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Persuasion Skills: Example Usage on Resumes, Skill Set & Top Keywords in 2024

Here are the top ways to show your persuasion skills on your resume. Find out relevant persuasion keywords and phrases and build your resume today.

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What are persuasion skills?

Persuasion is considered to be a form of art. There are people whose entire job is to persuade. A professional negotiator is one such example.

Persuasion is the process through which a person attempts to influence individual or mass behavior, opinions, actions, decisions, beliefs, or intentions. So, good persuasion skills help us achieve success in our attempts to influence people.

Persuasion skills are used every day when we interact in our families, raise children, discuss which restaurant to visit, what furniture to buy, etc. In the workplace, they are crucial for professions in the field of marketing, sales, law, and politics.

To some people, persuasion comes naturally while others have to learn it. Those who need to learn this skill could be more successful because they have to do the work instead of just counting on personal charisma.

Do not get me wrong. Charisma and appearances are important but their part in persuasion has been discussed since the time of the ancient philosophers such as Socrates and Aristotle. They argued that rhetoric used to persuade people could lead to a decision based on feelings and emotions instead of reason and logic. All this raises questions about the place of morale in the persuasion process.

Why are persuasion skills important on your resume?

Persuasion skills are important on a resume because they are essential when it comes to jobs related to sales and marketing. If you work in the industry, then you need to be able to persuade people to buy from you.

Persuasion skills are very important if you have some type of leadership position. These skills are also applied in coaching and mentorship programs. You could lead by example but still, some things such as company mission and vision are concepts that need to be conveyed mostly verbally to employees. They have to believe in order to be motivated and ready to put the efforts and commitment into helping the organization.

The recruiter will evaluate how persuasive you are not only by your track record numbers, but also by the overall persuasiveness and eagerness shown on your resume.

An eye-tracking study performed by Ladders Inc in 2018 concluded that recruiters spend an average of 7.4 seconds to get an initial impression of your resume. So you better be very persuasive.

What traits, skills, and abilities help you demonstrate strong persuasion skills on your resume?

  • Communication skills: To be convincing, you need to be able to communicate clearly. It is important to understand the standpoint of the other side so that you can adjust your arguments. Listening to the other side also establishes trust.
  • Being a moral person: Persuasion is a very strong and dangerous skill and if you master it then you should make sure that your moral compass works. History proves that persuasion used with bad intention often backfires sooner or later. Always think of the moral side of the equation before taking action.
  • Being credible and reliable: If you have a reputation of being a trustworthy person, keeping your promises, performing on time and consistently well, then you will be seen as a credible and reliable person. Taking advice and being persuaded by an authoritative source is more acceptable and even desirable for the public than the efforts of someone unknown.
  • Reasoning skills: This is the most important part of the persuasion process. You will have to show some real evidence in the form of data, charts, examples, statistics, spreadsheets, photos, etc. to help the other person make a logical decision. This is the most moral thing to do, instead of counting on charisma and manipulation techniques. Also, this is the safest type of persuasion because it allows the other side to base decisions on facts. The person you convince will have no reason for claims or complaints afterward.
  • Emotional intelligence: By using your emotional intelligence, you can understand what the other side feels. Sharing feelings allows you to understand the person you try to persuade and to find the right arguments that will work with them. If you can share emotions, this will increase the level of trust and people will be more open to hearing what you need to say.
  • Analytical skills: Use these skills to analyze who and in what situation is the person you try to persuade. Analyze if the location and the surroundings are in your favor. Take into consideration at what time will be the best to start the persuasion process and if you will have enough time to complete the cycle.
  • Negotiation skills: They are a set of skills that help both sides to reach a compromise and agree on something. This is often achievable by clearly communicating the benefits of an agreement to the other side.
  • Conflict resolution skills: Conflict resolution is finding a peaceful solution to a disagreement. If you know how to handle conflict, you will know how to convince a person in a peaceful setting. Acquiring conflict resolution skills is like a Bootcamp for people who want to become more persuasive.
  • Creativity: Sometimes it is thinking out of the box that convinces someone to follow your advice. Unusual solutions and approaches attract attention and grant you time to explain your point.

How to demonstrate that you are a persuasive person on your resume?

  • Show a successful record track including numbers and stats that show how effective you are
  • Include skills suggesting you are a persuasive person in your Skills' section, supporting them by examples in the Job Experience section and Achievements section
  • Try to present references (letters of recommendation) from former employers with emphasis on your persuasion skills
  • Study the website and brochures of the company you want to work for as well as the job posting itself and integrate their language into your resume including strong keywords
  • Use the Summary section to emphasize your persuasion skills. Synthesize the essence and present it to the recruiter in the first seconds they see the resume
  • Be creative. A creative approach always attracts attention and gives you time to better present yourself.
  • Emphasize the fact that you use solid information in the persuasion process, and you care for morale (If you care for morale and look for a company that cares as well.)
  • List out courses on Negotiations, Consumer behavior, Psychology that you have completed

Example 1: Show your persuasion skills in your experience bullet points

VP Automotive Sales
Borer Ltd
Chicago, IL
  • Manage a team of 10 salespersons
  • Assist customers in product selection and decision-making which resulted $500K increase in upsells
  • Built a network of 20 new business contacts (and converted 25% into paying customers
  • Achieved $900K in sales in 2020

Example taken from our Car Salesman Resume Examples and Tips 2022 Guide

Example 2: demonstrate persuasion skills in your resume summary

Dynamic and goal-oriented Lead Salesperson with experience across deal generation, sales, upselling and industry knowledge. Strong track record of building high-performing sales teams that have earned national recognition.

Example taken from our Car Salesman Resume Examples and Tips 2022 Guide

Example 3: Use your achievements to make the point

Key Achievements
Successfully moved and integrated my life in under a month to the much larger municipality of Toronto while finding rewarding employment opportunities.
Successfully opened, managed and sold three successful businesses over the last fifteen years.
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Top skills that appear often with persuasion on resumes:

  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Negotiation
  • Time Management
  • Research
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Salesforce
  • Networking
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Writing
  • Management
  • Public Speaking

Common misconceptions and pitfalls to avoid when demonstrating “being persuasive” on a resume.

  • **Negative nuances: **Persuasion is sometimes perceived as manipulation and represented by the collective image of second-hand cars salesmen by mainstream media. Try to use more facts and numbers and help the other side make an informed decision instead of pressing them into it. This is safer in the long term. You can hint that you understand this on your resume.

  • Communication: To be persuasive, you do not need to have a loud voice necessarily. This only gives you the advantage to be heard in the noise.

    As the great Mark Twain said :

  • Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid. You might get away a few times just by being loud and charismatic but in the end, your reputation will follow you. Use logic and reason instead of smoke and mirrors. Use empathy and emotional intelligence. If you are introverted, then choose the place, time, your words and actions carefully, so that you can compensate for this. You do not want to be in a yelling competition with fifteen other salesmen in a small room if your voice is not that strong. Be creative. Share more about your communication techniques and persuasion process on your resume.

  • Facts are enough: Research shows that when making decisions, people first respond to emotions, not to facts. Sadly, this is human nature. People get engaged emotionally and then justify it by logic. This is why the old philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates warned about the danger of skilled rhetoric. Have this in mind. If you want to persuade somebody of something, you still need to make a bond with them and appeal to their feelings. Hint on your resume you understand this well.

Being persuasive: key takeaways for your resume

  • Demonstrate that although you understand the persuasion process involves appealing to the feelings of the prospect, you are aware of the moral danger, and you will balance the act by using reason and logic as well.
  • Demonstrate on your resume that you are a credible and reliable person, because this is another foundation of successful persuasion.
  • Support the skill sets that you present in your Skills Section by giving examples from the Job Experience section and the Achievements section
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Persuasion Skills: Example Usage on Resumes, Skill Set & Top Keywords in 2024
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.