Transferable Skills Developed On-Campus: Communication

Simon Fraser UniversityMany valuable transferable skills can be gained through common on-campus jobs and activities. This new series of articles, “Transferable Skills Developed On-Campus” highlights some common positions found on many university campuses (not an exhaustive list of campus positions.). Each article will feature a different transferable skill and provide examples of resume phrases that coincide with the campus positions.


Library worker

  • Answered patron questions, referred them to appropriate resources
  • Communicated regularly with supervisor and co-workers to ensure efficient transition between shifts
  • Trained new student staff to on library procedures and on how to use electronic databases

Food service/catering worker

  • Provided polite, friendly customer service by listening carefully to customer requests
  • Wrote detailed training instructions for three work stations to help new student workers learn positions more quickly
  • Updated fellow catering staff of any changes or revisions to avoid confusion


  • Explained complex mathematical concepts in easy-to-understand terms to high school students
  • Spoke with parents in person and by phone to provide progress updates and to answer questions or concerns regarding their child’s learning
  • Offered test-taking and exam preparation strategies to freshmen and sophomore French majors

Office worker/desk clerk

  • Answered multi-line phone; responded to questions from university community and general public
  • Greeted visitors; helped determine what resources/referrals were needed
  • Wrote both print and electronic business correspondence daily

Residence advisor

  • Facilitated program, “Can’t We All Just Get Along – Dealing with Difficult Roommates” for 40 undergrad participants
  • Communicated calmly with emergency response personnel, Residence Director and Dean of Students during medical emergency in residence hall
  • Designed and wrote survey to determine programming needs for 5 residence halls

Research/lab assistant

  • Maintained detailed lab notebook including all procedures, materials and lab equipment used
  • Explained use of lab equipment to students; assisted in setup of labs and answered student questions
  • Communicated daily with professor to coordinate requirements for labs

IT help desk/computer lab assistant

  • Gathered information from users to help troubleshoot computer and networking problems; referred problems to appropriate technical staff
  • Assisted students in using various software programs, including SPSS, miniTab, Dreamweaver and Powerpoint
  • Wrote detailed work orders for department’s database; updated records as needed

Greek or student organization officer

  • Lead regular board meetings to determine funding allocation, programming needs and to address member concerns
  • Designed marketing and promotional materials for numerous events, including writing press release for 10th Annual Hunger Banquet fundraiser
  • Wrote meeting minutes paying close attention to detail in order to capture full scope of discussions

Campus newspaper/magazine worker

  • Wrote weekly column covering green campus living, including tips, interviews, and product reviews
  • Interviewed students, faculty, staff and community members for wide variety of stories
  • Participated actively in weekly staff meetings to determine story ideas and assignments

Admissions staff worker

  • Gave campus tours to prospective students and their families
  • Interacted regularly with prospective students, parents and community members by phone
  • Facilitated programs for admitted students to familiarize them with campus and encourage them to attend [university name]

Keep in mind that the phrases above are just examples. Revise, edit and tailor the phrases as your needs require.
The next article will highlight ORGANIZATIONAL skills.

3 comments on “Transferable Skills Developed On-Campus: Communication”

  1. Ethan Bull Reply

    What is great about how you’ve phrased most of your descriptions is that they are action oriented. Most, if not all, bullet points on a resume should be action oriented, not passive.

  2. Robert Reply

    That was a great post! I’ve always wondered how to mention positions like these into my resume. Awesome!

  3. Gwen Ann Wilson Reply

    Great list of helpful questions you have there. Jobs that need communication skills are rampant nowadays I believe.
    To those who are interested on having a Customer Service career path, please visit New Customer Service Jobs for the latest job of the day review.

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