, IT people need to know how to speak to, and write for, a non-technical audience. They should be able to compose clear, readable emails and other documentation and create/deliver presentations to explain technical concepts to non-technical audiences.

If technical professionals will learn how to articulate their skills and accomplishments to non-technical people, this skill alone can earn them tens, even hundreds, of THOUSANDS of dollars over the span of their careers. If they can translate their capabilities and achievements so that others see their value and benefit, everyone wins, from employers and IT professionals to all those they serve.

Are you earning less than your skills are worth because of your inability to articulate your value?

Invest in yourself and your future. Call a resume writer or job-search coach who can help you to tell the right stories, at the right time, with the right words, for the right audience. With the proper preparation, you will increase your perceived value, your audience’s takeaways, and your employer’s bottom line. Win-win-win!

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  1. Beth Davis-Reinhold

    Toastmasters would do them a world of good.

    • Debra O\'Reilly

      Beth, Toastmasters is great – it can help just about everyone deliver their thoughts more effectively. Good call! In the case of IT jargon, it’s not just the oral delivery, but the ability to translate technical terminology for a non-technical audience. Toastmasters and thoughtful “translation” can work hand-in-hand to improve communication. Thanks for sharing!

  2. David Shindler

    Agree with you, Debra!

    • Debra O\'Reilly

      Thank you, David! I’m sure you, too, coach your clients to express their worth, both with words and via their level of self-confidence. It’s a joy to speak with people who understand (their) value.

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