No matter what job you apply for, communication skills are an essential every graduate employer looks for on your CV. Graduate job hunters must be able to demonstrate these skills, since they will affect your ability to work within your team, across teams and with external parties (like important clients).
Types of communication skills
Effective communication skills are made up of a few different tasks such as:
- Being able to phrase important questions.
- Be concise and to the point.
- Understanding your audience.
Communication skills on applications
Communication skills will be one of the most noticeable things on your applications and during interviews, so it’s important to get it right. Our number one tip is to remember the 3 P’s when having any form of communication with employers. Make sure you are:
- Punctual: This will show that you are a serious candidate but also gives you enough time to draft and proofread an appropriate written response.
- Professional: Remember to always go for a more formal approach rather than casual, to avoid coming across as unprofessional.
- Polite: Manners go a long way, especially when contacting people you wish to work with or for.
Written communication skills – Any written communication should be actively – instead of passively – and easy to understand. Definitely do not use any shorthand, while it is fine to do this with friends, recruiters will not be as interested in your abilities of shortening words and phrases to a few letters and numbers. Check, check and check again for typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Face-to-face communication skills – During interviews you should be confident, smile and maintain eye contact whilst speaking. Always think about who your audience is when speaking to a group of other candidates or presenting to the manager. Tailor your approach! Show your interest and demonstrate your listening skills by asking relevant questions and giving honest responses. However, try to avoid babbling on and on.
How do you show your communication skills on your CV?
Recruiters are not looking for a list of skills on your CV. So, avoid saying “I’m a good communicator”. Applications are not about claiming you have skills but showing you have them. Remember to use a real world example, good communication is often a factor in teamwork and problem solving, having multiple examples will boost your application too!
Highlight your skills with an example in a simple way by using the STAR Method:
- Situation: context for the interviewer, describe the situation.
- Task: what did you aim to achieve?
- Action: explain what you did in order to complete what you set out to achieve.
- Result: make sure it’s a specific and clear event.
Developing your communication skills
If you feel like you’re lacking communication skills, do not fear. There are many things you can do that will boost your skills! From taking on a job in a restaurant and dealing with customers, working in a call centre, to even doing group coursework. There are plenty of options for you to improve your communication skills, and you could even earn a little bit of money on the side.
Whether you’re ready to add communication skills to your CV or applications, or you’re still developing the skills, check out Magnet.me to connect with companies that are looking for someone like you!