Top 10 Communication Skills for Your CV

These are the top communication skills you should feature on your CV to impress employers and get the job you want.

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Table of Contents

  1. Communication Skills
  2. What Are Communication Skills and Why Are They Important?
  3. Top 10 Communication Skills
  4. How To Highlight Communication Skills on a CV
  5. FAQ: Communication Skills

Communication Skills

Great communication is one of the keys to success at any job but demonstrating excellent communication skills on your CV isn’t as simple as including keywords such as “active listener” and “team player.” You need to be able to quantify these skills in your CV by highlighting events from specific past jobs that show how well you work with others.

This page will show you:

  • Why communication skills are important
  • How to develop your communications skills
  • What are the top communications skills employers are looking for
  • Which communication skills to highlight in your CV


What Are Communication Skills and Why Are They Important?

As a professional in the workplace, communication skills help you interact and engage with people effectively. The importance of clear communication in the workplace is vital so that the people you work with will understand your goals and message as you solve problems together. Strong communication skills help you be more productive. They improve teamwork, build trust and strengthen your relationships with coworkers. They contribute to workplace success and foster a sense of belonging in the workplace. To better understand these abilities, here are some of the major types of communication:

  • Verbal: This form of communication involves using spoken language and the proper tone to convey comments and feedback constructively. This can show up in the workplace as conversations over the telephone, face-to-face discussions, interviews, performance reviews and group meetings.
  • Nonverbal: This is a communication style in which you send cues to others using actions rather than words. This can be reflected through eye contact, body language, appearance and facial expressions. Whether it’s a welcoming handshake, nodding in agreement with a presentation or raising your hand to let a presenter know you have a question, there are nonverbal cues present throughout the workplace.
  • Written: This form of communication is used to deliver and understand information quickly and accurately through workplace venues such as reports, memos, employee manuals, emails and instant messaging apps.
  • Visual: This style of communication conveys information and points of view through a story told via icon, drawing or diagram. This can show up in the workspace as a flow chart, graph, visual report, presentation, organizational chart, infographic or an interactive organizational system like a kanban board.

Top 10 Communication Skills

1. Active listening

Active listening involves paying close attention to what someone is saying to you, rephrasing what the person is saying and asking clarifying questions to understand what they are saying. One of the best ways to communicate effectively is to be a good listener. Nobody enjoys communicating with someone who only pushes their agenda and doesn’t take the time to listen to the other person. If you’re not a good listener, you can’t effectively understand what is asked and required of you while in the workplace.

2. Verbal communication

A crucial part of effective communication is being able to express your opinions and concerns verbally. This involves communicating your message in a clear and concise way. By doing so, you don’t confuse the person you are communicating with. People with poor verbal communication skills often don’t plan out what they want to say and could miss or forget important details. This often leads to misinterpretation of what is being said or confusion about issues. Effective verbal communication is important for a productive workplace, as it makes sure everyone is always on the same page.

3. Written communication

Written communication skills are necessary to get your message across, as digital environments makes the ability to communicate effectively in writing a prime requirement in all workplaces. These skills manifest as clearly and concisely presenting your thoughts and feedback using an active voice and a professional yet friendly tone. Your work communications, such as emails and reports, should focus on relevant content, proper grammar and word choice. Effective written communication creates a connection with your audience and is a record people can always refer to.

4. Nonverbal communication

While you’re verbally communicating, your nonverbal communication is being noticed as well. Nonverbal communication skills revolve around your tone, body language and facial expressions. Eye contact, hand gestures and voice all contribute to the message you are trying to get across. It helps to practice having a relaxed and open body stance. Don’t have your arms or legs crossed and use a friendly tone where appropriate to encourage others to engage with you. Open nonverbal communication also involves being mindful of the signals the person you are talking to are presenting during your conversation. These signals show how the person is truly feeling in response to your feedback.

5. Collaborative communication

To effectively communicate with others, your communication must be collaborative. Collaborating with your coworkers while sharing creates more precise and meaningful communication and eliminates any possibility of misinterpretation. In addition, collaboration emphasizes information-sharing and contributes to better decision making, as more than one perspective is considered, which fosters a more efficient, flexible and open workplace.

6. Presentation skills

Effective presentation skills require careful thought and preparation. This is needed so that you can present information in a clear and concise way to get your message across effectively. Presentation skills are needed in almost every profession and contribute to a more efficient and productive workplace. These skills can be adapted to improve various public speaking situations. In a workplace environment, these can be situations such as addressing a meeting or briefing a team.

7. Responsiveness

This skill is an important part of effective communication as it shows that you are paying attention and care enough about the topic to clearly and directly respond to what the other person said. Staying present in the conversation and being able to provide useful and appropriate responses to issues is one of the most effective ways to build trust among your peers, develop a rapport within a team and create better professional relationships.

8. Confidence

Professionals who communicate confidently can convey what they want to their clients and coworkers in a clear and efficient manner. Speaking concisely and with clarity is an excellent social skill that makes your intentions and expectations clear, leading to a decrease in miscommunication and confusion.

9. Empathy

This is one of the most important communication skills as it allows you to be aware of and recognize emotions in others and to understand other people’s perspectives on a situation. Cultivating a compassionate working structure makes communicating easier amongst all workers, as having an empathetic response to issues means that all perspectives are heard.

10. Respect

The key to respectful communication with others is, to be honest, open and polite. Have a positive and clear tone, don’t use negative body language while others are speaking (crossed arms, eye-rolling, reaching for devices) and maintain eye contact. This level of engagement can have a powerful impact on the conversation as it shows that you care about both the subject matter and the individual.


How To Highlight Communication Skills on a CV

Highlighting your communication skills is crucial for creating a persuasive CV that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. Here’s how to do so:

  • Include examples of communication and other soft skills in your CV summary section: Mention your communication abilities and their positive results. You can also include relevant examples in your summary of qualifications and professional skills sections, as these CV categories provide more space to fully highlight these skills.
  • In your work experience section, weave in your communication skills by using specific examples. These examples show how you used communication skills to achieve results.

Increased upselling by 45% by communicating with customers on phone calls daily and assisting them with their skincare needs.

See our page on updating your CV for even more tips to polish your CV and wow a future employer.

FAQ: Communication Skills

Q: What is effective communication?

Effective communication is the proper utilization of skills to connect with others, ensuring your ideas and concepts are heard and that people will act on them. Effective communication can be displayed in many ways, from your body language, level of confidence in your statements, tone, attitude and ability to listen and accept feedback from others.

Q: How can I know if I'm not being an effective communicator?

If the people you talk to often ask questions to clarify what you said or ask you to repeat what you said, you may not be effectively communicating. If you are not clear with your message and don’t use an active voice and facts to back up what you are saying, you will have difficulty communicating your message to the other person.

Q: What is the importance of communication skills?

Great communication skills are important because letting everyone have a voice and the opportunity to communicate freely leads to increased engagement, improved productivity and a feeling of satisfaction thanks to being respected and acknowledged. Ensuring the opportunity to develop and grow communication skills eliminates misunderstandings, ambiguities and questions, and builds a safe place for people to think creatively.

Q: What are ten good communication skills?

  • Active Listening: Focus on the speaker and avoid distractions by paying close attention to who you’re communicating with, engaging with them and asking questions.
  • Emotional Intelligence: The ability to understand, use and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
  • Friendliness: If you communicate with a positive attitude, keep an open mind and ask questions to help you understand where they’re coming from. Small gestures such as asking someone how they’re doing, smiling as they speak or offering praise for work well done can help you foster productive relationships with colleagues and managers.
  • Clarity: It’s important to be clear and audible. Adjusting your speaking voice so you can be heard in a variety of settings is a skill and it’s critical to communicating effectively.
  • Confidence: People are more likely to respond to ideas that are presented with confidence. There are many ways to appear confident, including by making eye contact when you’re addressing someone, sitting up straight with your shoulders open and preparing ahead of time so your thoughts are polished.
  • Respect: Knowing when to initiate communication and respond. In a team or group setting, allowing others to speak without interruption is seen as a necessary communication skill tied to respectfulness. Respectfully communicating also means using your time with someone else wisely — staying on topic, asking clear questions and responding fully to any questions.
  • Empathy: Means that you can not only understand but also share in the emotions of others. This communication skill is important in both team and one-on-one settings.
  • Open Body Language: Facial expressions and eye contact. When you’re listening to someone, you should pay attention to what they’re saying and their nonverbal language. By the same measure, you should be conscious of your attitude and demeanor when communicating to ensure you’re sending appropriate cues to others.
  • Courteousness: It’s important to remain calm when communicating with others in the workplace. Maintain a calm attitude and keep an even tone of voice so you can reach a conclusion peacefully and productively.
  • Thoughtfulness: Instead of preparing what you will say next, focus on what the other person is saying and how they are speaking. If you need to clarify something, ask follow-up questions or rephrase what they’ve said to confirm that you understood them correctly.

Q: What are effective communication skills?

As listed above, there are many factors that go into great communication, whether it’s how confidently you present yourself, or your body language and tone of voice. The most effective way to communicate is by practicing active listening. While this term gets thrown around a lot, it’s actually rooted in a very important skill, the ability to be completely present and aware of what the speaker is trying to impart. During a conversation, people generally want to get to the root of their specific issue and are focused on what they’re going to say next. While this is our natural approach, it doesn’t leave things open for effective communication because you’re not focused on what the other person’s thoughts are, just your own. An effective communicator knows how to listen first and then thoughtfully respond to issues based on all the information they’ve received.

Q: How can you improve your communication skills?

The best way to improve your communication skills is by positively interacting and observing others in the work environment. Thank people for their time if they helped you solve a problem, be willing to listen and be present even during small break room chats, don’t interrupt — even if you have a great conversation add-on — and remember to follow up on topics that aren’t just about professional life. If a coworker saw a movie or a show feel free to ask them about it, as taking notice of your coworkers hobbies or interests shows you are approachable and attentive. Body language is also important when trying to improve your communication skills, so make eye contact with the person speaking, smile where appropriate and don’t reach for your devices midconversation.

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