When you speak before an audience about a topic, it is important to have your thoughts and speech well structured in your head before you begin.
In this article, we will be discussing about: What are communication skills? Why are communication skills important for your career? Also the top communication skills that the recruiters are looking for in your CV.
Table of Contents
What is Communication & How Important is it?
You all must be aware of the hard skills and the technical skills that each one of us needs to possess to land on our dream jobs but it is the soft skills that could give us a competitive edge over others. Without soft skills, one will not be able to put their hard skills into use.
The first and the most important among them is communication. Communication is a very important tool and not only does it refer to how we speak but also how well we are able to draft letters, memos, and notices, and how well we are able to put across our ideas to the team members or also to the senior management. With respect to business, when you explain a new feature to a newly joined colleague, you should be able to explain things in such a way that he/she gets that information, and both of you have some understanding of the respective features. Therefore, communication skills are extremely important.
Communication does not only deal with efficiently delivering our message to others but also how well one can listen and understand others. When a colleague tends to pass a piece of information to you, active and mindful listening can have a positive impact on understanding the respective information. It is a 360-degree skill since it comprises of presentation skills when it comes to seniors, negotiation skills with respect to vendors, persuasion skills with clients, effective team management, conflict management with peers and so on. Hence, it is important to present your track-record of communication skills as how successful you have been in a 360-degree professional environment, rather than focusing on just the technical or the hard skills.
For instance, in a Corporate Job interview, they select a candidate based on two aspects; the first one being their technical knowledge. Technical knowledge is the industrial knowledge which is required by the company with regards to the profile for which the candidate is being hired. The second aspect is the communication skills. Based on this aspect the company decides the salary, remuneration and the package they should offer to the selected candidates.
Importance of Communication Skill
Communication skills make a whole world of difference in how you show up in the world and how satisfied you are in life. Every day we communicate with others around us which includes our family, friends, peers, co-workers, and colleagues. Now, that is a whole lot of people who we interact with daily and if we don’t know how to communicate and interact with them in ways that are mutually satisfying then our lives become restricted just a little bit every time our conversations break down.
Just ponder on this situation, if your communication skill is effective and your conversation is productive, what would it mean for your career? Will you be able to get a promotion or a raise? How about more or fewer responsibilities? What does skilled conversations be like in meetings? How about developing more satisfying relationships with your family, friends and peers? How would your relationship with all the individuals in your life improve as a result of learning how to master your communication and conversation skills?
In fact, without any emphasis on proper and effective communication, our relationship with those individuals surrounding our lives will become just a little less valued, perhaps even of lesser importance.
So, if you want your relationships to become stronger, important, and filled with trust then it is worth your effort to improve your communication skills. Many of you might know that communication comprises of two major components; the verbal component and the non-verbal component. The verbal component is quite ‘obvious’, but in many cases, the non-verbal part is overlooked because one does not tend give any attention to their non-verbal gestures.
Elements of communication skills that recruiters are looking for in your cv
Writing well is a significant part of your professional presentation. Several individuals who can’t write well are skilled from multiple points of view, but people often mistake as an inability to write well with lack of intelligence. Poor writing does not only make exchange of ideas and information less efficient, but it also makes you look inferior more quickly than almost anything else. Figuring out how to write well has a significant impact; because a clear, readable text is well-organized, straightforward and concise. Developing to write also teaches you to speak and think better.
Verbal or oral communication is basic for those who are placed in a traditional workplace environment and for people who extensively make use of telephones. While verbal communication abilities are significantly used in the department of sales, client care and advertising jobs. Any individual who needs to communicate face to face with supervisors or colleagues at work needs to be able to express themselves clearly and succinctly.
Non-verbal communication includes vocal tone, eye contact patterns, body language and more. It regularly conveys more information than your speech and has a much greater impact on rapport and trust. Try to learn and improve the non-verbal cues and gestures so as to present yourself well.
Friendliness and respect
Being friendly, polite and respectable go a long way in creating rapport with others and improve communication. Part of this is simply being kind and considerate with everyone. Mention words like: “please,” “thank you” ,“I am sorry” etc in your speech as as when required. Remember to ask people how they are doing and listen to their responses. Remember birthdays and preferences—take notes if needed. To mention here, some signs of respect are culturally variable and not always intuitive. You have to learn those as you go on.
Picking the right medium
Communication can be in person, by snail-mail, an email, telephone, through text message or through a video. Each medium has its advantages and disadvantages while each attach some different meaning to the message that one tries to convey. Some messages are better suited to particular media than others. For instance, most people prefer to have bad news delivered in person. Also, people respond variably to different media.
Click here to know more about Communication Skills for Workplace Success.
You could develop these skills by taking the pre-eminent courses for communication:
- Improving communication skills – Coursera
- Communication courses – LinkedIn learning
- The complete communication skills master class for life – Udemy
- Teamwork skills: communicating effectively in groups – Coursera
- Write better emails: tactics for smarter team communication – Udemy
Things you will learn in communication skills course:
- Communicate confidently in all business and personal situations.
- Communicate and influence people.
- Performing the supreme practices on how to be a better communicator so that everybody will be delighted to talk to and be around you.
- Be more effective in the art of written communication and proper ways of doing it.
- Build an instant connection magnetically in your communication when you are having a conversation and how to do it.
Apart from the communication skills that we have mentioned above we would also like to recommend other important skills that are more or less associated with communication.
Companies nowadays look for people with public speaking skills. Good public speaking skills indicate confidence and also the ability to believe in one’s ideas and convince people of the same. So public speaking skills are essential for not only to speak or communicate well but also how confident you are and how well you can negotiate, convince, and influence people. Therefore, one must make sure of adding this skill in their CV.
Let’s see the importance of public speaking and the four main reasons why one should take it seriously:
This is a really important since public speaking skills help to position you as a leader. When people see you standing up speaking in the front of other people and taking your stand by guiding them, they will consider you a leader. When you initiate speaking, you are the one who leads the conversation during that time. And because you are prepared and you know what you want to say, you’re getting your point across people which ultimately makes them see you as a leader.
Warren Buffet, one of the richest people in the world, says that by learning to speak well publicly, you add 50% value to your career because you’re talking whatever you know. Let’s say it’s computer programming or art or accounting, whatever your subject matter is and now you’re sharing it with other by speaking about it. That is, you’re transmitting that knowledge and value by communicating to other people. So whatever you know, you share it broadly and that adds value to everybody around you and your career as well.
Whenever you learn a new skill, whether it is marketing or music, or some kind of supplementary skills like photography, you get a sense of personal value out of learning that skill. And public speaking is one among them. Because there’s a little bit of nervousness and excitement involved in public speaking, we gain a sense of confidence when we do it often and experience in this field lands us improving it every next time.
There is a balance of challenge and success that can make it very satisfying. Some people start to speak well publicly and then they start feeling more confident in other areas of their life because they know they can rise to the occasion and take challenges head-on. So your personal development is another reason to do it.
Finding Your Voice
When we are a beginner in public speaking, we often catch up ourselves imitating other speakers and following their style, just work on our nerves and work on our basics. But as you get better through gaining experience in public speaking, you start finding your unique voice, perspective on a subject and then successfully start knitting that to the conversations you make. Public speaking is one of the great ways to get your point of view out there to the world and helps you in finding your voice by practicing it. And the last but not the least is to ultimately benefit others.
So far we have discussed about finding our voice, personal development and career development. But the unimpaired agenda of public speaking is to benefit your listeners. So by speaking publicly, you get to teach people and they get benefits from you in this manner. You lead and guide them towards a new direction.
You could develop these skills by opting for the following courses on public speaking:
- Public speaking: how to open & close presentations like a boss – Skillshare
- Public speaking foundations – LinkedIn learning
- Public speaking: energize and engage your audience – LinkedIn learning
- The complete presentation and public speaking/speech course – Udemy
- Public speaking – eDX
Things you will learn in public speaking course:
- How to instantly captivate your audience and keep them engaged so that they eagerly wait for your next speech.
- Effective strategies to overcome your fear of public speaking.
- How to identify and harness your unique strengths and the pitfalls of trying to be like someone else.
- Techniques for building a relationship with your audience and why it’s so critical to do so.
- The secret to answering questions so that you always look like you know the answer even when you don’t.
We have yet another important skill that you can place in your CV and that is ‘foreign language skills’. Knowing a foreign language has always been an advantage irrespective of which position you are working in because you could either fetch an opportunity to go abroad or find yourselves having to communicate with a foreigner. Knowing multiple languages can be beneficial to you and hence, you can have that on your CV. It’s of no surprise that foreign language skills are coveted by employers.
But do you know why?
Some reasons may be a surprise to you. Many recruiters or employers hire people who may not be as well-qualified as other candidates but because they know another languages, even if that language is not specifically needed in the respective organization.
For beginners, if you’ve had to study a language (as opposed to learning at home with your family), you’re demonstrating initiative and passion for self-improvement. Language helps you to make and strengthen relationships. Whether your language skills are due to studying hard or your family being bilingual, your skills say something about your regard for others. Language is the study of interactions; ‘if you value language, you are more likely to value other people’.
Learning a foreign language creates more positive attitude and less prejudice towards people who are different. To put this up in a simpler version, if you have language skills, you stand out among others. While it may not be listed in a job advertisement, the value of foreign language skills can be a ‘signal’ for recruiters to pay attention to you.
This signal tells the future employer that this candidate has an interest and sensitivity to multicultural aspects and is very much interested in developing themselves outside of their primary vocational aspiration. It is a signal of a well-rounded prospective employee; someone who is interesting. As organizations become global, language ability gets crucial to recent college grads seeking to advance in their career. For example, if a company is considering a potential partnership with a firm in Germany, so they would consider employees who know German.
But if you know a language, be prepared to prove it. Your interviewer may bring in someone who would listen to your skills and evaluate your abilities.
How should you list language skills on your resume and cover letter?
- Don’t just list a language. Explain how your language skills have helped you evolve as a person or helped you in solving a specific problem.
- Word to the wise: it is best to describe the level of capability without overstating it.
- A person who says they are “fluent” but has never used it outside the classroom loses credibility.
- For high proficiency, use words like “native” and “bilingual”.
- In the middle, use words like “professional working proficiency” or “conversant”.
- For beginner skills, mention as “elementary” or “novice”.
Employers value foreign language skills. As a college student or a recent grad, you should be sure to use that to your advantage while applying for internships and jobs.
You can develop these skills by taking these exceptional courses for learning a new language:
Things you will learn in spoken language courses:
- Learning how to pronounce words and numbers in the respective language.
- Basic conversation in the language.
- You learn the history and culture of another society.
- You will learn to read and write a particular language.
- You will be able to ask questions and form sentences on numerous real-life situations.
With mentioning all these skills you might have to give evidence for these skills as well. So think of the best examples that you could provide for having these skills. For holding these skills you could give example from your personal experiences, academic experiences or your internship and professional experiences as well but make sure that you are aware of what skills you have mentioned in your CV and that you are ready with evidences for the same because you might be questioned about them in your interview as well.
So that’s all about the basic skills that might help fetch you, your dream job.
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