How Do You Communicate?

Posted July 12, 2012
By Clay Cerny

Almost every resume lists communication skills.  However, it is important to discuss your communication skills in a way that fits the job you are seeking.  For example, a sales person needs to be able to present information, persuade a customer, and close a sale.  A teacher also has to make presentations, but she might have to explain scientific concepts or describe technical features of poetry.  Every job has its own special communication requirements.

A few days ago I was working with a professional whose work does not scream communication skills – a photographer.  What I learned dealing with this client was that communication was vital to her work.  She needed to win the trust of people who were going to give her permission to shoot photos, or she would need to get them to sign a release.  This meant being persuasive and building rapport, often dealing with people in times of crisis or grief.  This client is now changing careers, so the communication skills she learned as a photographer can be transferred to her new field.

When writing a resume, take the time to be specific in showing an employer how you can communicate on the job.  It isn’t enough to say “communication skills.”  Represent those skills in a way that shows your ability.  Making your communication skills job-specific will give the employer confidence in your ability, and it can be a big factor in getting called for an interview.