Communication Skills: Resume Tips and Examples
Written by James Bunes, Author • Last updated on May 28, 2024

Communication Skills: Resume Tips and Examples

Communication skills are essential for every job, from project managers discussing terms with stakeholders to truck drivers determining a cross-docking schedule. There are many types of communication skills, including written, nonverbal, and verbal, and it’s important to know how to list them correctly on your resume to convey your abilities to the employer. In this guide, you’ll learn about different communication skills, which ones matter to you, and how to include them in your resume.

Examples of communication skills

Communication skills are the different capabilities that allow us to express ourselves and understand others. This includes writing an email, having a casual in-person conversation, or even using subtle body language to negotiate a sales deal.

You can see varied communication abilities in diverse professionals. Our resume examples show how project managers must communicate with stakeholders, HR professionals must mediate conflict between employees, and customer service agents must empathize with clients and solve problems.

Let’s take a look at the four main types of communication skills.

Verbal

Verbal skills use spoken language. This category contains many smaller skills, including:

  • Inflection
  • Enunciation
  • Professional vocabulary
  • Conciseness

Industries that predominantly use verbal skills include sales, customer service, counseling, education, law, and human resources.

Nonverbal

Nonverbal communication is expressed through your body and face without using words. This includes:

  • Body language
  • Hand gestures
  • Facial expressions
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
  • Appearance, including how you dress

The main industries that find nonverbal skills essential include security, elderly care, nursing, psychiatry, sales, and business.

Written

Written communication is how we express ourselves and understand others through written words. This includes:

  • Handwritten text
  • Typing
  • Reading comprehension
  • Emailing
  • Checking for grammatical errors

In the modern age, many professionals use written communication because many jobs take place entirely on the computer. However, the top industries that use written skills are marketing, journalism, content writing, editing, and administration.

Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills are a combination of verbal and nonverbal skills that help us understand and work with others. The top interpersonal skills are:

  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Negotiation
  • Teamwork

Many industries require interpersonal skills, especially if employees interact directly with customers or other professionals. These include human resources, sales, customer service, counseling, psychiatry, and nonprofits.

How to include communication skills on resumes: Are they hard or soft?

How do you show communication skills on a resume? Should they be listed as a hard skill or a soft skill?

Communication skills can be hard and soft, depending on which ability you’re discussing. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Communication as a soft skill: The most common type of communication, including active listening, body language, and empathy
  • Communication as a hard skill: Using communication tools is a skill that can be taught, like learning to use project management software or group chat programs

This means that there are several appropriate places on a resume to include communication skills: in the soft skills section, in the hard skills section, or in the work experience section.

We believe that the work experience section is the most impactful spot. Use quantified achievements to show your measurable communication abilities and their impact on your work. For example:

Leveraged strong communication skills to address stakeholder concerns and discuss expectations, leading to a 15% increase in client retention.

Expert Tip:

Another way to include communication skills: Show, don’t tell. Write your resume succinctly, express your qualifications clearly, use relevant quantified achievements, and show a great understanding of the job ad by adding the right skills and experience. This is a subtle, but powerful, way to convey your communication skills to the hiring manager.

Determine the relevant communication skills for the job

If communication skills are essential for your dream job, it’s likely that adding “Communication Skills” won’t be enough. It’s vital to study the job description of your desired role and consider which communication skills are important and relevant, giving you essential data to inform your resume and make it stand out.

Let’s say you’re applying for a customer service manager position. This role needs verbal skills to speak with customers and teammates, written skills to create training programs and schedules, and interpersonal skills to manage conflict and solve problems.

If possible, it’s also important to include your skill level in these abilities. Determine how skilled you are with body language and concise speech by asking friends, taking online tests, or simply using your best judgement.

Adding relevant communication skills to your resume speaks volumes to recruiters. These professionals are trained to look for the strongest candidate out of hundreds, so they’ll look for powerful details over generic statements. Compare these two examples:

  1. Communicated with customers daily
  2. Addressed customer concerns quickly, solving key issues and leading to a customer retention rate of 90%

Personalizing your resume and adding relevant details is one of the main ways to stand out from the crowd. Check out our collection of resume articles for more tips on tailoring your resume. 

“Use quantified achievements to show your measurable communication abilities and their impact on your work.”

Do’s and don’ts for adding communication skills to resumes

Let’s finish with a few best practices for adding communication skills to your resume. These tips are a handy list of do’s and don’ts you can keep in your back pocket whenever you brush up your resume.

Do’s

  • Include communication skills like active listening, empathy, conciseness, conflict resolution, and persuasion in your soft skills section.
  • Include communication skills like emailing, group chat programs, copywriting, public speaking, and translation in your hard skills section.
  • Mention communication in your resume summary to immediately grab the hiring manager's attention. Try to use a specific achievement to add extra depth and meaning.
  • Use a resume template that reflects your skills. You may need to separate hard and soft skills for the best effect, or you may need room for communication certificates.
  • Quantify your communication skills to give them a measurable impact. Numbers and metrics give employers a firm idea of what your communication skills accomplish.

Don’ts

  • Don’t include irrelevant communication skills – check the job description to be sure. If the recruiter spots something irrelevant, they might pass your entire resume by without finishing it.
  • Avoid vague statements like “I have good communication skills.” Be descriptive whenever possible and detail the exact verbal, nonverbal, and written skills you have.
  • Don’t rely on filler words and ensure you correctly convey your qualifications. This showcases your ability to use language to communicate your thoughts and ideas.
  • Don’t copy / paste your resume. Tailor every resume specifically for the job you’re applying for, using relevant keywords, skills, and experience.

Bookmark this page so you have a quick reference to these top tactics whenever you need them. This is a great addition to your job-seeking toolbox so you can convey your excellent communication skills on every resume you craft.

Display your communication skills with pride

Every job needs some type of communication – which ones do you need? Use our tips to convey your expertise in verbal, nonverbal, written, and interpersonal skills in your next resume. Just remember the following:

  • Read the job description and tailor your resume to match
  • Include mentions of your communication skills in your skills section, resume summary, and work experience
  • Quantify your communication skills to show their impact
  • Be as descriptive as possible and avoid vague phrasing

Let’s put these tips to use right away. Hop over to CVwizard’s Resume Builder and use our attractive templates to put your communication skills on display.

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James Bunes
James Bunes
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Author
James Bunes, copywriter, editor, and strategist, combines job search and HR writing experience to produce actionable content on resumes, career advice, and job search tactics.

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