Which of the following plays the most important role in the job search process?
A. Academic performance (i.e. GPA)
B. Professional designations (e.g. CFA, CPA)
C. Technical skills (e.g. VBA, SQL)
D. Communication skills (written and verbal)
Well, all of them are important but if I have to pick one, it is communication skills.
Because this is the only skill that will be repeatedly examined throughout the hiring process and rightfully so.
What does a perfect resume tell recruiters?
It tells them that you know how to sell yourself by summarizing and prioritizing your past accomplishments in bullet points without any typo or inconsistent formatting (i.e. communication skills).
What does a well-written cover letter show?
It shows that you are capable of communicating effectively in formal business writing (i.e. communication skills).
What does an amazing networking session signal?
It signals that you are someone who listens attentively and asks intelligent questions, resulting in a memorable conversation (i.e. communication skills).
What does a great interview performance demonstrate?
It demonstrates that you know how to best answer each interview question with the most appropriate story and deliver just the right amount of information and context (i.e. communication skills).
You get my point now.
I personally know many job seekers with a high GPA, multiple designations and solid technical skills who are still struggling to land an entry-level role. And I also know several outstanding communicators who have pulled off “miracles” (i.e. guys with sub 3.0 GPA from a non-target school land front-office capital markets roles).
Don't just take my word for it.
“If you can't communicate, it's like winking at a girl in the dark--nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it. And the transmission is communication.”
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