Solid communication skills are essential to landing a great internship or getting hired in a desirable first job. It’s rare to see a job posting that doesn’t include “excellent communications skills” as a necessary requirement. These skills have a variety of basic forms: written, verbal, and nonverbal. In this lesson, we’ll cover all three.
Across your journey through the job or internship search, you’ll be called on to convey facts, explain concepts, analyze situations, and tell stories. Are you adept at thinking on your feet and expressing your ideas clearly and concisely? Do you have a developed understanding of how different forms of writing require different levels of formality and informality? Does your body language convey interest or boredom, self-confidence or anxiety? What does the way you dress say about you? Potential employers glean important information – admittedly sometimes biased or inaccurate information, but nonetheless potentially critical to their decision-making – from the way you write, the way you speak, and the nonverbal cues you give off, knowingly or not.
Having excellent communications skills doesn’t mean you need to be a top-notch writer or an accomplished orator. It does mean that you need to understand the norms of communication that operate in the hiring process and in different organizational cultures and be able to adapt to them.
Let’s read on to the next topic: Written Communication