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How to describe interpersonal skills on a resume

Many employers will look for evidence of good interpersonal skills on a resume. They demonstrate that candidates can communicate and work as part of a team. Other elements of interpersonal skills include empathy, tolerance of others, negotiation and conflict resolution skills. For management roles, showing leadership ability is another way of demonstrating interpersonal skills. You should try to provide a range of strong examples as to how you exhibit these skills on your resume.

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  1. Give examples of how you have gained the trust and respect of others and worked well in a team environment. You might have helped colleagues with personal issues or mentored somebody who was struggling with their work. Showing that you are sensitive to people’s needs and feelings is a good way of demonstrating interpersonal skills. Think of times when you have advocated or spoken up for a colleague, or helped them in a difficult situation. Try and make your examples relevant to the job you are applying for. You can use the job description to help you with this.

  2. Show on your resume the different roles that you have taken on in teams that you have worked in. You might have been asked to take on an unfamiliar role. Explain what you did and how you made a success of it. Also include examples of when you have worked in a new team where people have little in common. Try and show how you helped the team to bond and develop individual roles. Having good interpersonal skills means that you are able to change roles when required. Give an example of how you have done this successfully.

  3. Provide specific examples of your contributions to team tasks. You need to show how you have helped a team achieve its goal. Highlight your contribution to preparing a group report or how you have prepared for examinations with fellow team members. Conflict often arises in teams so indicate how you have negotiated to resolve a conflict and ensure that people achieve the outcomes that they want.

  4. Demonstrate interpersonal skills for leadership roles by evidencing how you can take the lead in group activities and manage people through complex tasks. Explain how you have motivated staff to achieve a team goal, or give an example of how you have addressed poor performance by talking to an individual and motivating them to improve.

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About the Author

Paul Bayliss has been writing since 2003 with work appearing in publications such as "Verbatim," "Your Cat" and "Justice of the Peace." He has worked for central and local governments in the U.K. and his areas of writing expertise are travel, sport and social work. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics from Leeds University.

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