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Amy Coleman on June 25, 2013
It's no secret that virtually any professional job opportunity requires a set of solid communication skills. But how does one go about translating their communication skills, making it clear to a recruiter or hiring manager that they've got what it takes? In a recent piece featured in US News & World Report, 4 Tips to Revive a Feeble Resume, the author notes how important it is for candidates to not just say they hold great communication skills, but to demonstrate it, and "depending upon the field you're in, your methods of communication will be different, as will be their content."
Because communication goes beyond the words we use, pay close attention to things like sentence structure and cadence in cover letters, resumes, and during interviews, in order to show the context in which you've worked and how you've moved projects forward. Some things to keep in mind include (1) highlighting your skills and work experience by quantifying achievements, being specific and avoiding cliches, (2) providing the context of your communications (in-person, online, at meetings, etc.) and (3) defining your medium, showing how you communicate within each context - social media, video, conveying financial info via a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation.
Communication skills can also be used proactively in the job search process to address any issues in your resume or in an interview. A great example that we often talk about here at CAC is fondly known as the Swivel, which provides an opportunity (in writing or in person) to re-direct facts or a conversation back to skills. If you're dealing with a resume gap, for instance, one way to structure a response utilizing the swivel could be "I was dealing with a family issue that is resolved now AND I am thrilled for an opportunity to discuss how my management skills can build the team and grow your business."
If you're looking for some other ideas about conveying your communication skills (or even jazzing up your resume) check out our How-To Videos and Job Search Tools, and don't forget about our free Resume Review service!