Communication skills are the traits that allow you to share information with others and interpret the information shared by other people.
Given the importance of communication skills in the workplace, you may be wondering: How can I list my communication skills on my resume? That’s a great question.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss the five main types of communication. We will then talk about how you can list them on your resume.
Why is Communication Important?
Communication skills are a crucial part of working. Whether you need to give a presentation to other members of a team or send a memo to a coworker, you’ll need to leverage your communication skills.
Being an effective communicator is necessary in most modern jobs. If you are an accountant, you’ll need to know how to talk about financials with other accountants and other stakeholders in the business. If you are an assistant, you’ll need to interact with people who call the business over the phone.
In addition, having strong communication skills also increases the likelihood that you have other soft skills that are in demand by employers. If you are a good verbal communicator, for instance, you are more likely to be a good leader because leadership involves a high degree of effective communication.
What Are the Types of Communication?
There are five main types of communication that we use: verbal, non-verbal, written, visual, and listening. While listening is technically a skill, to communicate effectively, you need to be capable of not only sharing information, but taking it in as well.
Here are the main types of communication skills that you can mention on your resume:
- Verbal Communication
Verbal communication is when you speak with others. You can communicate verbally in-person, over the phone, or by using a teleconferencing solution such as Zoom or Skype.
Verbal communication is commonly used during presentations, conferences, meetings, and team discussions. You will also use verbal communication skills while talking with your colleagues at work.
This type of communication is important to an organization because you can share a lot of information in a short period. In addition, you can easily ask follow-up questions while engaged in a verbal conversation. If you were writing a memo, on the other hand, it may take longer to get a response to a question that you need to be answered.
Verbal communication can be either formal or informal. Formal verbal communication could be an official warning given in an HR meeting or a manager sharing new policies in a company-wide meeting. Informal verbal communication, on the other hand, could be talking with coworkers about a game that was on over the weekend or sharing personal stories.
- Non-Verbal Communication
The actions we take while we speak or listen, such as moving our hands or looking in a different direction, say more than the contents of what we have said.
Non-verbal communication refers to using facial expressions and body language to convey information in a conversation.
Some non-verbal communication occurs without you noticing: you may start to look in another direction if you get bored in a conversation. In other cases, non-verbal communication occurs consciously and is used to help convey a subtle piece of information to another person. For instance, you may yawn quietly during a conversation to convey that you are starting to become fatigued or need a break.
- Visual Communication
We digest a massive amount of the information we see every day. Advertisements on social media display products, urging us to buy. Televisions air shows for us to watch. Presentations include colored text to draw us in.
Visual communication is about using art, drawings, photographs, infographics, and other types of visuals to share information. For instance, in a finance presentation, an accountant may decide to use a graph to convey information rather than showing a raw spreadsheet.
This form is important because some people learn more effectively by seeing visual adaptations of information. Seeing a pie chart with sales figures, for instance, is easier to digest and interpret than a list of figures. The pie chart will give the reader all of the information they need without having to look through numbers and piece them together.
- Written Communication
Memos, reports, text messages, Tweets, emails, agendas, outlines. These are all examples of written communication, which refers to sharing information through writing or printing letters and numbers.
This communication type is important because it provides a clear record of a piece of information. When you receive a memo, for instance, you will have all the information it contains in writing. If you need to go back and remind yourself of something, you can do so by referring back.
In many cases, verbal and written communication are used together in the workplace. For instance, during a meeting, you may convey ideas by speaking, while someone else jots down notes and compiles the meeting’s minutes.
Like verbal communication, written communication can be formal or informal. Formal written communication refers to documents such as memos, minutes of a meeting, resumes, and any other document that has a clear and set structure.
Listening may not sound like a type of communication, but to be a good communicator, one needs to be able to receive information effectively.
When we talk about listening, it is more appropriate to refer to active listening. Active listening refers to a process where a listener observes a speaker’s behavior and words, then uses that information to inform what they are going to say next. Without active listening, you may find engaging in a discussion difficult and ask informed follow up questions.
How to List Communication Skills on Your Resume
Now that you are familiar with the five main types of communication, you may be wondering: How can I list these communication skills on my resume?
A resume is a testament to your communication skills. Resumes are an example of a formal written communication. This is because resumes have a set structure and convey specific information about who you are and why you are a good fit for a job.
The first step to showcasing your communication skills in a resume is to ensure structure. Do you use headings to separate information? Does your resume include any spelling errors? Before you submit a resume, make sure it is clear, concise, and displays the relevant information about who you are.
You may also want to directly list your communication skills on your resume’s skills section. This is where you list all of the hard and soft skills that qualify you for a specific position. Here is an example of a skills section that mentions a few types of communication:
Office manager skills: Leadership, team work, ability to delegate, attention to detail, strong decision making skills, verbal communication skills, written communication skills, active listening skills.
Employers want to hire people who communicate well. Even if your job involves a high degree of independent work, there will still be scenarios where you will have to work with other people.
Effective communicators are welcomed by employers because people who listen well are less likely to misinterpret information. They are also more likely to share information clearly, so colleagues walk away with a firm understanding of a discussion.
By knowing what types of communication are used in the workplace, you can update your resume to reflect the communication types that best reflect your unique skills and aptitudes.