When you read a job advert, you will see that the employer includes a list of skills a candidate would need to meet their criteria.
Usually, the required criteria would include your work experience and a summary of your qualifications, but apart from these obvious requirements, the employer will also list important interpersonal skills needed for the role on offer.
What are interpersonal skills?
Interpersonal skills can be best described as your ability to communicate well and interact with other people, whether that be teammates in the workplace or dealing directly with customers or the public.
Just about every job going these days will require a certain level of strong interpersonal skills to enable the employee to build strong working relationships with fellow colleagues, their managers and their customers or clients.
How do employers evaluate your interpersonal skills?
When you complete a job application and list all of your relevant skills and qualifications, you may mention that you have great interpersonal communications skills, but the employer won’t really know that until they can witness this for themselves.
This is why your job interview is more important than you think. Employers will take the opportunity to get to know you and assess your interpersonal skills during your job interview.
While your interviewer can see what makes you qualified for the role on offer by reading about your previous job history and relevant qualifications on paper, without actually meeting you in person they can only guess that you possess the right interpersonal skills they are looking for.
Identify the skills being looked for
For every job application that catches your eye, make sure that you carefully read the job description to identify which interpersonal skills, communication skills and soft skills the employer is looking for.
The skills required for each job you apply for will differ greatly from the next. This is why it is important to tailor each of your job applications to suit each role you apply for. Having a generic resume that you never change and send out with every job application you make will not cut it here, especially if your skills that you list are not what the employer is specifically looking for.
Because the requirements for each new job application will differ, it is a good idea to tailor your resume to suit each application. You can make things easier on yourself by using one of our well-designed resume templates to build an effective resume for each job – it will save you heaps of time too!
What are some interpersonal skills examples?
You may well have a lot of valuable interpersonal skills to include on your resume. For example, you may be applying for a job that requires a lot of direct customer contact and communications.
For a role such as this, the employer will be looking for someone with excellent communication skills and a pleasant, professional manner.
Having the ability to get along with people from all walks of life easily will make it easier for you to look like a more suitable job candidate than someone else that comes across as a bit grumpy and ill-mannered.
Let’s take a look at some important interpersonal skills that most employers will be looking for:
The ability to work as part of a team
There are very few jobs that don’t involve working as part of a team. Having good teamwork skills is one of the most important interpersonal skills to own, especially when working in such environments as hospitals, schools and logistics where you need to be mindful of your colleagues.
Above all else, everyone wants to work in a comfortable environment where they can build a good camaraderie with their work colleagues and feel relaxed about collaborating with.
Having understanding, empathy and sympathetic skills will be of great importance with any job that involves working directly with other people.
Everyone can have a bad day at work and you can help to support your fellow work colleagues with your empathy and good companionship. Having empathy skills is especially valuable in professions such as customer services, teachers, doctors and nurses.
Having good negotiation skills
Having strong negotiation skills are a must-have ability for jobs in sales and marketing, banking and finance and any job that involves you having to negotiate deals with clients or business partners.
Check the job description carefully for this skill requirement and make sure you include this skill on your resume should it be a requirement of the job on offer.
Possessing great leadership skills
If you are applying for a management role or a job where you will have supervisory responsibilities over other staff or team members, then you will need to detail your leadership skills.
You can highlight your leadership skills by giving a good example of how you took control of a negative situation and solved a problem with your forethought and positive direction.
Honesty and transparency
Being honest in your communications with everyone is a very highly valued skill. It is important to be completely transparent with your work and your dealings with colleagues or customers.
Many workplaces will often experience problems that will need solving. You will need to be able to talk openly and honestly to help resolve difficult situations, whether that be disputes between work colleagues or between staff and customers.
Failure to be open and honest with your actions can lead everyone involved to feel uncomfortable. It could reflect badly on your work performance and record.
Confident public speaking
Many people find public speaking to be very difficult. This is why being a confident public speaker is a very valuable skill to have. An employer will be impressed by candidates that are happy to stand up in front of people to deliver a talk.
Being comfortable speaking in front of others is a great leadership skill that employers will single out in you as it makes you a great candidate for future promotion. This is good for your future career progression if you plan to move up the ladder within a company.
An added bonus about being a relaxed and confident speaker is that it will help you tremendously in your job interviews. Don’t forget to mention on your resume about your previous experience giving presentations or leading workplace training sessions.
A list of other important interpersonal skills
Apart from those skills already mentioned above, you should include on your resume a brief list of your other good interpersonal communications skills that will demonstrate your added value to your prospective new employer.
These skills can include (but only if you genuinely have them):
- Active listening
- conflict management
- constructive criticism
- customer service
- giving instructions
- non-verbal communication
- rapport building
- trust building
How should I include my interpersonal skills on my resume?
While it is important to list your interpersonal communications skills on your resume, simply stating these as facts are not going to be enough to convince the employer.
You can better demonstrate and prove your skills by showing evidence and giving examples of when you used your skills.
Show and tell on your resume
Showing the results of your actions with some related increased sales figures, or statistical data can impress the employer and deliver the real-life proof that you have very effective negotiation skills.
If you lead a team of six colleagues on a sales project that led to an 18% increase in sales, then mention this fact.
You can give an example of how your communication skills and conflict management skills helped to resolve a workplace incident between colleagues or departments.
Should your success have lead to the company implementing some staff training that you were asked to present, then include this on your resume. Keep your focus on what your skills helped to achieve.
Don’t go overboard with your skills list
While you should be encouraged to list those interpersonal skills that are a requirement for the job that you are applying for, there is no need to go into detail about or mention those interpersonal skills you have that are not directly relevant to the job.
In fact, there are so many interpersonal skills that are linked to some level that you don’t need to list them all. The fact that you have shown your strong communications skills will also convey that you must also be a good listener and be able to pick up on non-verbal clues in people.
Where should I list my interpersonal skills on my resume?
Ideally, you should include your interpersonal skills in the designated skills section of your resume. You can make listing your skills here much simpler by using one of our well-structured resume templates that already contains a skills section built-in with ample room to list your most relevant skills for the job.
You can also highlight your interpersonal skills within your professional experience section on your resume. Use the space wisely to demonstrate and prove your most valuable interpersonal skills – but make sure those you list are the exact ones that the employer is looking for in a job candidate.
A perfect example of a good resume template to use here would be our Smart And Professional Complete Resume Pack. It has a very elegant layout with plenty of space to list your most relevant interpersonal skills needed for the role.
In a jobs marketplace where employers are reviewing an average of 250 candidates per job vacancy, you really need to make a great first impression with a resume that not only stands out but also delivers the exact information that the employer is looking for.
You can get a wealth of top Resume Writing Tips and advice for free from our blog. Using one of our professionally designed resume templates will also help to give you a winning edge with your next job application.