What are people skills?
To have strong people skills means to be able to communicate clearly, effectively and positively with those around you. It doesn’t matter whether you have to deal with consumers, colleagues, or people from the senior management. Those who have strong people skills know how to keep their calm and always show respect.
However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t really list the vague “people skills” in your resume. Instead, you can prove that you have strong people skills by showing that you’re a good team player, have empathy for your colleagues and are able to explain difficult concepts in a coherent way.
Why are people skills important on your resume? / Why are strong people skills wanted by recruiters on your resume?
Although the phrase “strong people skills” is often listed as a requirement for various job openings, you shouldn’t add it to the skills' section of your resume (or worse - as part of your resume summary). It sounds a bit shallow and could decrease your chances of getting hired.
And yet, strong people skills are among the things every hiring manager is looking for in a candidate. They show that you will perform well in a team and that your work will naturally result in higher success rates, possibly for the whole department.
They also point to the fact that you could have a positive impact on the general office environment. In fact, research shows that individual productivity is often linked to genuinely enjoying the communication with colleagues and team-members.
For these reasons, candidates with strong people skills and no experience are sometimes perceived to be better than those with years of experience but no people skills.
What is more, the more you demonstrate strong people skills, the higher your chances of getting promoted to leadership positions. And isn’t that what every recruitment officer dreams of - hiring people who inspire long-term positive change?
So, how do you demonstrate strong people skills on your resume? How can you prove that you’re an effective and empathetic communicator, whose positivity can be considered contagious?
Let’s look at the types of skills and achievements that will help you highlight your ability to work well with people.
What skills, activities, and accomplishments help you highlight your people skills?
There are several types of people skills that you can mention on your resume. These include:
- Communication: written or spoken, formal or informal, communication is key in every workplace. Depending on the position, you can focus on internal communication skills like empathy, active listening and patience, or external communication skills like being articulate, respectful and persuasive.
- Teamwork: one of the things that divide candidates with strong people skills from those with weak people skills is the ability to work well in a team. Proving that you are considerate, trustworthy, and open-minded will definitely work in your favor.
- Organization: being at least moderately flexible and able to adjust to change is often the number one people skill recruiters want you to have. Above all else, it shows your ability to handle conflict.