What Exactly are ‘Good Communication Skills’?


I see ‘good communication skills’ on just about every CV, but what does it really mean?

You can add one of your favourite descriptors such as ‘excellent’, ‘outstanding’,’ superior’, or ‘exceptional’ it still means nothing to me.

These phrases are of no help in understanding your communication skills or of what benefit it would be to the company.


To make an accurate assessment of your communication skills you need to be more specific.  You need to tell me about your communication skills and how they relate to the job you’re applying for.

You don’t have to go overboard and write about them all, but choose a couple that are essential to be good at for the job and describe how you’ve used them in the past.

Some examples:

  • Can present effectively to a small group
  • Can write clear and concise reports
  • Can negotiate effectively with key customers
  • Can win over difficult yet influential team members
  • Can motivate under-performing team
  • Can build relationships with key stakeholders
  • Can deliver honest feedback to team members
  • Can speak clearly and concisely
  • Can build rapport quickly over the phone with customers
  • Can participate effectively in team meetings
  • Can lead meetings with well designed and effectively managed agendas
  • Can manage negotiation sensitively in different cultural settings
  • Can manage email communication by responding
  • Can present an opinion with clear persuasive points delivered with respect and an open mind to others
  • Can listen to others and respond in a mindful and considered way
  • Can receive feedback without responding defensively and emotionally

This list can go on and on. There are many other examples that I’m sure you could add to the list.

Good communication skills only have meaning in the context of their use. So, like all information you provide on your CV, please give examples of when you’ve used the skills successfully.

A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t demonstrate the success of your skill then don’t include it in your CV.

You can read more about CV writing here  and here

Now over to you: What communication skills are essential in your work? Which do you value most? Can you add more to the list?

 Image: www.123rf.com


Coaching Tips, CV Writing, Interviewing