Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills

What are interpersonal skills and how can you give examples of interpersonal skills on your CV? Read all you need to know about this popular type of skill in professional environments and learn how to improve interpersonal skills.

What are interpersonal skills?

It may be difficult for individuals to recognise their own interpersonal skills, as we use them every day. We don’t all necessarily have the same interpersonal skills either, although there may be some that you have in common with other colleagues or friends. These types of skills are strongly associated with emotional intelligence and can also be labelled as soft skills or personal skills.

Interpersonal skills relate to the way in which a person communicates or personal qualities and characteristics that complement communication, organisation and leadership, amongst others. This means that recruiters look for interpersonal skills in job applicants to evaluate levels of compatibility and integration in the team or company.

There is not a set list of interpersonal skills that exists as a checklist for jobseekers. Instead, applicants should assess the kinds of characteristics and skills they possess which aid them in the communication process in the workplace. The interpersonal skills you consider also depend on the type of job or work sector, as different interpersonal skills may be more advantageous than others. This can apply especially in terms of the type of job position, such as whether it is managerial.

Writing a skills-based CV is an effective way of highlighting your interpersonal skills, particularly if you feel you tick the boxes and want to demonstrate the skills you possess which match up with the job description.


interpersonal skills

Examples of interpersonal skills

The endless list of examples of interpersonal skills goes on and can be applied to many characteristics, personal and soft skills, as well as experiences where a person acquired or improved an interpersonal skill.

A key example of interpersonal skills is a personal characteristic such as positive attitude, empathy or self-confidence. These types of characteristics may not seem valid to you as a skill as such, yet they are considered amongst the most important of interpersonal skills and are strong interpersonal skills to possess. If you are an optimistic and self-confident person, it signifies that working around you will be a positive and happy process.

Communication and interpersonal skills are also heavily linked, so if you are communicative or a good team leader, this is also a type of interpersonal skill which is sought for amongst job applications. Teamwork skills are valued highly in the world of recruitment and coincide with interpersonal skills.

Other aspects of interpersonal skills such as work ethic or leadership are also considered to be strong interpersonal skills.

Use our list of interpersonal skills to jog your memory and recognise any interpersonal skills you might possess:

  • Listening
  • Self-confidence
  • Work ethic
  • Body language
  • Positive attitude
  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Coping with pressure
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Body language

How to improve interpersonal skills

When you apply for a job, recruiters actively search for candidates who possess interpersonal skills which can be used effectively in the work environment.

You can improve your interpersonal skills in multiple ways. For example, doing what you are doing now and reading about interpersonal skills is a learning method for improving the understanding of communication in a work environment. You can read more on our website about skills and CV writing, or alternatively read other material designed to help jobseekers improve their skills, as well as professional knowledge.

However, most will argue that the best way to improve your communication and interpersonal skills is by learning from experience. Every situation where you get a chance to improve your listening skills or your leadership skills, for example, strengthens your interpersonal skills considerably. You don’t necessarily need to develop these kinds of skills in the workplace either. Volunteering a charity shop or forming part of a society would also enable you to develop and acquire more interpersonal skills. So if you are writing an entry level CV and feel that you don’t have enough work experience to back your interpersonal skills, you may wish to explain further or give an example as to when you had to put them into practice.

Listing your interpersonal skills on your CV

Once you feel confident on the subject of interpersonal skills and that you can identify your own, how do you list your interpersonal skills on a CV?

The first thing applicants should start to think about when writing skills on a CV, is the type of skills that are required for the job. If you possess the necessary skills for the job, listing them could be vital for your job application success and demonstrating how capable you are of doing the job to recruiters.

Applicants should choose how they wish to list their interpersonal skills on a CV. One option is a simple list, bullet-pointing the applicant’s interpersonal skills. Another option might be listing interpersonal skills and then giving an example of a time you had to use this skill in a previous job.

If you’re short for space on your CV, it may be wiser to stick to the bullet point list, but to mention interpersonal skills examples or strong interpersonal skills which you feel are important and relevant for the type of job for which you are applying.


Writing a CV and including your interpersonal skills can be made easier when written online using our OnlineCV maker. Not only do we provide users with plenty of modern CV template choice, but we also guide users with tips as they write their CVs. Create a winning CV that will demonstrate your interpersonal skills in an influential and effective manner.