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20+ Essential Interpersonal Skills for Your CV in 2024

20+ Essential Interpersonal Skills for Your CV in 2024

Valuable interpersonal skills for your 2024 CV to help you stand out and spotlight your unique talents.

You're really excited about applying for that business developer job at Deloitte. How do you make your application stand out?

What most candidates don't realise, is that while their technical talents may answer key requirements, soft skills are the future of any role and industry.

And, regarding that Deloitte opportunity, your CV needs to include a healthy balance between both technical and soft skills.

Cue in interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills hint at how you interact with your team, clients, and/ or key stakeholders to:

  • find common ground and build effective company culture;
  • navigate complex and/or critical business problems;
  • show empathy and break down communication barriers;
  • make the most of any chances that come your way and overcome obstacles.
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Your CV is perfect to spotlight your interpersonal skills by showing how you've harnessed them in a professional context.

This would include detailing tangible, impressive career achievements.

Don't forget about your career story - of how you've built professional relationships with others, using interpersonal skills.

If you're experiencing writer's block, look no further, this Enhancv guide will answer:

  • Defining interpersonal skills, and what are the +10 roles where they matter most?
  • Why should you define your interpersonal skills on your CV?
  • Mapping out how your professional achievements have helped you build up your interpersonal skills;
  • Key CV sections to detail why you're the professional today with interpersonal skills;
  • Where else on your CV could you talk about your interpersonal skills?

What are interpersonal skills?

Interpersonal skills are also known as people or social qualities and behaviours.

Ones that enable us to:

  • understand and relate to others;
  • adjust behaviours and communicate smoothly;
  • impact and build long-lasting relationships.

Basically, interpersonal skills are the ones that keep the wheels turning in any social situation and interaction.

This type of communication skill is innate - you've been learning it your whole life in diverse social situations. It is linked to your ability to understand social cues and expectations

You consciously deploy your interpersonal skills in verbal and non-verbal communication to share thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

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Interpersonal skills are social, emotion-based skills and thus harder to quantify on your CV.

But, think of specific examples of how your interactions have helped you achieve success in your job when communicating with customers, colleagues, or managers.

Interpersonal skills in the context of eight roles

While interpersonal skills are important for professionals across all industries, there are a couple of roles, where this particular soft skill set is indispensable.

These professionals employ interpersonal skills in their day-to-day tasks:

  1. Educators (teachers, professors, etc.) - to work collaboratively with others (e.g. colleagues, administrators, students);
  2. Assistants - carrying out administrative tasks, your role will include communication at versatile levels across the organisation and third-party vendors;
  3. Healthcare workers (nurses, physicians, social care providers, etc.) - patient care is at the heart of their job;
  4. Communication professionals (PRs, sales agents, marketing managers) - roles that focus on carrying out diverse communication strategies;
  5. Customer-facing roles (in hospitality, customer service, etc.) - even when dealing with frustrated customers, your role is to resolve problems with trust, respect, and transparency;
  6. Human resources professionals - or the link between the brand, the organisation, and the job market;
  7. IT roles (e.g. managers and software developers) - even though these roles are very tech-heavy, it's often the case that these professionals have to work in teams, present their ideas to executives, and meet with clients;
  8. Financial managers - in helping others understand numbers, you'd have to be flexible in your interpersonal skills.

Why are interpersonal skills important in your CV?

Interpersonal skills are transferable across different roles and industries. What this basically means is that you’re able to adapt to change and new work environments swiftly.

Demonstrating interpersonal skills succinctly within your CV ensures that your chances for employability are higher.

But, furthermore, why do hiring managers care about your interpersonal skills?

How you communicate and collaborate with people matters. Your interpersonal skill set hints at your ability to:

  • Create a positive work environment - to foster a harmonious workplace, you'd need to display emotional intelligence and be able to build trust. Every interaction in the workplace is affected by how well you can communicate and engage with others.
  • Collaborate for success - every element of how you work in a team environment matters. From how: you share ideas and adjust your approach to what you do to bring out the best in other team members and reach common goals.
  • Resolve conflicts and increase employee morale - you'd need to be objective and constructive about your approach. A certain level of diplomacy would be needed to de-escalate minor disagreements.
  • Build positive relationships - building rapport and trust to sustain a more positive organisational culture in a safe (and sustainable) environment.
  • Showcase your ability to lead - interpersonal skills help you to inspire, motivate, and guide your team ahead. This skill set helps you come across as a professional, who's suited for leadership opportunities.

Listing interpersonal skills on your CV also helps to hint at how you:

  • Think creatively and see opportunities for growth;
  • Empathise and understand people's needs;
  • Reduce misunderstandings and miscommunications;
  • Champion creativity and innovation;
  • Stay resilient in the face of stress and challenges;
  • Boost productivity and enhance efficiency.

What skills, activities and accomplishments help you highlight your interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills showcase the way you approach personal and professional interactions.

Now, there's no right or wrong way to highlight them on your CV, as everyone has an individual approach to communicating.

But there are a couple of standard skills, activities, and accomplishments that are linked to your CV interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills that fall under the communications umbrella

Communication skills encompass your ability to convey information, ideas, and emotions clearly. Communicating involves multiple mediums to articulate a concise message, that is supposedly received and accepted in a suitable environment.

Ultimately, this skill set will help you to build relationships, collaborate, and make an organisation-wide impact. Communication includes:

  • Verbal communication - speaking effectively and concisely. Highlight, on your CV, instances you've come across during a meeting that has won your organisation a new client.
  • Public speaking and presentation - the way you share information, ideas, and solutions in front of a group of people. You're able to clearly and concisely articulate notions, assess interests, and engage with your audience. Storytelling often plays a key role in how you present information.
  • Networking - you're able to build and maintain professional relationships that not only help you stay connected but expand on valuable business opportunities. Ensure your CV puts your networking skills at the forefront by detailing achievements linked with how you've reached your goals with the strong business network you have nurtured over time.
  • Negotiation and persuasion - your ability to reach an agreement or compromise between two parties or two sides to an issue. Highlight how you've achieved something, that was deemed impossible by e.g. engaging others; analysing data in an unbiased manner; and how your persuasion skills have made a difference.
  • ​​Constructive criticism - within the workspace, you may have to face feedback that may not be as pleasant as you'd like. It's how you deal with it that matters - recruiters are looking for professionals who are humble, open-minded and able to use feedback to progress.
  • Non-verbal communication - it's the body language (gestures and facial expressions), which enhances your communication style. It may be almost impossible to highlight your non-verbal communication skills on your CV, but make sure they come across during your interview.
  • Active listening - this is one of the most underestimated skills, which professionals possess. It's your ability to fully immerse yourself in the thoughts, perspectives, and emotions of others to genuinely respect, engage, and respond with care. Active listening takes time, effort, and the ability to withhold judgment to understand and support the speaker.
  • Written communication - how do you come across in emails or in Slack? This communication medium encompasses all written communication tasks. Use it to also highlight your attention to detail and digital communication skills, across different platforms.

Interpersonal skills in the face of challenges

Conflict management and problem-solving play a huge role in your interpersonal skills.

  • Conflict resolution - your ability to de-escalate and solve disagreements, conflicts, or difficult situations constructively. Start by finding out the root cause of the problem, then carefully weigh up the pros and cons with respect to different viewpoints. Cooperation, mediation, and compromise play a huge role in discovering the most mutually beneficial solution. Highlight on your CV instances when, out of chaos, you've united with your team members to reach a shared goal and/or purpose.
  • Problem-solving - it covers a bit of the basics of conflict resolution, but it's how you use your creative and critical thinking skills to resolve or improve matters at hand. Problem-solving requires initiative individuals, who know how to leverage experiences to seek out opportunities. On your CV, list some of the biggest problems you've encountered across your professional path and summarise the steps you've taken to clearly and effectively resolve them.

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12 more exceptional interpersonal skills for problem-solving
  1. Organisation
  2. Goal-setting
  3. Meeting deadlines
  4. Conflict management
  5. Identifying conflict
  6. Staying calm under pressure
  7. Emotional control
  8. Patience
  9. Prioritisation
  10. Time management
  11. Administrative skills
  12. Mediating

Interpersonal skills and team-focused achievements

Within this section of our guide, we’ll focus more on skills and achievements that showcase how you interact and lead others.

For starters, check out a list of some of the most common, interpersonal team-building skills.

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12 Interpersonal team-building skills for your CV
  1. Developing rapport
  2. Diplomacy
  3. Group facilitating
  4. Helping others
  5. Inspiring trust
  6. Instructing
  7. Mentoring
  8. Motivation
  9. Respect
  10. Tolerance
  11. Assertiveness
  12. Counselling
  • Teamwork - your ability to achieve common goals via collaboration, trust, and shared responsibilities. By supporting and motivating team members (and leveraging their strengths), you're able to contribute to group success. On your CV, detail how you thrive in a team environment - motivate others and the impact of your contribution.
  • Responsibility and dependability - your colleagues can trust you in any situation, from meeting quick deadlines to your ability to prioritise your time effectively. This set of soft skills also hints at your work ethic and commitment towards building more sustainable relationships with your team and customers.
  • Leadership - you can't just write that you're a great leader on your CV, instead showcase your leadership style. How do you inspire, motivate, and guide people to achieve organisational goals? Include metrics of how you've amended the work environment by leading by example and taking the initiative to delegate and manage change.
  • Decision-making - ability to select the best outcome by having in mind different perspectives, while thinking critically and creatively. You're confident and accountable for your choices and can strategise them in terms of the long-term vision for the organisation.

Character traits boosting your interpersonal skills

On one final note, even though interpersonal skills have more to do with your style of communication, your personality also plays a huge role in establishing them.

Here are a couple of popular traits you can include on your CV that are linked with interpersonal skills:

  • Emotional intelligence and empathy - the ability to put yourself in another's shoes to respect and support their feeling, values, beliefs, and emotions. Within the workplace, your emotional intelligence is often displayed when you have to be the bridge between business success and your team's personal needs.

Emotional intelligence is all about managing social dynamics and staying aware of different perspectives. On a more personal level, this soft skill hints at how you manage your own emotions and act (instead of react) in difficult situations.

  • Social intelligence - your tact in social situations, helping you to understand different settings. Ultimately, your social awareness helps you build a more sustainable network. Showcase CV achievements that have been entirely thanks to your social awareness in a given situation, resulting in overall business growth (e.g. sales, increasing profit margins, etc.).
  • Flexibility or adaptability - it's your way to stay resilient in the face of the ever-changing processes, innovation, and personal dynamics. Hint within your CV experience section how you've adjusted to change by staying open-minded, productive, and efficient in your work.
  • Patience and stress management - your career can't just be all smooth sails ahead. You'd have to sometimes face stressful situations - where your ability to stay calm, de-escalate, and keep the environment relaxed, would be crucial. Consider how you've ameliorated your work environment by keeping collected and patient with colleagues, whose perspectives clash.
  • Positive attitude - you're the heart and soul of your organisation. Your sunshine personality and good vibes are easy to catch on, boosting morale and influencing more forward-facing perspectives. Your attitude to the workplace may be a bit more difficult to quantify on your CV, but it's not impossible. Curate on your CV or across your LinkedIn profile, recommendations from your team or clients, detailing who you are as a professional in the workplace.

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How to demonstrate interpersonal skills on your CV

  • Self-awareness: identify your own interpersonal skills by first considering how you interact with people and react in challenging situations. List on your CV concrete examples from real-world experience and situations to illustrate our interpersonal skill set.
  • Targeting the job requirements: show you understand the value of job requirements by pointing out specific interpersonal skills across your CV.
  • All-encompassing skill set: interpersonal skills combine all sets of communication and interaction skills, that's why it may be a bit more difficult to talk about them on your CV. Instead of falling down the rabbit hole, select up to seven keywords, listed in the job, and define those via your experience.
  • Specific descriptions: be concise about how you talk about your interpersonal skills. It's all about hitting the right balance between using descriptive language and advert keywords while providing context as to your achievements (e.g. how you've negotiated with clients).
  • Professional format: define your interpersonal skills by selecting a well-organised, clean CV format (that ultimately would also showcase your attention to detail).

Example 1: Demonstrate interpersonal skills in the experience section

Interpersonal skills could definitely play a prominent role in your CV experience section. Think about your past roles and projects, where precise and careful interpersonal skills have been critical to achieving success.

Need a real-life example of how you could write your CV experience section?

Check out the CV below, where the candidate has put the focus on interpersonal leadership skills - mentoring young colleagues for professional growth.

Team Leader and Programmer
Derby, UK
  • Led a dynamic team of 5 junior developers, fostering a collaborative and supportive work environment
  • Initiated individual, daily face-to-face meetings to create a safe space where my team could talk about their well-being and assess their own performance, productivity rose by 65%
  • Crafted personalized growth paths for each team member, setting clear KPI benchmarks for their professional development over 6, 12, and 18-month periods, resulting in 95% increased job satisfaction
  • Collaborated with external vendors to arrange +65 on-the-job training sessions, enhancing both technical and interpersonal skills of the team members, contributing to a more versatile and efficient workforce

The best way to demonstrate your CV interpersonal skills in the experience section is a two-step activity.

Firstly, select similar wording to describe your responsibilities, as per the job requirement. This would help you pass the Applicant Tracker System (ATS). The ATS is the software some organisations use to assess and prequalify candidate CVs.

Second, focus on concrete and tangible results with specific responsibilities and accomplishments; stories and awards you've received.

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Here are three more tips on how to write your interpersonal skills-focused CV experience section:
  1. Always tailor your CV to the role you're applying for: ensure you stand out among other candidates with a personalised approach;
  2. Ensure you've demonstrated how you use the specific interpersonal skill: applying for a role isn’t just about meeting requirements, but showing you understand the specific skill set needed for success;
  3. Accomplishments-focused experience bullets: start each experience point with a powerful action verb, followed by details about your contributions and achievements.

Example 2: Demonstrate interpersonal skills in the CV summary section

Once more, make sure to include job advert keywords in the summary to highlight your interpersonal capabilities. But here's where many professionals fall into two traps. They either mirror word-for-word the job advert or fall into clichés.

Avoid being impersonal in your CV summary by selecting up to three interpersonal skills and achievements that would impress hiring managers.

Here's how this PR expert has written an exceptional CV summary for a communications role:

Results-driven PR professional with exceptional interpersonal skills and a proven track record of building from scratch communication strategies for a diverse portfolio of 20 clients. Current social media communication highlights include securing +1M weekly impressions on social media and fostering lucrative brand partnerships for my clients, with earnings exceeding $16K per post. Over the past 10 years, have built relationships with +25 reputable media outlets, consistently boosting media coverage by 15%. Producing +65 press releases monthly, with an impressive 85% publication rate among journalist email chains. Highly experienced in crisis communication - safeguarding brand reputation and minimising damage during challenging times.

Your CV summary has to be no longer than three to five sentences that encapsulate:

  • Who you are a professional - what are your career highlights?
  • Your unique value proposition - why should hiring managers continue to read your CV?
  • What's your unique skill set - balancing both hard (or technical) skills and soft (or interpersonal) skills?

Remember that the summary sets the tone for the rest of your application.

Example 3: Show your interpersonal skills in your achievements sections

Quantifying your interpersonal skills may at times be a bit more difficult than listing your technical capabilities.

You can't just create a skills section that lists your "communication", "negotiation", and "empathy" skills - instead, you need to provide context in the shape and form of your achievements.

Describe how your interpersonal skills have brought you past successes and can benefit your potential employers.

Here's a real-world example of a detailed achievements section:

Exceeded 2023 Q3 sales targets
Surpassed quarterly sales goals by an impressive 35% through customer relationship development.
Achieved +2K unit sales/month
Enhanced organisational profit margins by 13% by selling +2K units in a single month, showcasing exceptional negotiation skills and versatile sales techniques
+100 new customer partnerships
Closed +100 valuable partnerships with new customers, in a six-month timeline, expanding the client base

Before we continue with the last section of this guide, here are three quick tips to remember about your CV achievements section:

  • Use the STAR method, where you describe the Situation or Task, Actions you undertook, and Results you achieved;
  • Re-name the section as "Interpersonal Skills Achievements" of the skill is crucial for the role;
  • Sample scenarios you could talk about include how you've led a team; managed a project; resolved conflict; and supported colleagues.

Example 4: Demonstrate the skill through other sections of your CV

Your CV offers plenty of valuable space to quantify your interpersonal skills. Use the:

  • Volunteer section - to showcase how your interpersonal and communication skills have helped you fight for or support the causes you care about.
  • Courses section - go further into the depths of your education by backing it up with a specific courses section, curating ones you've taken that have helped you become a better communicator (e.g. conflict resolution or public speaking courses).
  • Languages section - this CV section would hint at your ability to transcend your skills beyond the well-established outlines of day-to-day communication. In terms of the recruitment process, you're able to thrive in a multinational environment, which many employers value.
  • Hobbies and interests section - perhaps, in your free time, you're part of a sports team, or choir, or have joined your local theatre group. List these types of experiences to showcase how you collaborate with others to reach shared goals.

Interpersonal skills: key takeaways for your CV

  • Interpersonal skills establish your ability to communicate, collaborate, and thrive in different work environments, that’s why it’s important to demonstrate them within your CV to impress recruiters and stand out.
  • While there are plenty of interpersonal skills that you could hint at, make sure to select the ones that are the most relevant to the role, and you could back those up with tangible results.
  • When talking about your interpersonal skills, use descriptive language and power verbs - it’s not enough to say negotiation, but instead, show how your negotiation skills have impacted business ROI.
  • Don’t copy-paste interpersonal skills of the job requirements, but instead define your value as a professional using this particular soft skill set and your expertise.
  • Feel free to add interpersonal skills to different sections of your CV to paint the full picture of your professionalism and aptitude.

Make your move!
Your CV is an extension of yourself.
Make one that's truly you.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a CV 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.
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