How To List Networking Skills on a Resume (And 10 To Develop)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated October 24, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020
Updated October 24, 2022
Published February 25, 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.
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Networking skills, like communication, active listening and social skills, are extremely valuable in both professional and personal environments and are particularly coveted by employers today. This said, it’s not enough to simply have great networking skills. You also need to know how to make others aware of them, like by including them on your resume.
In this article, we discuss networking skills and how to list them on a resume, plus we review 10 networking skills and tips for how to develop these career skills.
Functional Resume Format
Name and contact information
Skills grouped by theme
Any relevant professional experience
What are networking skills?
Networking is a critical skill in sales, business development and several other industries. Networking skills are necessary to make and develop relationships with new contacts and promote something of value.
Listing networking skills on a resume
Networking skills are beneficial in every step of the job search and—depending on the career field you're entering—could be essential within your job.
When listing networking skills on your resume, look for different word choices to convey your ability to create and maintain business relationships. For example, instead of listing your skills as "networking skills," you may want to write "business relationships strategy" or "business development" within the skills section of your resume.
You can also emphasize your networking skills within the work history section of your resume. For example, you could say that you managed clients and other important relationships as part of your job.
Networking skills for a resume
Here are skills that those with a networking skill set typically possess:
Communication is the act of exchanging information from one person to another. It involves communicating and empathizing with others to correctly receive the message that the other person is sending and responding accordingly. When networking, communication is essential to develop and maintain relationships with others.
2. Active listening
Another important networking skill is active listening. To get people excited about your business and what you're sharing with them, you need to listen to and understand their needs.
Active listening involves maintaining eye contact if possible, nodding your head to show you understand what they're saying and responding appropriately. Active listening also ensures you ask the right questions to keep a conversation moving forward.
3. Social skills
These are the verbal and nonverbal skills you use to interact with others. They include not only words but also gestures if possible, such as nodding your head while listening. It also includes friendliness, which conveys honesty and kindness.
That, in turn, can create trust and understanding, which can build a strong foundation for a new relationship when you're networking.
4. Public speaking skills
Public speaking skills can help you be more comfortable if you find yourself talking to a group of people, particularly at a networking event.
Even when you're just speaking with another person, one-on-one, public speaking skills can help you improve the way you articulate, helping the person you're speaking with better understand you.
5. Nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is extremely important when networking. It's important to be aware of your own nonverbal cues and any messages you may be sending to the person with whom you're speaking.
It's also beneficial to read the nonverbal cues of the person with whom you're having a conversation. This can tell you if you need to change the way you're expressing your message or alter something else in your communication style.
6. Interpersonal skills
These are often referred to as "people skills" and they impact the way you communicate and interact with others. They include a variety of skills, but particularly skills like communicating, attitude and listening.
Empathy is the ability to feel what another person is feeling. Empathy skills are important for networking, as they make others feel that you understand and can relate to their emotions and experiences.
A positive attitude is another important networking skill, as others are drawn to those with a friendly, positive demeanor. Positivity can help you develop a strong rapport with others quickly and, in general, help you to be more instantly likable and memorable.
Humor is humanizing and helps people come together on common ground. When used appropriately, humor can draw people to you and eliminate tension, putting people immediately at ease. People with humor also tend to be more approachable.
Focus is also an important networking skill, as it enables you to give the person with whom you're speaking your full attention. It will help you be an active listener and allow you to better establish a genuine connection.
Tips to improve your networking skills
Here are some steps to improving your networking skills:
1. Practice improving communication habits
Improve your networking skills by practicing good communication habits. For instance, you could nod your head in understanding or agreement when possible or appropriate. Use simple, straightforward language, ask questions and invite opinions.
2. Ask friends for constructive feedback
Consider asking friends how you're coming across in conversation. Understanding where you can improve can help you improve your communication style, which can have a big impact on your networking skills.
3. Attend networking events
One of the best ways you can improve your networking skills is to practice them regularly. Attend networking events and focus on building a genuine human connection with the people you meet.
Ask questions that show you're genuinely interested in getting to know the person you're speaking with and listen closely to the answer while maintaining eye contact. Respond with relevant questions to show you were listening.
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