Quick question — how many times have you read a job posting that included a line like, "we are looking for someone with strong collaboration and teamwork skills?” No doubt it’s a lot. But how many of those have also included instructions on how to show that you have those skills? Not many, huh?
Sometimes job descriptions are left vague deliberately, but other times, hiring managers just aren’t sure what they’re looking for until they see it. In this guide, we’ll demystify what recruiters actually want to see, including how to include collaboration skills on your resume and proven examples for you to follow.
How to say you have collaboration skills on a resume
Not sure how to get started? Here’s a quick guide:
- The best place to start is always with the job description. Look at the duties listed in the job description to get an idea of what they mean by collaboration skills. Will you be working closely with a team? Is it a public-facing role? Is there a lot of oversight?
- Make a list of everything you’ll need to do in the role that involves collaboration, e.g. reporting to a manager, working on a committee, getting feedback from other departments.
- Now, brainstorm everything you’ve done at work that fits those categories. You’re aiming for at least one example of your own experience to fit each duty in the job ad.
- Missing some examples? Fill in gaps in your professional experience with examples from your education, internships, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities.
- Turn your experience into winning bullet points by starting each accomplishment with a strong action verb (what you did) and ending with a concrete metric (what you achieved).
- Give your resume a once over with Score My Resume, which can check your resume for essential skills (like collaboration) and give you instant feedback on areas for improvement.
Where to put collaboration skills on a resume
There’s a right answer to this, and it is: In your work experience section!
Never list soft skills like collaboration in your skills section — because they’re so subjective, you’ll want to give examples instead and let the hiring manager see for themselves. Here’s an example:
Collaboration skills to highlight on a resume
The best skills to focus on in a resume are ones that matter to the company. Chances are they don’t just value collaboration for its own sake, so choose examples of times you’ve collaborated with others to save time, generate new business, or make internal processes run more efficiently.
Here are some collaboration skills recruiters are specifically looking for on a resume:
- Working closely as part of a team
- Interacting with other departments
- Assisting clients and customers
- Maintaining ownership of projects by following up with others
- Keeping deadlines and deliverables on track
- Resolving issues collaboratively
- Supporting colleagues outside the scope of your own work
- Giving constructive feedback
- Being able to take a leading role or a backseat as necessary
Find out if your resume highlights collaboration skills
Just like other soft skills, collaboration is a skill that hiring managers and recruiters do not want to see listed in your skills section, instead they want to see examples of times you’ve collaborated with others and what you accomplished. Upload your resume to the tool below to find out if you have highlighted your collaboration skills and accomplishments the right way.
Action verbs to showcase collaboration skills
The best resume accomplishments start with a single word — and action verb! When talking about collaboration, it can be easy to slip into the “we” trap, which makes it difficult for recruiters to know what you achieved vs what your team or company accomplished. Starting your bullet points with an action verb keeps the focus exactly where it should be, which is on what you did specifically.
For collaboration skills, try synonyms like:
Collaboration work experience examples
Now it’s time to start writing your resume! Here are some examples of resume bullet points that highlight collaboration skills — feel free to use these as jumping off points when brainstorming your own accomplishments.
Participated in Key Cross functional meetings as the selected representative of the Sales and Customer service department to discuss future growth of customer accounts, providing 7 innovative ideas, 3 of which are implemented and successful.
Love them or (probably) hate them, meetings are a key part of most roles. Instead of saying “attended meetings,” choose an accomplishment that shows what you brought to the table and how you followed up on it.
Led 5-member team to improve client relationships, increasing revenue by 25%.
If you’re in a customer-facing role, hiring managers will want to see evidence of internal and external collaboration skills. The accomplishment above does both, as well as highlighting a net profit for the company.
Supported Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, managers and supervisors meeting deadlines, managed customer visits, and organized employee recognition events which improved administrative efficiency by 15%.
Sometimes, collaboration is about taking a supporting role. Alongside accomplishments that show you taking the lead, prove that you can also take a step back when necessary by including examples of how you’ve supported others in meeting their goals.
Liaised with marketing to drive email and social media advertising efforts, using predictive modeling and clustering, resulting in a 35% increase in revenue.
The best resume accomplishments are ones that show how you’ve saved the company time or money. Show that you can collaborate purposefully by choosing examples that include a concrete end goal.