1. Blog
  2. CV Help
  3. Communication skills at work: examples to include on your CV
Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

Communication skills at work: examples to include on your CV

17 min read
Communication skills at work: examples to include on your CV
Artwork by:Nelly Borisova
Communication skills are in top demand from employers. So what exactly do they entail and how can you improve yours? And just as importantly: How can you make sure that your employer notices?

The way you share information between one person and another is vital in any industry. In other words, your communication skills are some of the most important ones you will need at work. However, the way that you communicate is so much more than the way you talk and write.

Good communication skills improve the way you interact with your colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. They impact the efficiency with which you pass on information and even alter how you receive information and feedback from the exterior world. 

In fact, with the exponential development of technology, including AI, your communication skills are one of the key ways that you can stand out at work. The truth is that a person with good communication skills is more likely to get things done on budget, on time, and without annoying their colleagues. That’s a win win for you and for management. 

So, whether you’re a long time employee or are looking for a new job, it’s important to keep communication skills of all types up to standard. In this blog post we will look at:

  • What are communication skills
  • The four main types of communication skills
  • How to develop good communication
  • How to show off your communication skills when applying for jobs
  • 10 communication skills examples for your CV or day to day in the workplace.
Expert tip

Communication is in demand!

According to LinkedIn’s list of 2023’s most in-demand skills, HR professionals are on the lookout for good communication skills more than ever. This demand has been partly driven by the transition to remote work. Today healthy communication is valued like never before.

What are communication skills?

Communication skills refer to your ability to share and receive information. It’s a soft skill set which actually incorporates many capacities and overlaps into even more areas. There are four main types of communication.

Although there are four main categories of communication, they are still broad. Most complex communication tasks will require multiple. 

Underneath the umbrella of communication skills sit many specific abilities which provide more precise ways of describing how you work. We will cover these further on in this guide in the section including examples of communication skills.

The four main types of communication

The four main categories of communication skills may seem self explanatory. However, consider the scope of each one and how different scenarios may require abilities from more than one category.

1. Written communication skills 

The structure and clarity of your writing are just as important as its content. Respecting the characteristics of the type of writing you are engaging with is vital for many jobs. You wouldn’t want to fill out an order form as if it were a university essay. In the same way, your written sales report for stakeholders shouldn’t include the same language you use with your colleagues in the team instant messaging chat.

2. Verbal communication skills 

From what you say to how you say it, your verbal communication is going to take up a large proportion of your interactions in the workplace. However, some people do it better than others. Verbal communication incorporates the need for logical reasoning and clarity in the structure of presenting your ideas. However, the best speakers — whether they’re among colleagues or in front of a crowd of people -— will also pay attention to elements of their speech such as level of formality, pitch, and tone.

Expert tip

What about paraverbal skills?

Tone, pitch and pacing can all be used to change the meaning of a spoken phrase. Think about how inflection and pauses can change the meaning of the phrase at least six different ways: “I didn’t say she was unintelligent.”

Think about how these elements can affect the clarity and persuasiveness of your verbal communication.

3. Non-verbal communication skills 

Just as — if not more — important than your verbal communication are the things you express without saying them. That’s where your non-verbal communication skills come in. Using your body language, facial expressions, or physical touch to get your point across play a significant role in how you make your colleagues feel.

4. Visual communication skills 

Using visuals to represent complex concepts has always been important. Just think about maps or concept sketches. However, the importance of visual communication has only increased with the digital evolution of communication. In an age where machines can process data much faster than humans, an invaluable skill is finding engaging ways to visually communicate that data. 

Statistical insight

Experts predict that 85% of jobs that will be held in 2030 by today’s college students don’t exist yet. So, how can we future proof our professional profile? 

According to Forbes, the skills to communicate data and build a narrative around it are among the five most important skills for the coming years.

How to develop good communication

The simple answer to developing good communication skills is to practise. This might not feel so simple if you are working on a complex skill, such as visual data communication. However, you’re no newbie to communication. It’s simply a question of adding to the arsenal of communicative abilities you’ve been using your whole life.

In the meantime, there are some tips you can follow for improving communication skills that feel new to you. Whether it’s a presentation, an important email, or preparing a difficult discussion with a client — ask yourself these questions to avoid miscommunication:

  • Do I need to clarify my own understanding of what I’m trying to communicate?
  • What do I know about how the person I’m speaking to prefers to receive information?
  • Are there format norms that I need to adhere to? This may be the case if you’re preparing a specific type of document.
  • Are there resources out there that can help me to make sure my communication is in line with the expectations of the audience in order to optimise their understanding?
  • How much time will the person I’m communicating this to have to digest it? How should that affect the way I deliver it?
  • Is it worth asking for feedback on the form of communication I am developing from a member of my team or someone I trust?

How to demonstrate communication skills when applying for a job

Your communication skills come across when you’re carrying out most simple tasks. As we’ve already established, this comes down to much more than what you say or write. 

However, you may want to pay particular attention to how you prove that you are an excellent communicator in the early stages of a job application. Here are some tips to keep in mind for each stage of the hiring process:

Job application

  • Mirror the language used in the job description. When writing your CV or cover letter the hiring manager needs to clearly understand why you respond to the requirements for this role.
  • Keep your cover letter short and to the point. Answer the simple question: Why are you right for the job? If in doubt, lean on the STAR method (describe the Situation, Task, Action, and Result)  to make your case.
  • Optimise for the ATS. The Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) will filter out non-relevant applications. To make the cut, include keywords from the job description. These are usually words that are repeated or used to describe the role’s main responsibilities.
  • Respect the format. Whether it’s your CV, cover letter, or a form you have been asked to fill out, make the life of the hiring manager easier. Are you able to show you understand the purpose of each step and offer the relevant information in a clear and structured way? If so, you’re also showing that you are a strong communicator that is easy to work with.

Email or phone correspondence 

  • Be responsive. These in between moments are just as important as the interview or your initial application. So, reply in a timely manner to follow up questions
  • Show you’re engaged. This demonstrates that you’re a great listener and can be proactive in sharing information with a team. Show this with an enthusiastic voice tone (if you’re on the phone), or with precise and short phrases (if you’re writing by email), or even by asking follow-up questions when appropriate.
  • Be a problem-solver. Going the extra mile to make things easier for the hiring manager requires several coveted communication skills. Sensing that sharing some extra information could help to pin down a meeting date? Or maybe explaining your first email in a little more depth could aid you both in understanding a situation better? Be proactive and offer extra information or an alternate solution that you have in mind.
Expert tip

Keep your LinkedIn coherent

According to career coach Eve Dauer Wong, 80% of recruiters will look at your LinkedIn first. Therefore it’s vital that your LinkedIn profile is not only up to date, but also communicating a congruent story with the rest of your job application(s). 

Listen to the full interview with Eve Dauer Wong on Resume.io’s the Roadmap podcast.

Job interview

  • Look the part. Presenting yourself in a professional way ties into your understanding of visual communication. How you dress, of course, will be relative to your industry and level.
  • Don’t slouch. Standing or sitting straight is just one way that you can exhibit body language that shows you’re alert, interested, and have good confidence.
  • Take your time. When responding to the hiring manager’s questions, take a moment to think. The pacing of your speech is important in cementing that impression of a confident professional who can communicate well under pressure.
Statistical insight

According to Zippia, 81% of recruiters say they will continue video interviews after the pandemic.

This introduces an added layer of complexity to an appointment which is largely there to monitor your communication skills. So, remember to test your equipment in advance, place your camera at eye level, and exaggerate your expressions and gestures so that your non-verbal communication transmits well across the screen.

Communication skills examples

If you’re applying for a job, you may be looking for the best way to show that you possess a great set of communication skills. Rather than listing generic terms in the skills section of your resume, try this instead. 

Most of these examples communication skills require a mastery of many more basic communicative abilities. By including these skills in your CV — or even better, providing an example of a time you proved you possess the skill — you’ll build a far more three dimensional picture than simply saying you’re a “good communicator”.

Influencing

You could be asking your manager for an extension or convincing the board of members on a strategic decision. To influence means to persuade someone by sharing information in a way that is likely to affect their decision. This actually requires a mix of complex skills and most roles require some level of influencing. 

Negotiation

Like influencing, negotiation is a careful balance of various capabilities. The goal is to find an agreement with someone who might have an opposing viewpoint. There is an achievement in landing on a decision that both parties are willing to accept. However, just as important is the way that you navigate the journey to arrive at that point. 

Can you carry out the interaction while making the other person feel at ease and like they’re getting a great deal out of the situation? Or perhaps you recognise that this is a moment to be serious? Congratulations, you’ve mastered a plethora of communication skills.

Storytelling

Turning data into a narrative is a hot topic. Not only does it exercise your ability to interpret information, but creating a narrative from it will help people to remember it better. Storytelling also requires you to adapt what you’re saying to the audience at hand (hello, empathy!). Plus, if you’re presenting that information, you’re likely tapping into non-verbal and even visual communication skills, too. 

Body Language

When it comes to body language, everything from your posture to the way that you gesticulate will play a part in how your message is received by others. 

Expert tip

Body language in the workplace

Mastering the handshake, maintaining eye contact, and respecting cultural norms about spacing or proximity. The Forbes Business Council lists all of these as ways you can use your body language to improve your colleagues’ perception of you in the workplace.

Conflict resolution

When diametric positions collide, you have conflict. That’s normal, especially when it comes to working with other people. However, conflict doesn’t equate to aggression. 

Having the emotional maturity to understand both perspectives and find a way to resolve the situation not only shows a host of great communication skills, but it overlaps into many of the other qualities that any manager would want on their team.

Feedback 

Offering feedback requires careful listening and interpretation. The ability to receive feedback is just as important. Being good at both means that you can carry out constructive conversations that could lead to significant and impactful changes. 

Empathy

Empathy requires listening, but it’s also about hearing the things that are unsaid. Does what a person is saying match their non-verbal communication? Can you go a step further and relate to how they’re feeling? 

Empathy is important for everyone, but particularly for anyone who manages a team or plays an important role in client or stakeholder liaison. 

Interpretation 

Most communicative tasks will require some level of analysis. Even simply paraphrasing meeting notes asks you to process information and prioritise what is most important along the way. This is particularly important for highly analytical tasks such as report writing and interpreting data. 

Strategy 

The way you communicate something is just as important as what you are communicating. If you can understand how and when your communication will be most effective, then you are exercising strategic communication. 

You might find that you’ve already done this on some level in your current role, whether you’re a salesperson deliberating on the best way to present a pitch or are a marketing professional choosing the channels you use for a campaign.

Responsiveness

By exhibiting responsive behaviours you are demonstrating multiple personal abilities. Part of being responsive may include making sure the other person perceives how engaged you are. It also includes getting back to someone with the appropriate speed. As well as pushing the project forwards, this shows you possess the empathy to respect the other person’s time.

How to write a CV
Related article
How to write a CV

Knowing how to write a CV takes effort, but we help break down the mystery. Take a look at this detailed guide to learn more about how to structure, write, and design a job-winning CV.

Key takeaways.

  1. The way you receive communication from others is just as important as the way you give it.
  2. Balance your written, verbal, non-verbal, and visual communication skills whenever you’re looking for the most efficient way to share information.
  3. A variety of communication skills are in high demand in the workplace, so remember to truly demonstrate them during the hiring process.
  4. Use nuanced examples of top communication skills which actually exhibit multiple communicative abilities for the best results.
Build your CV in 15 minutes
Build your CV in 15 minutes
Use professional field-tested CV templates that follow the exact ‘CV rules’ employers look for.
Create My CV
Share this article
Keep reading
Career14 min read
How to write a simple resignation letter
How to write a simple resignation letter
CV Help13 min read
How to List Languages on your CV
How to List Languages on your CV
Job Interview12 min read
The best personality examples for your application and how to use them
The best personality examples for your application and how to use them
CV Help10 min read
How to list education on your CV
How to list education on your CV
Browse All
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and perform analytics and marketing. By using our website, you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.
Accept Cookies