How to Demonstrate Teamwork and Collaboration on Your Resume

Dana Guterman
Updated: July 24, 2020

As you scan dozens of internship and job openings, you’ll likely notice a few must-have resume skills popping up again and again. That’s because employers look for certain essential competencies in their new college hires. According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2019 survey, critical thinking/problem solving, teamwork/collaboration, professionalism/work ethic, and oral/written communications are the four competencies that employers value most. These traits show that a candidate is prepared for a successful transition to the workplace.

While it’s easy enough to show that you know a certain software or speak a certain language, soft skills are a bit more difficult. So, how do you prove to potential employers that you truly possess these traits? In this series of articles, we’ll show you how to demonstrate key skills on your resume. Today, we’re looking at teamwork and collaboration.

You can read about how to demonstrate other essential resume skills in the guides below:


What is teamwork/collaboration?

Having strong teamwork and collaboration skills means that you are able to work well with others to meet shared goals.

If you’re a team player, you build strong relationships by supporting other team members, which boosts morale and increases productivity. This does not mean sacrificing your own needs or blindly following orders. It means you strike a balance between personal goals and group goals. You’re committed to doing the best job for your colleagues and your company, which includes being honest, reliable, and encouraging.


Why do employers look for teamwork and collaboration in college hires?

Teamwork and collaboration are essential workplace skills because no one works in a vacuum, and you can only achieve so much by yourself. By partnering with others, you draw on multiple people’s talents and are able to make a real impact.

Those with strong teamwork and collaborations skills are able to work with clients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds. This means they can work across roles, departments, and companies. A true collaborator is also a skilled negotiator and mediator, who respects different cultures, lifestyles, and viewpoints.

Finally, those with strong teamwork skills are good for morale; when people like working together, they make more of an effort. And when everyone makes an effort, work gets done better and faster.

For college students, being an effective team member is particularly important. Interns and entry-level hires work closely with other employees as they learn the ropes.  Teamwork and collaboration are useful in any role, but are frequently listed as key skills for the following categories:

  • Human resources
  • Administration
  • Marketing and communication
  • Customer service
  • Nonprofit
  • Healthcare
  • Project management
  • Consulting


Examples of teamwork/collaboration skills

If you want to get your resume read, it’s vital to highlight keywords from the job description. To find these keywords, simply look at the skills listed under “Requirements,” “Qualifications,” or “Preferences” in the job posting. You can read more about relevant resume skills here.

For collaboration and teamwork, other key skills might include:

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Reliability
  • Building trust
  • Active listening
  • Conflict management
  • Honesty
  • Positive attitude
  • Accountability

You can use all these terms to highlight your teamwork and collaboration skills throughout your resume and cover letter.


Example resume bullets that highlight teamwork and collaboration

When you see a listing that includes teamwork, collaboration, or any similar competencies as “requirements,” you need to update your resume to include specific examples of when you demonstrated these competencies in the past. The best resumes include the keywords themselves (or related keywords), paired with specific examples. Consider courses in which you successfully completed a group project or clubs in which you worked with peers to achieve a common goal. Sports, volunteer opportunities, and customer service jobs are all great sources of inspiration, too. You want to prove that you have a history of working with others to achieve results.

Example 1: Demonstrating teamwork as a sales associate

Kitchen USA, Sales Associate
Casper, WY, Summers 2018–Present

  • Cultivate strong customer relationships through cheerful, efficient service in high-volume, fast-paced retail environment.
  • Collaborate with fellow sales associates to increase efficiencies through implementing store-wide incentives for team sales, leading to 5% growth for in-store sales in July 2019.

Nothing says teamwork like helping countless customers while motivating your colleagues to work harder and smarter. And this candidate gets bonus points for highlighting how their interpersonal skills improved the store’s bottom line.

Example 2: Demonstrating teamwork through extracurricular activities

Canada College, Resident Advisor
Nova Scotia, Canada, August 2017–June 2019
Demonstrated leadership, strong communication skills, and empathy by supporting students academically and emotionally, fostering a sense of community, assisting in crises, and referring students to appropriate services as needed.

A real team player supports others, has strong emotional intelligence, and strives to get along with everyone—traits that are vital to a resident advisor.

Example 3: Demonstrating teamwork through awards

Recipient, Dwyer Award
CareerTech, Q2 2019
Nominated by supervisor for merit-based award given each quarter to an executive assistant for excellence in support role.

Awards are a great way to demonstrate that key resume skills aren’t just in your head. They’re tangible proof that others have already recognized you for your strengths in a key area. In this example, an award that’s all about supporting others is a great way to show your collaborative spirit.