Every situation you are in during a job search requires verbal communication so here are some pointers to improve your ability to communicate with others when networking, at a job fair, in a job interview etc.
1) When preparing an “elevator speech” and responses to questions you anticipate being asked during an interview carefully contemplate what you want to say and how you will say it and then consider if it is useful or useless information. Then go over it again to make sure the response is as succinct as possible in getting your point across.
2) Make an effort to know as much as possible about the background, feelings, and knowledge base of the people you speak to because the responses you get are greatly influenced by these factors.
3) During an interview, or when questioned by someone you want to network, avoid speaking in generalizations and speak directly to the question, topic or idea at hand. This will earn you more respect than trying to be evasive.
4) Be genuine. People want to know your opinions so make sure they understand what you have to say [without overkill] before yielding the floor or moving on to a new question or topic.
5) Speak clearly, pleasantly, and with confidence, and throw in a smile or two every so often to make the listener feel he or she is a part of the conversation.
6) If you’re a natural with humor don’t be afraid to use it. People are comfortable with someone who can make them chuckle. Tactful humor in the right situation is OK.
7) Listening is the key element of communication. You can’t respond appropriately if you fail to hear what the other person has to say; especially when it comes to reading the tone, nuances and body language between the lines. When someone else is speaking listen closely with the intention of grasping what they have to say without focusing your mind on formulating an immediate reply.
8) Show that you are interested in what’s being said by others. You can do this in two ways, by asking the right questions at the right time and by making regular eye contact.
9) Conversely pay attention to what you shouldn’t do. Don’t rush, interrupt, or finish the other person’s sentences, or come across as always in the right.
10) Watch your body language. Too much fidgeting, tapping your pen or fingers, eye rolling, or making exasperated faces show that you don’t care what someone is saying.
As always, I’m available to critique U.S. resumes and offer suggestions to you at no cost. You can send me an email with your current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org