Organizational skills are one of the most common types of skills that employers look for in candidates for a job. Whether you want to be a programmer or an administrative assistant, being able to stay organized and maintain order in your work is crucial.
If you are applying for a job that you think will involve organizational skills, you may decide that you want to mention them on your resume. But how should you go about listing these skills effectively?
In this article, we’re going to discuss what organizational skills are, why they are important, and walk through a few that you can list on your resume.
What Are Organizational Skills?
An employee with strong organizational skills is someone who is always on top of their work and maintains a clear structure in their tasks.
If you have strong organizational skills, you will use time management skills to keep track of what you are doing, manage the deadlines by the urgency of each task, and make schedules to ensure goals are met within a given time frame.
Why Are Organizational Skills Important?
Organizational skills are the requirements for a wide range of jobs, especially those which are fast-paced or involve a high degree of self-motivation.
Employers look for individuals who are organized because they are more likely to complete their work on time. If you keep a schedule and constantly evaluate how you are going to meet your deadlines, you are likely to deliver your work by the expected due date.
In addition, employees who are organized are more likely to complete their work to a high quality. This is because they don’t have to rush at the last moment to complete a project— they are more likely to be deliberate in planning out when work should be completed.
On the other hand, an employee who is not organized may hand in work on an inconsistent basis, and to varying degrees of quality. If work is not delivered on time or to a certain quality, it may have an impact on other projects within the business, and cause deadlines to be missed as mistakes will need to be fixed.
How to List Organizational Skills on Your Resume
Listing organizational skills on your resume is a great way to show that you are reliable, able to meet deadlines and that you are able to keep on top of all your tasks. But, you may be asking yourself, “How do I list my organizational skills properly on a resume?”
Here are a few core organizational skills you may want to list on your resume:
#1: Time Management
In order to be organized, you need to be good at managing your own time.
Time management is the ability to understand how much time a task will take, and use that information to plan how you are going to approach a task.
For instance, suppose you are working on a website redesign. If you have good time management skills, you’ll be able to break down the requirements of the project and make good estimates as to how long certain tasks will take. Then, you will make changes to your work schedule to ensure you can accomplish those tasks by the dates you set.
A person with good time management skills is able to adjust to new challenges as they come in, and balance their schedule even if they have varying commitments to manage.
If you want to list your time management skills on your resume, you could use the following keywords:
- Decision making
- Managing deadlines
- Tracking multiple projects
- Attention to detail
Planning is another core part of being organized. Without a plan, a project cannot go ahead on schedule—nobody would know what to work on, and when tasks are due.
Being able to plan involves understanding the scope of a project, and breaking it down into smaller, more addressable components.
Suppose you are an administrative assistant anticipating a call. If you are good at planning, you may talk with your boss in advance about how you should handle a specific call, and ask whether your boss has any special instructions. Then, you may reschedule any meetings that you had at the time the call is scheduled, to ensure that you can pick up the phone.
There are a few different ways you can showcase your planning skills on a resume. Here are a few keywords you can use to illustrate your planning skills:
- Ability to plan projects
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Information gathering
- Strategic planning
#3: Physical Organization
Physical organization skills are just as important as mental ones, such as planning and being able to manage your time effectively.
Being able to keep your workspace clean and tidy is an important part of working in an office environment, especially in fast-paced work cultures.
Suppose you are an accounts manager. If you are good at physical organization, you would be able to keep track of all the documents coming in and out of your workspace. You would keep track of all the items that you have used, and return them to the place you found them once you’re done.
Here are a few keywords you can use to communicate your physical organization skills on your resume:
- Office maintenance
- Office management
- Managing office equipment
How to Develop Organizational Skills
If you are applying for a job that involves using organizational skills, you may be looking for ways to practice those skills in advance. Like any other, organizational skills are built with practice. As you start to make adjustments to your work routine, you’ll notice that, over time, you will become more organized.
Here are four ways in which you can develop organizational skills:
- Think about Your Goals
The first step to becoming more organized is to evaluate what goals matter most to you. Which projects are you currently working on? Which of those projects are the most important, given the deadlines in place?
You can use this information to decide how you want to spend your time, and what tasks need your attention. Make a list of all the goals you have, and consider how each of them relates to your long-term plans.
- Write a To-Do List
When you know what goals you want to meet, you should start writing a to-do list. To-do lists are a great way to keep track of all the tasks you have to complete and encourage you to break down bold goals into smaller, more actionable tasks.
Once you have established the tasks on which you want to work, think about the timeline for each of those tasks, and assign deadlines to hold you accountable.
- Keep a Clean Workspace
Having a tidy workspace is a great way to refine your physical organization skills.
If your desk is untidy, take some time to clean it, as well as any surrounding work areas over which you have control. If your table needs to be dusted, make sure you do so. If you have documents lying around that need to be organized, come up with a system to arrange them so that, if you need to find one, you’ll be able to do so easily.
In addition, if you find anything on your desk that is no longer relevant to the work you are doing—such as old files or folders—then you should move those into storage. The only things that should be on your desk are those which are related to your current work.
- Maintain a Schedule
Keeping a schedule allows you to stay accountable for your goals, and plan out the times during which you are going to work on a particular task.
If you want to be more organized, take some time each day to write your schedule for the next day. What are you going to work on? When are you going to work on those tasks? How long will those tasks take?
Your schedule does not need to be elaborate, nor does it need to cover every minute of the day. Instead, your schedule should give you a rough outline of how you want to spend your time each day. This will help you stay more focused as you go throughout your workday. If you ever have a spare moment, you can check your schedule to see what you have planned to work on that day.
Organizational skills are highly valued by employers. People who are highly organized are more likely to follow through on tasks, and deliver high-quality work on schedule.
If you are applying for a job that involves using organizational skills, you may want to mention a few of these skills explicitly on your resume.
Adding a few of the keywords we discussed in this article will help you demonstrate your value to an employer, and exemplify the organizational skills you have built up in your career.