15+ Key Interpersonal Skills to List on Your Resume (With Examples)

15+ Key Interpersonal Skills to List on Your Resume (With Examples)

How well you communicate and interact with people is a top priority to employers. In this guide, we will enlighten you on the importance of interpersonal skills. Plus, we will provide you with our top 15 examples to consider including on your resume!

Written by Ed Moss • Last updated on Jul 02, 2021

What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills refer to the type of skills that deal with social interactions.

They include everything from the ability to collaborate to having a high level of emotional intelligence.

On resumes, skills can be divided into two main categories:

  1. Soft Skills: Soft skills are social and emotion-based skills. These skills affect your ability to work with customers, coworkers, and authority figures.
  2. Hard Skills: Hard skills are more technical and quantifiable skills. They include specific abilities, such as copywriting or software development.

Most interpersonal skills are considered soft skills.

They encompass many of the most important and effective soft skills to include on a resume.

For more ideas on both soft and hard skills to include on your resume, check out our guide on 100+ Key Skills for a Resume in 2021 (with Examples for Any Job).

Why Should I Include Interpersonal Skills on My Resume?      

All of society is impacted by interpersonal skills.

Every interaction you have with another person is affected by how well you can communicate and engage with others.

By including interpersonal skills on your resume, you demonstrate to employers that you understand their importance.

Interpersonal skills can sometimes be overlooked in favor of emphasizing hard skills.

However, your ability to work well with people is often just as important as your technical talents.

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Top 15 Interpersonal Skills to Add to Your Resume

In this section, we will cover some of the best interpersonal skills and why to consider including them.

When choosing the skills to add to your resume, keep relevancy in mind.

It is important to ask yourself how the skill relates to the job you are applying to.

You want to enable the employer to immediately understand why you chose to include a specific skill.

Without further ado, here are our top 15 interpersonal skills to include on a resume:

  1. Verbal Communication: How well you speak and hold a conversation with others. This is crucial when working a job that requires you to talk with customers.
  2. Non-Verbal Communication: How well you communicate without the use of spoken words. This can include your gestures, writing, facial expressions, and body language.
  3. Public Speaking: The ability to speak calmly and clearly in front of groups of people. This skill is essential when working in any sort of position of leadership or power.
  4. Conflict Management: Working with people means dealing with interpersonal conflicts. Conflict management refers to how well you can handle and settle tense situations.
  5. Problem-Solving: Problem-solving goes hand in hand with conflict management. It refers to your ability to quickly determine solutions that satisfy the needs of all parties.
  6. Adaptability: Working with people means working with changing emotions and plans. Adaptability refers to how well you can make changes and evolve in changing situations.
  7. Empathy: Empathy deals with how well you can relate to others. It goes a step beyond sympathy by allowing you to put yourself in another person’s shoes and see things from their perspective.
  8. Patience: Miscommunication and conflict happen. The key is to have a strong sense of patience during frustrating, difficult, or boring situations.  
  9. Active Listening: The skill of active listening involves being able to remove outside distractions and commit 100 percent of your attention to the person speaking. To achieve active listening, you should withhold judgment until you have been able to reflect, clarify, and summarize what has been shared.
  10. Dependability: Building professional relationships with interpersonal skills starts with trust. Dependability is how well you keep to your word and follow through on commitments. This, in turn, builds a solid foundation of trust with customers and coworkers.
  11. Negotiation: The ability to make deals that are beneficial to both you and others is important. Negotiation is an advantageous skill for sales professionals especially.
  12. Persuasion: When working with other people, there will be many ideas and viewpoints to work with. Having the ability to persuade others towards your ideas or services is useful for sales and management professionals.
  13. Networking: Networking refers to your ability to connect and build relationships with other professionals. These professional relationships can then be nurtured into business partnerships or other mutually beneficial associations.
  14. Collaboration: Working with teams of people requires you to know how to effectively make use of each other’s skills. Your collaborative abilities will greatly affect your success in most industries.
  15. Leadership: Taking on a leadership role is all about honing your interpersonal skills. When talking about leadership on a resume, be as specific as possible. For example, you should highlight what style of leadership you specialize in.
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What Industries Require a High Level of Interpersonal Skills?

Though interpersonal skills are necessary for all industries, certain fields require them more than others.

The top 5 industries that require a high interpersonal skill level are:

  • Sales: Sales professionals work closely with customers. They must be able to build and nurture relationships that eventually lead to the closing of a sale.
  • Education: Educators are responsible for not only teaching students but for helping them to grow and evolve as individuals. To be an educator, you especially need interpersonal skills such as empathy and patience.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare workers need to communicate clearly with patients. This involves a high level of active listening, among other skills. Healthcare as an industry relies upon its professionals' ability to connect and collaborate with other people.
  • Public Relations: PR representatives deal almost exclusively in communicating back and forth with the masses. For PR professionals, having a diverse set of interpersonal skills is a total asset.
  • Customer Service: Anyone that works in customer service needs to have strong interpersonal skills. The service industry is vast and requires a lot of collaboration and cooperation between both coworkers and customers.

How Do I Describe My Interpersonal Skill Levels?

When it comes to describing your skill levels, you need to be both concise and precise.

You don’t want to provide lengthy descriptions of each skill.

However, you also do not want to be too vague about your skills either.

For instance, you may have extensive experience with leading teams.

As a result, you want to emphasize “leadership” as one of your skills.

You could just write the word and leave it at that, but this won’t have much weight or impact on employers.

Instead, you could be just slightly more specific by focusing on the specific type of leadership you used. T

his could read something like this:

“Effective Democratic Leadership Abilities”
or
"Strategic Management Abilities”

Providing these extra details gives the employer more to work with.

You are not only stating your ability for leadership but also adding in needing context.

“Democratic” and “strategic” describe different styles of leadership.

Likewise, “management” describes a very specific type of leadership in a business setting.  

Remember, you still want to keep these descriptions short and sweet.

Don’t add more fluff than is necessary!

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How Do I List My Interpersonal Skills on a Resume?

To list interpersonal skills on a resume, there a few different formatting options.

The first thing you must decide is where you want your skills to be.

There are 2 main locations that are ideal for listing skills:

  1. Your work experience section
  2. A dedicated skills section

In this section, we will explore each of these to help you decide which is best for your resume.

Format Option 1: Interpersonal Skills in the Work Experience Section

Incorrect:

Work Experience
Public Relations Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce
August 2019 – June 2021

· Developed interpersonal skills such as communication and collaboration

Why It’s Wrong:

Correct:

Work Experience
Public Relations Coordinator,
Peaches Law Firm
August 2019 – June 2021

· Networked with local businesses to create a town directory
· Collaborated with local government officials on a public health awareness campaign 
· Managed business conflicts with poise and speed

Including skills in your work experience section allows you to directly demonstrate how you employ specific skills.

Format Option 2: Creating a Dedicated Skills Section

Incorrect:

Interpersonal Skills
· Communication
· Collaboration
· Negotiation

Why It’s Wrong: When describing hard skills, using just one word can often work.

However, interpersonal skills can be vaguer without extra context or description.

You want to make it clear why you are including these specific skills.

Correct:

Interpersonal Skills
· Clear and Effective Communication
· Superb Contract Negotiation Abilities
· Regularly Engaged in Collaboration

If you are going to make a dedicated interpersonal skills section, you should also create a technical skills section as well.

That way, you will have both your hard and soft skills included!

Need more help figuring out what else to include on your resume? Read our career advice article on What to Put on a Resume in 2021 (with Examples and Tips)!

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Final Takeaways

Interpersonal skills are essential in any job.

They help you to interact effectively with both customers and coworkers!

Here are 5 key takeaways for including interpersonal skills on your resume:

  1. All industries look for professionals with strong interpersonal skills. Including at least a couple of these on a resume can greatly boost your chances.
  2. Provide additional context around your skills to make them less vague.
  3. Interpersonal skills are soft skills. It is important to not forget about hard skills as well!
  4. Include interpersonal skills in both your work experience section and a dedicated skills section.
  5. Always think of how you can relate your skills to the job you are applying for.

At Easy Resume, we provide you with all the resources you need to craft the perfect resume. Make sure to check out all our free resume guides and career advice articles while you’re here!

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

Ed is a co-founder of Easy Resume. His background in scaling teams at tech startups over the last decade has given him extensive experience and knowledge around how to hire top talent and build successful teams. He enjoys mentoring, coaching, and helping others reach their career goals. When he's not writing about career-related advice, he's playing with his dog, Lilo, or going on long hikes in upstate New York.

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