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Employability Skills: Communicate for work

Communicate for work

Communication is one of the most important skills employers are looking for when recruiting. It involves the ability to recognise communication protocols and etiquette, use communication systems and processes, understand messages and get messages across to others.

Visit the ECU CareerHub for more information, resources and support on communication.

These focus areas describe the kinds of skills, knowledge and understandings that an individual should demonstrate to be able to communicate in the workplace:

Respond to communication systems, practices, and protocols

  • Have an understanding of what to communicate
  • Be sensitive to the impacts and subtleties in communication of every situation
  • Manage and apply different communication systems 

Speak and listen

  • Initiate or participate in complex conversations
  • Encourage contributions and draw out ideas from others
  • Clarify, summarise, and build on the ideas of others
  • Listen, observe, and question others to understand their perspective and clarify their ideas

Understand, interpret, and act

  • Clarify the purpose and possible take-aways of conversations
  • Understand that indirect and direct meanings exist in communication
  • Understand that social and cultural factors influence interpretations of meaning
  • Understand hidden meanings and clarify misunderstandings

Get the message across

  • Change communication styles to suit different contexts
  • Understand the needs, interests, issues, and priorities of each audience
  • Understand that the mode of communication may influence the interpretation of a message
  • Join a club, and take opportunities to develop your communication skills, e.g. debating, presenting, liaising with external stakeholders etc.
  • Make promotional materials for a club, event or conference.
  • Create your own website / blog / podcast to engage with people about your research or other interests.
  • Participate in Peer Mentor programs

Get started on developing communication skills


Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. (2013). Core skills for work developmental framework.

Oxford University Careers Service. (n.d.) Communication. Oxford University.