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.
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 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.
Motivated account manager with five years of experience effectively identifying the needs of clients and solving for those needs.
J. Davis Paper Company
March 2015 – Present
- Maintained and expanded relationships with core customers.
- 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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