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How to List Communication Skills on a Resume | Best Skills and Examples

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If you find yourself wondering why communication skills are worth emphasizing, the answer is simple: Communication skills of any kind are highly applicable in any working environment. Whether you work as a door-to-door salesman or behind a desk in a corporate office, communication will play a key role in your day-to-day success. It doesn’t matter if you are communicating with clients, colleagues or your own manager, you must be able to get your point across effectively and listen to information coming from other people just as well.

There is no job where effective communication wouldn’t be an asset, which is why you should be including these skills on your resume. This article will explain which types of communication will be most applicable and beneficial in the position you are considering. 

Evaluate your achievements when listing communication skills

Simply stating ‘excellent communication skills’ is no longer enough to get your talents recognized. Hiring managers see dozens of resumes when hiring for any given position, and that means they have come to ignore common buzz words that most applicants stuff into their resume. Vaguely mentioning communication capabilities or simply listing a skill like ‘public speaking’ or ‘team player’ on its own won’t do you any favors.

Instead, opt for a more effective way to explain your communication skills on your resume. By nature, communication is a soft skill, and that makes it hard to quantify. In order to show off your communication abilities in the best way, try to think of ways to imply great communication skills by showcasing your hard skills. This can be done by explaining achievements, certifications and degrees you have earned that required good communication.

How to list communication skills

To make your resume as impactful as possible, you should consider the many different types of communication skills that could apply to your position. When most people think about communication skills, they generally think about verbal or written communication. However, it goes far beyond that. 

After determining which skills are most relevant, you can use these examples to inspire your writing and think about some past experiences that showcase the relevant skills you’ve decided to feature. Keep your sentences concise and straightforward, and remember to use figures so that these examples catch the recruiter’s eyes at a glance.

Consider these skills and think of which ones are relevant to the job you are applying for:

1. First, think about all aspects of written communication

Written communication remains highly important in today’s workplace. From communication via email with customers and colleagues to writing sales letters and even social media content, this skill likely applies to the position you’re considering. Think about what you have written in the past, who you have written to and what you achieved through written communication.

2. Second, add your verbal communication skills

Verbal communication is often considered just as much a business skill as it is a social skill, which explains why it’s useful in every professional environment. Being able to demonstrate strong verbal communication will give you a competitive edge if you are applying for a client-facing position.

3. Next, include any training or mentoring experience

Personally mentoring or training another person highlights a range of interpersonal skills, including listening and empathy, that make you more appealing for any workplace. If you have mentoring experience, consider highlighting who the individual was, what you did to guide them and the progress they made thanks to your assistance.

4. Then, evaluate your negotiating skills

Negotiation skills generally equate to persuasion skills, which are directly applicable in a sales environment but would also prove advantageous to many workplaces. A good negotiator knows how to read other people (which implies nonverbal skills) and clearly communicate benefits, features and information in a way that’s friendly and knowledgeable.

5. Lastly, highlight your ability to deliver presentations

Presenting is yet another communication skill that’s worth highlighting on your resume if you’ll be in any sort of position where explaining a concept, speaking to a large group or leading a seminar or meeting will be expected of you. If applicable, explain your approach to presenting and how you have used your skills to close a deal, get a new client or solve a problem.

Rather than stuffing your resume full of information, pick two to three types of communication skills that best apply to the position you’re considering and showcase them using quantifiable achievements.

Examples of communications skills listed on a resume

If you’re trying to figure out how to best showcase your communication skills using past achievements or experience, take a look at these examples.

Examples:

‘Created a template to help salespeople write emails following discovery calls. The template directly generated over $280,000 in sales during its first year in use.’

‘Wrote a letter on behalf of corporate headquarters that clarified the updated dress code requirements for all 185 store locations.’

‘Presented findings from the 2018 fiscal year that illustrated how implementing green energy concepts like motion lighting could save the company $25,000 annually in operating costs.’

Looking at these examples, one consistent aspect that makes them stand out is the fact that they use quantifiable data (i.e., dollar amounts and other figures) to demonstrate how the person used their skills to deliver certain information or achieve specific results.

Typically, as you think about examples that will showcase your communication skills, you’ll find that these same examples also end up showcasing other essential workplace skills. For instance, the first example above helps to demonstrate sales and marketing knowledge. The others demonstrate strong research skills, proving that the person presenting the resume is capable of taking initiative and finding answers using their strong comprehension skills of various materials and sources.