Highlighting your communication skills in your resume is always a good idea, even when applying for a job that does not require specific communication skills.
That’s because communication is an integral part of every business, as the quality of communication in a company affects its business culture and brand.
If you are wondering why communication skills are important for business, what types of communication skills there are, or how to include them in your CV, we got you. This article will provide you with answers to all of these questions!
Communication skills refer to various abilities that enable us to exchange information with others effectively.
They are the basic tools of self-expression and influence every aspect of our lives.
Including specific communication skills in your resume is more effective than simply listing ‘good communication skills’ in the skills section.
It is important that you analyze the desired job description and highlight the communication skills that are most relevant for such a position in your CV.
Improving your communication skills is always a good idea, as communication impacts every aspect of your life and its relationships.
What Are Communication Skills?
Communication skills represent our ability to exchange information with others efficiently. They include listening, understanding, observing, empathizing, and providing feedback to others clearly and respectfully.
Additionally, communication skills include public speaking, presentation, sales, and a lot more specific skills depending on the respective line of work.
Writing emails, holding online meetings, communicating via phone, writing announcements and similar documents, and creating advertising and PR campaigns require solid communication skills.
So, there’s no doubt they affect the quality of every aspect of our lives and careers. Including them in your CV is important regardless of your line of business because it shows you are aware of the importance of quality communication.
Why Are Communication Skills Important?
How you communicate shows whether you respect other people, what is important to you, and how well you understand what other people need. Your communication style also shows how much you value yourself and whether you are open, daring, timid, or reserved.
As a basic tool for self-expression, communication defines most relationships in your life, including business ones. Knowledge and expertise are important, but without the ability to establish positive relationships at the workplace and communicate your knowledge, ideas, and opinions, your career progress will be limited.
It has already been confirmed in numerous research pieces that communication skills in the workplace highly influence career success. Effective communication enhances productivity and engagement at work, promoting a healthy work attitude and trust between employees.
Moreover, in the study conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Grammarly, it was established that 72% of business leaders find that effective communication significantly influences their teams’ productivity and job satisfaction.
How to Add Communication Skills to Your Resume
Adding communication skills to your resume does not require you to change your entire CV, but only listing them won’t be good enough either.
The first thing you need to do is carefully read the job description you’re applying for and determine what communication skills are essential for the announced position.
If you are applying for a job in the area of communications, marketing, advertising, or sales, you can add communications skills at the top of your CV, preferably in the first three sections, depending on how you organize information.
If, for example, the first section is about your education, you can include communication skills within the same section. It is also a good idea to add them to the short description of your competence, i.e., the summary that usually goes below your name. Additionally, feel free to mention them in the cover letter, too.
Even if you are not applying for a job directly related to the communications industry, your communication skills should still take an important place in your CV. You can add them in the achievements section, skills section, or objective/summary section.
When you decide which section will be dedicated to your communication skills, pay attention to describing the exact way you used these skills. Include examples by adding a short sentence on how specific skills helped you. For example, if you list negotiation skills, you can add how you managed to negotiate and conclude a specific business deal that you are proud of.
Suppose you are applying for a job in the domain of communications. In that case, you can create your unique communication skills PDF as a type of communication skills resume that focuses exclusively on your abilities related to this set of skills.
11 Communication Skills to Include in Your Resume
The list of specific communication skills can be extensive, but it is important to target precisely those essential for the job you are applying for. Just stating you have excellent communication skills may sound a bit vague.
In addition, before adding a skill, you should make sure you understand what it actually entails. That way, you won't risk adding one that you don't actually possess.
The following list of communication skills will help you decide how to present your communication competencies. Let’s take a look:
#1. Active Listening
Active listening may sound like a basic skill that everyone has, but it is much more than that. It includes the ability to:
Active Listening Tips
Understand beyond what is explicitly communicated.
Identify the precise needs of the other participant in communication by asking relevant, targeted questions.
Notice nonverbal communication cues.
Abstain from judging or giving advice.
Encourage the other side to share more by asking open-ended questions.
If your desired job involves teamwork and collaboration with others or working directly with clients and customers, you should include this skill. This is how it may look in your CV:
Active listening: I helped xx clients find the best solution by assisting them in identifying their needs through online and offline communication.
#2. Written Communication
Written communication includes emails, announcements, letters, notes, online chats, and similar forms of communication. It refers to the ability to use the correct tone of voice, style, and language in the written form to convey the desired message.
Though presenting information clearly and concisely in a written form may sound like a skill that everyone has, it is more challenging than it seems.
For example, in jobs that rely heavily on written communication via emails, communicating effectively and swiftly is essential for success. Such is the job of customer specialists who respond to clients’ inquiries and complaints.
Here’s an example of how you can include this skill in your CV:
Written communication: I resolved xx client inquiries via email on a daily level.
Negotiation skills are typically associated with sales, but we often use these skills in many areas of our lives without being aware. If you have some official training in this field, make sure you point that out.
Being a good negotiator means being adaptable, persuasive, capable of compromising, and patient. Many employers would consider these traits as advantages regardless of the field of business you’re in.
The best way to showcase your negotiation skills is through a real example. Describe briefly a situation in which your communication skills were particularly beneficial for the company you worked for.
For example, you can add something like this:
Negotiation: I successfully negotiated better conditions for cooperation with the key stakeholders on behalf of the company.
The value of constructive feedback can never be overstated. It is an essential part of business communication as it informs the other side about the things that need to be improved or are done well. It is an opportunity to motivate coworkers and prevent potential mistakes.
Feedback is not limited to communication between superiors and subordinates; it is necessary in every direction within a company. Without it, managers may overlook the problems their employees face, employees might duplicate work, and a lot of unnecessary confusion might arise.
This is how you can highlight your feedback skills in your resume:
Feedback: While coordinating a team of designers, I provided precise and constructive feedback to each member to keep projects afloat and maintain a high level of motivation within the team.
#5. Social Intelligence
Social intelligence refers to the ability to be open and friendly toward other people and build positive relationships. This means ensuring people find talking to you easy and pleasant. It also means you can adequately manage your emotions, read nonverbal cues, and adapt to the collective atmosphere.
The ability to establish positive relationships reflects every aspect of your career, but it is especially important if you work within a team.
Here’s an idea of how to include this skill in your resume:
Social intelligence: While working in a multicultural environment, I built constructive relationships and collaborated successfully with people from different backgrounds.
#6. Public Speaking
Public speaking revolves around the ability to speak in front of a larger audience in a confident, persuasive and interesting manner, maintaining the audience’s focus. It requires entirely different abilities than interpersonal communication or teamwork.
Public speaking is a powerful and effective skill necessary for holding presentations, pitches, lectures, and training. Every situation that requires speaking in front of more than one person may be considered a situation in which you use public speaking skills.
To demonstrate you have this skill, include the activities that required you to use it in your previous positions. Here’s how it can look in your CV:
Public speaking: I prepared and presented monthly sales reports to the management and key stakeholders.
We included empathy in this list because it is essential for most other communication skills. Successful communication is hardly possible without empathy.
Empathic communication means you are ready to understand different points of view, tolerate other people’s emotions, and offer support, comfort, and encouragement when necessary.
Many studies have confirmed that empathy is essential for business. Emphatic people are more likely to be seen as leaders and therefore progress more easily in their careers. One large study has confirmed that companies nurturing emphatic culture have better performances and higher productivity rates.
Including empathy in your skills section should look like this:
Empathy: In my previous job, I provided support and help to my coworkers whenever needed and encouraged them to nurture a healthy work/life balance.
#8. Writing Skills
Writing skills are a massive plus in almost every line of business, but they are an absolute priority in PR, advertising, and marketing. Simply including writing skills in your CV may sound too general, so you might want to specify which writing skills precisely you have, such as:
Every kind of writing implies the knowledge of grammar, punctuation, research, and organization of the written content. To demonstrate your knowledge of these, you may add a link to your published articles or describe the kind of material you were responsible for.
Here’s an example of how to write this in your resume:
Writing skills: I was in charge of writing press releases, announcements, and news for the company’s intranet and for creating leaflets and brochures about the company’s projects.
#9. Coordination of Meetings
The ability to chair meetings includes mastery of many other skills, such as active listening, time management, leadership, empathy, and assertive communication. Poorly managed meetings are a waste of a company’s resources and leave the participants frustrated, so this is a valuable skill to have, especially if your desired job position involves leading or coordinating a team.
Here is how you can add it to your resume:
Coordination of meetings: I organized and chaired weekly team meetings and ensured each team member contributed within their expertise.
#10. Knowledge Transmission
There are many situations in every business when you must pass knowledge on to others. This includes situations like introducing a new coworker into the business or presenting a new approach to management, for example.
Therefore, the ability to teach, hold lectures and organize education and training is something you should include in your CV, no matter whether you apply for a job that requires it or not.
Make sure you state what kind of lectures, training, or education you held, for what purposes, and what the outcomes were. This is an example of how you can do that:
Knowledge transmission: I organized job introduction and process training for new employees and delivered them successfully.
#11. Communication in Other Languages
If you speak other languages, it is not redundant to point out that your communication skills in English match those in other languages that you speak or simply add the language and your proficiency level. You can add this as extra info in the foreign languages section this way:
Spanish, C1 level: Proficient in holding lectures, preparing presentations, translating, and communicating in Spanish in every context.
How to Improve Your Communication Skills
Everyone can learn to communicate effectively. Before mastering specific communication methods and taking a communication skills course, though, you must first become aware of your communication style. That means understanding whether you are assertive, passive, aggressive, or passive-aggressive in communication.
The best communicators practice assertive communication, which means they show respect toward other people without neglecting their own needs. Here are a few tips that can help you enhance your communication skills:
Tips to Enhance Communication Skills
Practice empathy. Empathy is the essence of effective communication. Understanding how other people feel and what they expect and need is the fastest and easiest way to determine the communication you need to employ to get your message across.
Ask for feedback and ensure you provide it too. Feedback is a practical and efficient way to ensure you understand others well and they understand you.
Set a clear goal about what you want to communicate. You have to be aware of the impression you want to leave and the message you want to convey in each situation.
Become aware of your nonverbal communication and pay attention to other people’s nonverbal cues. Saying yes when you mean no isn’t effective communication. Allow yourself to feel your feelings and communicate them in a socially acceptable manner.
Keep your audience in mind. Different people react differently to the same message. Sometimes, a dash of humor may get you far, and other times it may make you look irresponsible. Tune yourself to your audience and the context.
Communication is important in every area of our lives, so by improving your communication skills, you’re investing in your career and your current and future relationships.
Considering the trend of remote work and an ongoing shift from offices to online environments, the importance of communication skills has never been more pressing.
Therefore, adding them to your resume is not just a way to enrich it. It’s also a way to add extra value to all the other skills you possess, as being able to communicate effectively allows you to use all your abilities to a greater extent.