Teamwork skills are in high demand with employers across all industries today. Companies need employees who can get along with others and can work effectively in a group.
Usually, a large part of the interview process is dedicated to determining whether or not a candidate could fit in with the team they would eventually work alongside. Why is that? This is because HR managers want to ensure that the new employee’s unique skills, and strengths, will improve the current team’s performance and productivity. Introducing an employee with a bad attitude towards teamwork, for example, to an already established team could cause several issues.
In this article, we will discuss what teamwork skills are, how to improve them, and how to highlight them on your resume.
What Are Teamwork Skills?
The term ‘teamwork skills’ refer to several interrelated abilities that allow an individual to work effectively in an organized group. Professionals with good teamwork skills are good listeners and show strong communication skills. They are also reliable, empathetic, and self-motivated. And, such employees can focus on collective performance and efficiently contribute to common goals.
So, being a great team member does not mean having one specific skill. In fact, it requires a set of skills. And below is a list of the most important ones.
- Communication skills
The ability to communicate effectively is a foundation of any teamwork. Therefore, all team members must be able to express their thoughts and share ideas clearly, and concisely, regardless of whether they interact in person, on the phone, or via email.
- Active listening
Effective communication starts with active listening. Practicing it means that you focus on what other people say, ask follow-up questions when you need to clarify something, and rephrase what you have heard to make sure you have understood everything correctly. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and builds trust between co-workers.
Teamwork is all about a group of individuals coming together to work towards a common goal. It is, therefore, essential that all team members can rely on each other. So, recruiters look for dependable candidates who can stick to deadlines and deliver tasks to the required standard.
- Giving and receiving feedback
If you want to improve your teamwork skills, you have to learn how to provide constructive feedback to others without offending them. And it is even more important that you learn to receive critical comments in a calm manner, and utilize this new information to improve your work.
- Conflict management
Eventually, conflicts happen, and how you handle them can significantly impact your working life. It is crucial to learn how to manage your emotions, control anger, and not let frustration affect your communication with co-workers. You need to be able to negotiate with your colleagues and find a solution that everyone is happy with.
Empathy is another key element for becoming a great team player. If you can relate to other people's feelings and look at a situation from their perspective, it will be much easier to avoid conflicts, keep a healthy atmosphere in the workplace and work efficiently.
In today's world, workplaces are becoming more and more diverse. And every professional is expected to be able to collaborate with people of different ages, genders, political viewpoints, races, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. So, it’s imperative to be open-minded, to treat others with respect, and not to let any prejudices or wrong assumptions affect your work.
So, these are teamwork skills that employers across all industries seek in candidates. But is there a way to improve them?
How To Improve Your Teamwork Skills
Teamwork skills can be difficult to learn and they will take time to develop. But with some time and practice, it is possible to improve these skills. Here are some tips to start with:
- Identify areas for improvement
First, you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you know where to direct your efforts. Ask your colleagues or supervisors for feedback on your teamwork skills. Maybe you have to work on your communication skills, or you need to learn how to handle conflicts better. When you know what to look out for, you can then look into ways of improving that area.
- Take a course
No skill, hard or soft, can be developed without practice. And teamwork skills are no exception. So, try to incorporate everything you have learned in a course, or book, into your daily interactions.
- Be patient.
You will not see major improvements in your skillset overnight. Like with any other skill, developing your teamwork skills takes time. But your hard work will definitely pay off.
Now you’ve got a better idea about how to improve your teamwork skills, how do you get them to stand out on a resume?
How To Highlight Your Teamwork Skills On A Resume
As we mentioned earlier, employers need professionals with excellent teamwork skills. And it is essential to highlight such abilities on your resume, so recruiters do not miss them.
First, keep in mind that many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) in their recruitment processes. ATS systems screen resumes for keywords to determine if a candidate is qualified enough to move onto the next hiring stage. It is therefore crucial to read the job description carefully, and use the same language that is used in the advertisement in your resume.
Another important thing to remember is to give specific examples, instead of only listing various skills. It will make your resume much more convincing. For example, in addition to stating you are a good team player in your skills section, you could write something like, "Worked with an international team of 12 people to design, write, and code landing pages" in your work experience section.
And finally, be ready to discuss all the teamwork skills listed in your resume during an interview. Be prepared to talk about situations when you used these skills in previous jobs.
Now you know why teamwork skills are essential for your career, what you can do to improve them and how to highlight them on a resume. It is now time to work on your skills and to become a better team player!