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.
Collaboration skills to highlight on a resume
Soft skills related to collaboration
These are the collaboration skills most likely to impress recruiters:
- Active listening
- Emotional intelligence
- Critical thinking
- Time management
- Respect for other people and differing viewpoints
Collaborative hard skills
You may also want to highlight hard skills related to teamwork and collaboration, including:
- Microsoft 365
- Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)
The collaboration skills hiring managers are really looking for
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.
When choosing accomplishments for your resume, focus on times that you've:
- Worked closely as part of a team
- Interacted with other departments
- Assisted clients and customers
- Maintained ownership of projects by following up with others
- Kept deadlines and deliverables on track
- Achieved success in a group project
- Tackled an unfamiliar problem or situation
- Demonstrated "outside the box" thinking
- Resolved issues collaboratively
- Supported colleagues outside the scope of your own work
- Prioritized the success of a group above individual recognition
- Given constructive feedback
- Taken both a leading role and a backseat as necessary
Where to put collaboration skills on a resume
There’s a right answer to this, and it is: In your work experience section!
Here’s an example:
The only time you'll want to list collaboration skills outside your accomplishments is if:
a) they're hard skills related to collaboration (like the ones above), or
b) you have strong evidence of collaboration skills outside your normal work experience.
This might include team-based awards or cross-training qualifications — if so, your "Other" or "Additional Information" section is the best place for these.
Here's an example:
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 — an 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 metrics: How to quantify collaboration skills
If the first part of writing a successful bullet point is starting with an action verb, the second part is including measurable results. This can be tricky to do when talking about soft skills like collaboration, but it's far from impossible. Try to include numbers or metrics like:
- How many people were in your group or team
- How many projects you worked on (or products you launched, customers you served, etc.)
- How many ideas you generated
- How quickly you completed tasks
- How much you increased revenue or efficiency
- Your overall success rate
Now let's take a look at some resume examples that show you how to put it all together.
Collaboration work experience examples
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.