Should you put communication skills on your CV?

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Employers tell us they need new staff to show they have the essential employability skill of good communication – but we’ve also heard that some are bored stiff with seeing hundreds of CVs with “communication skills” written on them. So should you put communication skills on your CV or not?

Show your communication skills rather than tell

Catch the interest of any employer reading your CV by showing you have great communication skills, rather than writing the words “communication skills”.

You can do this by:

  • having a well-ordered and well-structured CV with simple headings
  • avoiding long sentences and spelling mistakes
  • including work experience and work you’ve done that uses communication skills, such as customer service or sports coaching
  • giving clear, real-life examples of when you’ve used your skills in your work history section.

Don’t forget to wow employers with your excellent persuasive skills by attaching an interesting and well-written cover letter.

Show your communication skills in interviews

While we’re here, let’s talk about how you can show your awesome communication skills in interviews. Remember, communication skills are about more than talking, so remember to:

  • smile, greet the interviewers warmly and be friendly
  • keep your hands on your lap and your head up
  • listen carefully to questions, take notes if you need to, and answer without going off the topic
  • prepare some good questions to ask your interviewers.

Show your communication skills during work experience

Consider work experience as an extended job interview, and make sure your communication skills are sharp by:

  • greeting your boss and other workers every day and being friendly at break times
  • asking questions if you don’t understand something
  • listening to instructions and following them
  • letting your supervisor know if there is a problem
  • treating everyone around you with respect.

If you have trouble with speaking clearly or writing, you can get coaching and support from Literacy Aotearoa.

Watch this space as we bring you more articles on the skills employers need you to have, so you can win at job seeking.

Find out more about employability skills and job hunting

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