COMMUNICATION SKILLS—YOU KNOW YOU NEED THEM, BUT DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY YOU NEED TO BUILD THE BEST RESUME? HERE ARE THE TOP 4 COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO HELP YOU GET YOUR NEXT JOB.
The best communication skills for your resume:
1. Excellent Speaking Skills
When most people think about communication, they think about speaking. While this area is only one part of communication, it’s a very important one. Speaking well matters, whether you’re a manager delivering motivational speeches to inspire your team, a bookkeeperexplaining a client’s financial situation, or a public relations specialist interacting with members of the media.
Having good public speaking skills helps you talk to others and persuade them with your point of view. Your speaking skills will help you command others’ attention. You can showcase your excellent speaking skills during a job interview, so make the most of the opportunity.
2. Good Telephone Skills
While good speaking skills go some way toward making someone competent on the telephone, phone communication skills are skills unto their own. Without the visual clues of face-to-face communication, telephone speakers must take cues from what they’re hearing and express themselves only through their voices.
The more you use the telephone, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Try to resist the urge to simply text friends or book restaurant reservations online. Pick up the phone to make your arrangements instead.
Remember to speak clearly as the person you call can rely only on your words. You may also deal with people who don’t want to take your call, particularly if you’re cold-calling them. While they may be frustrated or even rude, you should always stay polite and friendly.
Most people will need to use the telephone to communicate at some point during their careers, but well-developed telephone skills are especially important for call center operators and advertising salespeople.
3. Strong Active Listening Skills
While speaking to others is important, you can’t claim to be a good communicator unless you have good listening skills. One of the best ways to listen is a process called active listening because it reinforces what a speaker has said to you. Active listening helps clear up any areas of confusion and highlights the message in the listener’s mind.
You can improve your active listening skills by practicing it when someone speaks to you, whether it’s at work or during your leisure time.
- Focus on what the speaker says.
- Notice the speaker’s body language.
- Wait for the speaker to finish, without interrupting.
- Ask questions to clarify any unclear points.
- Repeat the message you heard back to the speaker. Phrases such as “I understand you want to …” and “So you’re saying that …” are good starting points.
People love when others listen to them. When you demonstrate active listening, you’re making others feel valued. You’re also learning what they need from you, which will help you do your job better no matter what industry you work in.
4. Exemplary Written Communication Skills
While spoken communication is important, communicating using the written word is important in many roles. While some professionals such as journalists and advertising copywriters rely heavily on their written communication skills, they’re also vital for anyone who needs to prepare reports or write emails as part of their job.
Practice is one of the best ways to become a better writer. Start writing regularly on a blog or in a journal, and you’ll find the process becomes less daunting and starts to feel more natural. Focus on your ideas flowing smoothly as well as mechanical concerns such as grammar and spelling. You may also want to enroll in a writing course if you feel your writing needs some special attention. Specialist business and technical writing courses can benefit people in certain industries.
Searching for a job will give you plenty of opportunities to showcase your written skills. Write a custom cover letter, e.g., customer service, for each position you apply for consideration. Make sure the letter is persuasive, concise, and free of spelling or grammatical errors that could undermine your application.
Show a prospective employer that you have mastered these communication skills, and you’ll prove that you could be an asset to any place of business operating in any industry.
Business expert Paul J. Meyer once said, “Communication — the human connection — is the key to personal and career success.” This quote speaks to the need for strong oral and written communication skills.