Your resume is a critical tool to help you sell yourself to potential employers. It provides the perfect venue for showcasing all the important skills that set you apart from your job search competitors. However, it is important to know which skills to include to better differentiate yourself from the crowd. One skill that many job-seekers often neglect is the ability to negotiate. Unfortunately, that omission can be a missed opportunity – since negotiation skills are highly prized by many employers. In this post, we’ll explain why negotiation skills matter, and how you can best include them in your resume.
What Are Negotiation Skills, Anyway?
Are you a great negotiator? The average person may hear “negotiation skills” and think that they’re only needed at jobs where major business deals are hammered out. However, negotiation skills are used in most workplaces to some extent. Leaders use them. Managers use them. And yes, most employees use them in one manner or another. They just don’t recognize that they’re negotiating.
So, what are negotiation skills? At their simplest, they are all the skills used to reach some level of compromise or accommodation with others. These skills range from communication abilities to creative thinking and collaborative abilities. Workplace negotiation skills are common, but also commonly misunderstood. The fact is that we all negotiate in one way or another, with co-workers, managers, customers, and company leaders. The key is to identify your negotiation strengths and figure out how to convey those skills to a prospective employer.
(We wrote a good post here on the right skills to include in a resume.)
Negotiation Skills On a Resume
Experienced hiring managers recognize the important role that negotiation skills can play in workplace success. They understand that the ability to effectively negotiation can provide immediate value to their company. As noted, most jobs involve some level of negotiation skill. For some jobs, however, they are critical. For example, your ability to negotiate effectively can be a vital skill if your job requires you to:
- Hammer out the details of a contract
- Reach accommodations with vendors
- Collaborate with team members to determine project roles
- Find common ground with customers to reach agreement on sale terms
- Manage customer service complaints
- Find mutually-agreeable solutions to workplace disputes
- Set acceptable project deadlines
- Manage teams within the workplace
- Manage outsourced work
How to Include Negotiation Skills in Your Resume
Of course, identifying your negotiation skills is just part of the battle. You will also need to effectively convey those skills to the employer. That will require you to include those skills within your resume, in a way that best highlights their importance. Here are some of the most important negotiation skills that you can list in your resume. When including them in your resume or cover letter, you will want to also include an example of how you used the skills to benefit your previous employers.
List of Negotiation Skills for a Resume
(Remember that you shouldn’t list this on your resume – these are ideas for writing descriptions that have to do with negotiation skills)
- Rapport-Building Skills
- Active Listening Skills
- The Ability to Analyze Situations and People
- Strategic Thinking
- The Ability to Engage Others when Brainstorming for Solutions
- Good Compromise Skills
- Tactful Interrogation Skills
- Creative Problem-Solving Skills
- The Ability to View Things from Other Perspectives
- Group Leadership to Facilitate Debate
- A Commitment to Trust-Building
- Fact-Gathering Abilities
- Solid Interpersonal Skills
- Persuasive Speaking/Writing
- Sound Planning Abilities
- Dedication to Civil Discourse
- Strategic Vision
- Ability to Summarize Main Areas of Disagreement
- Ability to Find Common Ground
Backing Up Your Claims
As noted earlier, it is important to be able to provide examples of times when these skills served you well in past job positions. You should also be prepared to discuss those skills during any interview that you might earn. Remember, your resume presentation has one main goal: to get you an interview. You should plan ahead so that you can further illustrate these important skills during that interview. That will help to solidify their importance in the mind of the hiring manager and could be the thing that helps you to land that job!
For more great skill ideas, be sure to check out our post on Including Communication Skills on a Resume!