To survive in a highly competitive employment environment, an average job seeker necessarily needs to have his bases covered. That is over, and above the skills, he or she is capable of, what can tilt the decision-making process of an employer to one’s favor are communication skills.
It is rather difficult to evaluate any of your other skills at the get-go. Therefore the very first level of scrutiny for a prospective employer is based on how well you communicate. Be it how you present your profile, what you write in your cover letter and how you converse during phone or in-person interviews. Spelling or grammatical errors are often “the kiss of death” for otherwise well-qualified candidates.
But does a requirement for strong communication skills stop with these minimal skills? You would want to believe otherwise.
Communication takes many different forms- oral, written, and nonverbal (read body language). You just got to deliver your facts, concepts, understanding, and ideas right one way or the other. For each of these will be correctly absorbed the way it is conveyed.
Communication does not stop with listening, talking, or writing, however.
In every environment, communication embraces much more than just listening and speaking. Communication skills mean the following in the world of business and employment.
The primary communication skills:
- Verbal – what you say and how you sound when you say it.
- Listening – paying attention to understand as against waiting for your turn to talk.
- Writing – clear written communication that creates a lasting impression of who you are.
- Technology and communication – how well versed you are with the latest forms of communication media.
The four supportive communication skills are subtler, but nevertheless, they impact all forms of interaction.
- Grooming– convey to others how will you regard yourself.
- Social skills– demonstrates how you behave with others around. This means table manners, interaction during a formal gathering, etc.
- Body language – this aspect is critical during in-person interviews, etc. It is this which displays what you are feeling. For truly effective communication, what you speak needs to be in harmony with what your body says.
- Never work with a cluttered mind.
- Never express your emotion when you are trying to convey something.
A lot of employers can read into you if you are not strong on all the above fronts, for one way or the other you give cues. Moving on to the most important aspect now.
Tips to ensure your communication is in place:
1) When you send out your resume-
- Remember, this is the personality that is presented to an employer for the first time. Run through your resume a couple of times each time you send it- especially if you have added to it.
- Is your cover letter crisp and to the point? Are your facts presented well and in a coherent manner?
- Do you use simple vocabulary and stick to a standard format?
If you do have doubts on any of the above, approach a professional service provider for the same.
2) Never waste any body’s time-
Stay away from beating around the bush irrespective of how you communicate. Refrain from revealing anything other than what is relevant to a prospective employer. Write crisp covering letters, speak to the point and context.
For instance,- If an employer is reading your resume, he or she already understands your objective to acquire a job. Likewise, if an employer wants your references, you could mention that the same will be provided upon demand. You could begin with this to get of rid of unnecessary words on paper and maybe proceed to saying anything if need be in a telephonic conversation.
3) Express interest in the job and brand-
This could be a nice touch you can render in your covering letter while applying to a position in a company. You could indicate that you have been following them on LinkedIn or set up a Google Alert to get all the latest news about it. You can then proceed to mention that there was learning or something about their mission that appeals to your interests and hence the application. Doing your homework about the company before your interview and helps showcase your learnings and how earnest you are in your attempt to obtain a job.
4) Develop and show passion-
It is a but a mandate that your core skills education, licenses, etc. play a significant role in the process of recruitment. This said there are high chances that your competitors will share a lot of this. But the chances are that many of your competitors will share a lot of these with you. To be exceptional in what you can deliver, you must be absolutely driven, focused, and more importantly, you must be able to demonstrate these abilities. Beyond the subject of discussion, the tone and general attitude towards questions will set you apart from competition.
5) Mention accomplishments with pride-
Right from what you write to what you speak, you need to convey a sense of ownership, pride, and accomplishment of all your achievements. This will instill confidence in your employer and how you regard your work for an employer considers a productive worker who is engaged and proud of their contributions.
6) Never fail to follow up-
While how you write, and talk may convey and reveal your work style and personality to some extent- a lot also rides on how you act on requirements later. For instance, say you are asked to provide information of any kind and you delay or fail to do so by a given time frame. Nonetheless, take that effort to respond via phone or in-person complete it and send a thank-you note to acknowledge them for being gracious.
7) Remember always to listen carefully-
At the heart of all, effective communication is your ability to listen. A prospective employer will need an audience is who capable of understanding and acting on needs conveyed. Further, it is also this which can help you articulate the right content properly.
Remember that it takes a lot more than mere claims of being an effective communicator to convince an employer that you are one. Today, your ability to successfully pitch your experience, skills and achievements culminates into a foundation that helps you grow and achieve your professional goals