Have you written a “communications skills resume?”
What do I mean by that? I want to know if you’ve used your resume to highlight the different types of communications skills you have.
Types of Communications Skills
It’s hard to assess job seekers for a broad term like “communications skills.” However, if we break the idea down, you can start to understand what a hiring manager wants and what you need to show them.
Here are some more detailed types of communications skills:
- Asking clarifying questions.
- Writing reports.*
- Simplifying complex topics.*
- Holding a reader’s or listener’s attention.*
- Providing clear instructions.
- Reading a room.
- Writing clearly and concisely.*
- Writing letters.
- Making presentations.*
* Abilities you can show on a “communications skills resume.”
Showing versus Telling
Thus, when you read a job posting that wants communications skills, think about how to use your resume to show your abilities from the outset. By that, I mean rather than stating, “excellent communications skills,” think about how you can prove your abilities on your resume. Show them, don’t tell them!
10 Communications Skills
Consider these skills for starters:
1. Listening skills (make your resume responsive to the job posting to show that you “heard” its writer).
2. Ability to ask clarifying questions (better shown on phone calls and in interviews).
3. Ability to write reports (your resume is a report about you!).
4. Ability to explain complex concepts in simple terms (make your resume easy to read).
5. Ability to keep an audience’s attention (make your resume interesting; be sure it tells a story).
6. Ability to provide clear instructions (better verified by your references).
7. Ability to read a room (best shown in interviews and verified by your references).
8. Ability to write clearly and concisely (your resume can shine for you here).
9. Ability to write letters (best shown with your cover letters and emails).
10. Presentation skills (your resume presents you).
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Updated March 2019
© 2014 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.