Employers look for oral and written communication skills for jobs that require interactions
with others in a clear and efficient manner in order to develop understanding relationships.
Understanding what it means to have effective oral and written communication skills
can help an individual assess his or her current abilities and identify areas for
- Use syntax, grammar, and/or vocabulary appropriate to the context and modality
- Ensure messages are organized, clear, and consistent with any supporting material
- Tailor the message and delivery method to the topic, audience, purpose, and context
- Reflect on one’s own messages and adjusting as appropriate
- Critically analyze others’ messages
- Engage diverse and competing perspectives and the ways they influence communication
Over the course of your educational experience at Towson University, students can
gain oral and written communication skills through some of the following methods:
- Consider adding a Communication Studies Minor
- Enroll in elective communication courses
- Attend networking events and campus career fairs (visit Handshake for a list)
- Complete internships and other experiential learning opportunities (schedule an appointment with the Career Center)
- Update resume
- Continue visiting the Writing Center
- Continue to develop and practice interviewing and networking skills (Use Big Interview for practice)
- Conduct informational interviews
- Attend Cook Library Public Speaking Workshops
- Explore and obtain on-campus jobs via Handshake which involve public speaking, such
as Orientation Leaders with New Student and Family Programs or Public Speaking Interns with
the Career Center
Consider the following activities and identify specific tasks completed within each
- Leadership roles
- Customer service roles
- Public speaking courses
- Internships which include drafting emails, writing reports, and/or giving presentations
- Social media usage
- Editing and writing experience
- Study abroad
Use the following list of action verbs to describe activities related to oral and
written communication skills:
- Articulate; author; communicate; correspond; deliver; develop; draft; edit; engage;
explain; facilitate; inform; interpret; listen; persuade; present; promote; publicize; report; sell;
speak; translate; write
Sample resume bullet points
- Drafted and maintained budget through the Student Government Association
- Developed and participated in a group presentation detailing the relationship between politics
and power among South American nations
- Communicated with current and potential clients in Spanish to address any problems
- Presented “Title of Research Presentation” at summer symposium to peers and faculty
- Edited poetry and photography for inclusion in Poet’s Corner and In Focus
For additional resume assistance, visit the Career Center's Resumes page or schedule an Appointment.
Be prepared to answer common communication interview questions including:
- Describe a time when you effectively communicated something difficult to a supervisor.
- Tell me about a time when you did not communicate well. What did you learn from it
and how did you correct the situation?
- Tell me about a time when you had to “sell” an idea to your peers or co-workers. How
did you do it, and did they “buy” it?
- Describe a time when you kept other individuals informed about projects or things
that impacted their job or role.
- Describe the most effective written document, report, or presentation you completed.
What made it effective and why are your particularly proud of it?
*Adapted with permission from the Clemson University Center for Career and Professional