Q&A: What do employers mean by “good communication skills?”


Q:  I mean I see (people) with string accents and sometimes halting or warped english landing amazing jobs?? I get told my communication skills are no good but rarely do people appear to have any trouble deciphering my words or ask me re-explain something.

A:  Employers who are looking for candidates with “good communication skills” are usually looking for someone who is able to express him/herself clearly when speaking and writing.  A good command of the English language, including the ability to properly articulate and proper grammar usage, is included here.   Good verbal communication skills also require the ability to make and maintain eye contact, good body language, proper use of volume and tone, and the ability to listen and comprehend.   In addition to proper grammar usage, effective written communication requires clearly arranged and connected thoughts, correct spelling, and proper word usage.

If you have been advised that your communication skills are not up to par, I recommend a combination of tactics.  One of these include practicing conversations with people you know and trust who can give you proper feedback.  Perhaps a teacher or other professional acquaintance would be interested in helping here.  In addition, there is much to be learned from reading.  Visit your local library or check online for articles that interest you.  Practice discussing the material and writing short paragraphs about what you have read.  If you feel it would be more beneficial, you may also consider enrolling in a speech and/or writing class.

Best wishes!


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