A failure to communicate is the difference between finding a job and gearing up for another week in the unemployment line. Most of us believe we already know how to communicate since we do it on a daily basis, but telling a potential employer that you’re the right person for the job is a lengthy process, and an important skill you must demonstrate from beginning to end.
How important is communication these days? When assessing job candidate skills and qualities, employers rate verbal communication skills the most important, according to the latest job outlook report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Using a five-point scale, verbal communication skills score a 4.63, ahead of teamwork (4.62), the ability to make decisions and solve problems (4.49), and being able to plan, organize, and prioritize work (4.41). Communicating is routinely among the most desired skills looking at past outlooks. After all, if you can’t communicate your good ideas, how can the company benefit from them?
“Strong communication skills make you more productive and more effective,” explains Pamela Skillings, co-founder of Big Interview, in a recent article. “When you communicate well the first time, you save a lot of time that would otherwise be wasted on clarifying, answering questions, correcting wrong perceptions, chasing people down, and fixing mistakes. Great communication skills can set an employee apart. At the very least, they can mean the difference between the potential for advancement and a stagnant career. Communication skills are also key to getting hired in the first place.”