Career Development

How to Include Listening Skills on a Resume: Best Skills and Examples

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Listening is an important part of any career. Adding listening skills on your resume can show you know how to interpret and follow instructions. It also shows that you’re an effective communicator. Learn how to include listening skills on your resume and how to improve them.

Why employers want to see listening skills on your resume

Listening skills can help you in any position, from retail associate to IT manager. You need the ability to use a variety of listening skills in many situations. Your supervisors and those you interact with on a daily basis communicate important information to you, and they need to know that you have good comprehension and interpersonal skills.

Listing your different types of listening skills also lets your employer know that you are aware of the importance of listening techniques and how they benefit the company. Whatever role you are seeking to fulfill for the business, there are several kinds of listening strategies needed.

How to include listening skills on a resume

 Here are some steps to take when listing the types of listening skills on your resume:

1. Firstly, highlight your unique listening strategy in your resume

There are many different types of listening you can highlight on your resume, and you should choose those that can help you in the open role. You can add your listening skills in your skills section and in your work experience section. If you are looking for a sales position, let your employer know you are versed in empathetic listening and emotional intelligence. 

2. Secondly, use terms that show specific listening skills

Be very specific about the different types of listening skills you are good at. Skills such as conflict resolution, negotiation, motivation and customer service all require the ability to use a wide variety of listening skills.

Read through the job listing looking for keywords that focus on interpersonal skills. Try to add some of them as they’re an important part of listening skills.

3. Lastly, add listening skills in the summary

The resume summary is another place to bring attention to the listening techniques you can offer the company.  Many employers are interested in your ability to communicate, with listening skills being a large portion. Adding these abilities to your summary can quickly show hiring managers that you’re capable of listening to and following instructions. 

Best listening skills to add to a resume

Here is a general list of some of the most common listening skills to add to a resume:

Active listening

Make it evident that you are interested in what they are saying and encourage them to continue. With all types of listening strategies and techniques, there is an emphasis on the ability to give your full attention. This is shown through eye contact and body language. Ask questions if you feel there is something that needs to be clarified or repeat back what they said to make sure you understand. Pay attention to small clues including non-verbal communications and gestures.

Comprehensive listening

Listen to understand the meaning of what is being said. This type of listening means you need to comprehend what the speaker said, which means you should know the meaning of each word and phrase. Adding this listening skill to your resume shows you have the ability to interpret conversations and instructions.

Critical listening

This skill analyzes and evaluates the information for accuracy. When you use critical listening, you might try to analyze data or come to a decision about a person or opportunity. 

Empathetic listening

Also sometimes called emotional intelligence, this listening skill means you understand how the person feels about the conversation. Empathetic listening is a lot like active listening, and also incorporates learning about emotions a person is expressing. This is an important skill to list for jobs in customer service, sales and those that involve a lot of teamwork.

How to improve listening skills

Here are some suggestions to improve your listening skills:

1. Firstly, maintain eye contact

When someone is speaking, one of the ways you can show you are focused on what they are saying and giving them your full attention is to maintain eye contact. It’s acceptable to look away occasionally, but avoid looking at your watch or phone. This shows you’re interested in what the speaker is saying. 

2. Secondly, use body language to show you are engaged

Body language has an important part in how others perceive you. When you listen with complete awareness, you generally face the person speaking. 

You can use small cues to show you’re listening and understand what they’re saying. You can nod your head when you understand a statement, and smile when it’s appropriate. Keep your arms at your sides and your back straight to show attention. You can also ask questions if you need clarification, but avoid interrupting the speaker if you can.

3. Last, listen actively or take notes so you can understand and remember the details

To be a good critical listener, it’s helpful to actively try to interpret the meaning of the conversation. If it’s acceptable, take notes during a conversation if you need to. This can help you reflect on what was said and better learn what you need to do. 

You can also paraphrase what the speaker said once they’re finished to make sure you understand the meaning. Repeating something aloud can help you form better comprehension.