No matter what career you pursue, problem-solving abilities will always be valued by an employer. Companies want to hire people who are able to think creatively, break down problems into smaller parts, and come up with an effective solution to those problems.
As a result, listing problem-solving skills on your resume can be beneficial in your career search. It will help set you apart from all the other candidates out there and show off some of your “soft skills” to an employer.
In this guide, we’re going to talk about what problem-solving skills are, why they are valued by employers, and how you can list them out on your resume.
What Are Problem-Solving Skills?
Every day we encounter problems. We may have to figure out how to travel to work if our regular commute is closed. Or we may have to identify ways to free up time on our schedule so that we can meet a deadline that we thought was tomorrow.
Problem-solving skills are the traits that allow you to identify problems and solve them in an efficient and effective manner.
In order to be a good problem solver, you need to have a wide range of skills. You need to be good at analyzing problems. You also need to be capable of coming up with creative solutions, and doing so with regard to business constraints like capital and the limits of team members. Here is a list of a few problem-solving skills that are highly valued by employers:
Why Do Employers Value Problem-Solving Skills?
Businesses encounter problems every day. A sales department may be struggling to reach its goals, and wonder how it can catch up. An office supplies delivery may have been missed, which leaves some workers without paper supply.
As a result, employers value people who are able to solve problems. Employers want to hire people who can come up with solutions to the types of problems that are likely to come up in their job. You should be able to understand the nature of a problem, how it affects a business, and work either independently or as part of a team to come up with a solution.
What Are Some Examples of Problem-Solving Skills?
While you could list “able to solve problems” on your resume, this is not a very accurate description of all the skills that make up the problem solving process. Any worker that a business will hire should be capable of solving problems—that doesn’t set you apart from the crowd.
Here are a few skills that you can list on your resume to showcase your problem-solving skills:
The first step in solving any problem is to identify the exact issue that you are dealing with. This is crucial because if you don’t correctly identify a problem, it is very difficult to come up with an effective solution.
Once you have identified the problem you want to solve, you need to analyze it. This will involve using your analytical skills to understand why the problem has arisen, and to determine what courses of action you can take to solve the problem.
When you are coming up with solutions to a problem, you may identify a few potential courses of action. This is because most problems don’t have an obvious solution—there are many different ways you can address them.
To be a good problem solver, you need to be capable of evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of pursuing a particular solution to a problem. For instance, you may need to evaluate whether a solution can be implemented quickly enough to be effective, or whether the business can afford to implement the solution you are considering.
In addition, you should also be able to evaluate the impact of your decisions after they have been made. Have your decisions led to the success that you expected? If a decision did not turn out in the way that you expected, why was that the case?
Many of the problems that you’ll face in your job will require input from other team members.
Suppose you are working on a team project and have a problem to solve. You would need to communicate that problem to all members of your team, and work with them to come to a solution. If you are not able to communicate clearly, different members of the team may walk away with a different understanding of the problem. This could lead to confusion down the line, and make it more difficult to implement a solution.
Planning out how you are going to solve a problem can only take you so far. At some point, you’ll need to make a decision about how you are going to solve the problem.
You should be able to use your evaluation skills to decide which solution to a problem is best. You should also be capable of working with others and using their experience to better understand all the solutions you could use to address a particular problem. Then, once you have found a good solution, you should be able to implement it.
Some problems that you encounter will require creative solutions. This is because many problems have limitations within which your solutions must fall. For instance, you may be asked to come up with a solution within a budget, or you may be told that the business can only afford to delegate one team member to solve a problem.
Good problem solvers are capable of thinking outside of the box to arrive at the best solution for a problem. This will involve working with others to understand what has been tried before, and exploring new and novel approaches to problems.
How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume
Problem-solving skills are a valuable addition to any resume. By adding them to your resume, you can better articulate the potential value you can add to a team.
But, before you add problem-solving skills to your resume, you should ask if it is relevant to the position for which you are applying. Jobs such as programmers, accountants, and customer service representatives, for instance, all involve a high degree of problem-solving in their day-to-day duties.
There are two places you can list your problem-solving skills on your resume.
First, you can list them in your skills section. This is where you list all your skills, whether they are technical or soft skills, in an orderly fashion. For instance, if you are applying for a job as a full stack web developer, you could use the following list of skills on your resume:
Alternatively, you could list your problem-solving skills in the “experience” section of your resume. While you may not explicitly mention “problem-solving” in this section, you can use some of the keywords we discussed earlier to highlight your experience using this skill.
Here is an example listing you could use to demonstrate your skills in the “experience” section of your resume:
J&J Fast Food
2014 – 2019
- Averaged 30% annual revenue growth in home district.
- Used analysis skill set to plan out a sales campaign that helped attract younger customers to our stores.
- Led the design and introduction of a new monthly inventory model for seven stores.
In this example, the candidate has mentioned that they have experience using “analysis” skills. Further, their leading an initiative implies that they have experience implementing solutions to a problem.
Are you good at solving difficult problems? Do you know how to analyze problems effectively, evaluate potential solutions, and implement them in a timely manner? If so, then your problem-solving skills may make a valuable addition to your resume.
These skills demonstrate to an employer that you are able to tackle the inevitable challenges that will come up in your job effectively.
By following the advice in this article, you’ll have no trouble listing your problem-solving skills on your resume. These may just be the skills that help you convince your dream employer to reach out and schedule an interview with you!