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7 Problem-Solving Skills That Can Help You Be a More Successful Manager
Discover what problem-solving is, and why it's important for managers. Understand the steps of the process and learn about seven problem-solving skills.
1Managers oversee the day-to-day operations of a particular department, and sometimes a whole company, using their problem-solving skills regularly. Managers with good problem-solving skills can help ensure companies run smoothly and prosper.
If you're a current manager or are striving to become one, read this guide to discover what problem-solving skills are and why it's important for managers to have them. Learn the steps of the problem-solving process, and explore seven skills that can help make problem-solving easier and more effective.
What is problem-solving?
Problem-solving is both an ability and a process. As an ability, problem-solving can aid in resolving issues faced in different environments like home, school, abroad, and social situations, among others. As a process, problem-solving involves a series of steps for finding solutions to questions or concerns that arise throughout life.
The importance of problem-solving for managers
Managers deal with problems regularly, whether supervising a staff of two or 100. When people solve problems quickly and effectively, workplaces can benefit in a number of ways. These include:
Increased job fulfillment
Satisfied clients or customers
Better cooperation and cohesion
Improved environments for employees and customers
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7 skills that make problem-solving easier
Companies depend on managers who can solve problems adeptly. Although problem-solving is a skill in its own right, a subset of seven skills can help make the process of problem-solving easier. These include analysis, communication, emotional intelligence, resilience, creativity, adaptability, and teamwork.
As a manager , you'll solve each problem by assessing the situation first. Then, you’ll use analytical skills to distinguish between ineffective and effective solutions.
Effective communication plays a significant role in problem-solving, particularly when others are involved. Some skills that can help enhance communication at work include active listening, speaking with an even tone and volume, and supporting verbal information with written communication.
3. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage emotions in any situation. People with emotional intelligence usually solve problems calmly and systematically, which often yields better results.
Emotional intelligence and resilience are closely related traits. Resiliency is the ability to cope with and bounce back quickly from difficult situations. Those who possess resilience are often capable of accurately interpreting people and situations, which can be incredibly advantageous when difficulties arise.
When brainstorming solutions to problems, creativity can help you to think outside the box. Problem-solving strategies can be enhanced with the application of creative techniques. You can use creativity to:
Approach problems from different angles
Improve your problem-solving process
Spark creativity in your employees and peers
Creative Thinking: Techniques and Tools for Success
In today’s ever-growing and changing world, being able to think creatively and innovatively are essential skills. It can sometimes be challenging to step ...
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Adaptability is the capacity to adjust to change. When a particular solution to an issue doesn't work, an adaptable person can revisit the concern to think up another one without getting frustrated.
Finding a solution to a problem regularly involves working in a team. Good teamwork requires being comfortable working with others and collaborating with them, which can result in better problem-solving overall.
Steps of the problem-solving process
Effective problem-solving involves five essential steps. One way to remember them is through the IDEAL model created in 1984 by psychology professors John D. Bransford and Barry S. Stein [ 1 ]. The steps to solving problems in this model include: identifying that there is a problem, defining the goals you hope to achieve, exploring potential solutions, choosing a solution and acting on it, and looking at (or evaluating) the outcome.
1. Identify that there is a problem and root out its cause.
To solve a problem, you must first admit that one exists to then find its root cause. Finding the cause of the problem may involve asking questions like:
Can the problem be solved?
How big of a problem is it?
Why do I think the problem is occurring?
What are some things I know about the situation?
What are some things I don't know about the situation?
Are there any people who contributed to the problem?
Are there materials or processes that contributed to the problem?
Are there any patterns I can identify?
Computational Thinking for Problem Solving
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2. Define the goals you hope to achieve.
Every problem is different. The goals you hope to achieve when problem-solving depend on the scope of the problem. Some examples of goals you might set include:
Gather as much factual information as possible.
Brainstorm many different strategies to come up with the best one.
Be flexible when considering other viewpoints.
Articulate clearly and encourage questions, so everyone involved is on the same page.
Be open to other strategies if the chosen strategy doesn't work.
Stay positive throughout the process.
3. Explore potential solutions.
Once you've defined the goals you hope to achieve when problem-solving , it's time to start the process. This involves steps that often include fact-finding, brainstorming, prioritizing solutions, and assessing the cost of top solutions in terms of time, labor, and money.
4. Choose a solution and act on it.
Evaluate the pros and cons of each potential solution, and choose the one most likely to solve the problem within your given budget, abilities, and resources. Once you choose a solution, it's important to make a commitment and see it through. Draw up a plan of action for implementation, and share it with all involved parties clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing. Make sure everyone understands their role for a successful conclusion.
5. Look at (or evaluate) the outcome.
Evaluation offers insights into your current situation and future problem-solving. When evaluating the outcome, ask yourself questions like:
Did the solution work?
Will this solution work for other problems?
Were there any changes you would have made?
Would another solution have worked better?
As a current or future manager looking to build your problem-solving skills, it is often helpful to take a professional course. Consider Improving Communication Skills offered by the University of Pennsylvania on Coursera. You'll learn how to boost your ability to persuade, ask questions, negotiate, apologize, and more.
You might also consider taking Emotional Intelligence: Cultivating Immensely Human Interactions , offered by the University of Michigan on Coursera. You'll explore the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills common to people with emotional intelligence, and you'll learn how emotional intelligence is connected to team success and leadership.
Tennessee Tech. “ The Ideal Problem Solver (2nd ed.) , https://www.tntech.edu/cat/pdf/useful_links/idealproblemsolver.pdf.” Accessed December 6, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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Analytical Skills — Here’s How They Can Level Up Your Resume
Analytical skills may just be more important than technical skills. But why? Here’s what you should know about them and how they can boost your resume.
If you’re looking to find greener pastures, this is the time to dig up that good ol’ resume and update it with some new skills. Not sure how else you can jazz it up? Try this — add analytical skills.
The 2022 stats are in: 23% of employees plan to find new jobs. And a whopping 61% of employees expect to leave their current positions within the first half of the year.
This work-culture movement has a name. And it’s called The Great Resignation. But hold up — here’s a chance to call it what it should be — The Great Opportunity .
Here’s a list of things that can help you cultivate analytical skills to attract greater job opportunities:
What Are Analytical Skills?
Are there benefits to analytical skills, what are some must-have analytical skills, how do you present your analytical skills to potential employers.
The best part is that learning analytical skills can primp and prime your resume regardless of your professional background.
At their core, analytical skills are soft skills that enable you to identify and solve problems. Though they’re not necessarily related to your technical skills, analytical skills are just as important.
Why? Mainly because they’re versatile. What’s more, they come in handy in lots of professional contexts.
People are longing for a different way of working and living, and resigning from a culture of stress and burnout. — Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive
Examples of Analytical Skills
Here are a few analytical skills examples:
- Data analysis
They reflect your professionalism — your ability to use logical reasoning, make informed decisions, and problem-solving . And fun fact: analytical-oriented perception is one of the seven most common (and prized) types of thinking .
Analytical skills also show the recruiters that you have a logical, rational approach to bringing new ideas to life. It also displays how you can deliver creative solutions for any roadblock.
And that is an asset to any company.
Leveling up in your personal growth always comes with benefits. As Jim Kwik , trainer of Mindvalley’s Superbrain Quest puts it, “ It’s not how smart you are, but how are you smart. ”
So here are three perks to becoming a more proficient problem solver:
1. It makes you marketable
If you’ve already got your dream job, that’s awesome . Picking up these skills will help you shine at work and will enable you to get your job done more efficiently, in less time.
But if you’ve yet to secure your dream job, then learning how to improve analytical skills can absolutely help.
A 2022 survey by Zety, the career advice website, asked more than 200 recruiters and hiring managers to find out which skills they value. They found that 61% consider soft skills to be a more important value than hard skills.
So, developing any of the aforementioned analytical skills can be an incredible advantage.
2. It encourages critical thinking
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, critical thinking is the ability to:
- Grasp information
- Identify logical connections
- Solve problems methodically
- Reflect on your ideas as well as the ideas of others objectively.
This requires you to think clearly and logically while being impartial. With critical thinking, you not only have the ability to take what’s good and make it better, but you also know how to take the bad and be able to mitigate, eliminate, or manage it, according to business executive Jay Abraham .
And because you’re coming in without any bias, you’re able to interact with information, experience, and consciousness without being reactive. This can carve a path toward better interpersonal connections and lead to more harmonious relationships.
3. You’re a better problem solver
By applying critical thinking to problems that arise, it’ll help you be an effective and creative problem solver. Tackling the most daunting of cognitive challenges will be with ease.
Indeed, when you understand how to digest data, pick out the relevant details, and devise a creative solution, not much will be able to stand in the way of you and what you want.
Hiring managers often are on the lookout for people who can exemplify these abilities before they even set foot in the office. So if you want your credentials to be as competitive as can be, it’s wise to add strong analytical skills to your resume.
Understandably, mastering any new skill may seem daunting, but it’ll give you a leg up. It may not be the easiest of efforts, but, as all good things are, it’s definitely worth it. And as Jim Kwik always advises: “ If knowledge is power, learning is your superpower. ”
Not sure which analytical skill to start with? Here are six must-haves that are sure to blow your employer’s socks off.
1. The ability to conduct effective research
It’s all about the data nowadays. With data, businesses are able to:
- Have access to real-time insights into a particular issue
- Solve complex problems
- Learn more about their customers
- Improve the bottom line and workflow process
- Make better business decisions
Being able to effectively research and gather data is an invaluable analytical skill – one that is highly sought after.
2. Data analysis
The next logical step after curating your information is being able to analyze it… because what good is a collection if you don’t do anything with it, right?
Analyzing data may sound technical, but it’s actually something you most likely do every day anyway, both in and out of the workplace. Data analysis is essentially the ability to:
- Look at a collection of data
- Identify where and when logical trends and sequences emerge
- Make informed decisions on what to do next
Data analysis comes in many forms, so detect your own inner analyst at work in your everyday life and mention this skill in your resume.
3. Efficient problem-solving
Problem-solving isn’t just about finding an effective solution. It’s also about being able to identify that there’s a problem in the first place.
Sometimes, great projects are sidelined by small problems that snowball into unnecessary catastrophes. An effective problem solver:
- Takes in information and analyzes it
- Detects the presence of such issues before they become legitimate hindrances
- Find the most efficient, practical solution available
If your options are few, try some out-of-the-box thinking and try something entirely unique.
4. Creative thinking
Creative thinking isn’t limited to artists and musicians. It is an analytical skill that’s fast becoming expected of everyone. It’s highly valued and very transferrable, and it ties in nicely with being an efficient problem solver.
Nurturing your inner wellspring of creativity will help you:
- Tackle life’s challenges with no end
- Try alternative methods and inventive approaches
- Streamline the problem-solving process for everyone involved
Being a creative thinker means you’re able to see a problem from different vantage points. You’re skilled enough to come up with out-of-the-box solutions, making you an invaluable asset to the team.
In recent years, the term ‘ critical thinking ’ has become a buzzword in corporate and academic settings, and it does indeed overlap with analytical thinking.
Critical thinking helps with:
- Facilitating the research
- Creative output
However, here’s the thing though: it’s all done objectively. And that’s much easier said than done though. More often than not, it can be challenging for us as human beings to separate ourselves from our biases, judgments, and reactions.
Practicing critical thinking skills means practicing the ability to step away from the beliefs that you may hold dear.
6. Compelling communication
As effective communicators, we can facilitate the potency of all our other analytical skills.
Being able to solve problems, think analytically, and spot trends are one thing. But the other thing is being able to truly connect with your team and express your ideas clearly and calmly.
That’s communication at its finest… or being able to talk the talk, as they say.
As you may know, there are several stages of a job search and application process. And that presents several opportunities to present your analytical skills to potential employers.
On your resume
Showcasing your technical skills is great. However, you should also add in a section where you display your analytical skills, too.
And keep in mind that some companies use applicant tracking systems. So, be sure to research specific keywords that are relevant to the company you’re applying to.
In the cover letter
Think of your cover letter as your wingman — it acts as a personal introduction and helps make your application appealing to your potential employer.
While your analytical skills can be listed in your resume, the cover letter gives you the chance to expand on those abilities. Share your motivations and what interested you in applying for that particular job. Additionally, highlight your communication skills, creativity, and even your experiences in data collection and analysis.
In the job interview
The job interview allows the employer to determine whether your skills, experience, and character are the right fit for the job and the company.
Here’s where you can dive even deeper into showcasing your analytical skills. Share a story of how you handled a work crisis or how you gathered data to help your team achieve its goals. And remember to highlight how the challenges you faced helped you hone your skills.
Epic Things Start With You
Improving your analytical skills begins with the first step — deciding which skill appeals to you most. You can challenge yourself to learn something new. Alternatively, you can improve in the abilities that you already have.
And if you’re looking for a place to level up, join Mindvalley. As a Member, you have access to the world’s greatest transformational teachers. Plus, a global tribe to help you hone in on your skills.
Because here’s the truth about skills and life — it all starts with you.
See you at Mindvalley.
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Tatiana Azman is a content writer for Mindvalley and a Certified Life Coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as being a cancer survivor, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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What Are Analytical Skills? (Definition, Examples, And Resume Tips)
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Find a Job You Really Want In
Summary. Analytical skills are used to assess situations and make plans to overcome obstacles, usually in structured, logical ways. There are a few skill sets that are important to hone no matter what industry you work in, and analytical skills are one of those. In this article, you’ll learn about several different types of analytical skills, how to highlight them when applying for a job, and how to improve your analytical skills. Key Takeaways Analytical skills are necessary for figuring out how to overcome obstacles and make wise decisions. Some examples of analytical skills are data analysis, research, critical thinking, communication, problem-solving, visualization, and creativity. You should highlight your analytical skills on your resume, in your cover letter , and during your interviews. It’s important to work to grow your analytical skills throughout your career. In This Article Skip to section What Are Analytical Skills? Types of Analytical Skills Additional Analytical Skills Examples of How to Showcase Your Analytical Skills Examples of Resumes That Showcase Analytical Skills Example of Analytical Skills in a Cover Letter Examples of Analytical Skills in a Job Interview Examples of Analytical Skills on the Job How to Improve Your Analytical Skills Analytical Skills FAQs Final Thoughts References Sign Up For More Advice and Jobs Show More What Are Analytical Skills?
Analytical skills are the qualities you possess that help you to assess situations rationally, create effective plans, and overcome obstacles. Analytical thinkers can separate themselves from their emotions in order to work effectively. They usually utilize a process to break down large problems into smaller issues to tackle.
There are a variety of traits and abilities that fall under the heading of strong analytical skills. Drawing attention to your strengths in analytical thinking can grab an employer’s attention, and land you an interview or a promotion.
Types of Analytical Skills
Some analytical skills may be more relevant to your field than others. Take some time to consider which qualities will be the most valuable to your potential employers. Below are some great examples of important analytical thinking that hiring managers look for on your resume .
Data analysis. Taking in information, making sense of it logically, and using it to the best of your abilities is an important step in making calculated decisions.
Having impressive skills in data analysis greatly supports analytical thinking. Considering they share a root word in common, it makes sense that these skills rely on each other.
Data analysis could mean very different things for varying occupations.
If you work for a retail company, it could mean:
Examining quarterly clothing sales
Considering why the numbers are what they are, and if that’s satisfactory
Researching possibilities for how to increase revenue
Make decisions about whether to stay on the current trajectory or make changes to increase sales
If you own a blog , it could mean:
Reading your website’s Google Analytics for each post
Determining increases or decreases in traffic and why that may be
Including traffic data points in a spreadsheet to consider trends
Coming up with strategies to boost website traffic based on success trends
Continually updating analytic data
Research . Conducting worthwhile research is very important in building viable solutions. Once you’ve noticed an issue or a way things could be done better, you must look for solutions towards improvement.
That depends on research. Luckily, we live in the age of the internet. Quite literally, we have a world of information available at our fingertips. You’re living proof of this — just look at what you’re doing right now by reading this article.
Carrying out research on important analytical skills, in order to improve your resume and employee profile. Using detailed research in your work style enhances your analytical problem-solving process.
Utilizing reliable resources
Having an informational goal in mind
Attention to detail
Effectively presenting results
Critical thinking . Critical thinking is the boat that keeps the rest of your analytical skills afloat. It’s largely about having logic and reason at work.
It also involves always being open to learning more. Critical thinkers draw practical connections to further a company’s success. This is an extremely valuable skill for employers because critical thinkers can:
Determine why issues arise
Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a particular strategy
Deciphering complex issues into smaller steps
Develop logical plans
Efficiently solve problems
Articulate their thinking to others
Communication . You may have the ability to deep-dive into research and think critically about the results. However, this isn’t very helpful without being able to accurately translate these findings to others.
Communication is key to developing workplace relations and completing projects productively. Throughout the analytical problem-solving process, be sure to keep your co-workers and supervisors in the loop about everything you’re doing and the conclusions you’re drawing. They could have input that affects your course of action or expands on your ideas.
Communication skills involve:
Listening to others
Accepting and returning feedback
Paying attention to non-verbal communication
Following-up on past interactions
Problem-solving. Problem-solving skills may sound synonymous with analytical, but really, it’s just another skill involved in the analytical process. Employers seek to hire applicants who are adept at problem-solving to handle any unexpected circumstances or issues.
After identifying an issue and conducting proper research, brainstorming potential solutions is next. You use problem-solving abilities to organize all the information you’ve uncovered to produce a logical plan for action.
Problem-solving skills involve:
Consulting multiple sources
Visualization. One of the traits that make for a strong analytical thinker is a visualization for an end goal. Having a clear vision in mind is necessary for creating a plan that works well. After all, you have to know what outcome you’re looking for to analyze whether it was successful later.
Without an objective, your research and strategy can become disorganized. Throughout the analytical process, keeping your original goal in mind can make your analytical work more productive.
Goal visualization involves:
Taking data into account
Acknowledging your team’s strengths and weaknesses
Deciding what your team’s overall goal is
Discussing the best routes for achieving this objective
Creativity . Creative thinkers have the ability to formulate new ideas and ways of doing things. This can be extremely productive when using analytical reasoning skills.
A large component to coming up with effective solutions to problems that involve innovation. Creative employees make groundbreaking improvements from problems.
Keeping goals in mind
Transforming ideas into action
Additional Analytical Skills
Other useful analytical skills include:
Examples of How to Showcase Your Analytical Skills
There are four main ways to showcase your analytical skills as part of your job search :
On your resume
In your cover letter
In a job interview
Examples of Resumes That Showcase Analytical Skills
47 Martin Ln. Orlando, FL , 44587 (771)-409-3376 [email protected] Shelby Malcolm Passionate and creative graphic designer with 4 years of experience and a B.A. in Design. Strong communication and problem-solving skills. SKILLS Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator Proficient in Inkscape Creative Dependable Fast learner Problem-solving EXPERIENCE Ecosphere Design Lab, Orlando, FL — Graphic Designer March 2018 – PRESENT Outlining design concepts Coordinating with a team of 6 Direct client requests Illustration Considering industry trends Creating a range of ideas Promoted from Junior graphic designer after the first six months Innovation Graphics, Orlando, FL — Junior Graphic Designer January 2015 – January 2018 Communicating with clients Providing customer service Brainstorming idea for advertisements and logos Utilizing revision when needed Awarded a salary increase of 2% after the first year EDUCATION The University of Tampa, Tampa, FL — B.A. in Design August 2011 – May 2015
Jacob Jones 912 W Evans St. Sedona, AZ , 98211 (398)-197-1126 [email protected] LinkIn.com/in/JacobJones Organized and meticulous social media manager with 5+ years of experience. B.A. in Human Studies from the University of Arizona. Strengths in interpersonal skills and branding. Professional Experience Liberty Public Relations , Sedona, AZ Social Media Manager September 2017-Present Scheduled and coordinated meetings Interacted directly with clients Coordinated with marketing teams Manager profiles for several prominent clients Created detailed plans for success with milestones of completion Handled arising PR issues Awarded $2,500 bonus after the first year Gold Star Media Management , Sedona, AZ Social Media Marketing Intern, June 2016– August 2017 Memo creation and direction Email management Organizing social media post schedules Analyzing post success Collaborated on a team to design branding Aided in brand creation for up-and-coming companies Skills Social media Marketing Branding Google analytics HTML Attention to detail Critical thinking skills Adaptable Education University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ BA in Human Studies, May 2016 GPA: 3.5 out of 4.0
Nicholas Phillips Flexible and outgoing investigative journalist . Possess a Bachelor’s in English and a Masters in Journalism. Strong skills in creative thinking and problem-solving. 22 Main St. Houston, TX , 23014 (129)-828-1192 [email protected] NicholasPhillips.com EXPERIENCE XYZ News Channel, Houston, TX — Investigative Journalist April 2016 – PRESENT Search out newsworthy stories Conduct relevant research Communicating with co-workers and sources Fact-checking Interviewing subjects Developing story outlines Adhering to journalistic integrity Promoting the success and viewership of XYZ Awarded with two raises totaling $16,000 Houston Local News, Houston, TX — Journalist January 2014-April 2016 Thinking creatively to discover eye-catching stories and events Gathering information and subjects via extensive research Assessing lead quality Meeting set deadlines Coordinating with team of 10 Networking to establish working relationships Around Town Quarterly, Houston, TX — Journalist Intern June 2013- January 2014 Assisting in administrative work Conducting assigned research for topics Contributing to weekly brainstorms Editing and proofreading Assisting in interviews EDUCATION The University of Texas, Austin, TX — Master’s in Journalism September 2011 – June 2013 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN– Bachelor’s in English August 2007-May2011. SKILLS Research Writing Bilingual Presentation Integrity Flexible Sociable LANGUAGES Fluency in English and Spanish
Example of Analytical Skills in a Cover Letter
During my time as a Marketing Manager for XYZ Inc., I made it my mission to cut the budget while still growing our digital marketing presence. By recognizing that 80% of our traffic was coming from 20% of our content creators, I made the decision to cut our writing staff down significantly. What we saw was a 70% drop in spending on content creation, while traffic grew by an average of 24% monthly. Other accomplishments from this role include: Performed competitor keyword research to increase our organic reach by 29% YoY Developed a website design in tandem with product team and based on user feedback to increase engagement by 76% Identified and implemented best practices for email marketing and affiliate campaigns to increase conversion rates by 15% and revenue by 11%
Examples of Analytical Skills in a Job Interview
In a job interview, you’ll hear a lot of questions designed to test your analytical skills. Let’s go over a couple of common interview questions , along with example answers that clearly highlight your supreme analytical powers:
For me, it’s all about maximizing both efficiency and effectiveness. I independently track how much time each of my tasks takes, and what the return on that time investment is. For example, when my team had to code a whole new content cluster using a wildly different style than our home page , I started by assessing which features were most sought after by users. I then implemented those changes and used A/B testing to determine the effectiveness. I found that adding trailing social engagement buttons along the left-hand side of the page upped engagement by over 20%, and it was a relatively simple thing to do. When you see that a huge chunk of your results come from small changes, it becomes easier to prioritize and identify the successful things you’re doing.
When I’m facing a problem I haven’t seen before, my first step is research. Whether that means looking online for tutorials covering the topic or speaking to an expert in the company, fact-finding is critical. Then, I like to implement imperfect changes — I say “imperfect” because I find many people suffer from “analysis paralysis.” Instead, I’m happier to put out the minimal viable product and iterate from there. A lot of the time, the issues you expect from a problem never arise, and ones you never consider crop up unannounced. That’s why I feel more comfortable having an actual product to tweak and perfect, rather than trying to find the perfect solution the first time.
Examples of Analytical Skills on the Job
Whether you’re hoping to earn a promotion or leverage your analytical skills into a new job, one of the best ways to showcase your analytical skills is to let others do it for you. By that we mean you should make it so clear that you’re an analytical juggernaut at work that your supervisors recognize it as your stand-out trait.
In practice, that can take a few different forms. Here are some examples of how you can show off your analytical skills in your work:
Take on leadership roles.
Volunteer for assignments that give you a chance to hone and show off your capacity for analysis.
Go out of your way to improve an inefficient or ineffective process.
There’s not a job out there that doesn’t utilize and benefit from analytical skills. Go out there and identify problems, offer solutions, and be critical with your evaluations. That’s how you wind up with a letter of recommendation that touts your ability to analyze situations effectively.
How to Improve Your Analytical Skills
An employee with keen analytical skills has a bright future ahead of them. No matter what field or industry you work in, developing your analytical skills can help you achieve your career goals.
To improve your analytical skills:
Take tests. There are tons of free resources online for testing your analytical skills and ability to think critically. These are often math- or logic-based, and they can help train your brain to approach problems strategically.
Step into leadership roles. Leaders need a whole host of attributes to succeed , but analytical skills are a critical part of the job. Look for opportunities to lead projects to put your analytical skills to the test.
Play games. Not just any games, though. Think logic games like Rubik’s Cubes, Sudoku puzzles, and Chess. These games will strengthen your analytical skills while having fun. Plus, studies have shown that engaging in cognitively stimulating activities like these reduces your risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Enroll in classes. It doesn’t even really matter what subject you choose to study, although if your goal is career growth, it should pertain to your job in some way. The important part is that when you’re learning new things, you’re forcing your brain out of its cognitive comfort zone.
Find a mentor . This is good advice regardless of what skills you’re trying to develop. A mentor in your field who has successfully weathered the challenges of your role is like a cheat code for strengthening your analytical skills.
Become a close reader. If you remember close reading from your high school English class, you’re probably groaning right now. But it turns out that was one of the truly valuable strategies you were taught in school.
You don’t need to be reading a text to be a close reader . When you watch movies and shows, see an advertisement, or listen to a politician’s speech, do your best to read between the lines. Look for plot holes, assess why an ad is effective (or not), and pay attention to what the politician isn’t saying.
Analytical Skills FAQs
What are examples of analytical skills?
Some examples of analytical skills include:
What type of skills are analytical skills?
Analytical skills are soft skills that allow you to collect and analyze information in a way that allows you to solve problems and make decisions well.
You use analytical skills in your daily work tasks, when you’re making schedules, and when you’re making important management decisions, to give just a few examples.
How do you say you have good analytical skills?
You say you have good analytical skills by providing examples of times you used your analytical skills. You can do this in your resume, in your cover letter, and during your interview. You can also showcase your analytical skills while you work.
What jobs use analytical skills?
Some jobs that use analytical skills include software engineer, cybersecurity analyst, and accountant. Many people in the finance, technological, and scientific industries use analytical skills in their day-to-day roles.
Analytical skills are useful in a variety of roles and positions, across a variety of industries. You can showcase your experience with them on your resume by listing specific examples of times that you have solved problems or addressed situations using analytical skills.
Harvard Business School Online – 4 Ways to Improve Your Analytical Skills
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Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.
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How to Demonstrate Your Strategic Thinking Skills
- Nina A. Bowman
Don’t be shy about bringing your ideas to the table.
Developing your strategic thinking skills isn’t enough to get you promoted. In order to advance in your career, you need to demonstrate them. Leaders want to know what you think, and they view your worthiness for promotion through the lens of how ready you are to make bigger decisions. Ask yourself: “Do people know where I stand?” If not, what do you need to do to bring your perspective to the table? It’s also important to demonstrate that you can put new ideas into action. Take the initiative on new projects that show how your understanding extends beyond your current function.
We all know that developing strategic thinking skills is important , but many don’t realize how critical it is to your career advancement to show these skills to your boss and other senior leaders. Showing strategic thinking skills tells your bosses that you’re able to think for yourself and make decisions that position the organization for the future. It assures them that you aren’t making decisions in a vacuum but are considering how other departments might be affected or how the outside world will respond.
When I’m helping my coaching clients learn to think more strategically, I emphasize that developing and demonstrating these skills are very different challenges .
- Developing great strategic thinking skills requires you to gain exposure to strategic roles, synthesize broad information, participate in a culture of curiosity, and gather experiences that allow you to identify patterns and connect the dots in novel ways. That’s why high-potential and leadership development programs often include job rotations, cross-functional projects, and face time with senior leadership — these all accelerate the development of strategic thinking.
- Demonstrating strategic thinking, on the other hand, requires that you are simultaneously a marketer, a salesperson, and a change agent. Proactive and widespread communication of your strategic efforts combined with the courage to challenge others and initiate and drive your strategic ideas are what make your boss and peers take notice.
The case of one of my coaching clients illustrates the steps you need to take to show off your strategic thinking skills. Tim Waters (not his real name), vice president of the U.S. supply chain for a growing medical products company, hoped to be named global senior vice president of supply chain but sensed that his promotion discussions were stalled. Tim had a good reputation for responding to business unit leads, and he worked tirelessly and effectively to keep the supply chain functioning well. He was therefore surprised to receive informal feedback from the head of HR, a longtime colleague and friend, who said that a few influential executives had voiced concern that Tim “wasn’t strategic enough.” These executives felt Tim was good at keeping the trains running, but he had not driven proactive change in the organization or set a strategic vision for supply chain. Tim was a strong strategic thinker, but he wasn’t doing it in a way his bosses could see it. He decided to engage an executive coach to help him learn how to demonstrate these skills.
Bring a point of view to the table
Your leaders want to know what you think, and they view your worthiness for promotion through the lens of how ready you are to make bigger decisions. By asking yourself, “Do people know where I stand?” you can sharpen your ability to demonstrate this skill.
Tim made efforts to update his understanding of trends and to refresh his network but realized that he wasn’t putting the knowledge learned to good use. One of the first changes he made was to instruct his assistant to block out 30 minutes on his calendar before important meetings. He knew that barely having time to collect his thoughts before going into meetings made him unprepared, less vocal, and less capable of synthesizing and sharing his knowledge. Just a half hour, once or twice a week, would allow him to shape his point of view on important issues.
Tim’s efforts began to pay off over time, and he was able to shift his contributions in senior executive meetings from operational input to strategic input. He took time to package his ideas into a vision for the organization and engaged his peers in new discussions about how the vision could impact their areas.
Having greater clarity of vision also enhanced Tim’s effectiveness as a supervisor. Tim was able to see how his team was missing the specific skills needed to support the vision. Now, instead of having reactive discussions with his HR business partner, he was able to engage in forward-looking discussions about strategic hiring and leadership development opportunities for his team. Demonstrating that you think strategically about hiring and talent development is a surefire way to make your leaders notice you.
Show that you can initiate innovation and bring strategic change
To be viewed as a strategic thinker, you must also demonstrate that you can use your knowledge to put new ideas into action. No matter your level, you can demonstrate strategic thinking by executing an innovative project that shows that your understanding extends beyond your current function.
Tim channeled the new energy and vision he had gained into a strategic planning process that culminated in formal recommendations for the supply chain group. Tim communicated the project and its milestones across the organization, allowing the executive team to see that he could lead a strategic initiative; previously, Tim would have kept it behind the scenes. Boldly suggesting value-added changes was a welcome shift to both Tim and his colleagues. Tim felt he had greater control, projecting greater confidence because he was no longer just reacting to others’ suggestions and issues, and Tim’s colleagues also appreciated that he was initiating improvements without their prodding.
Tim’s journey to demonstrating strategic thinking took him longer than he had expected, but over time, his boss, peers, and team noticed the changes and viewed them positively. Tim was promoted to the global role a year later and was ultimately better equipped to navigate the role.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Thinking Strategically by Nina Bowman.
- NB Nina A. Bowman is a Managing Partner at Paravis Partners, an executive coaching and leadership development ﬁrm. Previously, she held various advisory and leadership roles in strategy. She is an executive coach and speaker on issues of strategic leadership, leadership presence, and interpersonal effectiveness. She is also a contributing author to the HBR Guide to Coaching Employees and HBR Guide to Thinking Strategically .
Strong Analytical Thinking Skills: Example Usage on Resume, Skill Set and Top Keywords in 2023
Here are the top ways to show your analytical thinking skills on your resume. Find out relevant analytical thinking keywords and phrases and build your resume today.
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What are analytical thinking skills?
Why are analytical thinking skills important on your resume.
- What traits, skills, and abilities help you demonstrate strong analytical skills on your resume?"?
How to demonstrate strong analytical thinking skills on your resume
Analytical thinking skills are a set of soft skills that help you recognize, collect and process data related to a problem that needs to be solved efficiently. They also help you identify improvement possibilities or predict and prevent disaster.
Great analytical thinking skills usually cover a spectrum of abilities such as Communication, Creativity, Critical thinking, Data analysis, and Research.
To demonstrate what we mean, let’s have a quiz. In WW2, the RAF aimed to reinforce their airplanes so that they have a better chance of survival. They knew which parts of the airplane received the most bullet holes. So, what did they do? Keep reading and you will find out.
Because analytical thinking skills are a set, you will need to demonstrate them indirectly in your resume, highlighting the abilities we mentioned a few lines earlier. HR officers will look for them in the skill section, especially if the job title you are applying for contains the word “analyst”.
In simple words, analytical thinking skills ensure survival and progress. In the corporate world, analytical skills are vital for making an enterprise profitable. Those with analytical skills show the way and lead the path. Decisions and actions are based on those skills and without them, any company is doomed. This is why the most sought-after employees and executives are the ones with a proven record of analytical thinking. To see patterns and trends, to draw logical conclusions, and be able to communicate that within the organization is a must in finances, data science, medicine, marketing, law, and many more well-paid and prestigious positions.
What traits, skills, and abilities help you demonstrate strong analytical skills on your resume?"?
- Observation skills and curiosity : sometimes the data you need to solve a problem is not delivered to your desk. You need not only to see what is in front of you, but what is missing. Remember our RAF planes? Some came back, but some did not.
- Research : once you notice a problem, you will have to look for data. Here you need to be patient, study the problem, and collect all the relevant information and data you can. You need to be creative in finding places where to look for it.
- Data analysis : to analyze data, you need to be able to concentrate and systematize the information. This is where the patterns and dependencies will show up. Your job is to make sense of it and come up with a conclusion.
- Creativity and Critical thinking : to be able to think critically and creatively means to be able to avoid the obvious. Often, critical thinking means exploring even impossible angles to find a solution. A good example that comes to mind is Israel’s 10th man approach, depicted in the movie “Z world war”. The rule states that the 10th member of their council is obligated to doubt anything if all nine others agree on a decision. By the way, do you still think about the RAF planes? Back then they found the solution, avoiding the obvious.
- Communication : once you have a solution, you will need to find a way to communicate it to your colleagues. Here you need to know how to present the information when to present it, how to draw attention and how to inspire.
- Give examples with critical situations on your job that demonstrate those skills
- Describe a specific process or method you use
- Think of major achievements and breakthroughs made possible by your analytical skills
- If you practice brain games and read a lot of books, make sure to include this in the “Interests” section, as these improve analytical skills.
- List specific courses or certificates related to analytical skills
Writing “Strong analytical thinking skills” on your resume is simply not enough. You will need to prove your case, convincing the HR officer that you might be able to think analytically. You have to show examples, achievements and be creative. Remember, the HR officer uses analytical skills as well to find a suitable candidate.
Below you will find relevant examples that will help you start:
Example 1: Show your analytical thinking skills in your experience bullet point
- Developed a market entry strategy in California, targeting 1 million bottles sold in the first year of operations
- Increased the store turnover by 20%and the main KPIs by 15% by proficient management of stock and orders
- Successfully managed and motivated a 5-member team, reducing the staff turnover to 0
- Successfully managed events with more than 50 suppliers involved and up to 500 participants
- Recruited, trained and managed multicultural team composed of approximately 100 persons
- First ever digital content into TV integration increased impressions +2%
- Invented a cross-category solutions, bringing +3% penetration on Telivus portfolio and +5.7% sales increase
Example taken from our Project Manager resume guide
The applicant demonstrates strong analytical skills by meeting his sales forecast. His analysis of stock and orders allowed him to implement a strategy that resulted in savings for the company. This also shows that he can work with data. The experience in managing events with more participants and at a bigger scale repeatedly shows the candidate’s ability to plan and communicate. The word “Invented” speaks of creativity.
Example 2: Demonstrate analytical skills in your resume summary
Example taken from our Software Engineer resume guide
We can see that the candidate has a major achievement. More importantly, the achievement is for an “optimized” network. Any optimization is a result of analytical skills. Especially useful are achievements confirmed by a third-party organization.
Example 3: Use your achievements to make the point
Example taken from our Resumes of Chernobyl article
This is what counts. We can see that Mr. Legasov “Led the investigation” of the Chernobyl disaster, which is to show that he conducted research and collected data. Then he analyzed the data and using creative and critical thinking he came up with conclusions and solutions. “Pointed to the problems” is the most incredible part of his achievements. Although the party and the whole political situation did not allow for honesty and the spread of information, he put his will and communication skills and work and informed the world about the dangers of RBMK-1000 reactors.
Top related skills to strong analytical skills:
- Public Speaking
- Demonstrate, do not claim: Lead the HR officer through your achievements and results.
- Make them believe in you: List any awards and recognition.
- Be wise with words: Sort and clear sentences. Action and power verbs. Only the essence. You will explain the details later at the interview.
And what happened to those pilots and their planes? An analyst at the RAF concluded that they need to reinforce the parts of the plane where there are no bullet holes. The reason for this was that although hit many times, the planes they studied returned after all. The rest hit in other places, did not.
About this report:
Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com.
While those skills are most commonly met on resumes, you should only use them as inspiration and customize your resume for the given job.
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Analytical Skills for Your Resume
If you’re reading over a description for a job, you may have come across a requirement such as “Possesses strong analytical skills.” This may leave you wondering: what are analytical skills, and how can I showcase them on my resume?
Analytical skills are commonly listed in job descriptions. These are the skills that allow you to make decisions effectively and solve difficult problems. While you may not know it, you will already have exercised many analytical skills that you can mention on your resume, whether you have done so in the workplace, in school, or elsewhere.
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In this article, we’re going to discuss the basics of analytical skills, why they are important, and walk through a few analytical skills you can mention on your tech resume .
What Are Analytical Skills?
Analytical skills are skills that practice analytical thinking. This is a method of thinking where you first observe a problem, then use the information you have gathered to develop deeper insights into that problem.
Analytical skills are used in a wide range of scenarios in the workplace. For instance, brainstorming new ideas involves a high degree of analytical thinking, because you need to be able to critically evaluate ideas and figure out which ones are worth pursuing.
Making decisions is another scenario where analytical skills may come up. This is because you will need to be able to first analyze a problem before you can make an informed decision about how that problem can be solved.
Analytical thinking involves the ability to try out different approaches and see what works. There is often not one clear answer to a problem that a business faces, and so if you possess analytical thinking skills, you should be competent in trying out ideas, and iterating upon those ideas based on your findings.
Why Do Employers Value Analytical Skills?
Analytical skills are a type of “soft skill”—a trait that is not trained, rather acquired—and are in high demand in the modern workforce.
Analytical skills are important, especially in modern businesses, because they allow you to come up with solutions to difficult problems effectively. Being able to break down a problem into smaller parts, analyze them, and determine an actionable solution can help you tackle tough organizational challenges that a business may be facing.
There are a number of jobs that require analytical skills. For instance, programmers , teachers, data analysts , accountants , and salespeople all need to be comfortable exercising analytical thinking skills.
Examples of Analytical Skills
If you notice that a job description asks for analytical skills, you may be wondering what you can do to your resume to align yourself with those skills.
Here are a few analytical skills you can mention on your resume to showcase your capacity to think analytically:
- Critical thinking
- Problem Solving
In order to solve difficult problems, you need to be able to work in a team.
When you are solving a problem, you’ll first need to work with other stakeholders to determine exactly what problem you need to solve and walk through what approaches have been tried in the past to solve the problem. Then, you’ll need to work with a team to come up with a solution, and implement that solution based on the specifications you have created.
You should be able to effectively communicate using both written and verbal methods of communication, such as presentations, talking with others, and writing memos.
#2: Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to think clearly and rationally, and find logical connections between different ideas.
When you’re solving a problem for a business, you will need to figure out all the main features of that problem. You’ll also have to discover why a problem has arisen in the first place. To do so effectively, you will need to be capable of using logic to understand the problem at hand.
Before you can solve a problem, you need to know all about the problem you are trying to solve. This will involve researching the context behind a problem, and collecting any data that will help you better understand the problem at hand.
In the workplace, research may involve working with team members to better understand a problem or creating official methods to collect data to answer a question. For instance, if you are a marketing manager who wants to know why a campaign performed so well, you may have to create a metrics dashboard to analyze data on the effectiveness of a campaign.
#4: Problem Solving
Once you have identified a problem, you need to come up with a solution. In the workplace, you’ll use analytical thinking skills to consider the data you have collected, and figure out what an effective solution to a problem would be.
Then, once you have come up with a solution, you will need to figure out how you can implement that solution. This will involve considering all the constraints within which you need to operate—such as financial or resource limitations—and breaking down your solution into simple and addressable components.
To come up with a solution to a problem, you should be able to think creatively.
When you’re working in a business, you may realize that the most obvious solution is not the best option. For instance, if you are trying to reduce overhead, you may realize that cutting certain obvious expenditures is not a good idea because it will impact employee morale. In this case, you would need to come up with other creative ways to reduce overhead.
How to List Analytical Skills on Your Resume
You can highlight analytical skills in three different places on your resume. These are in the summary, professional history, and skills sections.
Let’s walk through an example of how analytical skills can be listed in each of these sections.
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- Generated monthly accounts closing reports and analysis.
- Liaised with other account managers on core clients.
- Helped identify new ways to improve communication channels with clients.
Administrative assistant skills: organization, time management, resourcefulness, critical thinking, problem solving, written and verbal communication, ability to anticipate needs.
Analytical thinking skills are a crucial component of every industry, from teaching to healthcare to manufacturing. People with analytical thinking skills are those who can effectively identify problems, break them down into smaller parts, and come up with creative solutions to those problems.
If you are applying for a job that seeks analytical skills, make sure that you take some time to consider which skills you have that you could mention on your resume. Ensure that those skills appear prominently on your resume, so that you can position yourself as someone who has the right skills for the job.
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