Unless you work in a communications field (i.e., journalism, public relations, marketing), it can be hard to showcase the oh-so-important communication skills employers look for. You might not have links to hundreds of blog posts you’ve written. For example, graphic designers often have little cause to demonstrate their superior writing skills, yet employers still want to know their designers are effective communicators.
Here are some tips to help showcase your communication skills through your personal brand:
Write an intro. Take any chance to demonstrate your writing skills. Write an intro blurb about yourself on your online portfolio. Give a little background information, explain your credentials in the industry, and say a little something about what work you’ve included in your portfolio. Make sure your blurbs on each profile are similar — don’t leave out crucial information on some and include it in others. Demonstrate that, although you work outside of a writing industry, you still possess writing skills.
Highlight your expertise. Add any public speaking classes you might have taken in college to your resume and under the skills section of LinkedIn. If given the opportunity, speak at a convention or in a public setting. It could be for the volunteer organization you work with or at a meeting for work. Wrack up public speaking experience and publicize it. Update each profile to note where and when you’ll be speaking and whether it’s an open-entry event. Afterwards, transcribe your speech and add it to your portfolio, or upload any videos. This demonstrates to potential employers that you have public speaking experience and shows them how well you know the topic on which you spoke.
Add a bullet point. Update your resume to reflect your communication skills. Especially if you’ve held a management position, make sure a point under your job duties reads something like “facilitated communication between X members of the team.” Employers not only want to know you have communication skills, but also that you can effectively utilize them in a team setting. If you haven’t held a management position, highlight your participation in team communication. Mention “attended weekly meetings to facilitate communication and transparency” or “communicated daily with my supervisor to maintain clarity and transparency.”
Reference your references. Have your former boss or supervisor write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Ask them to mention inter-office communication or any special communication skills you might have utilized for them. For example, if you worked as a data analyst and were in charge of on-boarding new interns, ask your boss to highlight that. Then, refer to your references. Make sure to include your LinkedIn profile on your electronic resume and portfolio. Link additional social profiles back to LinkedIn so that prospective employers can see that you have practical communication skills.
The more you highlight your communication skills, even in unusual ways, the more employers will take note.
How do you highlight your communication skills? Are you demonstrating to employers how well you communicate?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011),#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.