Getting a Job Is a Team Effort: How to Demonstrate Teamwork Skills on Your Resume

Does your resume include buzzwords like “teamwork” or “team player”? Many do – to the point that these synergistic words may no longer grab your hiring manager’s attention.

How can you leverage teamwork skills to land your next job – especially in a collaborative industry? To answer that question, we’ll first define what teamwork is. Then, we’ll discuss ways to write teamwork skills for resume inclusion with or without typing the word “team.”

What Is Teamwork?

Teamwork is defined as “your ability to work well with others to achieve a common goal.”

Is teamwork a skill? Yes, it most definitely is. Just like understanding industry concepts and relevant technology are necessary to get your job done, teamwork is essential to completing any project.

Why Is Teamwork Important?

When is teamwork important? Teamwork comes into play when you negotiate with clients, schedule orders from vendors, receive instructions from managers, supervise a team, or cooperate as part of one. Basically, every job on the planet requires teamwork at some level.

When everyone in the workforce is a team player, it promotes a friendly and productive work culture. Teamwork reduces stress caused by workplace strife or rivalry.

It can be especially important to highlight teamwork skills on your resume if a job description says that they or looking for a team player or that you will be working as part of a team. According to Indeed, “Some jobs, such as a software developer, or project manager, are often done in teams even if the job description doesn’t say it.”

Can You Improve Your Teamwork Skills?

As a skill, teamwork can be developed and honed. Some people prefer to work independently; they can practice teamwork skills by asking for the input of others, really listening to their suggestions, and resisting the temptation to always go with one’s own preferences.

Teamwork can also be a challenge for those who struggle with interpersonal relationships. If you’re quick to take offence, practice mindfully subduing your anger and trying to see things from others’ perspectives. If you’re prone to competition, make an effort to practice altruism each day. If you are shy or experience some level of neurodiversity, look for ways to acclimate yourself to working closely and communicating with others.

Teamwork Keywords and Related Skills

Whether or not you plan to put the words “team player” or “teamwork” on your resume is up to you. After all, some companies do still scan for these keywords. But either way, you should demonstrate your teamwork abilities throughout your resume. How?

Many skills are closely linked to teamwork, including:

  • Communication – In order to work in a group, you should be able to express your ideas in a concise and clear manner.
  • Conflict management and resolution – Disagreements happen. A good team member is quick to resolve arguments, even yielding to the wishes of the other party when appropriate. Team players don’t let personality differences get in the way of their work.
  • Adaptability – Your assigned role may involve utilizing skills other than your areas of expertise. You may also have to rotate between collaborative and individual tasks. If you are used to making solo decisions, interfacing with others may be a challenge.
  • Honesty – A policy of transparency will aid you in communicating difficult facts for the benefit of the team. Imagine that you realize you cannot complete a task on time. Honesty may allow another team member to pick up the slack. Honesty also facilitates trust.
  • Responsibility – Everyone on the team should understand their duties and complete assigned tasks on time. This allows the entire team to work toward the shared goal.
  • Respect – Teamwork and good communication both involve respecting the other party. You promote a positive work culture when you listen to others without interrupting and speak to them in a way that upbuilds rather than tears down.
  • Active listening – Focus on the speaker. Do not interrupt. Ask appropriate questions.
  • Leadership – Good leaders must know how to work as part of a team. They motivate team members and help them communicate, collaborate, and reach goals.

You can include these on your skills list, but you can also describe these abilities in your job descriptions. Use words such as “network,” “collaborate,” “cooperate,” “team lead,” and “relationship building.”

Next, describe your specific role. If you work in medicine, you might say, “Worked closely with the prescribing physician to ensure optimal patient outcomes.” If you worked for a tech startup, you might write, “Worked on the website development team, where my responsibilities involved…”

You may even be able to pull team experience from academic or philanthropic pursuits. Did you serve on a debate team? Have you volunteered with a charitable group?

Need more inspiration? Try out the following sample phrases and a real-life example, below.

  • “Worked with an international team…”
  • “Collaborated remotely via video conference call softwares i.e Zoom…”
  • “Archived [x] as part of a 12-person team…”
  • “Trained new team members…”

Consider, for example, the author of the Indian tech blog TechiBhai. In an online biography, teamwork skills are highlighted in subtle ways. How? Through phrases like “after working years with…” and job titles like “lead author” that imply membership in a team.

In Conclusion

Teamwork is a vital skill in almost every field. You can cultivate and improve your teamwork skills by making an effort to get along with others and support them in your workplace projects.

On your resume, you can do more than just include teamwork in your skills list. You can demonstrate that you are a team player in your job descriptions. Good communication, conflict resolution, leadership, honesty, and active listening are all skills closely linked to teamwork.

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