10 Top Communication Skills To Add to Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated June 20, 2022 | Published January 3, 2020

Updated June 20, 2022

Published January 3, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Where to Include Skills on a Resume

Sinead explains the best places to include skills on a resume including how to format a “Skills” or “Core Competencies” section.

When you apply for a job that requires you to communicate with colleagues, clients or the public, you may need to clarify that you have the right communication skills. By highlighting your communication skills in your resume, you can show your mastery so potential employers can quickly identify you as a top candidate.

In this article, we discuss how to highlight communication skills in a resume and help you get started with a template and example.

Why should you include communication skills in your resume?

Communication is a soft skill that takes a considerable amount of time and practice to master. If you’ve become especially skilled in areas such as writing, speaking, active listening and presenting, highlighting them on your resume will help you show a potential employer that you embrace teamwork and likely work well with others. These types are especially important in fields such as marketing, advertising or sales, but they can benefit you in a variety of different industries. 

Resume Format
Image description

Resume Format

  1. Name and contact information

  2. Summary or objective

  3. Professional history
    a. Company name
    b. Dates of tenure
    c. Description of role and achievement

  4. Education

  5. Skills

  6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

10 communication skills to highlight in a resume

Here are 10 ways to highlight communication skills in your resume:

  1. Writing

  2. Speaking

  3. Presenting

  4. Active listening

  5. Negotiating

  6. Team building

  7. Giving or accepting feedback

  8. Motivation

  9. Honesty

  10. Empathy

1. Writing

Whether the job requires you to write reports, create advertising copy or send effective emails, strong writing skills are important for many positions. When listing writing skills on your resume, consider getting specific by including terms like copywriting or report writing. Writing skills can include:

  • Outlining

  • Editing

  • Reading comprehension

  • Time management

Read more: Writing Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Speaking

If you are applying for a job that requires you to communicate verbally with customers or manage teams, you may need strong speaking skills. Listing speaking skills on your resume can be a smart way to show that you know how to share ideas clearly, concisely and effectively. Speaking skills can include:

  • Interpersonal communication

  • Active listening

  • Persuasiveness

  • Vocabulary proficiency

3. Presenting

Jobs that require speaking to stakeholders or holding meetings with the public demand strong presentation abilities. When you include presentation skills on your resume, you can convey your ability to impress and persuade groups with your public speaking and demonstration capabilities. Presenting skills can include:

  • Brainstorming

  • Data interpretation

  • Online research

  • Attention to detail

4. Active listening

Active listening skills are essential if you are applying for a job in customer service, social work, management or many other fields. Highlighting your active listening capabilities shows that you can hear and understand what others say and that you know how to make colleagues and clients feel valued. Active listening skills can include:

  • Paraphrasing

  • Verbal affirmations

  • Empathy

  • Body language

5. Negotiating

In fields such as sales, law or management, you may have to know how to negotiate. Featuring negotiation skills on your resume shows that you can assess others’ needs accurately, communicate your demands clearly and compromise effectively. Negotiation skills can include:

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Expectation management

  • Patience

  • Persuasion

6. Team building

Every manager needs strong team-building skills and highlighting these abilities can help you emphasize your readiness for a leadership position. Including these skills on your resume shows that you can communicate well with groups, motivate teams to achieve goals and reward team members appropriately. Team building skills include:

  • Delegation

  • Motivation

  • Teamwork

  • Problem solving

Related: How to Communicate Effectively With a Difficult Team

7. Giving or accepting feedback

Feedback is an essential part of working with a team and showing that you excel at either giving or accepting feedback shows that you have advanced teamwork skills. Include this skill on your resume to show that you work well with others and process their responses effectively. A few ways to give effective feedback and accept constructive feedback include:

  • Focusing on the behavior and not the person

  • Being specific when providing feedback

  • Owning your mistakes

  • Being willing to grow

Related: 16 Ways To Improve Your Feedback Skills in the Workplace

8. Motivation

If you aspire to work in a leadership role, you must be able to motivate others. Featuring motivation on your resume demonstrates that you can communicate and inspire team members to work productively and meet established goals. Motivation skills include:

  • Positivity

  • Reliability

  • Goal setting

  • Persistence

Related: A Guide to Power Motivation

9. Honesty

Many managers aspire to communicate honestly, as this strategy can inspire trust among team members. Indicating that you prioritize honest communication shows that you value authenticity, transparency and confidence and that you strive to instill these qualities in your team. Traits of an honest person include:

  • Trustworthy

  • Accountable

  • Responsible

  • Reliable

10. Empathy

Empathy, compassion and respect are essential qualities for professionals in every industry, especially at the management level. When you include empathetic skills in your resume, you show that you value others’ views and maintain an open mind about alternative ideas, which can help you excel in your career. Empathetic skills include:

  • Curiosity

  • Self-awareness

  • Open-mindedness

  • Active listening

Read more: Why Is Empathy Important in the Workplace?

Communication Types
Image description

Types of Communication

  1. Verbal

  • Use a strong, confident speaking voice.

  • Use active listening.

  • Avoid filler words.

  • Avoid industry jargon when appropriate.

  1. Nonverbal

  • Notice how your emotions feel physically.

  • Be intentional about your nonverbal communications.

  • Mimic nonverbal communications you find effective.

  1. Visual

  • Ask others before including visuals.

  • Consider your audience.

  • Only use visuals if they add value.

  • Make them clear and easy to understand.

  1. Written

  • Strive for simplicity.

  • Don’t rely on tone.

  • Take time to review your written communications.

  • Keep a file of writing you find effective or enjoyable.

Tips for creating a resume that features your communication skills

Review these tips before submitting your resume to potential employers.

Be concise

When creating a resume, make each section as concise as possible to demonstrate your writing skills. Include only the most important and relevant details and omit any filler words or generic information that does not add value. Write so that each section of your resume is easy to understand and process quickly. Remember that hiring managers often review many resumes for each job opening and making yours easy to read and understand can help you stand out as a top candidate.

Include relevant keywords

Before writing your resume, review the job description carefully. Look for keywords, such as certifications, degrees, skills and titles that the job listing requires. Make note of these keywords and use them in your resume if they are relevant. For example, emphasize your ability to lead others if a job description lists leadership as a valued trait.

Read more: How To Use Keywords and Phrases in Your Resume and Cover Letter

Related: Integrate Keywords From the Job Description on Your Resume

In this career advice video, Sinead explains how to integrate keywords into your resume.

Show results

Rather than telling potential employers about your professional accomplishments, show them by quantifying your results. For example, state the percentage by which you improved your former employer’s brand awareness or clarify how many new social media followers your former employer gained during your administration.

Use the right font

Always use a professional font when writing a resume. Choosing a standard font ensures that your resume will be easy to read, which will also help you show your written communication skills. Consider using common options like Arial, Calibri, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica or Times New Roman. Use a standard size like 10- or 12-point to make your resume as readable as possible.

Related: Best Font for a Resume: How to Choose Type and Size

Communication skills resume template

The template below shows what to include in your resume. Try following it as you outline your own resume:

Full name
Email address • Phone number • Professional social media profile

Objective

Brief summary of your professional accomplishments and career goals

Experience

Title, Company: Employment dates

Explanation of your role, contributions and achievements

Certifications

List of your professional certifications

Education

Degree, University: Graduation date

Summary of your major, GPA and communication coursework

Skills

List of relevant hard and soft skills

Communication skills resume sample

The following example can help you see how your finished resume could look. Use this sample resume as you create your own:

Hannah Lee
hlee@hannahlee.com • 212-555-9797 • @hannahlee

Objective

Highly motivated communications specialist with five years of experience in communications and public relations. Tech-savvy professional seeking a rewarding digital communications manager position for a mission-driven organization.

Experience

Communications Specialist, Edison Communications: 2017-present

  • Write scripts and direct videos for Instagram and Facebook

  • Manage press releases for 15 clients

  • Oversee a team of three employees

  • Developed social media strategy for five clients, leading to a 25% increase in social media traffic

Communications Assistant, Miller & Miller: 2015-2017

  • Contributed to a 15% increase in ROI for three clients

  • Managed Facebook profiles for 10 clients

  • Wrote weekly email newsletters for five clients

Communications Intern, Miller & Miller: 2014-2015

  • Assist with writing posts and sourcing images for clients’ social media pages

  • Perform preliminary research and write drafts for clients’ press releases

  • Created presentations for stakeholder meetings

Certifications

  • Hootsuite: Social Marketing Certification

  • HubSpot: Content Marketing Certification

  • Public Relations Society of America: Accreditation in Public Relations

Education

  • Bachelor of Communications, University of Maryland: 2014

  • Honors: Magna cum laude

  • GPA: 3.9

  • Coursework: Communications in the Digital Age. Communication Research, Media in Communication, Public Relations, Public Speaking, Theories of Persuasion

Skills

  • Copywriting

  • Email marketing platforms

  • Media relations

  • Motivation and team building

  • Public speaking and presenting

Related: Communication Skills at Work: 4 Key Tips

In this video, Jenn, a career coach at Indeed, discusses 4 important questions that will help you improve your communication skills at work.


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