Soft skills are becoming increasingly important for job seekers. And communication skills are the most in-demand soft skill, according to a 2015 LinkedIn study published earlier this year. Employers want to hire people who can write memos, talk with clients, create effective presentations, and clearly articulate what they want or how they feel to all levels of the organization.
Job seekers need to focus on proving their strong communication skills to potential employers. Let’s take a look at how you can grab their attention:
Resumes and cover letters come across hiring managers’ desks quickly and by the dozens, so it’s critical yours stands out from the stack. To get plucked out of the ATS, you need to choose your words wisely.
There are several words you should avoid on your resume. You want to be clear, but also use the right keywords so they can find you in their system. Look for terms and phrases the employer uses in job posts, then incorporate them into your resume when describing your previous work experience.
For cover letters, you can demonstrate your communication skills by telling your story. Focus on sharing how you will bring value to the company, and demonstrate how your skills have helped you solve problems in the past.
Your story needs to also share your personality and be an authentic extension of your voice. The voice and tone of your writing are great indicators of how you communicate, so when your cover letter and resume effectively share your story, employers will want to know more about you.
Professional organizations offer job seekers many tools and resources to help them develop their career and build their communication skills. When you join professional organizations, you can expand your network and meet people in your industry.
At networking events, you can further develop your communication skills in person and demonstrate how well you speak and listen at networking events. This is especially helpful because you can even earn employee referrals and land your next job.
You must start building your reputation in the industry as a strong communicator. But how can you establish credibility and show your value?
Blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. Use it to establish your credibility by writing about industry news and trends and providing tips and insights on problems your audience may be encountering.
For example, if you’re trying to land a job as a medical equipment sales representative, write about important subjects affecting the industry. Look at how technology is improving equipment, how new laws are impacting medical device regulations, emerging trends that may be preventing patient care from improving, the importance of authenticity and ethics in sales, and any other topics that are making big changes.
You can direct employers to your site to share your communication skills while simultaneously building a good reputation and establishing yourself as an expert. Employers will see the amount of time and effort you put into your blog and know that you have passion for your line of work.
Find some of your previous work examples and offer to show them to employers and hiring managers. If you go to an interview for a sales position, bring a PowerPoint you created or show them a report you gave to clients while explaining how that positively impacted your relationship with them.
Consider any other projects you made that demonstrate your communication skills and send them to companies after you apply. Find an HR representative or hiring manager to contact, then follow up.
You can even send your work to relevant departments. So if you want to be a sales representative, send one of your sales proposals to show how you work. This concrete evidence adds to your credibility.
How are you proving your communication skills?