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4 communications skills to highlight on your CV

Here’s something job seekers never see in a position description: “Mediocre Communications Skills Required.”

It’s hard to imagine any job that doesn’t require you to communicate well. Yet, it is far better to utlize CV space by demonstrating your communications capacities rather than simply claiming to have them.

Of course, communications take many different forms: oral or written, public presentations and confidential memos. Depending on the situation, it may require a simple text message or a nuanced argument. You might need to provide a status update with a dynamic spreadsheet or deal with an irate customer on the phone.

Bosses need to tell their subordinates what to do and how to do it. Moreover, they need to motivate them by conveying a sense of urgency, purpose, potential rewards or consequences, or a broader vision.

People on a team need to coordinate their efforts. They also need to keep their superiors updated on what’s been completed, roadblocks or complications along the way, next steps and so on.

The list of what’s communicated and how its done is virtually endless, which is why when you say “excellent communications skills” on a résumé, you don’t further your cause by much.

The Muse offers a list of 185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Résumé Awesome. This list can be helpful in prompting you to think about what you have actually done and how your communications skills have contributed to your success. Then you can demonstrate the excellence of our communications rather than simplistically claiming to possess these skills.


Here are some examples:

1. Writing What have you written; who is your audience; and what is the impact of your composition? What happened because you wrote what you wrote? Here are two sample résumé points:

2. Mentoring Perhaps you’ve employed your listening skills to understand how you can use your knowledge and experience to improve the performance of others on your team still trying to learn the ropes. 

3. Standardizing This refers to solid business performance uniformity in multiple departments, locations or functions. Things need to be measured, and processes must conform to a single standard in order to be understood by customers, employees and executives alike. Getting everyone to conform requires solid communication skills

4. Negotiating Business is all about negotiating everything from how much one party will pay another, to delivery times and hundreds of other things. Clearly, excellent negotiating outcomes are dependent on one’s ability to persuade – a key communication skill.

The point is simple: Show your skills rather than simply claiming them. When you do, you will prove that indeed you are an excellent communicator.

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