Effective Communication Skills for a Resume [Practical Guide]

Among many skills in demand for different professional jobs out there, communication skills enhance the power of your resume.

If you ask anyone what kills relationships even at work, you may get myriads of answers.

However, experts agree that the most probable culprit to relationship failure is inadequate or ineffective communication.

We communicate every day, and it is only ideal we learn to do so effectively. However, it becomes another ball game what communication is in places of work.

For instance, there is communication with friends, siblings, colleagues, spouses, and family members.

But effective communication is key to keeping healthy relationships both at home and work.

Moreover, every employer wants to recruit job applicants who can prove their practical communication skills through their resume.

Furthermore, professional communication involves learning the company’s fundamental rules and giving a correct representation to the public.

Hence, employees must learn effective communication with clients, customers, colleagues, and the public.

We will be x-raying some essential communication skills that your resume should carry to pitch you as the best candidate.

More importantly, it would help if you learned how to present and highlight these skills to show your potential employer mastery.

This article is a full guide on the following subtopics:

  • What communication is, and the major types of communication.
  • Why should your resume show practical communication skills?
  • The Ingredients of practical communication skills
  • Top communication skills for your resume/CV
  • How to present your communications skills on your resume

communication skills for your resume

What is Communication?

For the sake of clarity, professional communication involves the transmission of information from one person to another as a starter or response.

Moreover, such information may include an opinion, idea, emotion, or instruction and often goes beyond mere talking.

How often colleagues attempt to communicate with us, but we hardly comprehend what they just said!

In other words, if the other end does not comprehend the information to respond, there is no effective communication yet.

Therefore, effective communication from the pass the information from one end to the other with nearly 100% understanding.

In response, the other end must give feedback, which may be verbal or non-verbal.

Significant types of communication skills for resume

There are four consequential types of communication; verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual communication.

a. Verbal Communication:

Verbal communication involves the use of robust and confident speaking to one another.

While one is speaking, the receiving end is actively listening and decoding the information.

It should be in an understandable language and can involve filler words, diction, and inflexion.

However, the listener must give feedback for clarity, or the speaker requests for it.

b. Non-verbal Communication:

Non-verbal communication has to do with the transmission of information through means other means.

Besides, non-verbal communication also includes voice, hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language.

This communication method affects our physical emotions positively or negatively without words. Often, it refers to what was not clearly said but yet implied through other means.

c. Written Communication:

The next two types of communication are also non-verbal but gained more prominence due to consistent use.

Written communication involves communication through written or typed text.

Also, employers take a particular interest in this type of communication because it is primarily official.

So, as a job applicant, you must show your practical written communication skills through your resume.

As a written communication expert, you must seek simplicity and clarity. In other words, avoid ambiguity in your writing and discard the power of tone here.

After completing what you intend to write, review it to be sure you communicate effectively.

d. Visual Communication:

Visual communication has to do with the eye-contact of your audience as you communicate.

There are instances where you need to meet the audience’s eye while at other times, you avoid them.

Also, visual communication ensures that the eyes agree with the mouth in contact.

Have you seen anyone whose eyes betray while they say something?

For instance, someone can assure you he can do something, but his eyes carry a measure of doubt or uncertainty.

Visual communication often goes hand-in-hand with other types of communication as it assesses the listener.

Therefore, employees must show their practical communication skills through active visual communication.

They cannot avoid being saying something verbally, and their eyes are communicating something entirely different.

choosing the right medium

Why should you include communication skills on your resume?

According to the Conference Board of Canada Employability Skills 2000+, communication is the most critical employability skill applicants should have.

Moreover, the belief is that practical communication skills on the resume/CV form the basis for further development.

Similarly, the National Association of Colleges and Employers put practical communication skills as the top priority of employers when hiring.

Furthermore, communication as a soft skill is progressive and takes some time to practice, build, and master.

Therefore, employers know that it implies a conscious developmental effort built on experience when identifying such skills.

Do you need to learn more about hard and soft skills that employers look for? This article is an excellent place to start.

Candidates with practical communication skills through their resume will often top the list of employers’ choice.

If employers choose, they will pick the candidate with every proven communication skill above other applicants.

Companies need adequate staff in marketing, sales, advertising, public relations, human resources, and other areas.

11 Ingredients for Effective Communication Process

There are four significant ways to test someone’s ability to communicate effectively. Such a person must have adequate skills in reading or presenting, writing, speaking, and listening.

Little wonder, many language tests examine all candidates on all four aspects of communication.

1. Asking Questions

One of the ways to engage others in a conversation is by asking the right questions.

For instance, open-ended questions help you gain more clarity into the other person’s mind and understand them better.

Depending on the subject matter, asking the right questions mean you have been actively listening.

For instance, open-ended questions allow the other person to say more.

Whereas closed-ended questions beg the questions of what, why did, should, have, or could.

Both types of questions can address specific problems at work, and your employer is looking for such problem-solvers.

asking questions

2. Give constructive feedback

When there is no feedback, communication, which is a two-way street, is not yet complete.

As a result, effective communication involves giving and receiving constructive feedback as part of management.

The word ‘constructive’ is useful when you need to correct the other person or have a different opinion. Mind you; good feedback will maintain a healthy relationship.

However, your feedback should be sincere and give room for diplomacy. There’s no need to get aggressive about it; instead, should you give a wrong impression.

In other words, effective communication promotes better productivity at work while showing this clearly on your resume.

3. Accepting feedback

It is one thing to give feedback; it is quite another to show that you can accept others’ feedback.

This ability further proves your advanced teamwork skills as part of practical communication skills to show on your resume.

In effect, you need to accept others’ feedback to improve your existing skills and correct your errors.

4. Use the right medium

During a job interview, you need to build practical communication skills and prove your resume.

Other people also have a lot to learn from your skills, as long as you do it right to yield apparent results.

During effective communication, the communicator must use the right medium to drive home the intended point.

For instance, if you need to ask a personal favour from a superior, you may have to engage him/her face-to-face.

On the other hand, the official request requires formal documentation in due time and according to the set protocols.

Moreover, you need to understand the receiver, the nature of the request, and the timing in selecting the best communication medium.

5. Open-mindedness

It takes an open mind to reason with people with empathy, mutual respect, and emotional intelligence.

Also, open-mindedness allows you to reason from the other person’s perspective and combine ideas and principles.

When applying for a job, your effective communication should prove to your recruiter that you have an open mind.

Whereas open-mindedness is an integral part of emotional intelligence that employees need to prove to their employer.

In showing practical communication skills, your resume should carry the ability to take others along and respect their views.

6. Confidence

Employers want to give jobs to a confident applicant, dares to express their feelings.

It is essential to be confident in communication that your tone and body language can quickly sell you out.

In other words, people first need to believe that you believe what you are saying before they also think.

For instance, assume that there is a possibility that many of your team members may lose their jobs.

You have to assure them otherwise confidently, but you can’t achieve that without showing it. Besides, you will earn the support of others as you confidently move ahead.

A confident attitude will assure your listener about what you’re saying than the spoken words themselves.

7. Team building

The leadership potential that employers seek is observable in practical communication skills through their resumes.

Applicants, therefore, need to highlight their strengths in team-building skills in preparation for effective leadership.

Besides, team-building skills can only work with effective communication through the best means possible.

Besides, you learn to communicate with a team and specific individuals with specific needs.

The team will also depend on you for motivation towards overcoming all obstacles and achieving the common goals.

teamwork and communication

8. Building trust through honesty

Amazingly, honesty is a generally good virtue, but not everyone is ready to pay the price.

What I mean is, even the most dishonest man wants to work with an honest person. So, what happens if we all want it, but we don’t want to be it?

An honest manager or worker earns the trust of colleagues, superiors, and subordinates.

Simultaneously, the more consistent you are in your promises through communication, the more people trust your words.

Summarily, practical communication skills in this sense mean not promising what you can’t deliver even on your resume.

9. Friendliness

Communication is more effective as a skill in a friendly environment with politeness and openness.

The truth is, people, get more comfortable opening up to a friend than a ‘Boss.’ Many leaders fear this attitude may brood indiscipline, but not necessarily.

Every successful coach learned that teammates should feel free to approach you with their issues.

That is, the freer they are in approach, the more they are willing to listen to your instructions too.

10. Reflection

Amidst the rustles and bustles of working together, you must prepare for moments of reflection.

When people say things or respond to you in a way, wisdom demands that you take a minute to reflect.

Amazingly, you can do this even right amid a conversation. That pause can help you speak more correctly than flaring up or losing your cool.

In the broader sense, active listening as part of practical communication skills on your resume demands reflection.

However, nature also has a way of replaying the day when you’re calmer. The next thing to do will be to pay more attention and make all necessary adjustments.

11. Sensitivity and Empathy

People give a positive response when you are sensitive to their needs and can empathise with them.

Working together is not just about making others do your bidding; they have needs too.

Therefore part of practical communication skills to show on your resume are such instances.

Give examples of when out of sensitivity, you met other people’s needs even if it was unofficial.

Sensitivity and empathy also go with compassion and mutual respect for one another.

And when you include these skills in your resume, it shows that you are selfless and open to help others.

communication skills at work

Top 6 Communication Skills for Your Resume/CV

Here are unbeatable values to add to your communication skills on your resume:

1. Speaking

Speaking is an integral part of verbal communication that is essential in conversing with customers and colleagues.

Your strong speaking skills during the interview also carries other virtues like confidence and expression.

In other words, an oral interview is your surest bet to convince your employer.

However, before then, your expression of good communication skills need to be evident through your resume or CV.

2. Phone conversation

Perhaps, the first thought you have about this skill relates to a receptionist. Well, no!

Everyone in an organisation who takes or makes a call needs to build a phone conversation etiquette.

Amazingly, when employers dial your number to invite you for an interview, you can make or mar yourself.

This skill also includes chats and other electronic communication channels.

I read on Twitter, a lady who lost a golden opportunity because of how saucy she responded to a stranger.

She failed to realise that the stranger was the HR manager of the company she applied to for a job.

By the time she eventually realises who she was on to, it was too late. It was the ‘stranger’ who shared the conversation.

3. Public speaking

Although communication with team members is one thing, speaking to the public is purely another.

In a team, it is easier to stay behind while others take the fore. But when it comes to public speaking, everyone must be ready to take up the responsibility if need be.

This description does not mean to say everyone on the team will have to address the public.

Instead, all the team members should be ready to take the lead when responsibility falls on them.

4. Presentation

Every business needs competent hands to communicate their ideas to the world, including potential investors.

Such great communicators need to start proving their practical communication skills right from their resume or CV.

Similarly, these roles require men with strong personalities whose presence can make things happen.

However, when describing your presentation skills on your resume to your employer, you need to sound convincing.

Always remember your words also carry a tone to either persuade, impress, describe, or demonstrate your hearers.

5. Active Listening

A good set of practical communication skills must show on your resume that you are an active listener.

Listening is not just hearing what someone says, but an adequate understanding and interpretation of the same.

So, whether you’re applying for a job in customer service, management, administration, or marketing,

More so, active listening demands how to make profitable contributions to ongoing conversations.

On a general note, without practical communication, one can hardly build a great impression with employers.

On the other hand, employers believe that a lousy listener will make a poor communicator and a horrible manager.

Here’s the way author Stephen Covey puts it: “don’t just listen to give a reply, rather, listen to understand.”

interview session

6. Negotiating power

If you are eyeing a sales, marketing, law, or management position, you will need to show some negotiation skills.

Amazingly, in self-evaluation, employees must strive to build a strong negotiating power when interacting with others.

Therefore, you need to prove to your potential employer that you have what it takes to win negotiations.

It is also proof that you can respond correctly to other people’s needs and communicate.

How to Show Your Communications Skills on Your Resume

In showing your communication skills on your resume, specific methods should help you.

1. Use only relevant words

Creating a resume that wins jobs, you should remember that your interview does not have all day.

Therefore, go straight to the communication of your impressive skills on your resume with relevant words.

2. Be clear and concise

Effective communication must come with clarity, and your resume or CV must also show that skill.

Without clarity, your potential employer won’t go through the extra mile of rethinking what you mean.

In other words, remove all ambiguity so that your employer can immediately get an accurate understanding of your point.

Also, clarity involves being concise in using words, especially at work, where you don’t have all day.

Don’t allow excessive extraneous words becloud the central point you are making. Don’t just ramble words, instead think deep and speak clearly and concisely.

3. Use the right font

Not all fonts are professional – hence the need to make your resume readable through standard fonts.

Some of the recommended fonts include Calibri, Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Garamond, and Georgia.

Besides, let the size remain between 10 and 12 points on excellent readability by your reader.

4. Show results rather than state them

Perhaps an essential rule for communicating your critical skills is showing your past results rather than expressing them.

For instance, tell your reader how much you made for your previous company within a stated period.

Also, you can give a case study of how you resolved a conflict at work. Describe how your social media influence brought quantitative and qualitative results to your company.

official communication skills for your resume


Kindly note that all associated skills with effective communication overlap with one another as you show them on your resume.

Also, it requires problematic work overtime to build them – these things may not happen overnight!

However, when you are set on each of those skills, the interviewer will see it through your CV and during oral interviews.

In the comment section, list out the existing skills you possess that potential employers may need.

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