Great Verbal and Written Communication Skills

Employer reviewing candidate résumé

By Stephanie Clark.

Almost every job posting, from entry to senior level, contains a reference to “good communication skills.” And in response, almost every client’s pre-rewrite resume states “good communication skills.” On both the employer’s and job hunter’s part, this practice conveys laziness or a lack of understanding of how to write with clarity.

Communication can mean a myriad of things: message, statement, exchange of ideas, consultation. In a resume it is a poor stand-in for negotiation, influence, creating presentations, writing reports, taking minutes, articulating ideas… the list could go on. The communication to which the job advertisement refers can be quite varied depending on the position.

If you are writing a resume for a retail sales clerk, communication may mean speaking clearly, remembering to share unadvertised specials, or leaving relevant written notes in the communication binder for the next shift.

When writing a resume for a corporate communications specialist, communication may mean writing grammatically sound copy, asking the right questions at a fact-gathering meeting, or being capable of speaking with the company’s CAO as well as unionized staff.

And, if you are writing a resume for a spy, perhaps communication is about subterfuge – not about communicating with clarity, but credibly communicating falsehoods!

Drill down to the specific communication skills your client will need for the job to which they are applying. Prove their communication skills with specific, accurate, interview-generating examples.

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Stephanie – I absolutely agree with you as the phrase good communication skills does not clearly indicate what the client specializes in the area of communication. Clients need to relate how communication skills affects thier accomplishments more than just job duties. Communciation needs to be identified as many people are better in one area of communciation than another area. Also if a client is fluent in different languages this is also a communication skill,. As a career stragetist I have learned the importance of one’s value in addition to the qualifications and experience. Communication skills needs to be stressed also in terms of problem solving skills or client/customer/coworker relationships. Communciation is a very broad topic which we need to help our clients identify in terms of their strenghts in meeting the employer needs.

thank you for your comment.

Mary Whitaker