How Communication Skills Set You Apart

‘The one easy way to become worth 50% more than you are now at least, is to hone your communication skills — both written and verbal. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark — nothing happens’.

That was Warren Buffett’s advice for graduating students from universities. A striking thing about it is that it’s not about investing in the stock market, but about investing in yourself.

Mr Buffett himself took a public speaking course to help him over his terror of it, and he’s gone on to become one of the world’s best communicators – and wealthiest people.

A recent survey in the USA shows that communication skills top the list of skills and abilities these employers will look for.

Successfully pitching a new product idea or presenting a financial analysis to your company’s management team requires not only business knowledge, but also a broad set of communication skills. The survey of nearly 1,000 employers who recruit on business school campuses, shows that communication skills top the list of skills and abilities these employers will look for when hiring business school graduates.

As a part of the survey, employers were asked to identify among five broad skill sets which they consider to be most important when hiring for a mid-level position. Communication skills came out on top, followed in order by teamwork skills, technical skills, leadership skills and managerial skills.

As a follow-up, employers were asked to rate the proficiency level required for 25 specific skills within the five broad skill set categories for a candidate to be placed in a mid-level position in their company. Of the five top-rated skills, four fall within the communications category: oral communication, listening skills, written communication and presentation skills. By employer industry, oral communication was the top-rated skill for consulting, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, technology, products/services and non-profit/government.

Finding ways to develop and improve your communication skills – whether it be presenting, writing, listening or negotiating – is vitally important. Remember, how well you communicate and present yourself will set you apart from the crowd, both in the interview process and later as you advance in your career.

To develop your communication skills, contact Eaglei for further information.