How To Demonstrate Communication Skills, Rather Than Claim To Have Them!
Many job seekers seem to understand that they need to have effective communication skills if they are to be competitive in any field—but what are communication skills, exactly? And how can job applicants prove that they have them to back up the lofty claims mentioned in their resumes? After all, it is not enough to claim that you possess a certain skill; hiring managers like to see concrete examples of that skill in action. Moreover, it is important to remember that “communication skills” encompasses more than writing clearly and speaking meaningfully (although these things are certainly important!). So what can you do to demonstrate your sharp communication skills to employers? In this post, we will look at several strategies that will put you ahead of the pack!
1. Demonstrate your writing skills at work – Provide and explain a writing sample.
Think hard about any past professional writing projects – Especially those that helped to further the standing or awareness of a company, organization, or cause. Think about who your audience and what happened as a result of your written work product. After you consider these things, try to illustrate on your resume exactly what you did and how it benefited you or your cause. For instance, at a past job, perhaps you were assigned to draft a campaign that would help improve sales. In this campaign, you had to reveal to customers exactly what your product did that was different from everything else on the market and why the product was a good solution for an everyday problem. Perhaps as a result of your campaign, sales increased a certain amount over a period of time. This instance would be an example of effective of communication skills at work. Be sure to embrace it!
Also consider any presentations you might have given, especially those that require a great deal of writing, such as a business plan or an extensive PowerPoint presentation. Maybe the purpose of your presentation was to get potential and current donors to your cause to understand how awareness of and action for or against it would solve some pressing problem facing society. Maybe as a result of your compelling presentation, awareness increased and donations grew more generous. Again, effective communication skills at work!
2. Have you mentored anyone, proving that you have exceptional leadership and teaching skills?
One often overlooked communication skill is listening well. Indeed, you cannot communicate effectively if you yourself are always doing the talking. Sometimes you have to listen to others. From there, you can provide the necessary guidance—become a mentor of sorts. Perhaps at a past job, for instance, you helped an employee in need of assistance, listened to their struggles and concerns, and then led them toward understanding and any necessary resources to help them thrive. Believe it or not, this display of mentorship not only shows a great deal of cooperation with fellow coworkers, it also reveals effective communication skills in demand for just about any job. Do not neglect to highlight it!
3. Have you ever “standardized” some aspect of your company? If so, you should be recognized!
As an example, perhaps you oversaw or even led a major change in a way that your department measured certain qualities or processed data. Leading such a change in a way that is clear and compels everyone to get on board requires not only a certain authority, but also a strong ability to communicate. Moreover, it shows employers that you are in a position to be a leader who can make decisions that lead to real results. In sum, you should not discount such accomplishments; market them as multi-faceted: a display of leadership, of cooperation, and of effective communication skills.
4. What about your ability to negotiate? Have you exercised that at all? If so, mention it in a cover letter!
Much of business depends upon interactions. Often, these interactions require a great deal of convincing, negotiation, tense but professional debate, and more convincing. If you have ever been in a position where you had to negotiate for your business, and your efforts resulted in some sort of award, you have mastered an important element of communication worthy of attention! After all, to be a good negotiator, you need to have a way with persuasion. And to have a way with persuasion, you must have the ability to devise concise, articulate arguments in favor or against something that grab people’s attention from the start. Whatever your field, the ability to persuade is important. Be sure to illustrate your own persuasively!
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Would you like to effectively demonstrate your communications skills? Do your presentation skills pass the test? Do you need some assistance in improving your workplace communication? If so, contact a Career Counselor with Lexacount Search’s Career Consulting Services. If you are interested in learning more about finance and accounting industry opportunities, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Finance Group. Or, if you are interested in attorney or other roles in the legal industry, contact a Search Consultant from Lexacount Search’s Legal Group.