When you list "communication skills" on your resume, do you actually know what you’re claiming? Sure, communication is the ability to have another person understand what you just said, but it’s also us communicating through this article. Communication skills are one of the top soft skills employers look for because they know how vital communication is to their business.
Another reason why it’s something employers are looking for is due to the fact that it’s no longer guaranteed that we’re good at it. We put more faith in our qualifications speaking for us, and when we try to communicate, we write badly worded tweets that make us lose our job. In the past, people had fewer qualifications but their ability to talk their way into a job was immensely strong. Now, even when people think they deserve the job, their communication skills are lacking- even even texting has drifted from words to emojis. Some might argue that being able to carry out an entire text conversation just with emojis is impressive, but it won’t get you far in the world of work.
We’ve discussed how important communication skills are on the job; now let’s see how they can help you get the job.
1. They Help You Get The Interview
If you’ve been looking for a job for more than five minutes, I’m sure you’ve heard everything there is to hear about resumes and cover letters; they should be tailored, and perfect, and (depending on your mood) they’re a waste of time because they’re only going to be looked at for ten seconds...
Resumes and cover letters don’t just have to look good, they have to communicate well. When you’re texting, you use emojis to express your emotions and help make sure you aren’t misunderstood, but you can’t do that with a resume: you have to grab the reader’s attention and get your point across with words alone.
A cover letter that is tailored and well communicated will be the most effective at going beyond "yes, I have all the requirements you ask for in your job description", and actually prove you have the confidence to sell yourself. It should be short and to the point in order to successfully convey what you can do, your experience, skills and achievements. Communication is vital in all parts of business as time is precious; people don’t want to listen to you take five minutes to answer a five second question during your interview.
2. They Enhance Your Professional Image
When you think of a professional or watch TED talks like the one above to learn about the seven deadly sins of speaking and the four pillars of good communication, what kind of communicator are you expecting to see? A good one, right? The word "professional" immediately conjures up images of people who are well spoken, articulate, and easy to listen to. They know how to reach their audience, they know how to communicate their thoughts in a way that’s easy to understand, and they know that body language is just as important as verbal language.
"Fake it till you make it" is popular advice for a reason: if you think of yourself as a professional, and you enhance your skills to act like one, then it becomes that much easier for people to see you as one. It’s an unfortunate fact that even a brilliant idea can be rejected if it’s poorly communicated.
When an interviewer asks you about previous achievements, they want to hear what you did and why it was successful, but they also want to see if you have the communication skills to explain and justify your actions. When you’re on the job, initiative is valued, but sometimes initiative goes wrong and we need the confidence and ability to stand up for what we did. A professional wouldn’t apologize, they would make their listeners believe they had no other option.
3. They Make You More Likeable
Yes, more likeable. A person with good communication skills doesn’t just know how to speak without causing offence or misunderstandings, but they know how to respond to their audience; all communication is between at least two people, and should always be thinking about how they’re receiving what you’re transmitting. It’s important to get your message across effectively, but it’s also important to make the other person feel that they’ve been listened to and you’re properly speaking to what they want.
If communication skills are the most important skills to have, then the most important subset is your listening skills. When you have a conversation, you aren’t just waiting for your next turn to speak, but you’re listening and empathizing with the other person so that you can understand their issue more quickly and help them. Employers want to know that you’ll be listening when they tell you what they need or when they give you feedback that they expect you to act on.
Being able to read body language and social cues will help you learn to adjust your delivery and make sure that every audience understands you and is hearing what you want them to hear. The better you are at speaking to people at all levels and always behaving appropriately, the better your chances that you will advance in your career and go on to become a good and well-liked leader.
4. You're Better Suited to a Growing Business
As businesses become more multi-cultural and try to expand their diversity and global reach, they become pickier about choosing employees who will be a good fit. They want someone with good communication skills, who can avoid issues of cultural confusion and miscommunication. They want a person who knows how to relate and cooperate with people different from themselves; it could also be about someone who is more likely to be a good choice for sending abroad. They may not be perfect immediately, but there should be signs that they have all the necessary interpersonal skills in order to avoid making the same mistake twice.
As well as being able to work with a global workforce, they want employees who can work with a global customer base. They want to see that you have the ability to explain technical concepts to partners, customers and colleagues who aren’t as technologically savvy, and they want someone who can interact to solve problems and not cause more issues through miscommunication.
It has been found that clear communication is vital to employee satisfaction and helps keep up morale. When managers speak directly and communicate clear messages to their employees, they feel that they can communicate with their coworkers and superiors and be understood- it’s an invaluable part of team building. After all, you can’t get closer to someone if you can’t understand them.
The best thing about communication is that it’s something we do every day, unless you happen to be a hermit. Make a conscious effort to become a better communicator and to practice your skills and then not only will you be able to honestly put "great communication skills" on your resume, but it will be second nature to you and far easier to prove it in an interview. Getting the interview is a good first step, but employers also want to know you’re going to listen to any constructive feedback and that you’ll work well with others. It doesn’t matter how great your ideas are if everyone feels that you’re not listening to them, you need to make your voice heard.
How good are your communication skills? Have your communication skills helped you in your workplace? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.