Writing a resume skills section is an important way to stand out as a candidate for a communications specialist role. Many applicants for communications roles skip this step, or they tack it on at the bottom of their resume as an afterthought. For a communications specialist, the skills section should tell hiring managers about your ability to connect abstract thoughts to practical, compelling statements. You have far more to offer than just nonspecific communications skills, and this section is the perfect place to showcase your qualifications.
Should You Include a Skills Section in Your Communications Specialist Resume
If the communications role you’re considering lists specific skills as must-haves (and most will), seriously consider writing a resume skills section as a focal part of your resume. The posting might demand skills such as public and media relations, pitching media, AP writing style, editorial skills, content development, collaboration, or interpersonal skills across different organizational levels. In this case, writing a resume skills section with powerful action verbs and communication industry keywords will serve you far better than simply writing “written and oral communication skills” at the bottom of your resume.
What to Include in a Communications Specialist Resume Skills Section
Build your skills section around the abilities required in the communications specialist posting. There are three types of skills to consider including while writing a resume skills section: job-related, transferable, and adaptive. Focus more on the job-related (pertaining to a specific job) and transferable (applicable across multiple roles); the adaptive skills will become evident as you develop your descriptions of the other two types of skills.
A university communications specialist job posting might require the following job-related skills:
- The ability to collaborate with multiple networks to create a unified campaign
- Expertise with graphic design software
- Social media presence management
The same job posting might request transferable skills you could gain at any job:
- The ability to synthesize information from multiple sources verbally and in writing
- Interpersonal skills
- Dynamic public speaker, group presenter and meeting coordinator
- Develop media objectives and strategies
- Advanced copywriting and proofreading skills
- Create content in a variety of formats, including video script, print/digital media, newsletters, essays, instructions, interviews
Brainstorm a broad collection of all the skills you’ve gained over the years. As a communications specialist candidate, write down anything that supports digital communication skills, written communication prowess, successful partnerships or group collaborations, or creating content for campaigns. Looking carefully at the communications skills required by the job posting, narrow the list down to just 10 or 15 that best address the requirements given. You may have pages’ worth of skills to boast, but employers are more likely to scan a concise, targeted list and discard a lengthy, wordy submission. Keep your skills section short, but remember to include skills to address all the demands the company makes of its prospective new communications specialist.
Example of a Great Communications Specialist Resume Skills Section
Effectively writing a resume skills section for a successful communications specialist can take on the following form:
These skills can be arranged in a visually appealing table, rather than a bulleted list. As the example shows, aim for short, clear phrases, omitting periods, and include three to four but no more than seven or eight skills per column.
Now that you have narrowed down your most notable, relevant skills for the communications specialist role, you may find the library of free resources at LiveCareer useful in fine-tuning your skills section.