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According to Oxford Languages, communication skill is “the ability to convey or share ideas and feelings effectively.”
Whether it is expressing your thoughts in verbal, written or other new means of communication, excellent communication skills on CV is not only preferred by recruiters, but also a useful skill in your daily life. Communication skills in CV are especially relevant if you’re working in industries that require more frequent interaction with other people to help you stand out as a candidate that can do your job well.
As with other intangible soft skills that can’t be proven with certifications, it’s difficult to say that you’re “good at communication.” Moreover, it’s challenging to pinpoint what skills are included as communication skills, and also how to properly show communication skills in a CV.
This article will elaborate on how to show your social skills in CV, along with some good communication and interpersonal skills examples to put on a CV and tips on how to improve them in real practice.
In 2017, Deloitte stated that by 2030, jobs requiring mainly soft skills will account for two-thirds of the world’s occupation. Even though technological advancements have caused more tasks to become automated, soft skills are not yet replicable by machine. This is why it’s becoming more and more important to hone yours, and to include communication and interpersonal skills in your CV as one of the weapons in your job search.
Here are 15 types of communication skills, along with an explanation of how they can be useful in the workplace and in certain fields, and followed by examples of how to demonstrate each skill in CV writing.
These two soft skills usually go hand in hand and are essential in all fields, as well as life in general. Being friendly and empathetic indicates that you value other peoples’ point of view, communicating that you are approachable, likable and open-minded.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Demonstrate your friendliness and empathy through volunteer activities that require these capabilities. Participating in a monthly blood donor activity with your neighbors counts, too.
Good presentation skills are especially important in a medical communications CV, or a communications director CV, where you are often required to explain a complicated proposal in a short period of time. This skill requires the ability to fluently and coherently explain things.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Highlight relevant job experiences or any kind of project that demonstrates presentation skills. Make sure to mention the effect of your presentation, whether it scored your company a client or increased investment for your company by a certain percentage.
Having a stage presence and persuasive speaking skills that keeps the audience engaged is the essence for good public speaking skills. Educators and Master of Ceremonies in particular will need people demonstrating this ability.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Briefly list your experience, state the context and number of audience if applicable. This will inform recruiters what kind of public speaking you specialize in, for example, whether it is formal or informal.
The ability to rethink your manager or co-worker’s suggestions after listening to it differentiates whether or not you are a person accepting of others' opinions, which is why this skill is important to almost every type of profession, as long as you’re working with other people.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Explain an experience when your plan succeeded after discussing with your manager or co-worker, showing that you take into account others’ input and translate them into real action.
In the digital era, writing involves not only on-paper writing, but also on-screen writing. With that being said, writing emails or weekly reports is very common these days, which is why this skill is relevant for almost all fields.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Other than listing it in the skills section alongside writing-related certifications, the content of your CV itself shows whether or not you express an idea clearly and in a detailed manner (e.g. without typos).
Fields like sales and consultancy puts high emphasis on one’s confidence, as you need to be confident in yourself first, in order to assure your client that the proposed idea is the best one for them.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Believe it or not, the communication skills sentences used in your CV reflect whether or not you are confident in your achievements and experiences.
In a marketing communication CV, for example, using power verbs like “increased online channel’s conversion rate by 20%” shows that you are positive your actions contribute to your team and organization, compared to less active verbs like “contributed to the team by conducting…”
Whether you are working as a member or a manager of a team, getting your point across clearly and briefly is key to good communication. Rambling and talking in circles will definitely not help your team get things done effectively. Thinking before talking, or even jotting down some points before talking will help in structuring your thoughts and content of your talk.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: This may sound very simple, but the structure of your CV itself, including whether you used relevant communication skills sentences for CV writing, whether your CV communication skills description match what you possess and what your role requires, and so on can show that you possess this particular communication skill.
Professions which usually have less time to react to a certain situation require the ability to respond fast and effectively. Master of Ceremonies and people in customer services should be able to demonstrate good communications on CV in order to compete in the job search. The same goes for fast-paced industries like consumer goods and mass communication.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: If, for instance, you are writing a mass communication CV, don’t worry too much if you haven’t worked in the same job in the past. You can also point out related experiences like being a debate club member, as long as you show how your responsiveness helped your organization or team.
Don’t confuse listening skills with hearing skills. The ability to listen actively means that you are able to interpret and process what you hear, before responding or translating it into a meaningful action. Service industries like psychology and customer service call strongly for this skill.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: This one is pretty difficult to prove explicitly, as there is no such thing as “certified good listener”. You can try fitting it in your CV’s communication skills description when explaining past experiences that required active listening skills, using relevant keywords.
This is one of the social skills in CV that is difficult to prove, even in interviews. In any field requiring teamwork, especially if you’re in the management level, being able to provide and accept constructive comments on your peer or employee’s work shows that you are a team player that can allow your team to grow together.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: State a change that you have made in your previous organization that helped the team. For example, “Orchestrated monthly meetings, discussing team efforts of what worked and what didn’t. This decreased internal task-conflicts and increased job satisfaction index by 32%.”
All types of professions surely do not like to work with someone who dismisses anything different from their principle. Being open minded usually means good active listening skills, as well as willingness to grow both personally and professionally.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: The best way to show your open-mindedness is by stating it in your CV summary or profile section. For instance, using “An open-minded MBA graduate with 3 years experience in project management…”
As you already know, being trustworthy is not only important in the workplace, but as a person in general. In a more professional context, trustworthiness may translate that you will always make decisions that are in the best favor of your company.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: Show that you are reliable and responsible in your role. For example, by including time management skills in your skill section or describing how you take responsibility for a project even when things didn’t go as expected.
Whether through online message, video conference, email or even your personal blog, digital communication is becoming an unavoidable way of communicating with others. Having this communication skill on CV is very important in order for the recruiters to know that you can communicate effectively through online platforms, especially when working from home is now becoming more and more common.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: This is one of the more straightforward skills to be shown on a CV. You could either list it in the skills sections, or you could include relevant works like your personal blogs or podcasts in your portfolio if you have any.
If there is active listening skill, what comes next might be active questioning. Roles that require problem solving and thorough research will especially need this skill. For example, science-related fields and consulting will find this skill valuable.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: If you’re sure that the job you’re applying for needs active listening skills, include relevant keywords in your resume. For example, in a communication engineer CV, you could state in the work experience section’s description that you “used active listening skills to design and develop communications equipment and systems that matches clients’ needs”.
The 7-38-55 rule states that verbal communication only accounts for 7% of our communication, whereas the rest 93% consists of nonverbal communication like voice tone and body language.
💡 How to show this communication skill in a CV: As the name suggests, non-verbal communication skill is how good you are in communicating through medium other than spoken words. If you’ve had experience with any kind of writing, it is a good idea to put your portfolio link in the uppermost section of your CV.
What’s most important when indicating your communication skills in CV writing is using the right keywords so that it passes the application tracking system (ATS), which scans for keywords relevant to the job you are applying for. Remember to also keep your resume tailored to the specific role you’re seeking. For example, presentation skills might be important, but not necessarily for customer service jobs.
In general, there are four sections in which you can indicate your communication skills in CV writing: skills section, work experience section, CV summary or profile section and an additional “Communication Skills” section. Below are some examples of communication and interpersonal skills for CV, along with explanations and examples for each.
Listing relevant communication skills in your CV is the most direct way to show that you have certain soft skills that a role requires. Even though you wish to tell the recruiters your best quality, keep in mind that subjective traits like “trustworthy” can come off weirdly if delivered by the person themselves.
If you have had past related experience, explaining what specific actions you did is the strongest way to show and clearly prove your communication skills. Research more about the specific communication skills needed for the job you’re applying for, if any, and make sure to highlight your most relevant experiences in your CV. Take a look at the work experience on a communications manager CV example below.
Social Marketing Manager | X Company
July 2020 - present
Another great way of highlighting your communication skills in your CV is by mentioning them in the CV summary or profile section. Recruiters will see it first as it’s located at the top of your CV, making sure that they are looking at a potential candidate’s CV who has the communication skills that they are looking for.
“Highly motivated marketing manager with 7 years of experience in presentations and project management, and have been working with a team of 18. Possess strong leadership skills, and completed a 3-month leadership course by New West University. Seeking to utilize my abilities to contribute as the ‘Rocket Project’ leader at Everest company.”
If you are using the functional CV format, show your communication skills in the CV’s communication skills description. Not only is this a strong and clear way of indicating that you have strong communication skills in your CV, recruiters can easily pinpoint which communication skills that you possess, and whether or not it matches what they are looking for.
Now that you know how to describe your communication skills in your CV, here are 5 tips for effectively including them in your CV.
Remember to make sure that you did your research on the types of skills relevant to the role and include keywords that match the job requirements. For example, some positions require certain positions, skills and even certificates.
When thinking about the communication skills to write in a CV, keep in mind that communication skills are categorized under soft skills (intangible). Therefore, including quantitative results of your past experiences will give it more weight, making it more believable. If you haven’t worked in a related job yet, having certificates or certifications can help.
When looking at others’ communication and interpersonal skills in their CV, you might be tempted to do the same. But take some time and ponder whether or not you actually possess it. Lying is out of the question, but also beware to not overstate your achievements just for the sake of convincing the recruiters.
You might have a lot of communication skills, but remember to only show what’s relevant for the job. For example, if you are aiming for a managerial position, leadership skills should be highlighted. If you are applying as director, negotiation skills might be more important than writing skills.
This is a crucial step that most of us tend to miss when writing a resume. Even when writing a CV, your past experience might have required certain skills that even you are not aware that you possess that helped you to complete the tasks. Asking an external party usually helps when thinking about the communication skills to write in your CV.
You might think that your bad communication and interpersonal skills are already there since birth, and are permanent. Sure, there are some people with natural communication talent, but the good news is that it can be honed through effort. Here are 5 tips to improve your communication skills.
This method is often overlooked, but asking questions when you have some allows you to be more courageous, and help you realize that asking questions is nothing scary at all.
As mentioned above, most of our daily communication comes from nonverbal communication. And by ignoring them, it can mean that you’re missing a lot of the message that the other party is trying to convey, making the communication unsuccessful.
When someone criticizes or gives feedback regarding your communication skills, do not take it to heart. Think of it as a free assessment of your current communication skills, and try your best to fix it by asking them some more details about it. Nothing beats a friend who helps you improve your communication skills.
Whether you are communicating verbally, written or through online messages, thinking of the rough outline of what you’re going to say helps a lot. This may sound trivial, but thinking beforehand will help you organize your thoughts and at least lets you avoid mistakes like forgetting to say good morning before blurting out your thoughts.
This is a no brainer, but only reading about how to improve communication skills will not help to actually help you improve. Practicing with your friend, family or a mirror helps more than you think. Practicing can range from rehearsing steps for an office call, reading related books to joining a speech club.
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🔑 Key Takeaways:
We have discussed why we should include communication skills in a CV, and also elaborated on the 15 communication skills to write in a CV, with some good communication and interpersonal skills examples for your CV. We also explained some tips on how to showcase your strong communication skills in a CV, as well as how to improve them in real life.
Be sure to practice your communication skills in real life, and also to review your CV properly in order to stay competitive in your job search and life in general.
--- Originally written by Evelyn Peng ---