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Problem solving skills for your CV

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Problem solving skills are vital in the workplace.

With problems arising all the time, those who can solve them are extremely valuable to employers.

So, check out our list of 53 problem solving skills for all industries and experience levels, to help you get hired and move up the career ladder.

Problem solving skills

Problem solving skills

Problem solving skills can be broken down into 5 categories. 1 for each step of the problem-solving process, from finding problems and identifying their causes , to implementing solutions and evaluating their success .

Finding problems

Finding problems

The first step of the problem-solving process is to locate problems that are having a negative effect on your organisation, which is not always easy as it seems.

  • Reporting – e.g. “ Responsible for writing and analysing company’s annual review before presenting to shareholders at the end of every fiscal year. ”
  • Monitoring – e.g. “Tasked with overseeing department budget and supervising internal audits, reporting on any gaps, inconsistencies or inefficiencies.”
  • Research – e.g. “Used REDCAP software to gather data on our consumer base and branch into wider demographics, resulting in an improved understanding of strengths and weaknesses.”
  • Forecasting – e.g. “Created an effective statistical model that found gaps in our market, allowing us to identify numerous underperforming areas.”
  • Analysis – e.g. “Analysed 300 data points to spot patterns and anomalies in service .”

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Identifying causes

Identifying causes

Being able to identify the causes of problems within an organisation is an invaluable skill for any employer, because it allows them to start working on solutions. Here are some ways you can demonstrate this skill on your CV :

  • Data gathering – e.g . “Gathered data on competitor consumer bases, to build an understanding of our underperforming areas”
  • Data analysis – e.g. “Used SEO keyword research tools to analyse website ranking, and pages that could be improved within 6 months.”
  • Testing – e.g. “By using software tools to test [company’s] online strategy, I successfully identified areas the company website needed to be improved”
  • Monitoring – e.g . “Used software tools to monitor the efficiency of our new social media strategy, working with our communications team to observe customer patterns on all our online platforms.”
  • Supervising – e.g. “Oversaw 20+ team members and compared performance against company standards .”
  • Research – e.g. “Carried out independent research on our inefficient pricing model, created alternative, profitable pricing model which resulted in a 9% increase in net profit.”
  • Forecasting – e.g. “Provided data modelling to ensure that our sales would carry through significant expansion period, continued to make steady profit throughout business expansion.”
  • Analysis – e.g. “Carried out external financial audits for over 200 companies in 18 different regions, working with clients in several industries.”
  • Reporting – e.g. “ Was responsible for creating weekly inventory and stock reports, notifying supervisory team of any noticeable inconsistences and their causes.”
  • Critical Thinking – e.g. “Advised independent law firm on merging accounts with nationwide brand, preventing 12 job losses and contributing to successful merger.”

Generating solutions

Solutions

Being able to come up with solutions to problems, demonstrates to an employer that you’re logical, creative, and able to think and work independently. Here are some ways you can illustrate this skill on your CV:

  • Brain storming – e.g. “Worked with team of diverse creative directors to come up with the company vision and mission statement, along with accompanying advertising.”
  • Collaboration – e.g. “ Helped supervisory team adapt their online strategy and target expansive consumer demographic base, resulting in an 11% increase in organic traffic.”
  • Presenting – e.g. “Held regular meetings with clients, presenting the company vision and selling our solutions to prospective customers.”
  • Strategic Thinking – e.g. “Overhauled our advertising strategy by hiring an independent creative communications team, resulting in a more successful campaign for our clients.”
  • Active Listening – e.g. “Implemented online training and work-from-home benefits in order to deal with productivity slump, securing better work-life balance for staff.”
  • Creativity – e.g. “Re-designed company website to be more user-friendly, reported a 19% growth in CTP advertising and 11% growth in sales in 12 months.”
  • Innovation – e.g. “Headed successful campaign to move all our services online, resulting in an 8% boost in organic sales and a 12% cut in overhead costs.”
  • Risk Taking – e.g. “Moved our online store to Shopify software and Instagram advertising, resulting in an 11% increase in organic traffic, 19% increase in advertising clicks, and 3% increase in sales during first quarter.”
  • Project Design – e.g. “Worked with team of 3 strategists to successfully re-design our customer service system, moving to a more personalised experience for our clients and resulting in an increase in customer satisfaction of 16%.”
  • Persuasion – e.g. “Influenced company decision to pause proposed business expansion into seven new locations, citing market instability and increased online competition.”

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Implementing solutions

Implementing solutions

It’s important to have the necessary skills needed to implement solutions when problem solving: here are some examples of implementation skills and how to describe them on your CV:

  • Project management – e.g. “Headed up a team of writers , editors, and designers in creating our successful monthly newsletter, distributed to our 500,000+ mailing list.”
  • Planning – e.g. “ Organised our annual business conference from 2013-2017, organising meetings with clients, planning meetings with shareholders, and giving individual presentations.”
  • Teamwork – e.g. “Worked in a diverse Communications team of 14 employees, handling press enquiries and requests for comments for high profile London law firm.”
  • Leadership – e.g. “Managed a team of 50+ employees in a high-paced, fast-changing customer-facing role, with a high employee retention rate of 97%.”
  • Time Management – e.g. “Managed a busy office of 150+ employees while meeting with clients, shareholders, and managing various office admin duties.”
  • Responsibility – e.g. “Represented our organisation at [business conference] in 2014, 2015, and 2017, giving presentations on our annual report to shareholders and potential investors.”
  • Scheduling – e.g. “Worked to meet tight deadlines for various high-profile advertising campaigns, while also working within the company’s design team to create compelling social media content.”
  • Negotiation – e.g. “Influenced [company] decision to U-turn on proposed merger between London and Manchester law firms, resulting in a three-year pause on similar measures.”
  • Written Communication Skills – e.g. “Handled all written customer and client enquiries, composed emails to shareholders, clients, and suppliers, helping our customer service satisfaction rating reaching an all-time high of 93%.”
  • Technical Skills – e.g. “Trained our full team of 20+ employees in SurferSeo software, WordPress publishing, G-Suite, and Yoast.”

Evaluating success

Evaluate

Being able to evaluate the success or failure of your solutions is key to being an effective problem solver, while also showing any employer that you’re dedicated to producing positive outcomes. Here are some ways that you can list your evaluation skills on your CV:

  • Comparison – e.g. “Aided the department store’s buying team to select the best products from our suppliers and manufacturers, integrating two new high street brand ranges into our physical store.”
  • Reporting – e.g. “ Conducted data analysis, independent research and phone call interviews to create statistical models about voter behaviour in varying demographic groups.”
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback – e.g. “Conducted over 300 employee performance reviews and gave detailed feedback, leading to a boost in productivity and our organisation maintaining high employee retention.”
  • Attention to Detail – e.g. “ Used editing software, Yoast, and other platform optimisation tools to ensure that our website was reader-friendly and error-free .”
  • Monitoring – e.g. “Used platform research tools and Google analytics to track relevant data about our website traffic, monitoring any changes and using the data to adapt our strategy.”
  • Test Development – e.g. “Supervised our production team as we tested and implemented various strategic changes to our customer service process, recording data and reporting back to management throughout the process.”
  • Analysis – e.g. “Provided accurate data forecasting for client in the luxury goods sector, helping them branch into online advertising and securing an early monopoly in their niche.”
  • Research – e.g. “Created user-friendly customer feedback forms to encourage authentic feedback for our website, resulting in a 32% increase in customer feedback and the implementation of 6 customer suggestions.”
  • Verbal Communication – e.g. “Was tasked with representing our company at a nationwide level at [conference name], was personally responsible for an 8% increase in new, organic clients from media exposure from said event.”
  • Adaptability – e.g. “Successfully integrated two departments into one communications team, with zero redundancies and 100% employee retention following the merger.”

What are problem solving skills?

Problem solving skills describe a set of skills that can be used in any work environment to identify problems and come up with effective solutions to fix them. Having good problem-solving skills also means being able to evaluate how effective your solutions have been – this means being able to analyse, monitor, and evaluate your work objectively.

You also need to possess a strong set of implementation skills in order to fix problems in a fast-paced work environment. Skills such as project management , planning, time management , and reporting are all cornerstone skills when it comes to solving problems.

Why are problem solving skills important?

Problem solving skills are important in any job for one simple reason: you’re going to encounter plenty of problems and obstacles in almost any line of work. Having good problem solving skills also reflect on your general competencies: being a good problem solver shows that you’re a self-starter, logical, creative and a helpful addition to any team.

Having a strong set of problem solving skills is also great for your career: you’ll be able to apply these skills in a wide range of roles and thrive in any fast-paced work environment. Put simply, being an effective problem-solver will help you advance in your career while contributing to the success of your organisation.

How to add problem solving skills to your CV

You can add your problem solving skills to your CV in two ways: either by adding a few relevant skills to your opening profile when writing your CV , or by adding examples to your work experience . When writing out your work experience, you can use the “responsibilities” section to demonstrate where you used your problem solving skills throughout your career, and the results you achieved for employers.

By placing some of your key problem-solving skills in your profile , you’re more likely to catch the attention of a recruiter searching for the ideal candidate. You can display your main problem solving skills as follows:

CV profile

Work experience

You can demonstrate your problem solving skills when discussing your former employment by listing your key responsibilities, tasks and achievements. Adding this information will back up the validity of your described skillset with concrete evidence.

CV job

What To Avoid

If you want to demonstrate to a potential employer that you possess the skillset they’re looking for, you have to show, not tell. This means giving concrete examples of your skills in action, rather than offering generic statements such as “Good problem solver” or simply “problem solving skills.”

Employers want to know why you’ll be a valuable asset to their business or organisation, and it’s your job to show them why. Simply writing that you are a “problem solver” will not prove the fact to anyone, you need to show them with solid examples of your past work.

Follow the formula in the examples above to efficiently demonstrate your problem solving skills: the more achievements you can offer, the better.

How to List Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume [List Included]

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Problem-solving skills are more in-demand than ever. 

Employers love candidates with problem-solving skills because, in 99% of cases, they guarantee you're also logical, creative, clear-headed, and a great decision-maker. 

But claiming you have organizational skills on your resume is not enough. 

To impress recruiters, you've got to prove that you possess them. 

This includes understanding which problem-solving skills you possess and adding them to your resume (the right way), among other things.

This is where this article comes in! We put together everything you need to know about problem-solving skills, including: 

  • 8 Essential Problem-Solving Skills for Your Resume

How to Add Problem-Solving Skills to Your Resume

  • Why Are Problem-Solving Skills Important
  • 6 Problem-Solving Steps

Let's dive right in! 

8 Problem-Solving Skills for Your Resume

Research shows that problem-solving skills consist of several facets : 

  • Identifying and analyzing a problem
  • Taking effective actions
  • Understanding the effect of the decisions
  • Coming up with creative and novel solutions
  • Transferring knowledge from one situation to another
  • Thinking abstractly about problems

As such, there is no single problem-solving skill. Problem-solving includes a set of skills, all of which are equally important in helping your personal and professional life. 

Below, we’ll cover the eight most important problem-solving skills that you can also list on your resume to impress recruiters: 

#1. Research skills

To properly identify and understand a problem, you need excellent research skills. 

Research skills involve being able to gather information from the right sources, reviewing that information in detail to extract the data you need, analyzing the data according to the context, and being able to apply the data to your situation. 

#2. Analytical skills

Analytical skills are required throughout the entire process of solving a problem. 

In a nutshell, analytical skills refer to being able to analyze a situation in depth and from different perspectives . Specifically, you need analytical skills to achieve all of the following while solving a problem:

  • Detect patterns
  • Interpret data
  • Analyze new information
  • Reach conclusions based on several factors

#3. Creativity

Being creative means being able to think outside of the box and look at situations and problems inventively. 

For most people, creativity is mainly associated with creative industries such as arts and crafts, architecture, design, etc. 

In reality, however, creativity is an essential success factor for every job and the data is here to support that. According to this Adobe study , problem-solving (51%) and creativity (47%) have gained the most value in driving salary increases in the last five years. 

When it comes to the process of solving a problem, creativity can help you consider more perspectives, think abstractly about problems, and come up with novel solutions that others haven’t thought of before.

#4. Critical thinking skills

Being able to think critically means that you’re good at rationalizing, understanding the connections between ideas or situations, and logically analyzing any given situation. 

As such, strong critical thinking skills can help you see beyond what’s at face value, make more informed decisions, and anticipate the outcomes of said decisions. 

People who have critical thinking skills share traits such as open-mindedness , cognitive flexibility , skepticism , clarity , and precision . 

#5. Decision-making skills

Before coming up with a single action plan to solve a problem, you’ll need to first brainstorm several possible solutions. 

After that, you need good decision-making skills to choose the best possible solution. Without decision-making skills, you risk prolonging finding a proper solution or aggravating a problem even more. 

#6. Communication skills

With strong communication skills , you’re able to successfully explain the problem to others and propose your solutions. In turn, you can be sure that everyone’s on the same page and that you’re carrying out the action plan accordingly. 

Some communication skills required for problem-solving include: 

  • Active listening
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Giving and receiving feedback

#7. Collaboration

Problem-solving is rarely a process you carry out alone. More often than not, you need to consult relevant stakeholders, give and receive feedback, and work with a team towards a common goal (i.e. solving the problem).

Well, collaboration entails exactly that - working well with others, cooperatively addressing problems, and putting a group’s goal ahead of personal goals. 

Some important collaboration skills that help with problem-solving include: 

  • Conflict resolution
  • Emotional intelligence 

#8. Attention to Detail 

Have you ever heard of the expression “the devil’s in the details?”

It means that something may seem simple on the surface, but in fact, the details make it complicated and are likely to cause problems.

Well, if you’re someone who shows great attention to detail, you’re not likely to let details keep you from solving a problem effectively. 

Not to mention, being able to spot and understand even the smallest details that make up a problem means you’ll be able to grasp the issue in its entire complexity and come up with even more inventive and workable solutions. 

Now that we covered the most important problem-solving skills, we’ll show you how to add them to your resume so that you can stand out from other candidates. 

Let us walk you through the process, step-by-step: 

#1. Mention Your Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume Summary

The resume summary is a three or four-sentence paragraph positioned at the top of your resume that includes: 

  • Your profession and years of experience 
  • Your top skills (i.e. hard skills or soft skills)
  • One or two noteworthy achievements 

problem solving skills resume summary

The goal of the resume summary is to catch the hiring manager’s attention, show them you’re a relevant candidate and get them to go through the rest of your resume in detail. 

As such, it’s your first chance to highlight your problem-solving skills effectively. You can either do that by mentioning them among your top skills or by mentioning an achievement that proves you possess a given skill.

In the best-case scenario, you can even do both. 

Here is an example of how you can include problem-solving skills in your resume summary: 

  • Behavioral psychologist with 7+ years of experience in the field. Great research, analytical, and communication skills. Over the last eight years, I’ve worked closely with more than 100 patients with different behavioral disorders, helping them improve their personal and professional lives through different treatment methods. 

#2. Add the RIGHT Problem-Solving Skills Under Your Soft Skills

Secondly, you should list your problem-solving skills under your resume’s soft skills section . 

The listing part is pretty easy - simply create a section titled Skills and write down your problem-solving skills.

There is, however, one caveat: 

You don’t want to overkill your skills section by listing every problem-solving skill we covered in this article.

Not only will the hiring manager have trouble believing you possess each and every skill, but there’s also a high chance you don’t even need all those skills to begin with. 

To make your skills section as relevant as possile, do the following: 

  • Check the job description. The job description can show you exactly what skills you need for the job. If you’re applying for, say, a software engineering position, you’ll probably be required to have the following problem-solving skills: analytical skills, creativity, attention to detail, and cognitive flexibility. 
  • Identify the skills you possess. Think about which skills you can back up with actual experience from your previous jobs. Only list problem-solving skills that you actually possess and that you can prove you possess on your resume. 
  • Add those skills under your soft skills. Then, add the problem-solving skills that you have and that are required in the job under your resume’s “Soft Skills” section. 

#3. Prove Your Problem-Solving Skills In Your Work Experience Section

Finally, you should use the work experience section to prove that you’ve got the problem-solving skills you’ve mentioned throughout your resume. 

Anyone can just claim that they’ve got problem-solving skills on their resume - not everyone can back them up with experience.

Here’s what you can do to convey that you possess problem-solving skills and also make your work experience section as impactful as possible: 

  • Tailor your work experience to the job. Only add past jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for now. If you’re applying for, say, a software engineering position, the hiring manager will be interested in your previous jobs in the field, but probably not too interested in the time you worked as a server at a restaurant. 
  • Focus on your achievements instead of your responsibilities. More often than not, hiring managers know exactly what your responsibilities consisted of in previous jobs. What they want to know is how you made a positive impact with your achievements. 
  • Make your achievements quantifiable. Speaking of achievements, you want to make them as quantifiable as possible. After all “treated ten patients in the course of a year using positive reinforcement” sounds much better than “treated ten patients.”
  • Use the Laszlo Bock formula . If you’re having trouble phrasing your achievements, the following formula will probably be of help: “Accomplished X as measured by Y doing X.” 
  • Leverage action verbs and keywords. There are hundreds of words and verbs you can use instead of “did,” “accomplished,” etc. The more descriptive you are of your achievements, the more impressive they can sound.

And here’s an example of a project manager describing their problem-solving skills in their work experience section:

  • Fixed company communication issues by implementing a new project management solution. 
  • Improved team productivity by implementing time-tracking software and doing daily stand-up calls.
  • Managed to meet all client deliverable deadlines in 2022.

Why Are Problem-Solving Skills Important?

Are you wondering what exactly is it that makes problem-solving skills so important? 

After all, there are hundreds of soft skills out there that you can master, improve, or learn how to add to your resume. So it’s normal to wonder “why should I focus on problem-solving?” 

Here is why problem-solving skills matter:

  • They can improve your employability. Problem-solving skills are among the most important skills to employers across a range of occupations. In short, employers are always looking for proactive thinkers who can address professional challenges.
  • They can help you grow in your career more easily. You’ll be more likely to get promoted if you can come up with creative solutions to the different problems that you’ll face throughout your career.
  • They can become an essential part of your personal brand . Your current employer, coworkers, and future employers alike will see you as someone creative, reliable, and helpful.
  • They are related to a range of other valuable skills. When you prove you’re a problem solver, you’re effectively saying you’re attentive to detail, logical, creative, analytical, curious, and other things employers are looking for in their employees.

10 Jobs That Require Problem-Solving Skills

As we’ve already mentioned, problem-solving skills come in handy for practically every job. 

Whether you’re a teacher who needs to solve a dispute between peers in your class or a customer representative who needs to help a client, knowing how to go about solving issues is definitely an asset. 

That said, some jobs are all about solving problems. In such cases, problem-solving skills are not just a nice addition to have on your resume - they’re crucial to getting hired. 

Here are the top 10 jobs requiring problem-solving skills in 2024: 

  • Software engineer
  • Air-traffic controller
  • Police officer
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist
  • UX designer

35 Action Verbs You Can Use to Highlight Your Problem-Solving Skills

The language you use to describe your problem-solving skills matters.  

Sure, you can use “ solved” to describe how you dealt with a problem throughout your entire resume and risk coming off as repetitive and unimaginative. 

Or , you can use any of the following action verbs and keywords and make your problem-solving skills pop out in the eyes of recruiters: 

  • Calculate  
  • Critically think 
  • Draw conclusions
  • Experiment 
  • Listen/Listen actively 

The Problem-Solving Process in 6 Steps

Problem-solving is a methodical process. It consists of certain steps that you always need to take if you want to find a good solution. 

The more you understand and practice this process, the better you can get at solving problems. 

Below, we cover the six main steps of problem-solving in detail:

#1. Identify the problem 

The first step to solving a problem is identifying exactly what’s causing it. 

After all, if you’re not focusing on the real underlying issue, you might come up with solutions that don’t fit the problem itself. 

Say, for example, that you’re a teacher that’s facing poor class performance. Identifying whether the problem comes from the students’ not studying enough or from your own teaching methods can make a big difference in the solutions you come up with. 

It typically happens that the faster you find the root cause of the problem, the easier it is to find a proper solution. 

#2. Understand the problem

Once you identify the problem, you’ve got to understand it completely. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you properly understand a problem: 

  • What is the scale of the problem? 
  • What are its short and long-term effects? 
  • Have you faced something like this before?
  • Can the problem be solved by dividing it into smaller parts?

The better you understand the problem in its complexity, the more likely you are to come up with effective solutions. 

#3. Research the systems that make up the problem 

In many cases, solving a problem will be a complex undertaking. See, complex problems are often the result of several different underlying systems that you need to understand to find a dynamic solution. 

Let’s take the teacher example from above. 

If a certain student is not doing too well and keeps getting poor grades, you might be tempted to go the easy route and simply chastise them and tell them to study more.

This, in a lot of cases, might simply not work because you’re not addressing the root cause of the problem.

The student might, for example, be burned out , unmotivated by the curriculum, or simply struggling with specific topics.

A problem-solving solution that’s more likely to work would be to talk to the student (or their parents), try to understand the reason for their poor grades, and address the root cause behind the problem itself.

#4. Visualize the problem 

This may not apply to all situations, but it can definitely come in handy for most. 

Drawing a diagram to visualize the situation or your solution to the problem can help you grasp its complexity better - especially if the problem is multi-faceted. Anything from PowerPoint to a piece of white paper can be a good tool to visualize your problem, highlight the problem area, and tackle it more effectively.

#5. Brainstorm solutions 

After you’ve done all the above, it’s time to start thinking about solutions. 

This is another step of the problem-solving process that’s based on collaboration and effective communication. In the brainstorming phase, you should sit with team members or relevant stakeholders and come up with as many creative ideas and solutions as possible. 

This is not where you come up with your most refined, well-thought-out ideas. Instead, it’s where you discuss freely and combine diverse knowledge and analysis of the problem to come up with diverse solutions. 

Brainstorming is an essential part of problem-solving that can help you break out of boring or predictable ideas and thinking patterns. 

#6. Choose the best answer(s)

This is where decision-making skills come in. With a list of different potential solutions, you can narrow down your options to finally choose the best one. 

To reach a solution more easily, take the following into consideration:

  • Your company’s/organization’s objectives
  • The budget and the timeframe at your disposal
  • The success outcomes
  • Potential risks linked to the solution 

Finally, discuss your solutions with relevant stakeholders and team members to gather all the possible feedback that can help you make the best possible decision. 

And remember - once you’ve chosen the best possible solution to a problem, your work is far from over. Being a problem solver also includes the following: 

  • Develop and implement an action plan
  • Monitor the progress of your plan 
  • Make necessary adjustments during the process
  • Evaluate the outcomes of your solution 

Problem-Solving Skills Resume Example

Problem-Solving Skills Resume Example

Want a resume that makes your problem-solving skills pop like the above example? 

Use one of our tried-and-tested resume templates . 

They’re free, modern, and created in collaboration with some of the best HR professionals from around the globe!

Key Takeaways 

And that's a wrap on problem-solving skills. By now, you should know everything there is to know on the topic. 

Before you go, here are the main points we covered in this article: 

  • Problem-solving skills are a set of soft skills that help you solve problems effectively. They involve critical thinking, analytical skills, creativity, communication skills, and attention to detail. 
  • Problem-solving skills can improve your employability, work performance, and personal brand. 
  • Add your problem-solving skills to your resume summary, under the soft skills section, and in your work history section. 
  • When you’re creating your work history section, make sure to tailor it to the job, focus on your achievements and make them quantifiable, and use action verbs and keywords from the job description. 
  • To get better at solving problems, follow these steps: identify and understand the problem, research the systems that make up the problem, visualize the problem, brainstorm, and choose the best possible solution. 
  • Once that’s done, create an action plan and make sure to monitor its progress as you’re implementing it. 

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What Are Problem-Solving Skills, and How Do I Put Them on My Resume?

No matter what career you pursue, a problem-solving resume will always be valued by an employer. Companies want to hire people who can think creatively, break down problems into smaller parts, and come up with an effective solution to these problems.

As a result, knowing how to list 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. Other than problem-solving, these key skills include critical thinking, communication skills, decision-making skills, and interpersonal skills.

Find your bootcamp match

In this guide, we examine what problem-solving skills are, why they are valued by employers, and how you can list them on your resume. It is important to note that, while strong problem-solving skills will help you find employment in any field, you may also require certain technical skills. For example, if you want to work in the tech industry, free coding bootcamps are an ideal way to quickly learn both problem-solving abilities and technical skills. 

What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills are the traits that allow you to identify problems and solve them efficiently and effectively. Problem-solving skills fall under the category of soft skills along with communication skills, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and adaptability, to name a few. 

Every day we encounter problems, whether at work or at home. For example, 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 abilities will help you find viable solutions for these challenges.

To be a good problem solver, you need to have a wide range of skills and a strong work ethic. You need to be good at analyzing problems. You also need to be capable of coming up with creative solutions and doing so with 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:

  • Communication
  • Decision-making

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 supplies. 

As a result, employers value job seekers who can 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?

A man in front of a laptop using his problem solving skills

While you could list “able to solve problems” or “problem solver” 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.

A problem-solving resume should be specific when it comes to listing these skills. Furthermore, you should include a wide variety of problem-solving skills examples. Here are some problem-solving examples that you can list on your resume:

#1: Analysis

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. Analysis is an excellent example of problem-solving skills.

#2: Evaluation

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 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?

#3: Communication

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 up with 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.

#4: Decision-Making

Planning out how you are going to solve a problem can only take you so far. At some point, you’ll need to decide on 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.

#5: Creativity

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. This methodical approach to problem-solving is ideal if you are a critical thinker. 

How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume

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You must know how to list problem-solving skills on your resume. These skills are a valuable addition to any resume. By knowing how to demonstrate problem-solving skills on your resume, you can better articulate the potential value you can add to a team and ace your job interview.

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 by checking the job description. 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 skills 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:

Full stack web developer skills: Creative thinking, problem-solving, proficient in HTML , CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby on Rails, good at working on teams.

Alternatively, you could list your problem-solving skills in the “experience” section of your resume, where you list your previous roles. 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.

The following is a good example of how to highlight problem-solving skills on your resume by using the “experience” section of your resume:

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  • Averaged 30% annual revenue growth in home district.
  • Used analysis skills 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. Furthermore, their leading an initiative implies that they have experience implementing solutions to a problem.

Problem-Solving Skills: Resume Examples

Continue reading as we examine some more problem-solving skills examples for your resume. This first problem-solving resume example is for a video editing job. While a job like this requires advanced technical skills, problem-solving skills are just as important. You can use the “skills” section of your resume to showcase both technical and soft skills.

  • Advanced knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere . Can use advanced editing features and tools for quick decision-making. These programs allow for creative problem-solving.
  • Working with clients . Experience and knowledge of video editing terms and practices to communicate clearly with clients in an easy-to-understand manner. 
  • Ability to work under pressure . Video editing is a high-pressure job with tight deadlines. Completing past projects has led to a strong ability to work under pressure. 
  • Collaboration . Video editing requires collaborating with a variety of industries and employees. Teamwork is key to quickly solving problems and meeting deadlines.

This second problem-solving resume example is for a sales assistant position at a video game store. Sales assistants spend their time interacting with customers, and therefore, must have strong communication skills. The “experience” section of your resume is an ideal place to showcase previous experience you have working with customers.

2015–2017

  • Dealt with customers daily. 
  • Answered customer queries on the telephone. 
  • Listened to and responded to customer complaints.
  • Helped customers choose the right products for them.
  • Worked as part of a team.
  • Recommended products to order based on customer feedback.
  • Demonstrated quick and on-the-spot decision-making.
  • Key responsibilities such as cashing out at the end of the day and handling customer orders.

Problem-Solving Skills for Cover Letter

Writing a strong cover letter is a great way to impress employers. Knowing how to add problem-solving skills to your cover letter is one of the best ways to do this. No matter what job you are applying for, problem-solving skills will be vital.

Adding problem-solving skills to your cover letter is easy, as you can use skills you have learned from previous work experience, education, or personal development. Most job descriptions will list specific traits and skills required. This will typically include problem-solving skills of some kind.

This next section will look at two examples of cover letters with problem-solving skills to help you land your dream job. As you will see, it is easy to add several problem-solving skills to a cover letter, as these skills are common in everyday use.

Problem-Solving Skills: Cover Letter Examples

This first problem-solving skills cover letter example is for an audio-visual technician role at Revolution Technologies. The job description indicates the need for technical skills and previous experience. It also mentions that the company requires a team player and a dependable employee. In this cover letter, problem-solving skills are showcased using a story from a previous audio technician job. 

During my time at Five-Star Audio Visual, I worked full-time as an audio technician. I was part of a core team of five other employees who I worked closely with to help meet client expectations, analyze potential technical issues, and organize frequent events. 

Being part of a team helped me to grow as a person and improve my technical learning. I worked under experienced audio technicians, event managers, and production managers. As such, my communication and decision-making skills vastly improved. I also found that working under tight deadlines helped me to deal with high-pressure situations. 

The second example is for a senior analyst position at Magellan Health. The job description highlights many problem-solving skills requirements such as critical thinking, analysis, and organizational skills. Furthermore, a senior role like this requires strong leadership skills. In this example, skills learned from a data analytics bootcamp are used.  

I recently completed the data analytics bootcamp program at Ironhack. During my studies, I collaborated with my peers on several projects. We used our analytical skills and critical thinking skills to identify and solve problems. Furthermore, we learned in-demand technical skills such as Git, Python, and SQL. This program was fast-paced and intense, which helped me to work quickly under pressure, both independently and as part of a team.   

How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

Not only should you know how to include them on your resume, but you must learn how to improve your problem-solving skills. The more problem-solving skills you can learn the better, as they can be applied to suit any job or situation. You should do your best to maintain, practice, and improve problem-solving skills as often as possible.

Learning how to improve problem-solving skills in the workplace will lead to better job opportunities and an increased salary. By listing problem-solving skills on your resume, you may land your dream job. However, to keep this job and advance up the career ladder, it is vital you understand how to improve your problem-solving skills. 

Acquire More Technical knowledge in Your Field

There are plenty of free resources where you can improve technical knowledge in your field. Alternatively, you can earn an additional degree. For example, if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science , you may wish to improve your tech knowledge by enrolling in a master’s program or certificate program.

Acquiring more technical knowledge will boost and improve your problem-solving skills. Technical skills training, such as coding, for example, is a great way to boost your critical thinking skills. Managerial training is excellent if you want to improve your communication and leadership skills. Higher education programs typically require collaborative work, which is excellent for improving your teamwork skills.

Seek Out Opportunities to Problem Solve

You can seek out opportunities to problem solve in your place of work or everyday life. This can be something as simple as asking those in your household if they need help with anything. You can also speak to friends or colleagues and find out if they have any problems that need solving. 

The more problems you help solve, the better your problem-solving skills will develop. You might also find that you are seeking out problem-solving opportunities that are not part of your own skillset. This is a vital part of self-development and professional development, and will ultimately lead to job opportunities.

Do Practice Problems

You can use practice problems to work on and improve your problem-solving skills. This can be done at any time. For example, if you have a long commute to work, you can use this time to do practice problems. These problems can be based on past experiences where you had to problem-solve or on fictional problems. 

You might find it helps to write the problems and solutions out, but you can also do it in your head. If you find there is a particularly difficult problem at work, you can use this practice to explore a variety of solutions and options. You can also work on practice problems with other people, which will have the added benefit of building teamwork and communication. 

Observe How Others Problem Solve

One of the best ways to learn anything in life is to see how others do it. If you have the benefit of working with a particularly skilled employer, you can take advantage of their problem-solving skills by watching how they work and the methods they use. Students can often learn from their peers or instructors. 

It is important to ask questions too. While simply observing how others solve problems is hugely beneficial, asking questions will help clarify their methods and techniques. You can also observe problem-solving in your everyday life if you pay close attention to your surroundings.

Why Is Problem-Solving Important in the Workplace?

You cannot underestimate the importance of problem-solving skills in the workplace. No matter what job you do, problems will arise. Being able to efficiently solve these problems is vital if you want to climb the job ladder, earn more money, and impress your employers. Furthermore, being able to problem-solve will make you less reliant on others for help which is another reason why problem-solving is important in the workplace. 

  • Climb the corporate ladder . Problem-solving is a great way to impress your employee and climb the ladder. If you want to earn a promotion at work, you can use learned and improved problem-solving skills to ace the interview.
  • Earn more money . You can use problem-solving skills to help the company you work for make more money. This in turn can lead to a salary increase. 
  • Team player. Strong problem-solving skills can make you a better team player. Working well as part of a team is vital in most careers.
  • Meet deadlines. Some jobs have very tight and strict deadlines. Strong problem-solving is key to quickly solving solutions to meet deadlines.

Should You Learn How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume?

Yes, you should learn how to list problem-solving skills on your resume because every job requires problem-solving. These skills demonstrate that you are able to tackle the inevitable challenges that will come up in your job effectively. Soft skills, such as problem-solving, are often taught at universities, colleges, and bootcamps. However, you will develop problem-solving skills in all walks of life.

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!

How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Resume FAQ

Yes, you need to list problem-solving skills on your resume if you want the best chance of getting the job. For some jobs, problem-solving skills will be vital, and the more of these skills you can include on your resume the better. More technical jobs, like computer programmers, will need to list problem-solving skills on their resume, along with any technical training.

You can learn problem-solving skills anywhere. If you want formal training, most universities will offer soft skills training, which covers problem-solving. You will encounter problem-solving in everyday activities as well in the workplace. 

Some examples of problem-solving skills include critical thinking, analysis, evaluation, creative thinking, and decision-making. These key skills will help you improve your performance in interviews and help you attain future career opportunities. 

Other skills that employers look for include technical skills, project management skills, operational skills, creativity skills, organization skills, deductive reasoning, customer service skills, math skills, and quantitative skills. Highly developed problem-solving skills are essential, but you should read the job posting carefully to ensure you tick any other boxes required.

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How Should you Show That you Have Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume?

Here are the top ways to show your Problem Solving Skills skills on your resume. Find out relevant Problem Solving Skills keywords and phrases and build your resume today.

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What are problem-solving skills?

Why are problem-solving skills important on your resume, what skills, activities, and accomplishments help you highlight your problem-solving skills, problem-solving skills: key takeaways for your resume.

Imagine this typical situation: there has been a mistake in the contract sent to a client. But what about if your biggest industry competitor surprisingly decreases prices or your Chief Financial Officer quits? What would you do if you had the responsibility to respond?

Problem-solving skills express themselves in the ability to define problems, come up with alternatives, assess which is the best course of action and act on it.

Therefore, problem-solvers are the people who can objectively and calmly respond to issues once they arrive or forecast them in advance while coming up with a set of actions for the timely resolution of the identified problems.

Problems of all sizes arise both inside and outside the workplace. Every day. That is why it is so essential for employers to have employees whom they can trust to handle such situations independently.

Depending on the position and the industry, businesses need talent that can cope with both day-to-day operational challenges and with more long-term strategic issues.

Problem-solving is one of these sets of skills that do not necessarily appear in the “Requirements” section in a job offer. The reason is that employers simply expect candidates to show in some form that they possess analytical minds and a go-to attitude.

Yes, it is much easier to demonstrate your problem-solving skills during an interview when you can talk in detail to paint a picture of a specific situation and your response to a given problem.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t communicate your abilities to use your sense of initiative to improve problematic situations. Wonder how exactly? Take a look at the following list of skills and abilities.

Unlike conceptual skills, which are about abstract thinking and ideation, problem-solving skills are to be a big part connected to being proactive when it comes to the implementation of your ideas.

Even though problem-solving skills sound pretty self-explanatory in themselves, they are not so easy to communicate. Such abilities are highly situational and can only be relayed when referring to specific tasks and actions you have undertaken to achieve desirable results.

  • Communication & Observation skills: to come up with the most effective and efficient solution to an issue, you need to first identify the root cause. Since root causes are rarely obvious, problem-solvers search for them through conversations and careful observations.
  • Analytical skills & Decision-making: after the problem definition stage, it is time for action. Therefore, you need to put your analytical skills in use to develop solutions and make a timely decision to speed up the problem-solving process.
  • Teamwork and technical skills: having hands-on technical knowledge is necessary so that you know what opportunities lie ahead of you. In addition, even though working in a team is essential for developing the best solution, you need to be prepared to execute it independently.

How to demonstrate problem-solving skills on your resume

  • Mention a time when you have taken the initiative to troubleshoot overlooked areas.
  • Explain that you like to collect new information and gather data on a daily basis.
  • Give examples of times when you have assumed the responsibility to improve processes in the company or your team.
  • Illustrate that you are a team player and explain what is your role in a team.

Just keep in mind that you should aim to balance your ability to work independently and work in a team.

Even though in the modern business world, companies face very complex problems which require collective action, you would be expected to use your own capacity to solve some day-to-day issues.

Below you can get some inspiration from Enhancv users who have found a nice way to show that they can be real problem-solvers when issues arise in the workplace.

Example 1: Demonstrate problem-solving skills in the experience section

Job situation: Junior Business Analyst applies for the position of a Junior Project Manager

  • • Conducted extensive research on a daily basis to identify potential gaps and issues that would affect the market position of our clients.
  • • Used data to identify how my team can make better decisions and improve its analysis strategy.
  • • Initiated ‘weekly team lead meetings’ where departments reported arising issues with the Senior Management to prevent issues from becoming major problems.
  • • Overcome challenges connected to client complaints and working with a limited client budget.

The examples that this Junior Business Analyst has handpicked demonstrate that he is proactively looking for potential areas and processes that can be further improved and optimized.

What’s more, besides an analytical mindset, the candidate highlights his communication and team skills by showing that he is open to approaching superiors when necessary.

Problem-solving abilities are expressed in a third manner with the example of resolving issues connected to clients' complaints. With this, the candidate communicates that he can be relied on for solving both internal and external issues.

Example 2: Demonstrate innovation skills in the resume summary section

Job situation: Project Manager applies for the position of Senior Account Manager

What is a better way to resolve problems, that actually prevent them from arising in the first place?

In this resume, the candidate shows that he counts on open communication both with his team and clients to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Example 3: Show your problem-solving skills in your achievements sections

Job situation - PR Manager applies for the position of Head of Communications

This set of achievements creates a consistent narrative of an employee who is actively seeking answers and solutions to the everyday challenges in the workplace.

By focusing on both processes and results, the candidate demonstrates that he gives the same importance to achieving great outcomes and following a logical problem-solving path.

Example 4: Demonstrate the skill through other sections of your resume

Besides giving examples from the workplace, your resume may also include references from times when you have tried to build your own initiative, startup, or a side project.

This gives the loudest example that you act upon your ideas for solutions to an identified problem.

Also, don’t be hesitant to mention an occasion when you failed to get the best results or outcomes.

For example, talking about your failure to become President of your college club demonstrates that you are aware of your own mistakes and take credit for both good and bad outcomes.

  • Balance your soft and technical skills: in order to be able to solve problems independently, you need to have an analytical mindset and creative thinking, but also some operational capabilities necessary for the execution of your solution.
  • Don’t underestimate teamwork: even though self-sufficiency is a good thing to have, working as a part of a team leads to far better results. That is why focusing on your communication and listening skills is so essential for effective problem-solving.

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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How to List Problem Solving Skills on a Resume | Best Skills and Examples

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What are problem-solving skills?

Examples of problem-solving skills, how to improve problem-solving skills, how to list problem-solving skills on your resume.

Problem-solving skills are a combination of soft skills that enable you to address and resolve difficult situations. These skills are useful in the workplace to resolve problems that may arise in assigned projects as well as interpersonal conflict. Developing effective problem-solving skills can increase your value to employers. These tips will help you understand problem-solving skills, how you can develop them and how to list them on your resume.

Problem-solving skills are a combination of soft skills necessary to identify and resolve problems. These skills empower you to test and implement solutions to various problems in the workplace. Problem-solving skills include several soft skills such as research, reasoning, analysis and decision making.

Learning and developing problem-solving skills can improve your value in the workplace both as an employee and as a credible teammate. 

Here are some examples of problem-solving skills:

Research skills are the ability to gather information about a problem. This may include meeting with coworkers to understand the symptoms of a problem or consulting with more experienced colleagues. Good research skills also include the ability to identify, read and comprehend material about the source of the problem such as user manuals and online help articles.

Analysis is the ability to methodically examine the problem from all angles. This may include recreating the problem to understand the steps that caused it, and reviewing data or error logs that may provide additional details about the problem. The ability to analyze the problem helps you gain a thorough understanding of the symptoms, cause and impact to better identify a solution.

Reasoning is the ability to use information you’ve gathered through research, analysis and experience to identify steps and draw conclusions. It includes deductive reasoning, which is working backwards from a known conclusion to identify what happened, and inductive reasoning, which is applying evidence you’ve gathered to draw conclusions about possible solutions. 

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting is the ability to methodically identify the source of a problem and test possible solutions. After researching, analyzing and reasoning through a problem, you may have generated ideas about possible causes and solutions. Troubleshooting allows you to isolate various conditions of the problem to test and confirm or reject these ideas.

Decision making

Decision making is the ability to commit to one of several conclusions. Decision making is necessary in problem solving because it requires that you commit to implementing the solution you identified. Thorough research, analysis and troubleshooting may make decision making easier by revealing clear resolutions. When a problem has several viable solutions, strong decision-making skills are necessary to choose and implement the best solution.

Improving problem-solving skills requires patience and practice. To improve these skills, start by developing the ability to recognize and admit when a problem exists. 

Here are some specific steps to consider when working to improve problem-solving skills:

1. First, learn to recognize and admit when a problem exists

The first step to developing your problem-solving skills is learning to recognize and admit when a problem exists. Although it may be tempting to ignore or deny problems, most problems require active work to reach resolution. When you recognize a problem, practice accepting it, bringing attention to it and working to resolve it.

2. Then, practice evaluating problems

Once you can recognize and admit that a problem exists, evaluate the problem from every angle and learn everything you can about it. Read online help articles, talk to other people who have experienced the problem and collect as much information as possible. Learning about a problem leads to analyzing and reasoning through the problem. As you learn about the problem you will naturally start brainstorming potential causes and solutions.

3. Next, learn to isolate the variables

Learning to isolate different variables of a problem will help you build troubleshooting skills to identify what caused a problem and test possible solutions. You will want to consider all the components of a problem and test each one individually to determine which is the source of the problem. When testing possible solutions, you will want to test and check one variable at a time to know exactly which one resolves the problem. 

4. Last, practice problem-solving

There are several ways to practice problem solving before you’re faced with a real-life problem. Puzzles and practice scenarios are a great way to test and hone your problem-solving skills. You can also attend workshops or seminars designed to improve problem-solving skills. These provide the opportunity to practice problem-solving skills in a structured environment. Workshops or seminars may include activities and role-play where attendees are presented with a problem and must work together to find a solution.

Listing problem-solving skills on your resume can show that you can effectively identify and resolve problems in the workplace. It is important to list skills you are confident in so you can discuss the details and represent yourself properly.

Here are two ways to include problem-solving skills on your resume:

1. First, you can list problem-solving skills on your resume directly within a ‘Skills’ section

If you have a separate section on your resume for listing relevant skills, include important problem-solving skills in this section. For clarity, consider grouping these skills separately from technical or functional skills.

2.  Second, you can include problem-solving skills on your resume within descriptions of your experience

You can also include problem-solving skills in your ‘Work/Professional Experience’ section. For example, you may include a bullet point about how you were responsible for troubleshooting and resolving problems within prescribed timeframes. As another example, you may include a bullet point about experience working with a team to develop and test solutions.

Most jobs require identifying and resolving various types of problems. Applicants with strong problem-solving skills are curious, investigative and creative. Problem-solving skills are important to successfully complete tasks, work with others and achieve organizational goals.

How to Highlight Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume (+ Examples)

Kayte Grady

3 key takeaways

Understanding problem-solving skills.

  • How to incorporate problem-solving skills into your resume with the Teal AI Resume Builder
  • Types of problem-solving skills and problem-solving skills resume examples

Good problem-solving skills are useful in virtually any job. 

Whether you're in engineering, healthcare, finance, or any other field, you'll encounter challenges that require coming up with ideas to approach crisis situations. 

This makes it a great skill for your resume—and employers are also more likely to trust you with greater responsibilities if you've proven yourself as a problem solver in the past.

Below, you’ll learn about seven types of problem-solving skills that can help you stand out in the job market, why they’re important, and how to effectively showcase them on your resume.

Problem-solving skills are your ability to address challenges and obstacles effectively.

These skills involve analyzing the situation, identifying potential solutions, and implementing the most effective one. They combine critical thinking, creativity, and practicality, enabling you to tackle issues head-on and develop workable solutions.

Why employers value problem-solving skills

Employers highly value problem-solving skills because they're important for navigating the complexities of the modern workplace.

When challenges arise (and they inevitably will), employers rely on people who can approach these situations methodically and creatively. Effective problem solvers help maintain productivity, drive innovation, and contribute to a positive work culture.

7 problem-solving skills for your resume (+ examples)

1. analytical skills.

Before you can solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is.

Your resume analytical skills help you dissect complex issues to identify the underlying causes. This is the first—and perhaps most crucial—step in the problem-solving process. 

Problems often come with data that need to be interpreted. Whether it's sales figures, customer feedback, or technical reports, analytical skills help you make sense of the data, allowing you to better understand the scope of the problem.

Employers value candidates who can critically assess situations, break them down into smaller parts, and identify patterns or causes. When you’re preparing your resume, be sure to mention instances when you've analyzed complex problems, identified root causes, or used data-driven approaches to suggest potential solutions.

Analytical problem-solving skills examples

  • Analyzed sales trends over 12 months, identifying key patterns that led to a 15% increase in targeted marketing effectiveness.
  • Conducted detailed customer feedback analysis, which influenced product development, resulting in a 20% decrease in customer complaints.

2. Creativity

Traditional methods may not always provide the best solutions to complex or novel problems.

Creative thinking enables you to think outside the box and develop innovative and effective solutions that others might not see. It allows you to quickly adjust your problem-solving approach to suit different kinds of challenges, making you a more versatile and valuable candidate during job applications.

In a fast-paced work environment, the ability to adapt and develop creative solutions is highly valuable. Creative and critical thinking can set you apart from other candidates, making you more memorable to employers.

To demonstrate problem-solving skills on a resume, you can describe challenges where traditional solutions didn't work and your creative approach led to success.

Creative problem-solving skills examples

As an innovative Data Analytics Project Manager, I bring a unique blend of creative problem-solving, advanced data analysis, and Agile methodology. With a history of using creativity to tackle complex challenges, I've significantly improved efficiency and effectiveness in 100% of my positions. Known for thinking outside the box, I've developed novel solutions where traditional methods fall short, as demonstrated by a 40% increase in process efficiency in my most recent role through innovative strategy implementation.

3. Research

Researching skills often indicate a commitment to continuous learning and staying updated with the latest trends and information. They also help demonstrate a natural curiosity and a desire to understand the root cause of problems.

Be sure to describe situations where the research experience on your resume directly influenced key decisions or strategies. List certifications, courses, or workshops you've attended that required extensive research.

Research problem-solving skills examples

  • Conducted market research to identify emerging trends, leading to the development of a new product line that increased company revenue by 25%.
  • Developed a research-based proposal for waste reduction that was implemented company-wide, resulting in a 30% decrease in waste generation.

4. Decision-making

Problem-solving skills often involve generating multiple potential solutions.

Decision-making is the step that allows you to evaluate these options and choose the most effective action plan. It's what moves the process from theoretical to practical, enabling implementation.

But with complex problems, decisions aren't always final. Once a decision is made and implemented, you can collect data on its effectiveness. This feedback loop is important for workplaces that prioritize continuous improvement, making you a valuable candidate during a job search. 

Employers look for candidates who can make informed decisions, especially under pressure or in ambiguous situations. When crafting a resume, be sure to describe leadership roles or situations where your decisions guided team strategies or changed the course of projects.

Decision-making problem-solving skills example

Recipient of the "Project Excellence Award" for consistently making critical decisions under pressure, resulting in 100% on-time delivery of 12 projects.

5. Communication

Miscommunication can derail the entire problem-solving process. Effective communication skills help team members clearly articulate problems, ensuring that everyone understands the issue at hand.

Problem-solving is often a collaborative effort that requires the input and cooperation of multiple team members. Communication fosters a sense of teamwork that’s especially important in remote settings where one-on-one interaction is challenging.

Besides your team members, problem-solving often involves roping in multiple stakeholders, including management, employees, and sometimes even clients or customers. Your communication skills help your resume stand apart by demonstrating your ability to coordinate with all these different people in a timely and effective manner.

Communication problem-solving skills examples

  • Negotiated with vendors and third-party providers, securing services at an average of 15% below budget without compromising quality.
  • Presented project proposals and post-project reviews to senior management, securing approval for 90% of proposed initiatives.

6. Collaboration

By showcasing collaboration skills on a resume , you present yourself as a candidate who can coordinate with multiple team members with minimal strife or friction. This is very important to smaller teams in tightly-knit workplaces, such as early-stage startups and small businesses.

To properly emphasize your collaboration skills, describe projects where you worked as part of a team in the experience section of your resume. Mention the team's size, diversity (if relevant), and the project's outcome. 

Collaboration problem-solving skills example

As an innovative Software Engineer with expertise in Java and Full-Stack Development, I bring a blend of technical proficiency and strategic problem-solving to every project. My experience includes a pivotal role in a team of 8 engineers, where we collaboratively developed and launched three new software products, resulting in a substantial 25% increase in company revenue. My advanced skills in Java programming and comprehensive full-stack development have enabled me to contribute effectively across all stages of the software development lifecycle. This skill set, combined with a creative and analytical approach to problem-solving, allows me to adapt to evolving project needs and technological landscapes effectively.

7. Planning

Planning helps you set clear objectives for problem-solving.

Knowing what you aim to achieve makes it easier to prepare the action plan needed to reach there. Conceptual skills like planning also allow you to allocate resources like time, workforce, and materials efficiently. 

All of these are prized skills for any leadership or management role. For roles that need self-starters who can work with minimal supervision, planning skills are one of the first things that employers look for in a candidate.

If you want to demonstrate your planning skills in a resume, describe projects or tasks where planning was crucial to success. 

Mention the scope of the project, the tools or methods you used, and the outcome. If you've used tools like Microsoft Project, Asana, Trello, or other project management software, be sure to include them, too.

Planning tools for problem-solving examples

  • Microsoft Project
  • Mind Mapping
  • SWOT Analysis

How to add problem-solving skills to your resume

When it comes to showcasing your problem-solving skills on your resume, it's all about how you frame your experiences and skills.

Let's break it down.

Use the right tools

You need the right tools before you start writing your resume section by section and adding your problem-solving skills.

The free Teal AI Resume Builder offers one platform to create, write, update, align, and improve your resume.

With Teal, managing your experience and skills becomes organized and straightforward, simplifying your resume writing step by step.

A tool used to add problem-solving skills to a resume

Start with your professional summary

Begin with a strong professional summary that showcases your career achievements.

This section should aggregate your experience and highlight your most significant accomplishments, particularly those demonstrating your problem-solving abilities.

For example, you could mention leading a challenging project to a successful conclusion or innovating a process that significantly improved efficiency along with the metrics and results to underscore the impact of your actions.

These details illustrate your problem-solving skills and provide a concrete measure of your effectiveness in previous roles.

Focus on work experience

In your "Work Experience" section, it's important to focus not just on what you did but how you did it.

When describing each role, emphasize how you used your problem-solving skills to make an impact. This could include resolving complex issues, implementing new systems, or improving existing processes.

Be sure to use action verbs like "analyzed," "resolved," or "implemented" to add energy to your descriptions. Additionally, quantify your achievements wherever possible to provide a clear sense of your impact.

Incorporate a "Skills" section

Your resume "Skills" section should list the tools or methods you've used in problem-solving instead of soft skills like "problem-solving," "communication skills," or "decision-making skills."

Instead, list technical skills like "data analysis," "Trello," and "Google Analytics" to give a clear picture of your abilities and how you apply them to solve problems.

Well, by listing your hard skills, you can help prospective employers understand the exact tools you're proficient in and how you can apply these skills in a practical work environment. By being specific, you demonstrate a tangible and direct connection between your skills and real-world problem-solving.

Add education, projects, volunteer experience, and more

Don't overlook other parts of your resume, like education, projects, or volunteer experience. These additional sections can be a goldmine for showcasing your problem-solving skills.

For example, if you worked on a complex project during an internship, outline how you navigated challenges or introduced innovative solutions. Similarly, in a volunteer role where you tackled a significant issue, describe the steps you took and the outcome you achieved.

These experiences can effectively demonstrate your ability to apply problem-solving skills in diverse settings, offering further evidence of your value as a potential employee.

Pro Tip: The Teal AI Resume Builder offers expert guidance for every resume section, so you don't miss any important details hiring managers and recruiters might be looking for.

Expert guidance for adding problem-solving skills and other details to a resume professional summary

Structure your resume to highlight problem-solving skills

To effectively highlight your problem-solving skills:

  • Use clear, concise language and maintain a professional tone.
  • Start each bullet point of your work experience with a strong action verb to convey the active role you played in solving problems.
  • Quantify your achievements to provide context and show the tangible impact of your problem-solving efforts.

By structuring your resume this way, you showcase your problem-solving skills and demonstrate your ability to communicate your value effectively to potential employers.

Tailoring problem-solving skills to job descriptions

While it can be tempting to list every problem-solving skill you have, there's something to keep in mind. The job of your resume is to align your experience with the role you're applying for. And that means using a strategic approach to analyzing job descriptions and customizing your resume.

Analyzing job descriptions for problem-solving skills

Begin by reading the job description. Pay close attention to the language. Are they looking for analytical skills, research, or collaboration? Identifying these keywords is the foundation for tailoring your resume.

If you want to save time and streamline your approach, the Teal AI Resume Builder and Job Application Tracker pull hard skills, soft skills, and other important language from the job description to make this easy!

An example of keywords from a job description used to tailor resume problem-solving skills

Customize your resume

Once you clearly understand what a prospective employer is looking for, it's time to list problem-solving skills accordingly.

Highlight specific instances from your professional experience—for example, when you've used critical thinking skills successfully or applied similar problem-solving skills. Include these keywords alongside metrics and impact to provide concert proof of your skills. (If you're not sure which terms or phrases align, try using resume synonyms .)

Once you've finished tailoring, compare your resume to a job description to see how well it aligns using Teal's Match Score tool.

An example of a resume compared to a job description to assess resume problem-solving skills alignment

Add problem-solving skills to your resume with Teal

Problem-solving skills are important—they're essential tools that demonstrate your ability to navigate complex situations and find effective solutions. They show employers you're ready to tackle challenges and drive results.

Teal can help you add them to your resume quickly and easily.

With expert guidance that helps you highlight these crucial skills in the right sections using the most optimal keywords, plus a Match Score to ensure your skills align perfectly with specific job requirements—Teal is your partner every step of the way.

Ready to make your resume problem-solving skills shine? Sign up for Teal for free today.

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No Problem: How To List Problem Solving Skills on a Resume

Problem solving is an in-demand skill recruiters want to see on your resume. Learn how to highlight this soft skill with our detailed guide.

2 years ago   •   4 min read

Problem solving is a key skill in life — and in most workplaces. Like any other soft skill, it belongs on your resume. The only question is, how do you prove it?

Keep scrolling as we explain how to put problem solving on your resume in a way that actually lands. We'll also explain where soft skills like problem solving belong and give examples you can follow. But first, let's take a look at exactly what hiring managers mean when they say "problem solving."

Problem solving skills employers are looking for

If a job ad says that a company is looking for applicants with "strong problem solving skills," what does that actually mean?

Hiring managers want people with skills like:

  • Critical thinking
  • Brainstorming
  • Troubleshooting
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Experimenting
  • Observation

That's a lot! So, how do you fit all that on your resume? Here are some tips to get you started.

How to show problem solving skills on a resume

To effectively showcase problem solving skills on your resume, follow these steps:

  • Look at the job ad. What kinds of problem solving skills are specifically mentioned? What key responsibilities are likely to involve problem solving?
  • Make a list of these skills or responsibilities — this is what you’ll want to address in your resume.
  • Think of a time when you’ve demonstrated each problem solving skill or been in a similar situation.
  • Format that incident as an accomplishment by starting with a strong action verb.
  • Be specific about what you did and what the end result was.
  • Check in with a free resume scanner to see how your accomplishments score and what you can improve.

Now let's take a look at where problem solving skills belong on your resume.

Where to include problem solving skills on a resume

The first thing to know is this: Problem solving is a soft skill, which means you should never list it directly in your skills section. Instead, you should:

  • Include past examples of problem solving in your work experience bullet points
  • List related hard skills in your skills section
  • Mention key skills and accomplishments in your resume summary and cover letter
  • Use synonyms to avoid repeating "problem solving" over and over

Emphasize real accomplishments

The best place for any soft skill — including problem solving — is in your Work Experience section. Make your bullet points stand out by outlining what the problem was, what action you took, and what the end result was.

Remember: The key is to be specific. For example, instead of:

Solved problems causing long delivery times.
Streamlined the implementation process and reduced the average product delivery time from 10 days to 4 days by redefining responsibilities and improving accountability of employees.

This specifies what the initial problem was, what action you took, and the end result. Use the formula [Action Verb] + [Accomplishment] + [Metric] to keep you on the right track.

List related hard skills

Problem solving is a soft skill, which means you can’t include it outright in your skills section . But what you can do is list hard skills that go hand in hand with problem solving.

For example:

  • Data analysis
  • Quality assurance
  • Engineering
  • Programming languages
  • Loss prevention
  • Accessibility

If you’re unsure what problem solving skills to include in your skills section, use the tool below to search for the job you’re applying to and it’ll give you a list of hard skills relevant to the job.

Include targeted highlights

If you’re applying for a role where you know that problem solving is an essential skill — like most management, data-driven, or customer-facing positions — you can emphasize your ability to solve problems in your resume summary or cover letter .

Do some research to identify the key issues facing the company, like streamlining inefficient business practices or expanding a small customer base, and highlight 2-3 skills or accomplishments related to those areas.

Here's an example:

cv example problem solving skills

Find out if your resume shows enough problem solving skills

An important thing to remember when listing problem solving skills on your resume is, just like other soft skills, you need to show how you’ve used problem solving skills in the past. An easy way to check if you’ve shown hiring managers your problem solving skills, is to upload your resume to the tool below — it’ll tell you if your resume has shown problem solving skills the right way, as well as other soft skills like leadership and communication skills.

Synonyms for problem solving on a resume

Trying to avoid repetition? If you’re searching for another word for problem solving to use on a resume, these action verbs have you covered:

  • Transformed
  • Revitalized
  • Streamlined

For even more suggestions, check out our list of resume action verbs for 2024 .

Resume examples of problem solving skills

Looking for more ways to say that you’re a problem solver on a resume? Try these sample bullet points.

Proposed a plan to reduce shrink, which increased work efficiency and customer services by over 75%.

The first step in solving a problem is identifying it. Companies want to hire people who are proactive, not reactive, which means it's worth including an example of a time you first identified a problem and then took steps to solve it.

Developed a contingency plan during tough economic conditions to save $540K per year.

What's better than solving a problem? Preventing it from becoming a problem in the first place!

Reduced double-booking and error rates by 45%, resulting in a $10,800 increase in yearly sales by developing a scheduling system to coordinate advertising space availability with Sales, Designers, and the Editorial team.

The more specific you can get with your bullet points, the better. Remember, the main point of your resume isn't just to show a recruiter what you've done for other companies — it's to help them imagine what you might do for their company.

Executed self-insured health plan including wellness benefits which saved the business in excess of $70K or 20% and influenced over 200 staff members to become healthier.

What hiring managers want to see is results. Any time you can identify a specific positive outcome in your bullet points, you take one step closer to getting hired.

Responded to and managed 50+ inbound requests from members daily.

Struggling to quantify your achievements? It's okay if you don't have access to specific metrics — you can still include numbers for things like how many projects you worked on or how quickly you completed tasks.

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Best Problem-Solving Skills for a Resume. How to List Them

When it comes to landing your dream job, problem-solving skills are highly valued by employers across a variety of industries. These skills demonstrate your ability to think critically, analyze situations, and develop effective solutions to complex problems. Including your problem-solving skills on your resume can help you stand out to potential employers and showcase your ability to handle challenges in the workplace.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best problem-solving skills to include on your resume and provide tips on how to list them effectively to increase your chances of landing your desired job.

Best Problem-Solving Skills for a Resume. How to List Them

Table of Contents

What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills refer to the ability to analyze situations, identify problems, and develop effective solutions to complex issues. It involves critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to make informed decisions based on available information.

Effective problem-solving skills are essential for success in any career. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers , problem-solving skills are ranked among the top three most important skills that employers look for in job candidates.

Furthermore, a study by the World Economic Forum found that problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity are projected to be the top three skills required for the workforce by 2025.

Top 10 Skills for 2023

Source: World Economic Forum

Top 10 Problem Solving Skills for Your Resume + Examples

Here are the top 10 problem-solving skills to include on a resume:

2. Critical thinking

The ability to objectively analyze information to make informed decisions and solve complex problems.

“Applied critical thinking skills to analyze complex business problems and develop effective solutions.”
“Evaluated financial data to identify inefficiencies and developed cost-saving measures that reduced expenses by 15%.”
“Conducted in-depth research to identify market trends and forecasted future demand for products, resulting in a 10% increase in sales revenue.”
“Developed and implemented risk management strategies to minimize potential losses and ensure business continuity.”
“Used critical thinking skills to develop innovative ideas and streamline processes, resulting in improved efficiency and productivity.”

3. Creativity

The ability to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions to problems.

“Developed creative solutions to complex business problems by thinking outside the box and leveraging my creative problem-solving skills.”
“Designed and implemented a new product packaging concept that led to a 25% increase in sales within the first six months.”
“Developed and executed a social media marketing campaign that went viral and resulted in a 50% increase in brand awareness.”
“Developed an innovative employee incentive program that resulted in a 30% reduction in employee turnover rates.”
“Continuously generated new ideas and innovative solutions to streamline processes and improve efficiency across multiple departments.”

4. Decision-making

The ability to make informed decisions based on available information and data.

“Exercised strong decision-making skills to evaluate complex information and make informed decisions.”
“Analyzed data from multiple sources to identify trends, opportunities and potential risks.”
“Developed and implemented effective risk management strategies to minimize potential losses and ensure business continuity.”
“Successfully negotiated contracts with vendors to achieve cost savings of 20%.”
“Made strategic decisions that resulted in a 15% increase in sales revenue within the first year of employment.”
“Continuously evaluated the effectiveness of decisions and made necessary adjustments to improve outcomes.”

5. Strategic thinking and ideation

The ability to think long-term and develop plans to achieve goals and overcome challenges.

“Applied strong strategic thinking skills to develop and implement long-term business plans that aligned with organizational goals.”
“Analyzed market trends and customer behavior to identify new opportunities and create competitive advantages.”
“Developed and executed a product development strategy that resulted in a 30% increase in market share within the first year.”
“Led cross-functional teams to implement new processes and systems that improved efficiency and reduced costs by 25%.”
“Continuously evaluated the competitive landscape and adjusted strategies to stay ahead of industry trends.”

6. Problem identification

The ability to identify potential problems before they arise and take preventive measures to address them.

“Used strong problem identification skills to identify and diagnose complex business issues.”
“Conducted root cause analysis to identify underlying problems and develop effective solutions.”
“Developed and implemented a new quality control system that reduced product defects by 20%.”
“Conducted internal audits to identify process inefficiencies and implemented process improvements that resulted in a 30% reduction in lead time.”
“Continuously monitored business operations to identify potential issues and proactively developed contingency plans to mitigate risks.”

7. Adaptability

The ability to quickly adjust and change course when faced with unexpected challenges.

“Applied strong adaptability skills to thrive in fast-paced and dynamic work environments.”
“Demonstrated the ability to quickly learn new processes and procedures and adapt to changing priorities.”
“Successfully managed multiple projects simultaneously, adjusting project plans as needed to meet changing requirements.”
“Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop new products and services that met evolving customer needs.”
“Successfully navigated a company-wide restructuring by taking on new responsibilities and adapting to a new organizational structure.”
“Proactively sought out feedback from managers and colleagues to continuously improve performance and adapt to changing expectations.”

8. Communication

The ability to effectively communicate with colleagues, stakeholders and customers to understand their needs and develop solutions.

“Used strong communication skills to effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams and solve complex problems.”
“Facilitated open and transparent communication among team members to ensure everyone was aligned and working towards a common goal.”
“Successfully led cross-functional projects by effectively communicating project plans, goals, and timelines to all stakeholders.”
“Developed and delivered engaging presentations to communicate complex data and project results to senior leadership.”
“Collaborated with customers to understand their needs and effectively communicated those needs to the product development team, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction ratings.”

9. Collaboration

The ability to work effectively in a team and collaborate with others to achieve common goals.

“Collaborated effectively with cross-functional teams to achieve project goals and solve complex problems.”
“Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills by building positive relationships with team members and stakeholders.”
“Proactively identified and resolved conflicts to ensure smooth collaboration and successful project outcomes.”
“Actively participated in team meetings and contributed to brainstorming and ideation sessions to generate creative solutions.”
“Successfully led cross-functional teams by delegating tasks and responsibilities and ensuring alignment among team members.”
“Developed and implemented new team-building activities that increased team morale and improved collaboration.”

10. Time management

The ability to prioritize tasks, manage deadlines and work efficiently to achieve objectives.

“Managed multiple projects simultaneously, consistently meeting project deadlines and ensuring high-quality deliverables.”
“Developed and implemented effective time management strategies, including prioritization and task delegation, to increase productivity and efficiency.”
“Proactively identified potential roadblocks and adjusted project plans as needed to stay on track.”
“Utilized project management software to track progress and communicate project status to stakeholders.”
“Successfully managed a team of interns, delegating tasks and providing guidance to ensure timely and accurate completion of projects.”
“Received recognition from management for consistently delivering projects ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Including these problem-solving skills on your resume can demonstrate to potential employers that you are a strategic thinker, a creative problem solver, and a valuable asset to any team.

Jobs That Require Problem-Solving Skills

There are many jobs that require problem-solving skills. Here are some examples:

Engineers: Engineers are responsible for designing, building, and testing products, systems, and structures. They often encounter complex problems that require creative problem-solving skills to solve.

IT professionals: IT professionals are responsible for managing and troubleshooting computer systems and networks. They must be able to identify and solve technical issues quickly and effectively.

Healthcare professionals: Healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, must use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to diagnose and treat patients.

Lawyers: Lawyers must analyze complex legal issues and develop creative solutions to help their clients achieve their goals.

Business professionals: Business professionals, such as managers and executives, must be able to analyze data, identify problems, and develop strategies to solve them.

Educators: Educators must be able to identify and address the individual needs of their students and develop creative solutions to help them succeed.

Scientists: Scientists must use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to design experiments, analyze data, and develop new theories and technologies.

Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs must be able to identify opportunities and solve problems in order to start and grow successful businesses.

Overall, problem-solving skills are essential in a wide range of professions and industries, and are highly valued by employers.

Problem-Solving Skills Resume Example

Here is an example of a resume that demonstrates your ability to resolve difficult situations.

Name: John Doe Contact Information: Email: [email protected] Phone: (123) 456-7890 LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/johndoe Summary: Highly analytical and creative problem-solver with a strong track record of developing and implementing effective solutions. Skilled in collaborating with cross-functional teams and adapting to changing environments. Skills: – Problem identification and analysis – Creative thinking and innovation – Strategic planning and execution – Collaboration and teamwork – Strong communication skills – Time management and prioritization Experience : ABC Company Position: Project Manager Duration: Jan 2019 – Present Responsibilities: – Led cross-functional teams in the development and execution of strategic initiatives – Identified and analyzed potential project risks, and developed contingency plans to mitigate them – Streamlined project management processes, resulting in a 20% increase in efficiency – Developed innovative solutions to complex problems, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction – Collaborated with stakeholders to develop and implement new product features, resulting in a 10% increase in revenue XYZ Company Position: Business Analyst Duration: Mar 2016 – Dec 2018 Responsibilities: – Conducted data analysis and identified opportunities for process improvement – Developed and executed action plans to address identified issues, resulting in a 25% increase in productivity – Collaborated with cross-functional teams to develop new product features, resulting in a 10% increase in customer retention – Analyzed customer feedback and developed strategies to improve customer experience, resulting in a 20% increase in customer satisfaction Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, XYZ University, Graduated in May 2016 Certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP) Six Sigma Green Belt

How Can I Improve My Problem Solving Skills?

To improve your problem-solving skills, start by breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. Practice analyzing and identifying the root cause of a problem, brainstorming multiple potential solutions, and evaluating the pros and cons of each option.

Additionally, seek out opportunities to work on collaborative problem-solving projects and seek feedback from others on your approach to dealing with issues. Continuously challenging yourself to solve new problems and refining your problem-solving process can help you improve your skills over time.

Should I Include Hard Skills or Soft Skills as Problem-Solving Skills?

Both hard and soft skills are important for problem-solving . Hard skills such as data analysis and computer programming are critical for identifying and analyzing problems, while soft skills such as communication and collaboration are important for developing and implementing solutions. It’s best to include a mix of both hard and soft skills as problem-solving skills on your resume, to demonstrate your ability to approach problems from different angles and work effectively with others to achieve positive results.

Why Do Employers Value Problem-Solving Skills?

Employers value problem-solving skills because they are critical for driving business success. Individuals who possess strong problem-solving skills can identify and analyze problems, develop and implement effective solutions, and collaborate with others to achieve positive results.

These skills can lead to increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, and a better overall business performance.

Additionally, problem-solving skills are essential for innovation and growth, allowing companies to adapt to changes in the market and stay ahead of the competition. Employers look for candidates with strong problem-solving skills because they want employees who can contribute to the company’s success and help drive future growth.

What Other Skills Do Employers Look for?

In addition to problem-solving skills, employers also value a range of other skills including communication, teamwork, adaptability, leadership, time management, and technical expertise in specific fields. These skills can help employees work effectively with others, manage projects and resources efficiently, and stay up to date with industry trends and best practices. By highlighting a combination of problem-solving and other key skills on your resume, you can demonstrate your ability to contribute to a company’s success and add value in the workplace.

Build a strong skill base for your resume: Resume Skills – Complete Career Hub 2023

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Interview Questions

Comprehensive Interview Guide: 60+ Professions Explored in Detail

26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)

By Biron Clark

Published: November 15, 2023

Employers like to hire people who can solve problems and work well under pressure. A job rarely goes 100% according to plan, so hiring managers will be more likely to hire you if you seem like you can handle unexpected challenges while staying calm and logical in your approach.

But how do they measure this?

They’re going to ask you interview questions about these problem solving skills, and they might also look for examples of problem solving on your resume and cover letter. So coming up, I’m going to share a list of examples of problem solving, whether you’re an experienced job seeker or recent graduate.

Then I’ll share sample interview answers to, “Give an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem?”

Problem-Solving Defined

It is the ability to identify the problem, prioritize based on gravity and urgency, analyze the root cause, gather relevant information, develop and evaluate viable solutions, decide on the most effective and logical solution, and plan and execute implementation. 

Problem-solving also involves critical thinking, communication, listening, creativity, research, data gathering, risk assessment, continuous learning, decision-making, and other soft and technical skills.

Solving problems not only prevent losses or damages but also boosts self-confidence and reputation when you successfully execute it. The spotlight shines on you when people see you handle issues with ease and savvy despite the challenges. Your ability and potential to be a future leader that can take on more significant roles and tackle bigger setbacks shine through. Problem-solving is a skill you can master by learning from others and acquiring wisdom from their and your own experiences. 

It takes a village to come up with solutions, but a good problem solver can steer the team towards the best choice and implement it to achieve the desired result.

Watch: 26 Good Examples of Problem Solving

Examples of problem solving scenarios in the workplace.

  • Correcting a mistake at work, whether it was made by you or someone else
  • Overcoming a delay at work through problem solving and communication
  • Resolving an issue with a difficult or upset customer
  • Overcoming issues related to a limited budget, and still delivering good work through the use of creative problem solving
  • Overcoming a scheduling/staffing shortage in the department to still deliver excellent work
  • Troubleshooting and resolving technical issues
  • Handling and resolving a conflict with a coworker
  • Solving any problems related to money, customer billing, accounting and bookkeeping, etc.
  • Taking initiative when another team member overlooked or missed something important
  • Taking initiative to meet with your superior to discuss a problem before it became potentially worse
  • Solving a safety issue at work or reporting the issue to those who could solve it
  • Using problem solving abilities to reduce/eliminate a company expense
  • Finding a way to make the company more profitable through new service or product offerings, new pricing ideas, promotion and sale ideas, etc.
  • Changing how a process, team, or task is organized to make it more efficient
  • Using creative thinking to come up with a solution that the company hasn’t used before
  • Performing research to collect data and information to find a new solution to a problem
  • Boosting a company or team’s performance by improving some aspect of communication among employees
  • Finding a new piece of data that can guide a company’s decisions or strategy better in a certain area

Problem Solving Examples for Recent Grads/Entry Level Job Seekers

  • Coordinating work between team members in a class project
  • Reassigning a missing team member’s work to other group members in a class project
  • Adjusting your workflow on a project to accommodate a tight deadline
  • Speaking to your professor to get help when you were struggling or unsure about a project
  • Asking classmates, peers, or professors for help in an area of struggle
  • Talking to your academic advisor to brainstorm solutions to a problem you were facing
  • Researching solutions to an academic problem online, via Google or other methods
  • Using problem solving and creative thinking to obtain an internship or other work opportunity during school after struggling at first

You can share all of the examples above when you’re asked questions about problem solving in your interview. As you can see, even if you have no professional work experience, it’s possible to think back to problems and unexpected challenges that you faced in your studies and discuss how you solved them.

Interview Answers to “Give an Example of an Occasion When You Used Logic to Solve a Problem”

Now, let’s look at some sample interview answers to, “Give me an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem,” since you’re likely to hear this interview question in all sorts of industries.

Example Answer 1:

At my current job, I recently solved a problem where a client was upset about our software pricing. They had misunderstood the sales representative who explained pricing originally, and when their package renewed for its second month, they called to complain about the invoice. I apologized for the confusion and then spoke to our billing team to see what type of solution we could come up with. We decided that the best course of action was to offer a long-term pricing package that would provide a discount. This not only solved the problem but got the customer to agree to a longer-term contract, which means we’ll keep their business for at least one year now, and they’re happy with the pricing. I feel I got the best possible outcome and the way I chose to solve the problem was effective.

Example Answer 2:

In my last job, I had to do quite a bit of problem solving related to our shift scheduling. We had four people quit within a week and the department was severely understaffed. I coordinated a ramp-up of our hiring efforts, I got approval from the department head to offer bonuses for overtime work, and then I found eight employees who were willing to do overtime this month. I think the key problem solving skills here were taking initiative, communicating clearly, and reacting quickly to solve this problem before it became an even bigger issue.

Example Answer 3:

In my current marketing role, my manager asked me to come up with a solution to our declining social media engagement. I assessed our current strategy and recent results, analyzed what some of our top competitors were doing, and then came up with an exact blueprint we could follow this year to emulate our best competitors but also stand out and develop a unique voice as a brand. I feel this is a good example of using logic to solve a problem because it was based on analysis and observation of competitors, rather than guessing or quickly reacting to the situation without reliable data. I always use logic and data to solve problems when possible. The project turned out to be a success and we increased our social media engagement by an average of 82% by the end of the year.

Answering Questions About Problem Solving with the STAR Method

When you answer interview questions about problem solving scenarios, or if you decide to demonstrate your problem solving skills in a cover letter (which is a good idea any time the job description mention problem solving as a necessary skill), I recommend using the STAR method to tell your story.

STAR stands for:

It’s a simple way of walking the listener or reader through the story in a way that will make sense to them. So before jumping in and talking about the problem that needed solving, make sure to describe the general situation. What job/company were you working at? When was this? Then, you can describe the task at hand and the problem that needed solving. After this, describe the course of action you chose and why. Ideally, show that you evaluated all the information you could given the time you had, and made a decision based on logic and fact.

Finally, describe a positive result you got.

Whether you’re answering interview questions about problem solving or writing a cover letter, you should only choose examples where you got a positive result and successfully solved the issue.

Example answer:

Situation : We had an irate client who was a social media influencer and had impossible delivery time demands we could not meet. She spoke negatively about us in her vlog and asked her followers to boycott our products. (Task : To develop an official statement to explain our company’s side, clarify the issue, and prevent it from getting out of hand). Action : I drafted a statement that balanced empathy, understanding, and utmost customer service with facts, logic, and fairness. It was direct, simple, succinct, and phrased to highlight our brand values while addressing the issue in a logical yet sensitive way.   We also tapped our influencer partners to subtly and indirectly share their positive experiences with our brand so we could counter the negative content being shared online.  Result : We got the results we worked for through proper communication and a positive and strategic campaign. The irate client agreed to have a dialogue with us. She apologized to us, and we reaffirmed our commitment to delivering quality service to all. We assured her that she can reach out to us anytime regarding her purchases and that we’d gladly accommodate her requests whenever possible. She also retracted her negative statements in her vlog and urged her followers to keep supporting our brand.

What Are Good Outcomes of Problem Solving?

Whenever you answer interview questions about problem solving or share examples of problem solving in a cover letter, you want to be sure you’re sharing a positive outcome.

Below are good outcomes of problem solving:

  • Saving the company time or money
  • Making the company money
  • Pleasing/keeping a customer
  • Obtaining new customers
  • Solving a safety issue
  • Solving a staffing/scheduling issue
  • Solving a logistical issue
  • Solving a company hiring issue
  • Solving a technical/software issue
  • Making a process more efficient and faster for the company
  • Creating a new business process to make the company more profitable
  • Improving the company’s brand/image/reputation
  • Getting the company positive reviews from customers/clients

Every employer wants to make more money, save money, and save time. If you can assess your problem solving experience and think about how you’ve helped past employers in those three areas, then that’s a great start. That’s where I recommend you begin looking for stories of times you had to solve problems.

Tips to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills

Throughout your career, you’re going to get hired for better jobs and earn more money if you can show employers that you’re a problem solver. So to improve your problem solving skills, I recommend always analyzing a problem and situation before acting. When discussing problem solving with employers, you never want to sound like you rush or make impulsive decisions. They want to see fact-based or data-based decisions when you solve problems.

Next, to get better at solving problems, analyze the outcomes of past solutions you came up with. You can recognize what works and what doesn’t. Think about how you can get better at researching and analyzing a situation, but also how you can get better at communicating, deciding the right people in the organization to talk to and “pull in” to help you if needed, etc.

Finally, practice staying calm even in stressful situations. Take a few minutes to walk outside if needed. Step away from your phone and computer to clear your head. A work problem is rarely so urgent that you cannot take five minutes to think (with the possible exception of safety problems), and you’ll get better outcomes if you solve problems by acting logically instead of rushing to react in a panic.

You can use all of the ideas above to describe your problem solving skills when asked interview questions about the topic. If you say that you do the things above, employers will be impressed when they assess your problem solving ability.

If you practice the tips above, you’ll be ready to share detailed, impressive stories and problem solving examples that will make hiring managers want to offer you the job. Every employer appreciates a problem solver, whether solving problems is a requirement listed on the job description or not. And you never know which hiring manager or interviewer will ask you about a time you solved a problem, so you should always be ready to discuss this when applying for a job.

Related interview questions & answers:

  • How do you handle stress?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed

Biron Clark

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Adding Problem-Solving Skills To A Resume

Adding Problem-Solving Skills at a Resume

Problem-Solving skills are essential in our daily lives , as uncomplicated issues may arise that need smart rectification.

Companies also find these skills valuable, irrespective of the industry you choose to work in. Thinking creatively, disassembling problems, and producing practical solutions to ease the situation makes you an asset.

For this reason, we recommend emphasizing this crucial skill on your resume during career searches, as it will set you apart from other individuals competing for the same option.

Are you a problem solver and what Fortunately, this article of ResumeGiants will provide the vital information you need to convey your soft skills and shed more light on what soft skills are and come examples.

Let’s begin!

Here, you will learn about:

What Problem-Solving Skills Are

Problem-solving skills are vital traits that enable us to:

  • Identify problems
  • Creatively assess them
  • Think of solutions effectively and efficiently

This ability enables individuals to be problem solvers and find alternatives when routes to work are blocked, services are down, or anything of the sort happens. In the workplace, it becomes handy when we need to complete tasks quickly, free-up schedules, rectify errors, etc.

Developing this skill requires proficiency in several other skills , including analyzing problems, fathoming creative solutions, and applying these small factors in your personal life and business.

Essentially, honing your ability to analyze, evaluate, decide, and communicate creatively may guarantee your ability to think through challenging situations critically.

List of Problem-Solving Skills

As previously mentioned, the core components that produce effective decision-making include:

  • Proper evaluation
  • Communication
  • Quick decision-making

This section aims to emphasize these factors, giving you more material to express your value on your resume than merely writing “able to solve problems”.

Additionally, merely stating that you possess problem-solving skills on your resume doesn’t set you apart from the crowd as it is now a cliché term. Essentially, all business individuals are expected to possess these skills since they require them.

What makes you appear more valuable is showcasing your problem-solving skills in your resume, and the information below will help you accomplish this goal. These include:

1. Analytical Skills

In business, the best option upon realizing a complicated situation is to assess the issue and understand the problem’s core. This analysis enables you to identify the problem’s cause and produce an effective solution.

Afterwards, the next step involves careful thoughts on why the problem arose, what actions will fix the issue, what tools are necessary for rectification, and more.

Presenting this aspect of your business personality may set you apart from other individuals competing for the same role.

2. Assessment

Analyzing the problem allows you to produce a list of actions that may end the complication; however, when these solutions aren’t obvious, your assessment ability comes into play.

Essentially, multiple solutions produce different outcomes. As a problem-solver, it’s best to evaluate the pros and cons of each possibility and pick the most logical option with little to no consequences.

Some consequences that require further assessment can include the idea’s speed of implementation, cost, efficacy, business requirements, etc.

For example, suppose you have 2 solutions , one fixing the problem long-term but will take days to process, and the other rectifying it short-term in hours.

In that case, if the complication impedes completing an urgent task, the short-term but quick option is practical.

You can take assessment skills further and consider other alternatives should your initial plan fail.

3. Decision-Making

Irrespective of how much analysis or assessment you make, a decision from the brainstorming session is necessary to move forward with the problem. Without good decision-making skills and speed-of-implementation , this attribute falls flat.

Essentially, carefully evaluating the problem and its possible solution is a crucial part of being a problem-solver.

Besides quick implementation, good decision-making skills allow you to factor in the necessary elements needed to execute the problem’s solution, whether the managers or other group members.

4. Communication

As previously mentioned, making a decision may involve consulting your leaders or group members; however, conveying the problem and its possible answers may be impossible without effective communication.

Suppose you’re a developer that works with a team of other programmers and runs into a problem on your end. Failure to convey the problem and solution will hinder work progress or make you seem ineffective.

5. Creativity

Last but not least, the ability that’s necessary to develop complex problem-solving skills is creativity . In other words, the ability to fathom multiple ways to solve the puzzle and view the issue from multiple hypothetical angles.

Creativity implies that you can think outside the box to arrive at a decision that ends the problem in the best way possible. Additionally, this skill will enable you to rectify issues when they involve your group or information that’s not currently within your grasp.

Nevertheless, strive for creativity and develop your mind to view multiple angles to provide a solution.

Showing Problem-Solving Skills in your Resume

Showcasing your problem-solving skills on your resume may seem like a tricky task, but there are multiple locations on the document to accommodate this ability. You can use the “Skills” section, the “Achievements” section and even give examples of when you solved complicated problems in the “Experience” section .

Remember that when presenting your problem-solving skills, avoid writing down the generic “problem-solving” term, as employers encounter the word regularly.

Instead, you can list specific technical and soft skills in your arsenal that would help you solve problems, like research and decision-making abilities.

The most significant place to include problem-solving skills for a resume is in the “experience” section . Use specific examples you can back up with demonstrable action : 

  • Present short but powerful examples of times you overcame significant obstacles
  • Make sure they are relevant to your career path and the job you’re applying for
  • Back them up with figures and statistics wherever you can.

It’s essential to tailor your problem-solving examples to the keywords of the job description you’re applying for. You need to show how your experiences make you an ideal candidate for this role. 

Examples of Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume

As an example, let’s take a look at some ways problem-solving can be expressed in the experience section of a  business analyst resume :

Brockton Industries / Business Analyst / Atlanta, GA /2018 – 2022

  • Assessed risk of testing processes, thereby saving the company $5,000 annually. 
  • Increased customer satisfaction by 31% by redesigning customer communication and fulfillment procedures. 
  • Improved effective communication with company clients to better mutual understanding of processes and service

Now let’s take a look at how problem-solving could be expressed in the experienc e section of a UX Designer resume :

Lamax Solutions/ Senior UX Designer/ Atlanta, GA /2019-Present

  • Achieved an 8% boost in user engagement by producing new visual parallax scrolling design prototypes.
  • Developed user-based interfaces by focusing on data-driven design systems, resulting in a 89% increase in traffic over three consecutive years.
  • Increased employee satisfaction by 20% by utilizing proprietary technology to install third-party applications like Figma into the mainframe

As you can see, it doesn’t matter which way around you present the problem, the solutions, or the impact your decision made. Just make sure you stress that you were indispensable in achieving an optimum outcome!

How to Improve your Problem-Solving Skills

you want to improve your problem-solving skills for a resume, the first step is to identify your areas of weakness.

Once you have identified these weaknesses, you can then begin to develop strategies to address them. 

Some ways you can improve your abilities in these areas include: 

  • Practice problem-solving exercises including puzzles and logic games
  • Read books or articles related to problem-solving to help you to understand different techniques and approaches
  • Seek out real-life challenges that require problem-solving, such as volunteering or taking on new responsibilities
  • Keep a journal of your problem-solving successes to track your progress and help you identify areas for improvement.

The most effective steps to take to practically improve your problem-solving ability is to:

  • Practice active listening . Listen to the problem carefully
  • Ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand the issue correctly
  • Break down the problem into its components and look for patterns and commonalities. 

Once you have a better understanding of the problem, you can generate possible solutions and select the one that best fits the situation. It’s also important to practice using problem-solving techniques in different contexts. 

Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume: Conclusion

If you feel confident in your ability to thoroughly analyze problems, evaluate possible solutions, and promptly execute the correct actions for rectification, it’s worth including in your resume.

These skills reveal to employers that you’re a valuable asset , as complicated tasks will present little to no challenges while you work.

Hopefully, the information in this article is sufficient in helping you effectively present your problem-solving skills in your resume . Consider using our free resume builder to ease the hassle of composing this crucial document.

Our platform presents multiple resume templates and examples, thereby removing the challenge associated with the task. Let’s get a winning-resume!

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Status.net

14 Areas of Expertise on a Resume: Selecting and Showcasing Your Skills

By Status.net Editorial Team on February 8, 2024 — 9 minutes to read

When crafting your resume, identifying your areas of expertise allows you to showcase your skills and knowledge to potential employers.

These areas are specific fields or disciplines where you possess a high level of skill or knowledge. They can range from technical skills to soft skills like project management or leadership abilities.

Your expertise should align with the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re seeking a position in digital marketing, you might list expertise in SEO, content creation, and social media strategy. On the other hand, a finance role might highlight expertise in budgeting, financial analysis, or risk management.

To select areas of expertise for your resume, consider your professional experiences, training, and what sets you apart from other candidates. Reflect on feedback you’ve received from colleagues or supervisors about your strengths, or think about moments when you successfully tackled challenges.

Here’s how you can categorize them for clarity:

  • Technical Skills: Software proficiency, analytical abilities, or specialized industry tools.
  • Soft Skills: Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, or adaptability.
  • Industry Knowledge: Regulations, trends, and practices specific to the field.

Soft Skills

Soft skills play a vital role in revealing your ability to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. These personal attributes demonstrate your potential to navigate the workplace environment and work well with colleagues and clients.

Communication

You know how important clear and effective communication is, whether it’s verbal or written.

  • Presenting complex information in an understandable form
  • Active listening to colleagues and customers
  • Constructing clear, concise emails and reports
  • Engaging in effective conversational skills during meetings

Showing you can guide a team or a project to success is highly attractive to employers. Your leadership skills reflect your ability to take charge, inspire, and support others.

  • Initiating and managing projects with confidence
  • Inspiring and motivating team members
  • Providing constructive feedback
  • Making informed decisions during critical moments

Problem Solving

Your problem-solving skills highlight your capacity to approach challenges logically and creatively.

  • Identifying the root cause of an issue
  • Developing creative solutions to complex problems
  • Analyzing data to inform decisions
  • Adapting to new challenges swiftly and efficiently

Technical Skills

When crafting your resume, your technical skills section showcases abilities that are concrete and quantifiable. Think about the job you’re targeting and select skills that align closely with the employer’s needs.

For example, if you’re an administrative assistant, proficiency in software like Microsoft Office Suite is valuable. As an accountant, you might highlight your mastery in accounting software, like QuickBooks or Excel for complex spreadsheets. On the other hand, for a graphic designer, familiarity with design software such as Adobe Creative Suite can set you apart.

Your technical skills should reflect your ability to perform specific tasks. For example:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides)
  • Project management software (Asana, Trello)
  • Data analysis software (SPSS, SAS)
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Email management (Outlook, Gmail)
  • Database management (Access, SQL)
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Human Resources Information Software (HRIS)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software
  • HTML/CSS basics
  • Photo editing software
  • Video editing software (Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro)
  • Inventory management systems
  • E-commerce platforms (Shopify, Magento)
  • Collaboration tools (Slack, Microsoft Teams)
  • Scheduling software (Calendly, Doodle)
  • Typing speed (words per minute)
  • Foreign language proficiency (e.g., Spanish, French)
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Cybersecurity basics

You might have a wide range of technical skills, but prioritize those most relevant to the job you’re applying for, as this tailors your resume to your potential employer’s needs. Selecting the right technical skills makes your expertise clear and positions you as a strong candidate.

Industry-Specific Expertise

When tailoring your resume, you’ll want to highlight the specific skills that align with the industry you’re aiming to join. This showcases you as a specialist rather than a generalist, giving you an edge in the competitive job market.

Marketing and Sales

In Marketing and Sales, your areas of expertise should reflect your ability to understand consumer behavior, promote products, and drive sales. Here, you’ll list skills that show you can craft compelling messages and develop strategies to increase market share.

  • SEO/SEM strategies
  • CRM software proficiency (e.g., Salesforce)
  • Lead generation
  • Market research
  • Sales forecasting
  • Digital advertising

Finance and Accounting

This sector values precision and analytical skills. You’ll indicate expertise that demonstrates your capacity for managing finances, analyzing financial data, and ensuring compliance with financial regulations.

  • Financial reporting
  • Budget management
  • Tax preparation and planning
  • Auditing processes
  • Knowledge of financial legislation
  • Proficiency with accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks)

Engineering and Manufacturing

Your expertise here should center on your technical abilities and understanding of industry-specific practices. Highlight knowledge and skills that relate to design, production processes, and project management.

  • CAD/CAM software skills
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Quality control standards
  • Process improvement methodologies
  • Project lifecycle management
  • Knowledge of engineering principles

Personal Attributes

Personal attributes play a significant role in how you’re perceived as a potential employee. They give a glimpse into your character and can often be the deciding factor in getting that job.

Creativity means having the ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. For instance, if you’re in marketing, you might have designed a successful campaign that went viral, or as a software developer, you could have coded an app that solved a common user issue in a unique way.

  • Designed a viral marketing campaign that increased engagement by 70%
  • Developed an innovative app improving customer experience

Adaptability

Adaptability showcases your ability to handle change and pivot when necessary. Maybe you’re a project manager who has successfully led a team through a sudden shift in project scope, or perhaps you work in finance and navigated new regulatory changes with ease.

  • Led a project team through a significant scope change without missing deadlines
  • Updated financial processes in response to new regulations

A strong work ethic is about dedication and a commitment to delivering high-quality work. You might be a salesperson who consistently exceeds targets or an educator who is recognized for high student achievement rates.

  • Consistently exceeded quarterly sales targets by at least 15%
  • Achieved above-average student success rates through dedicated teaching methods

Analytical Skills

Your ability to evaluate and analyze information is a valuable asset across many job roles. Highlighting your analytical skills can set you apart as a candidate who can approach complex problems effectively and provide insightful solutions.

Data Analysis

Data analysis means examining raw data to make conclusions and support decision making. You have a knack for spotting trends, interpreting numbers, and translating data into actionable insights.

  • Use of statistical software (e.g., SPSS, SAS)
  • Experience with data visualization tools (e.g., Tableau, Power BI)
  • Proficiency in SQL or other database languages

Research skills mean the ability to gather, evaluate, verify, and synthesize information. Your research abilities demonstrate that you can dig deeper into topics and emerge with facts that guide business strategies.

  • Conducting market analysis to steer product development
  • Utilizing academic databases for industry-specific information
  • Carrying out competitive intelligence benchmarking

Project Management

Project management means planning, executing, and overseeing projects to ensure successful outcomes. Your project management skills show you can handle tasks efficiently and with an eye for detail.

  • Leading cross-functional teams to meet project deadlines
  • Employing project management methodologies (e.g., Agile, Scrum)
  • Overseeing budget, scope, and resource allocation to ensure project success

Language Proficiencies

When you’re showcasing your language proficiencies on your resume, include the languages you speak and any formal qualifications you have. Employers value candidates who can communicate in multiple languages, as it can be a significant asset in the global marketplace.

Multilingual Capabilities

List the languages you are proficient in and indicate your level of proficiency for each (e.g., beginner, intermediate, advanced, fluent, or native).

  • English (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Fluent)
  • French (Intermediate)
  • German (Beginner)

Language Certifications

Language certifications demonstrate your language proficiency through formal assessment. If you’ve taken standardized language tests or earned certificates, list them along with the scores if applicable.

  • Example 1: Earned a Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a grade of A.
  • Example 2: Achieved a score of 85 on the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).

Choosing Your Areas of Expertise

When crafting your resume, selecting areas of expertise that align with the position and company can substantially enhance your appeal to potential employers.

1. Relevance to Job Description

Pay close attention to the job description. Your expertise should directly address the skills and experiences the employer is seeking. If the job requires customer service skills, listing “Customer Relationship Management” or “Conflict Resolution” shows you have sought-after abilities. For a marketing role, mentioning “SEO Optimization” or “Data Analytics” could be pertinent if the job description emphasizes digital marketing competencies.

2. Matching Company Culture

Understand the ethos of the company you’re applying to. If the organization prides itself on innovation, you might want to illustrate your “Creative Problem-Solving” or “Adaptive Project Management” skills. A start-up might appreciate “Scalable Strategy Development” or your ability to “Thrive in Fast-Paced Environments”, aligning with their dynamic work setting.

3, Highlighting Career Achievements

Pinpoint significant accomplishments in your career that can showcase your proficiency. If you led a team that significantly improved sales, “Team Leadership” and “Sales Growth Strategy” could be compelling areas of expertise to include. Alternately, if you developed a system that saved time or money, citing “Process Optimization” or “Cost Reduction Techniques” would be beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of professional skills to list on a resume.

Professional skills you might list on your resume include technical proficiency like ‘Proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript’ for a web developer, or ‘Skilled in Adobe Creative Suite’ for a graphic designer. Other examples are ‘Experienced in project management and Agile methodologies’ or ‘Expertise in financial modeling and data analysis with Excel.’

How can fresh graduates identify and present their areas of expertise on a CV?

As a fresh graduate, you can identify your expertise by reflecting on your academic projects, internships, or part-time jobs. Present them on your CV with statements like, ‘Gained hands-on experience with statistical analysis during university project work’ or ‘Developed strong customer service skills through part-time retail employment.’

In which section of a resume should I list my personal skills, and can you provide examples of how to phrase them?

You should list your personal skills in a ‘Skills’ or ‘Competencies’ section of your resume. Phrase them with clarity, like ‘Strong interpersonal skills with a proven record of team collaboration’ or ‘Highly organized with exceptional time management ability.’

Are there unique skills that I should consider adding to my resume, and how might they set me apart from other candidates?

You might consider adding unique skills such as ‘Fluency in sign language’ or ‘Certificate in Advanced Data Science from Coursera.’ These particular skills can differentiate you by showing diversity in your abilities and commitment to personal development.

Can you suggest an effective way to describe my expertise in my resume to catch an employer’s attention?

Describe your expertise by leveraging action-oriented language and quantifiable results. For example, ‘Increased sales by 20% through strategic business development’ or ‘Reduced processing time by 30% by automating tasks.’

What strategies can I use to select the most relevant areas of expertise to include on my resume for a specific job application?

To select the most relevant expertise, carefully analyze the job description and identify keywords and skills emphasized by the employer. Align your resume’s skills section with these keywords, using phrases like ‘Specialized in SEO content creation, directly aligning with the role’s focus on digital marketing strategies.’

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  • 11 Best Administrative Skills...

11 Best Administrative Skills for Your Resume (With Examples)

11 min read · Updated on February 15, 2024

Ronda Suder

Discover the top administrative skills to make your resume stand out

Having strong administrative skills means you're able to plan events and projects, manage time, and keep things organized and running like a well-oiled machine. It also means you come to the table with the ability to communicate and engage with the customers, clients, and stakeholders of a company. 

Though administrative skills are necessary for jobs like Administrative Assistants, Receptionists, and Office Managers, they also add value to virtually any position across the various industries you might find yourself employed in. Since they're highly valued by employers, it benefits you to ensure you highlight sought-after administrative skills on your resume. 

In this post, we cover:

What administrative skills are

Why administrative skills on resumes are important

Some of the most in-demand administrative skills for resumes

How to highlight administrative skills on resumes

Where to include administrative skills on resumes

Administrative skills defined

Administrative skills are a series of qualities that, when combined, allow you to help manage a business or department or run an office. They include both hard skills, like knowing how to use a specific software application, and soft skills, like communication and problem solving. Examples of essential administrative tasks might include communicating with employees, filing, running reports, calendar management, and answering client questions. 

Why administrative skills are important to employers

People with strong administrative skills tend to be reliable self-starters with the ability to organize and manage time well. With a diverse skill set, they're valued by employers because they help organizations to maintain productivity and keep things running smoothly - they're a cornerstone of a company's success.  Any successful business will not only have administrative staff with strong administrative skills on their resume, but will also have other employees throughout the organization that apply these types of skills in their various jobs.

Administrative skills are also some of the most transferable skills between industries and job types. Administrative skills required for a role in the marketing sector would be applicable and transferable to the energy sector, for example. 

What are some of the most in-demand administrative skills for resumes?

When it comes to administrative skills on resumes, there are many that can make you stand out to hiring teams. Here are 11 of the top administrative skills to consider for your resume, and why they're important. 

1. Communication

Communication - both verbal and written - is a daily requirement for virtually any position. Those in administrative positions often need to communicate in different forms with a variety of people, both internal and external to the business, from employees and executives to clients and contractors. 

2. Microsoft 365

We're all familiar with certain Microsoft 365 applications, like Microsoft Word and Outlook. However, those with solid technical administrative skills on their resume tend to be knowledgeable in how to use all applications in the suite, including Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive. 

3. Organization

With the many plates employees often have spinning all at once, it's vital they hone in on the administrative skill of organization. In fact, it's one of the most important administrative skills to ensure things run smoothly within a team, department, or business. When you're organized, you tend to have good time management and planning skills as well, which are also sought-after administrative skills on resumes. 

4. Problem solving

We're constantly solving problems every day, including at work. A good problem solver identifies the problem, proposes solutions, chooses the best solution, and implements the it. Strong problem solvers support business continuity, innovation, and inspiration, making it a highly valuable administrative skill on resumes.  

5. Scheduling

Though essentially all employees have to maintain their schedules, administrative positions, in particular, often have the daunting task of keeping up with several schedules at once. In addition to calendar management, Administrators often have to coordinate and schedule meetings, travel arrangements, and events for the teams or individuals they support, making scheduling a vital technical skill to have.  

6. Flexibility

Change is the only constant, as they say, which requires flexibility. Employees need to be flexible to successfully adapt to changing priorities, demands, and requests. Without flexibility, work can be more stressful and productivity can take a hit.  

7. Working well under stress

Tight deadlines, quick turnaround times, multiple requests, several projects all at once, and day-to-day tasks can feel like a lot for any employee. Being able to work well under stress is necessary to stay on top of things without becoming overwhelmed, which can slow things down. When you work well under stress, you also tend to be good at multitasking, another valuable administrative skill. 

8. Customer service

For positions that are customer and client facing, strong interpersonal and customer service skills are necessary administrative skills. This is especially true for service and support-oriented positions. 

9. Teamwork

Though administrative professionals tend to be on point to keep things operating as needed, they do so as part of a team. The same goes for individual contributors who, while being responsible for their own tasks and activities, contribute to the department and generally work as part of a team to accomplish department and organizational goals and objectives. 

10. Detail orientation

When you're managing calendars, sharing business information, planning events, or drafting presentations, you must pay attention to the details to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Mistakes in these areas can be costly - if not in terms of dollars, in terms of added stress and lost time. As such, employers want to know they can trust you to adequately cross all the t's and dot all the i's when they hire you to do a job, making attention to detail an in-demand administrative skill.    

11. Event coordination

Administrative professionals, in particular, are often responsible for planning events of varying sizes. Coordinating company events, holiday parties, staff meetings, and more can all fall under the administrative umbrella. What's great about highlighting event coordination skills is that you're showing several other administrative skills at the same time, including organization, communication, multitasking, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Additional administrative skills for resumes 

The above list is just a launching point to help you get started with your own list of administrative skills to include on your resume. Below are some additional hard and soft skills often found on administrative resumes to provide even more inspiration.

Administrative hard skills for resumes

Office equipment use

Database management

Videoconferencing

Expense reporting

Google Docs

File management

Administrative soft skills for resumes

Decision-making

Interpersonal skills

Prioritization

Active listening

Critical thinking

Open-mindedness

How to highlight administrative skills on your resume

Make a list of your administrative-related skills and accomplishments. Using this post as inspiration, sit down and thoughtfully list all of the administrative skills you possess. From there, make a list of all of the administrative duties and responsibilities you've held, as well as any work accomplishments related to administrative skills you've applied or positions you've held. 

Refer to the job description. Review the job description you're interested in and highlight any administrative skills and experience required. Then, compare that to the list you created based on your work history. Be sure your resume includes the administrative skills and experience you have that align with the job description. This is a great way to incorporate keywords into your resume to pass an employer's applicant tracking system , or ATS, and grab the attention of hiring managers.

Showcase soft and hard (technical) skills throughout your resume. For maximum benefit, highlight both hard and soft administrative skills throughout your resume. Hard skills are measurable and learned skills, whereas soft skills are intangible and difficult to measure, though vital for job success. We discuss where and how to include hard and soft skills in the next section. 

Highlight soft skills through on-the-job accomplishments and achievements. Unlike with technical skills, you don't want to merely list soft skills on your resume. Instead, you want to show off your soft skills through the achievements you choose to highlight. For example, consider the following:

Oversaw and coordinated a 5-hour corporate event for 1,000 employees, showcasing the executive team and highlighting employee achievements and milestones for 2023

This achievement highlights organization, time management, attention to detail, critical thinking, and creativity administrative soft skills, to name a few. 

Where to highlight administrative skills on your resume

Now that you know how to come up with administrative skills to include on a resume, where can you incorporate them? Any of the following are excellent options:

Resume Summary

Skills or core competencies section.

Experience section

Certifications section

Additional sections.

Your resume summary , that sits just below your contact information, is where you can pack a punch to entice resume readers to keep reading. Here are a couple of examples of how to include administrative skills in your resume summary:

Administrative professional example

Administrator with over 5 years of experience working with C-suite executives to navigate organizational challenges and provide solutions to maintain business continuity and operations. Managed up to 15 calendars at one time using effective scheduling, time management, and organizational skills. 

What are some of the administrative skills this summary speaks to? How about:

Communication

Organization

Problem solving

Time management

Stress management

Multitasking

Non-administrative individual contributor example

Focused engineering professional with 10 years of experience in the oil & gas sector. Leverages solid problem-solving skills to address concerns in high-stakes environments, with the flexibility required to adjust priorities and maintain productivity. Organized and led a $2M pipeline construction project to upgrade pipeline requirements, meeting current industry standards. 

Some of the administrative skills that this summary highlights include:

Prioritizing

Flexibility

Attention to detail

It can be beneficial to include a Core Competencies section just below your resume summary to showcase your technical skills, as well pertinent soft skills. For example:

Core Competencies

Customer Service | Microsoft 365 | Quickbooks | Research | Scheduling   |   Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) | Oracle Applicant Tracking System | Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) | Event Coordination

Alternatively, the hard skills listed could all also go under a Technical Skills section near the end of your resume:

Technical Skills

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)   |   Microsoft 365   |   Quickbooks   |   Research   |   ATS Proficiency   |   Event Coordination   |   Scheduling

Avoid being repetitive and listing the same skills in both a Core Competencies and Skills section - only choose one of the two if you don't have different skills to include in each list.

Work Experience section

Another section to highlight your stellar administrative skills is in the Work Experience section. Here's an example that showcases focus, stress management, communication, filing, organization, switchboard management, time management, and more, all in just three bullet points!

Receptionist

ABC Company, Houston, TX

July 2021 - Present

Managed switchboard for three office buildings housing over 750 employees

Answered client questions regarding products and services, handling a high call volume of 40 to 50 calls per day

Spearheaded development of a new filing system for improved organization of client cases related to issues and concerns

If you hold any administrative-related certifications, you can choose to include them in a Certifications section on your resume. Relevant certifications not only showcase acquired administrative skills and knowledge, but also indicate your dedication to professional development. 

Examples of in-demand administrative certifications are:

Microsoft 365

Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)

Administrative Assistant Certification (CAA)

Microsoft Office Specialist Certification (MOS)

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE)

Finally, some might choose to highlight administrative skills on their resume by including additional sections, such as:

Volunteer Work

Hobbies & Interests

Extracurricular Activities

Special Projects

Including additional sections on a resume can benefit those who have gaps in administrative work experience, skills, or education.

Top tip: why not check out our Office Administrative Assistant resume example ?

Administrative skills = valuable assets for any resume

Whether you're applying for an administrative position or any other type of position, administrative skills on resumes add value and tend to stand out to hiring managers. Now, you're equipped with some of the most in-demand administrative skills to include on your resume, as well as advice on how and where to incorporate them. With these tips, you'll be landing those interviews in no time! 

Are you representing administrative skills on your resume appropriately? Why not submit it for a free resume review to find out?

Recommended reading:

How to Use a Reverse Chronological Resume Format

How to Check if My Resume is ATS-Friendly for Free

How to Show Promotions on a Resume (with Examples)

Related Articles:

How to Write a Cover Letter (With Example)

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?

How to Create a Resume With No Education

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