Communication skills — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week

Effective communication is one of the top skills sought by college recruiters. During the hiring process, the applicant’s oral, written, non-verbal and cross-cultural communication are assessed. The ability to listen well and to engage in reflective or active listening is also important.

Reflective listening has two parts. Once you hear other person’s words, you repeat what you thought they said to ensure that you heard correctly and understand their meaning. You can also use this strategy when interviewing so that you are certain to understand the interviewer’s questions.

Starting with the time you first introduce yourself to a recruiter, through screening interviews, company visits (including meals where you might be part of a group), email and telephone conversations, you are demonstrating your ability to communicate.

How should you show your communication skills on a résumé? There are better ways than saying “Used communication skills” or “Delivered a presentation”.

Look at the list of “Résumé Action Verbs” and select a few that appeal to you:

  • Collaborated
  • Corresponded
  • Debated
  • Edited
  • Explained
  • Marketed
  • Motivated
  • Negotiated
  • Persuaded
  • Promoted
  • Proposed
  • Recruited

What are the stories you can tell that would demonstrate your ability to do these things? Or, for those of you who are concentrating on building your résumés, what activities can you choose that will give you opportunities to develop, practice and hone these skills?

Use the formula for powerful résumé bullets:

Start with an action word, briefly describe the situation, and show results — quantified, if possible.

  • Promoted event to students with posters, fliers and social media resulting in record-breaking turnout, 200% greater than previous year.

As Fulton Schools students, you have so many opportunities for skill building while earning your degrees. In addition to class projects, there are student organization activities and competitions, poster presentations, team sports as well as daily occasions to interact with people from all over the world.

Creating powerful bullets is probably the most challenging and time-consuming part of writing a résumé. You want bullets that will tell your story and include the details to explain how and what was accomplished. This can be challenging. Remember, you have peer career coaches who can help you!


Joyce Donahue is a Certified Career Counselor in the Fulton Schools Career Center.