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What Can I Say About My Communication Skills on a Job Application?
Communication skills are essential to nearly every line of work. A job application that poses queries about abilities in this key area is seeking information about how you present yourself and interact with others. Be precise and succinct in the way you answer these questions, as your response is the employer’s first indication of your written communication skills.
Verbal communication refers to the way you exchange information with others through talking, either in person, through video conferencing or by phone. Stress your ability to be concise, articulate and to adapt your communication style to your specific audience. Use phrases like, “Ability to convey ideas and messages,” or “Proficient at delivering oral presentations.” If you are multilingual, include this information on your job application and include a list of different languages you speak.
Written communication refers to any type of interaction you have with colleagues, managers and customers in written form. This includes written reports, electronic communication, memos and presentations. Stress your ability to develop well-written, easy-to-understand materials. Say something like, “Skilled in conveying information in a professional manner.” Emphasize your attention to detail and highlight your skills in areas related to the position you're seeking. For example, if you're applying for a customer service job that includes regular correspondence, describe your experience writing professional business letters.
Interpersonal communication refers to how you communicate and interact on a personal and professional level – in other words, how well you’re able to articulate yourself when collaborating with colleagues, superiors or clients. Describe your interpersonal communication skills by outlining your ability to listen, ask engaging questions, craft thoughtful and intelligent responses, and respect others by not interrupting them. For example, “Ability to interact well with a variety of personality types.”
Electronic communication mediums make the exchange of information nearly instantaneous. Business communication has become abbreviated in many cases – for example, favoring email letters over formal business letters. Professionalism, however, remains a sought-after trait. On your job application, describe your timely attention to messages. Emphasize your ability to maintain professionalism in all levels of communication, regardless of how informal the mediums are. “I pride myself on responding to customer inquiries within a day’s time.”
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.