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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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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How to List Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume

12 min read · Updated on November 28, 2022

Robert Lyons

If you're a strong problem solver, your resume needs to prove it!

Imagine this scenario: a supplier delivers the wrong piece of equipment, your deadline is tomorrow, and your logistics person is out sick. What would you do if you were the one who had to respond?

Every business encounters problems, it's the nature of thriving in competitive markets. Having high-quality employees on hand who can solve problems like shifting deadlines, equipment failure, and changing client needs can be the difference between success and failure. 

That's why recruiters in today's environment are actively seeking candidates who can offer problem-solving skills. But what are problem-solving skills? How do you identify which ones you might have or which ones a recruiter might be looking for? Most importantly, how can you present them on your resume to land that interview?

In this blog, we'll discuss tips to identify, define, and present problem-solving skills.

What are problem-solving skills?

Put simply, problem-solving skills help you to overcome challenges and obstacles; that is, identify the core issue, propose solutions, choose the best one, and implement it.

When recruiters talk about problem-solving skills, they're usually referring to the ability to deal with challenging, complex, or unexpected situations. While they most obviously encompass traits that enable someone to assess and solve problems calmly, these skills are also highly useful in other areas like relationship building and routine decision-making.

Why do employers value problem-solving skills?

Challenges arise at companies every day. Having employees adept at analyzing and solving problems can be enormously advantageous. Companies will always need people to help them to find solutions to their problems. In fact, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Job Outlook , 86% of employers look for problem-solving skills on student resumes.

Employers like to see good problem-solving skills because it also shows them you have a range of other talents, like logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, and lateral thinking.

Looking for problem-solving skills in a job description

There are rare occasions that a job description will plainly state the problem-solving skills that the job requires. But problem-solving is one of those skill sets that don't necessarily appear in the “requirements” section of a job post. Employers are apt to simply expect candidates to demonstrate an analytical mind. So, instead, they will couch those desired skills in other phrases. In this case, you can look for particular keywords to identify the skills the employer is looking for. If you find any of the following keywords in a job description, they are pointing you toward the skills that you should be sure to highlight in the resume you send in. 

If the recruiter is using an ATS, it will be searching for these words. Even if not, the recruiter will be on the lookout for candidates possessing these qualities. Look at this job description and see which problem-solving skills are woven into the post.

How do I list problem-solving skills on a resume?

Given that problem-solving skills come to life in specific scenarios, it's going to be easy to present any that you might have in an interview, when you can describe a specific problem and paint a picture of how you successfully solved it.

But this doesn't mean that you can't find ways of illustrating your ability to face down a challenge on your resume.

Problem-solving skills sound like they're pretty self-explanatory. When asked to describe them, however, they don't offer much depth in the abstract. Unlike conceptual skills, like abstract thinking and ideation, problem-solving skills are all about being proactive in developing and implementing an action plan. That's why the best strategy to demonstrate your problem-solving skills is to show them in action: find specific examples of challenging scenarios and explain the plan you implemented and the results you achieved. 

Many resumes will use terms like “critical thinker” or “problem-solver.” Instead, show how you've used a skill in a way that has solved a problem at work. 

Give examples of scenarios where those skills lead to a solution

Describe a specific process you employed

List major accomplishments enabled by your solution

Add specific training related to problem-solving skills

Use various keywords to avoid repeating “problem-solving”

Let's look at 4 places on a resume where you can describe your problem-solving skills. 

Where do I list problem-solving skills on my resume?

The summary.

The summary is a great place to present a core skill that has benefitted you and your employers. If you've often been asked to find out-of-the box solutions to surprise problems, or you've been a team leader known for adjusting to personnel or process challenges, this is the place to introduce that.

In the employment history section

The employment history is the ideal place to list problem-solving skills that have contributed to proven solutions. When detailing past employment roles, you can use details, like percentages and dollar amounts, and specific scenarios to show how your ability to analyze issues, find options, and communicate action plans has solved problems. 

Mention a time when you took the initiative to troubleshoot key areas

Explain your habit of collecting new data regularly

Give examples of instances when you assumed a leadership role in process optimization

Use the keyword list above

Take a look at the following resume example. It shows how this person's abilities to design solutions, optimize testing processes, and adjust the process to the client helped to optimize process efficiency and save the client money. 

What's more, besides a strategic mindset, the candidate highlights his communication skills by showing that he can collaborate with clients to adapt processes to their needs. 

The skills section

If problem-solving skills are sought after for a particular role, the hiring manager will be looking for them in the skills section. ATS systems scan skills sections on resumes for requisite skills. The key, however, is to only list skills that specifically relate to the job posting. Remember, it's crucial to tailor each resume to a specific job advert. That includes the skills section. That's obviously easier if the job post explicitly lists desired skills. If not, however, look for keywords in the job description that might indicate particular problem-solving skills. Is it a management position looking for a “proven leader?” Communication skills are a must. Is it a logistics position that describes a need for experience with scaling? Troubleshooting and negotiation skills will be paramount.

There are both soft skills and hard skills that are problem-solving skills. “Test development” can be trained, but “troubleshooting” improves with experience. When considering which skills you possess, look to both categories.

A special achievements section

A separate achievements section isn't helpful for every resume, but some can benefit from including one. If, for example, you're using a functional resume format for a career change resume, or you're a senior executive looking to showcase career highlights, or if you have impressive achievements outside of the workplace, such as community organizing or hobbies with impressive, relatable skills, an accomplishments section can really highlight those skills in action. 

If you're using this section to showcase your problem-solving skills, focus on accomplishments with demonstrable results.

7 Important problem-solving skills and their definitions

Problem-solving skills can span from detail-oriented diagnostics to team leadership. Here's a list of skills involved in various stages of the problem-solving process. When crafting your resume, look to these examples to see what problem-solving skills you might have.

1. Research

“ Research skills refer to the ability to search for, locate, extract, organise, evaluate, and use or present information that is relevant to a particular topic.” 

Research skills are an essential component of the problem-solving skill set, as they address identifying the cause of the issue and understanding it fully. Research involves gathering data and information, consulting with more experienced colleagues, acquiring knowledge online or from external sources, and collating newfound data for dissemination. This skill is about the ability to find and use the right resources, extract the data you need, and find the right people to brainstorm with. This means:

Studying specific cases without generalizing

Aiming at variables which make the desired differences

Reporting findings in understandable terms

2. Analysis

The first step in finding a solution is effective analysis of the problem.  To solve a problem you must be able to analyze it from a couple of angles. Your analytical skills are exactly the ones you need in order to propose solutions and get to the heart of the matter.

Analytical skills allow you to assess data and processes to find solutions to a company's challenges. These include:

Forecasting

Data analysis

Interpretation of data and metrics

Deductive reasoning

Inductive reasoning 

Diagnostics

3. Critical-thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to process details with a particular flow, in order to draw connections between concepts and facts. In other words, it's “thinking about thinking,” or finding and fixing flaws in the way we think.

The ability to think critically is a foundation of problem solving. Unless you can see the big picture, you won't be able to suss out the pros and cons of different action plans. 

Critical thinking includes:

Interpretation

Open-mindedness

4. Decision making

Decision-making is the ability to choose solutions to problems. Simply stated, it's taking the relevant collected data, considering multiple viewpoints, and making an informed choice.

Once the choices are narrowed down, you'll need to pull the trigger, knowing you'll be held accountable for the decision. At times, you may need to make these decisions quickly, even if the wrong decision might make the problem worse. The ability to make proper use of your research and analysis to select the best action plan is a valuable skill. Components of this skill include:

Emotional Intelligence

Organization

5. Creativity

Sometimes the best solution is only found by thinking outside the box. That demands creativity. 

Creativity is the ability to approach a task or a challenge in a different way. In other words, it's possessing the imagination to generate new ideas and find interesting approaches and unique perspectives. Creativity is often described as

Divergent thinking

Inspirational thinking

Outside-the box thinking

Experimental thinking

6. Communication

Strong communication skills are vital during all phases of problem solving. While identifying and analyzing the problem, you'll need to know how to communicate the core issues to others. When researching the background of the issue, you'll need to know what communication channels are appropriate when seeking guidance. When brainstorming possible solutions, you will need to know how to guide a team through positive and effective discussions. Then, once you find a solution, communicating the action plan with clarity and precision is key to avoiding confusion and achieving proper implementation. 

No problem would ever be solved without good communication skills at work. 

Communication skills, however, include a much broader array of abilities beyond just speaking clearly. They also encompass listening in ways to make your colleagues feel heard, body language that puts your audience at ease, and vocal pitch adjustments to make your point land better. Here are few common communication skills:

Active listening

Giving constructive feedback

Presentation / visual communication

Nonverbal communication

Written communication

Oral communication

Voice modulation

Rapport building 

7. Collaboration

Problems are rarely solved alone, especially in the business world. The goal here is to show that you've worked effectively as part of a team to generate and implement solutions.

Collaboration, by definition, means working with one or more individuals to complete a task. In the workplace, collaboration can be brainstorming ideas, delegating tasks to individual strengths, layering pieces of a process, or bringing together the team to understand the bigger picture.

When people work together, they're more effective at problem solving than when attempting to go it alone. Successful collaboration with your coworkers also increases their motivation and engagement at work, making them feel like they're an important part of the team. 

Collaboration includes:

Long-term thinking

Adaptability

Positive debate

Emotional intelligence

The bottom line

Problem-solving skills are in high demand, so it's vital to list yours effectively on your resume. There are different places on a resume to add your skills. Explore which ones work best for you. Problem-solving skills go beyond the obvious, so dig deeper to see which skills you might have and, most importantly, when and where you've used them.

Just like problem solving works best with collaboration between colleagues, landing more interviews works best in collaboration with a professional resume writer. Why not submit your resume for a free review from one of our experts?

Related reading:

9 Soft Skills Employers Are Looking for in 2022

11 Steps to Writing the Perfect Resume

Standout Skills for a Resume: How to Make your Resume Great

Related Articles:

Guide to Writing a Great Resume with No Work Experience

Higher Order Thinking Explained

How to Describe Organizational Skills When Applying for a Job

See how your resume stacks up.

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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

A person doing math holding a calculator and a pen

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:

Venus profile photo

"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"

Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot

J&J Fast Food

District Manager

2014 – 2019

  • 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.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication .

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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:

problem solving description for resume

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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problem solving description for resume

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problem solving description for resume

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.

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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.

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ResumeGiants

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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What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (Definition, Examples, And How To List On A Resume)

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Summary. Problem-solving skills include analysis, creativity, prioritization, organization, and troubleshooting. To solve a problem, you need to use a variety of skills based on the needs of the situation.

Most jobs essentially boil down to identifying and solving problems consistently and effectively. That’s why employers value problem-solving skills in job candidates for just about every role.

We’ll cover problem-solving methods, ways to improve your problem-solving skills, and examples of showcasing your problem-solving skills during your job search .

Key Takeaways:

If you can show off your problem-solving skills on your resume , in your cover letter , and during a job interview, you’ll be one step closer to landing a job.

Companies rely on employees who can handle unexpected challenges, identify persistent issues, and offer workable solutions in a positive way.

It is important to improve problem solving skill because this is a skill that can be cultivated and nurtured so you can become better at dealing with problems over time.

What are problem solving skills (definition, examples, and how to list on a resume)

Types of Problem-Solving Skills

How to improve your problem-solving skills, example answers to problem-solving interview questions, how to show off problem-solving skills on a resume, example resume and cover letter with problem-solving skills, more about problem-solving skills, problem solving skills faqs.

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Problem-solving skills are skills that help you identify and solve problems effectively and efficiently . Your ability to solve problems is one of the main ways that hiring managers and recruiters assess candidates, as those with excellent problem-solving skills are more likely to autonomously carry out their responsibilities.

A true problem solver can look at a situation, find the cause of the problem (or causes, because there are often many issues at play), and then come up with a reasonable solution that effectively fixes the problem or at least remedies most of it.

The ability to solve problems is considered a soft skill , meaning that it’s more of a personality trait than a skill you’ve learned at school, on the job, or through technical training.

That being said, your proficiency with various hard skills will have a direct bearing on your ability to solve problems. For example, it doesn’t matter if you’re a great problem-solver; if you have no experience with astrophysics, you probably won’t be hired as a space station technician .

Problem-solving is considered a skill on its own, but it’s supported by many other skills that can help you be a better problem solver. These skills fall into a few different categories of problem-solving skills.

Problem recognition and analysis. The first step is to recognize that there is a problem and discover what it is or what the root cause of it is.

You can’t begin to solve a problem unless you’re aware of it. Sometimes you’ll see the problem yourself and other times you’ll be told about the problem. Both methods of discovery are very important, but they can require some different skills. The following can be an important part of the process:

Active listening

Data analysis

Historical analysis

Communication

Create possible solutions. You know what the problem is, and you might even know the why of it, but then what? Your next step is the come up with some solutions.

Most of the time, the first solution you come up with won’t be the right one. Don’t fall victim to knee-jerk reactions; try some of the following methods to give you solution options.

Brainstorming

Forecasting

Decision-making

Topic knowledge/understanding

Process flow

Evaluation of solution options. Now that you have a lot of solution options, it’s time to weed through them and start casting some aside. There might be some ridiculous ones, bad ones, and ones you know could never be implemented. Throw them away and focus on the potentially winning ideas.

This step is probably the one where a true, natural problem solver will shine. They intuitively can put together mental scenarios and try out solutions to see their plusses and minuses. If you’re still working on your skill set — try listing the pros and cons on a sheet of paper.

Prioritizing

Evaluating and weighing

Solution implementation. This is your “take action” step. Once you’ve decided which way to go, it’s time to head down that path and see if you were right. This step takes a lot of people and management skills to make it work for you.

Dependability

Teambuilding

Troubleshooting

Follow-Through

Believability

Trustworthiness

Project management

Evaluation of the solution. Was it a good solution? Did your plan work or did it fail miserably? Sometimes the evaluation step takes a lot of work and review to accurately determine effectiveness. The following skills might be essential for a thorough evaluation.

Customer service

Feedback responses

Flexibility

You now have a ton of skills in front of you. Some of them you have naturally and some — not so much. If you want to solve a problem, and you want to be known for doing that well and consistently, then it’s time to sharpen those skills.

Develop industry knowledge. Whether it’s broad-based industry knowledge, on-the-job training , or very specific knowledge about a small sector — knowing all that you can and feeling very confident in your knowledge goes a long way to learning how to solve problems.

Be a part of a solution. Step up and become involved in the problem-solving process. Don’t lead — but follow. Watch an expert solve the problem and, if you pay attention, you’ll learn how to solve a problem, too. Pay attention to the steps and the skills that a person uses.

Practice solving problems. Do some role-playing with a mentor , a professor , co-workers, other students — just start throwing problems out there and coming up with solutions and then detail how those solutions may play out.

Go a step further, find some real-world problems and create your solutions, then find out what they did to solve the problem in actuality.

Identify your weaknesses. If you could easily point out a few of your weaknesses in the list of skills above, then those are the areas you need to focus on improving. How you do it is incredibly varied, so find a method that works for you.

Solve some problems — for real. If the opportunity arises, step in and use your problem-solving skills. You’ll never really know how good (or bad) you are at it until you fail.

That’s right, failing will teach you so much more than succeeding will. You’ll learn how to go back and readdress the problem, find out where you went wrong, learn more from listening even better. Failure will be your best teacher ; it might not make you feel good, but it’ll make you a better problem-solver in the long run.

Once you’ve impressed a hiring manager with top-notch problem-solving skills on your resume and cover letter , you’ll need to continue selling yourself as a problem-solver in the job interview.

There are three main ways that employers can assess your problem-solving skills during an interview:

By asking questions that relate to your past experiences solving problems

Posing hypothetical problems for you to solve

By administering problem-solving tests and exercises

The third method varies wildly depending on what job you’re applying for, so we won’t attempt to cover all the possible problem-solving tests and exercises that may be a part of your application process.

Luckily, interview questions focused on problem-solving are pretty well-known, and most can be answered using the STAR method . STAR stands for situation, task, action, result, and it’s a great way to organize your answers to behavioral interview questions .

Let’s take a look at how to answer some common interview questions built to assess your problem-solving capabilities:

At my current job as an operations analyst at XYZ Inc., my boss set a quarterly goal to cut contractor spending by 25% while maintaining the same level of production and moving more processes in-house. It turned out that achieving this goal required hiring an additional 6 full-time employees, which got stalled due to the pandemic. I suggested that we widen our net and hire remote employees after our initial applicant pool had no solid candidates. I ran the analysis on overhead costs and found that if even 4 of the 6 employees were remote, we’d save 16% annually compared to the contractors’ rates. In the end, all 6 employees we hired were fully remote, and we cut costs by 26% while production rose by a modest amount.
I try to step back and gather research as my first step. For instance, I had a client who needed a graphic designer to work with Crello, which I had never seen before, let alone used. After getting the project details straight, I began meticulously studying the program the YouTube tutorials, and the quick course Crello provides. I also reached out to coworkers who had worked on projects for this same client in the past. Once I felt comfortable with the software, I started work immediately. It was a slower process because I had to be more methodical in my approach, but by putting in some extra hours, I turned in the project ahead of schedule. The client was thrilled with my work and was shocked to hear me joke afterward that it was my first time using Crello.
As a digital marketer , website traffic and conversion rates are my ultimate metrics. However, I also track less visible metrics that can illuminate the story behind the results. For instance, using Google Analytics, I found that 78% of our referral traffic was coming from one affiliate, but that these referrals were only accounting for 5% of our conversions. Another affiliate, who only accounted for about 10% of our referral traffic, was responsible for upwards of 30% of our conversions. I investigated further and found that the second, more effective affiliate was essentially qualifying our leads for us before sending them our way, which made it easier for us to close. I figured out exactly how they were sending us better customers, and reached out to the first, more prolific but less effective affiliate with my understanding of the results. They were able to change their pages that were referring us traffic, and our conversions from that source tripled in just a month. It showed me the importance of digging below the “big picture” metrics to see the mechanics of how revenue was really being generated through digital marketing.

You can bring up your problem-solving skills in your resume summary statement , in your work experience , and under your education section , if you’re a recent graduate. The key is to include items on your resume that speak direclty to your ability to solve problems and generate results.

If you can, quantify your problem-solving accomplishments on your your resume . Hiring managers and recruiters are always more impressed with results that include numbers because they provide much-needed context.

This sample resume for a Customer Service Representative will give you an idea of how you can work problem solving into your resume.

Michelle Beattle 111 Millennial Parkway Chicago, IL 60007 (555) 987-6543 [email protected] Professional Summary Qualified Customer Services Representative with 3 years in a high-pressure customer service environment. Professional, personable, and a true problem solver. Work History ABC Store — Customer Service Representative 01/2015 — 12/2017 Managed in-person and phone relations with customers coming in to pick up purchases, return purchased products, helped find and order items not on store shelves, and explained details and care of merchandise. Became a key player in the customer service department and was promoted to team lead. XYZ Store — Customer Service Representative/Night Manager 01/2018 — 03/2020, released due to Covid-19 layoffs Worked as the night manager of the customer service department and filled in daytime hours when needed. Streamlined a process of moving customers to the right department through an app to ease the burden on the phone lines and reduce customer wait time by 50%. Was working on additional wait time problems when the Covid-19 pandemic caused our stores to close permanently. Education Chicago Tech 2014-2016 Earned an Associate’s Degree in Principles of Customer Care Skills Strong customer service skills Excellent customer complaint resolution Stock record management Order fulfillment New product information Cash register skills and proficiency Leader in problem solving initiatives

You can see how the resume gives you a chance to point out your problem-solving skills and to show where you used them a few times. Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself and list a few things that make you stand out from the crowd.

Michelle Beattle 111 Millennial Parkway Chicago, IL 60007 (555) 987-6543 [email protected] Dear Mary McDonald, I am writing in response to your ad on Zippia for a Customer Service Representative . Thank you for taking the time to consider me for this position. Many people believe that a job in customer service is simply listening to people complain all day. I see the job as much more than that. It’s an opportunity to help people solve problems, make their experience with your company more enjoyable, and turn them into life-long advocates of your brand. Through my years of experience and my educational background at Chicago Tech, where I earned an Associate’s Degree in the Principles of Customer Care, I have learned that the customers are the lifeline of the business and without good customer service representatives, a business will falter. I see it as my mission to make each and every customer I come in contact with a fan. I have more than five years of experience in the Customer Services industry and had advanced my role at my last job to Night Manager. I am eager to again prove myself as a hard worker, a dedicated people person, and a problem solver that can be relied upon. I have built a professional reputation as an employee that respects all other employees and customers, as a manager who gets the job done and finds solutions when necessary, and a worker who dives in to learn all she can about the business. Most of my customers have been very satisfied with my resolution ideas and have returned to do business with us again. I believe my expertise would make me a great match for LMNO Store. I have enclosed my resume for your review, and I would appreciate having the opportunity to meet with you to further discuss my qualifications. Thank you again for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Michelle Beattle

You’ve no doubt noticed that many of the skills listed in the problem-solving process are repeated. This is because having these abilities or talents is so important to the entire course of getting a problem solved.

In fact, they’re worthy of a little more attention. Many of them are similar, so we’ll pull them together and discuss how they’re important and how they work together.

Communication, active listening, and customer service skills. No matter where you are in the process of problem-solving, you need to be able to show that you’re listening and engaged and really hearing what the problem is or what a solution may be.

Obviously, the other part of this is being able to communicate effectively so people understand what you’re saying without confusion. Rolled into this are customer service skills , which really are all about listening and responding appropriately — it’s the ultimate in interpersonal communications.

Analysis (data and historical), research, and topic knowledge/understanding. This is how you intellectually grasp the issue and approach it. This can come from studying the topic and the process or it can come from knowledge you’ve gained after years in the business. But the best solutions come from people who thoroughly understand the problem.

Creativity, brainstorming, troubleshooting, and flexibility. All of you creative thinkers will like this area because it’s when your brain is at its best.

Coming up with ideas, collaborating with others, leaping over hurdles, and then being able to change courses immediately, if need be, are all essential. If you’re not creative by nature, then having a team of diverse thinkers can help you in this area.

Dependability, believability, trustworthiness, and follow-through. Think about it, these are all traits a person needs to have to make change happen and to make you comfortable taking that next step with them. Someone who is shifty and shady and never follows through, well, you’re simply not going to do what they ask, are you?

Leadership, teambuilding, decision-making, and project management. These are the skills that someone who is in charge is brimming with. These are the leaders you enjoy working for because you know they’re doing what they can to keep everything in working order. These skills can be learned but they’re often innate.

Prioritizing, prediction, forecasting, evaluating and weighing, and process flow. If you love flow charts, data analysis, prediction modeling, and all of that part of the equation, then you might have some great problem-solving abilities.

These are all great skills because they can help you weed out bad ideas, see flaws, and save massive amounts of time in trial and error.

What is a good example of problem-solving skills?

Good examples of porblem-solving skills include research, analysis, creativity, communciation, and decision-making. Each of these skills build off one another to contribute to the problem solving process. Research and analysis allow you to identify a problem.

Creativity and analysis help you consider different solutions. Meanwhile, communication and decision-making are key to working with others to solve a problem on a large scale.

What are 3 key attributes of a good problem solver?

3 key attributes of a good problem solver are persistence, intellegince, and empathy. Persistence is crucial to remain motivated to work through challenges. Inellegince is needed to make smart, informed choices. Empathy is crucial to maintain positive relationships with others as well as yourself.

What can I say instead of problem-solving skills?

Instead of saying problem-solving skills, you can say the following:

Critical thinker

Solutions-oriented

Engineering

Using different words is helpful, especially when writing your resume and cover letter.

What is problem-solving in the workplace?

Problem-solving in the workplace is the ability to work through any sort of challenge, conflict, or unexpected situation and still achieve business goals. Though it varies by profession, roblem-solving in the workplace is very important for almost any job, because probelms are inevitable. You need to have the appropriate level of problem-solving skills if you want to succeed in your career, whatever it may be.

Department of Labor – Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

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Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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How to Present Critical Thinking Skills on Your Resume

Elena Prokopets

It’s no secret that employers want people who are adaptable, can solve problems, and contribute to the organization’s success. The difference between an employee who can do these things and one who can’t come down to one simple thing: they have great critical thinking skills.

So of course you’d want to tout these on your resume and all over your job application materials too. But there’s one problem. Critical skills aren’t always easy to put on paper. But there are a few ‘workarounds’ this post will show you! 

What Are Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking skills stand for your ability to rationally process information, find connections between ideas, reflect, and draw conclusions. 

As a person with well-developed critical thinking skills, you are good at: 

  • Correctly identifying and understanding problems.
  • Analyzing information for relevance and accuracy.
  • Using available information to formulate effective, empathetic, and rational solutions to problems.
  • Identifying logical relationships and patterns between ideas.
  • Recognizing complexity in problems and applying appropriately complex thought processes.
  • Incorporating new information into their decision-making processes.

You use critical thinking skills in the workplace to solve problems, collaborate with others, resolve conflicts, and complete many leadership tasks.

Why Are Critical Thinking Skills In Demand By Employers

The “ Future of Jobs 2020 ” report states that employers listed critical thinking among the top skills and skill groups that will rise in prominence by 2025. 

In particular, the top skills employers will be searching for among new hires include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Active learning
  • Self-management 

Why do these qualities trump hard skills in demand? Simple! Because they enable effective on-the-job learning. 

Employers realize that industries now operate at a breakneck speed with the ‘best practices’ constantly in flux. Respectively, it’s not always easy to find a candidate with the ‘freshest’ set of skills. But it’s easy to nurture such as long as they are good critical-thinkers! For similar reasons, 93% of employers actually state that they value strong critical thinking skills over the candidate’s undergraduate degree.

problem solving

Additionally, critical thinking has emerged as an essential skill because of the sheer volume of data we encounter. Much of this information is accessed online and often comes from questionable sources. It takes a combination of digital literacy and critical thinking skills for workers to discern which information is reliable, and what can be dismissed as pseudo-science, fake news, marketing propaganda, outdated, or speculative. Employers need workers who can fact-check, evaluate, and process this information effectively.

List of Critical Thinking Skills For Your Resume

Let’s be real: you won’t convince hiring managers by simply stating, ‘I have critical thinking skills’ in your cover letter . It’s a fact you need to demonstrate via your duties and accomplishments. The best way to do so is to break down the “critical thinking skills” group into more concrete sub-skills such as: 

Analysis stands for your ability to effectively deal with the incoming information and translate it into insights. To analyze things properly, you must know how to source information, verify that it is valid, determine which data is relevant, and take an objective approach to draw conclusions based on that information.

Communication

Collaborating with others, discussing problems, and giving and receiving feedback is a critical skill for every hire. Show the employer that you can hold productive exchanges with people who don’t always agree with you, be persuasive, and critically process all the information others are sharing with you. 

Observation

This skill involves having a heightened awareness of your surroundings, understanding what you observe, and knowing the appropriate action to take. For example, they may notice a downward trend in productivity, and take action to address potential staffing issues.

Inference indicates your ability to draw conclusions based on a limited set of data. For example, the manager of a community pool may infer that an unseasonably hot day will mean that more people will order cold drinks from the concession stand. 

Problem-Solving

Problem-solving skills denote your ability to strategize the best solution to a given problem and evaluate the success of that solution after having implemented it. It requires that you can look at a problem objectively, and think through potential solutions in a methodical manner. 

Still not sure how to best frame your problem-solving skills? Check role-specific resume examples our career team has created for some real-life examples. 

How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills

Critical thinking skills are key for effective collaboration, continuous learning, and personal efficiency. If you feel that your skillset could do with an ‘upgrade’, try the following techniques.

  • Practice information analysis: When trying to solve a problem, focus on getting all the necessary data first. Then, evaluate which ‘intel’ is accurate, important, fit-for-purpose. Toss other findings and work with what’s left. 
  • Learn to give recommendations: Recommendations are synthesized findings — a feasible, data- or experience-based solution. Learn to formulate all your recommendations based on the above. 
  • Challenge your biases: Everyone is prone to preconceived notions and assumptions. Unfortunately, these get in the way of critical thinking. Learn to recognize your own biases, and make a dedicated effort to put those aside when you innovate and solve problems.

Critical thinking is one of the most important skills to have to ensure your long-term “hire-ability”. Today, these skills are crucial for working with data, solving emerging market problems, and discerning truth from a growing volume of unproven information, circulating online. Tomorrow, critical thinking will become even more important as the future workforce will be primarily focused on “knowledge work”.

Elena Prokopets

Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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  1. Creative Problem Solver Resume Samples

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  2. Examples Of Problem Solving On Resume

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  3. Examples Of Problem Solving On Resume

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  4. Problem Solving Skills Examples Resume

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  5. Problem Management Resume Samples

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VIDEO

  1. How to Solve a Problem in Four Steps: The IDEA Model

  2. Soft Skills

  3. How to Write Your Problem Solving Skills On A Resume?

  4. Problem Solving and Decision Making

  5. 7 Step Problem Solving

  6. How to develop problem solving skills

COMMENTS

  1. How To Include Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume

    Problem-solving skills refer to your ability to identify a problem and find a solution. The problem-solving process requires a variety of other skills to be effective. Here are some examples of different types of problem-solving skills and skills related to this ability: Analysis Analysis is the ability to quickly identify the cause of an issue.

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

    Content Top ↑ 8 Problem-Solving Skills for Your Resume #1. Research skills #2. Analytical skills #3. Creativity #4. Critical thinking skills #5. Decision-making skills #6. Communication skills #7. Collaboration #8. Attention to Detail How to Add Problem-Solving Skills to Your Resume #1. Mention Your Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume Summary #2.

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

    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.

  4. How to List Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume

    Put simply, problem-solving skills help you to overcome challenges and obstacles; that is, identify the core issue, propose solutions, choose the best one, and implement it. When recruiters talk about problem-solving skills, they're usually referring to the ability to deal with challenging, complex, or unexpected situations.

  5. How to List Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume

    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.

  6. 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. By Rohan Mahtani Table of contents 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?

  7. 8+ Top Problem Solving Skills for Your Resume

    Resume Help 8+ Problem Solving Skills for Your Job Application Written By Ida Pettersson Reviewed By Conrad Benz By demonstrating your problem solving skills, you show employers that you're prepared to tackle challenges in the workplace. Not sure what skills are needed for efficient problem solving?

  8. How to Demonstrate Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume?

    Problem-Solving Skills: Key Takeaways for Your Resume What are problem-solving skills? 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?

  9. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (for a Resume & Career)

    1 What Are Problem-Solving Skills? Problem-solving skills consist of a set of abilities that help you identify a problem, propose solutions, choose the best one, and implement it.

  10. Problem Solving Skills

    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.

  11. 10 Best Problem-Solving Skills for a Resume

    1. Analytical skills 2. Critical thinking 3. Creativity 4. Decision-making 5. Strategic thinking and ideation 6. Problem identification 7. Adaptability 8. Communication 9. Collaboration 10. Time management Jobs That Require Problem-Solving Skills Problem-Solving Skills Resume Example FAQ How Can I Improve My Problem Solving Skills?

  12. How To List Problem-solving Skills on a Resume

    Decision-making. Analytical skills. Critical thinking. Project management. Fact-finding. Active listening. A great problem solver will be good at all of these things. These keywords are all elements you should be sprinkling throughout your resume and cover letter, so recruiters can see examples of problem-solving capabilities everywhere they look.

  13. How to Show Your Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume and Cover Letter

    Consider these four options: Incorporate one of your problem-solving examples in your Profile description. Add a sentence that starts with "Achievements include…" or "Recent achievements include…" and then plug in whatever highlight you'd like to showcase. Add a line to your Profile stating your general skill at problem-solving.

  14. Adding Problem-Solving Skills to a Resume

    Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume: Conclusion 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

  15. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? (Definition, Examples, And ...

    Example Answers to Problem-Solving Interview Questions. Once you've impressed a hiring manager with top-notch problem-solving skills on your resume and cover letter, you'll need to continue selling yourself as a problem-solver in the job interview.. There are three main ways that employers can assess your problem-solving skills during an interview:

  16. Including Problem-Solving Skills on Your Resume

    Here are a few examples of problem-solving skills to include on your resume: Brainstorming. Creative thinking. Decision-making. Analytical skills. Critical thinking skills. Teamwork. Active listening. Communication skills.

  17. How to Present Critical Thinking Skills on Your Resume

    As a person with well-developed critical thinking skills, you are good at: Correctly identifying and understanding problems. Analyzing information for relevance and accuracy. Using available information to formulate effective, empathetic, and rational solutions to problems. Identifying logical relationships and patterns between ideas.

  18. Inbound Problem Solver Resume Sample

    10/2013 to Current Inbound Problem Solver Amazon Fulfillment | City, STATE. Troubleshoot and resolve problems that an associate encounters with inventory; including printing ASIN labels, damage out products and adding expiration dates to food and health products. Resolve issues in a timely manner. Use Excel to track problem solve issues ...

  19. Amazon Warehouse Problem Solver Resume Sample

    (555) 432-1000 [email protected] Summary Punctual Stocker bringing more than [Number] years of experience in [Type] industry. Experienced in updating records, inspecting shipments and resolving discrepancies. Dedicated to efficiently rotating stock to minimize spoilage and obsolescence.