While our professional resume writing might get you through the door and into the interview room, your qualifications and your ability to communicate boost your chances of getting hired. We find that many of our clients wish to improve their communication skills, so we’ve compiled a short list providing some simple tips that will make communication easier.
1. Learn To Listen
Communication is a two-way street. Too often, we focus on getting our message out there and not really listening to the response or concerns of others. Whether it’s at an interview, at a meeting or a quick conversation between you and your boss or a co-worker, learn to listen to what is being said. During an interview or a meeting, take some notes when people talk. That allows you to look back and really digest all that was being said.
2. Remove Distractions
It’s hard to listen if you are speaking to one person, texting another person and sending an email to a third person. When someone is standing in front of you or speaking with you on the phone, give them your full attention at that moment. You can answer the text or send the email in a few minutes, but give that one person your undivided attention. Not only is this polite, it also helps you focus on one message at a time. When you are distracted, it’s difficult to focus so silence your phone and resist the urge to glance through email.
2. Review All Written Communication
Before you send out an email, tack up a notice on the workroom wall or perhaps send a text to a co-worker or boss, take a second glance. As professional resume writing experts, we are always reviewing to look for any grammar, spelling and syntax errors, but the substance of your correspondence also deserves a second glance. Ensure that your message is clear and professional before you hit the send button.
3. Don’t Forget To Practice & Pause
During the interview process, you will be asked many questions and you probably will notice that you are asked similar questions during most of these interviews. Professional resume writing experts understand the importance of being prepared and practicing for these interviews is essential. Practicing your answers again and again can make it easier for you to quickly and concisely respond to hiring managers. If you are asked a question that you haven’t heard before, pause for a second or two and formulate an answer in your head.
Learning how to pause for a few seconds can be a helpful skill in general as it’s not always wise to simply respond immediately without thinking about an answer. This is especially important if a co-worker or your boss has said something that upsets you. It’s always wise to pause for a second before you respond to any confrontational dialogue. Taking a breath and second or two to gather some coherent thoughts gives you the time you need to formulate a calm, constructive answer. In some cases, the person confronting you might have a valid point, so be open to acknowledging where you need to improve. If you are not in the wrong, taking a calm approach and answering diplomatically in an organized manner can de-escalate a situation quickly.
4. Show Some Enthusiasm
Not everyone is a social butterfly, and you might be naturally reserved, but it’s smart to take a look at the way you present yourself to the world. If you slouch or cross your arms during an interview or at an important meeting, this sends a negative signal to those around you. Sitting up straight, listening and showing enthusiasm sends a positive signal. Be sure to make eye contact with others when you answer questions, and if this is difficult for you, practice at home with friends and family. Many people are uncomfortable in social situations, but job interviews, meetings and speaking with co-workers are part of life. Practicing these skills and learning how to adapt to these situations can make them easier to handle.
5. Make Some Plans
While you obviously want to practice what you will say at an interview, what about practicing in other social situations? For instance, perhaps you will be attending a large corporate event where you’ll have to make small talk. Think of some questions you can ask others at the event, so that you won’t suffer through awkward silences. You can ask people about their jobs, their hobbies, their family, their pets, etc. People enjoy talking about themselves, so think of a few easy questions you can ask.
6. Still Worried? Sign Up For Our Career Coaching
If you are concerned that your communication skills might not be up to par, consider adding on our Career Coaching when you purchase our professional resume writing services. This includes a one-on-one, in-depth telephone session with one of our expert coaches. During this call, you can discuss strategies for interviews and learn the best ways to answer questions thoughtfully as well as other helpful tips. Our deluxe Career Coaching package also includes a written assessment, a write-up analyzing the best strategy for your resume and a guide to winning over employers at interviews. This guide will be customized and tailored to your skill set and personality.