You’ve seen these requirements in nearly every job description.
“Excellent communication skills, oral and written.”
What does it really mean?
The oral and written skills you will need to succeed in a job vary from role to role. Every position does not require giving presentations or writing reports. But every role will require you to write concise and clear email messages and to interact professionally with your coworkers. Sure, you already know this.
As a candidate for a job, how can you prove your oral and written communication skills? You don’t want to wait for the interview to demonstrate your conversational abilities or how well you can succinctly answer a question. And you don’t want your resume and cover letter to be the only written material judged. These are some ideas to help you showcase your excellent communication skills, oral and written, before the interview.
Proving Your Excellent Communication Skills
One way to prove you have the skills you claim is to provide evidence. But what type of evidence do you have and where do you put it?
One way to identify the skills you need to prove is to read job descriptions. When you see post after post requiring certain skills, that’s what you want to focus on. For example, have you seen this job requirement?
“Create or deliver presentations”
- Recreate or adapt a presentation you have given or created.
- Use a photograph or video of you delivering a presentation.
“Write reports, executive summaries and contribute to monthly newsletter.”
- Start a blog or use LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
- Become a guest contributor to a professional association or an industry related newsletter.
- Press releases, news articles, reports or other business communication you’ve written.
Improve Your Communication Skills
We all can get better at communicating and interacting with people. One way to rise to the next level in your career is to develop the communication skills that will help you stand out. No matter what role you want next, how you communicate will always impact your performance and how your co-workers and supervisor perceive you.
In order to survive and thrive in today’s work and turbulent economy, you’ll want to adopt the philosophy of being a life-long-learner. Your career will not be a single job with a single employer. You’ll need to transform and reposition your career goals based on the ever-changing demands. As you can imagine, this is going to take really strong communication skills. What are you doing today to develop yours?
Practice and Refine Your Oral Communication Skills
Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. There are Toastmaster clubs all around the world. Find a club. Visit and evaluate the club. Join the club. Reap the benefits of being a member.
At Toastmasters’ 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking®, Darren Tay, Aaron Beverly and Josephine Lee took to the stage and captivated the audience with their ability to communicate, claiming the top three spots in the world’s largest speech contest. Watch their highlight video here.
“Toastmasters is a public speaking organization, but it’s so much more,” says Josephine Lee. “There’s interpersonal communication, spontaneity, community and so many other side benefits of joining.”
Improve Your Writing Skills
Typos and grammatical mistakes cast a negative shadow over you on the job and during a job search. It’s super easy to prevent this from happening. Proofread everything your write! Yes, but that takes time and you often miss common errors. Try Grammarly. [This is an affiliate link and I may make a tiny bit of money if you end up subscribing for their paid service]
I’ve been using it for the past several months, in fact, I’m using it as I write this post. It catches mistakes in real-time so you don’t miss them.
Grammarly watches everything I type online (emails and blog posts). You can even upload documents you’ve written off-line to double check grammar and spelling.
What other skills do you feel are important to develop? Have you found an effective resource?
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.