Whether you are looking for a job in management, marketing or education, there’s one universal group of skills that you need to have – analytical skills. Wondering just what these are and why they matter so much to employers. Get all the answers in this post, along with a list of analytical skills to place on your resume. Let’s dive in!
What Are Analytical Skills?
Analytical skills are a collection of your abilities to perceive, process and assimilate information. Practical in nature, they demonstrate how well you can:
- Read or view any information you gather critically
- Exercise logical reasoning
- Use your knowledge to solve everyday problems.
In essence, analytical skills are strongly correlated with problem-solving skills.
Here are some everyday examples of analytical skills:
- Engaging in a brainstorming session.
- Finding patterns in a sales transaction file.
- Making recommendations to your boss based on the new information you’ve been given.
- Doing any budgeting work
Bottom Line: Your analytical skills show your potential employer that you are a critical thinker, capable of creativity, a problem solver and that you can get your work done more efficiently.
Why Employers Value Analytical Skills
A study of nearly 800 people representing more than 50 industries came to a very important conclusion. Businesses are in desperate need of people who have analytical skills. In fact, only 25% of the companies surveyed felt as if they were prepared to meet this demand.
What this data is telling us is this: now more than ever, businesses need a smart, agile workforce. That means people who can adapt to changes and respond to challenges at a rapid pace that most industries command today.
Secondly, most companies are now dealing with huge volumes of data, obtained from both internal and external sources. And while it’s the data scientist’s job to translate all those scattered numbers into meaningful insights, it is for the regular employees to use the obtained insights strategically in day-to-day decision-making. Without strong analytical skills, you won’t be able to do that.
Types of Analytical Skills For Your Resume
Analytical skills are quite varied. Chances are you already have some of these skills. Others you can develop with some targeted practice (more on this in a bit!).
To make your credentials more competitive and compelling, list the following skills on your resume.
Critical thinking is your ability to evaluate information properly and make sound judgments. Most companies want employees who can logically and holistically evaluate different situations and propose the best course of action.
Critical thinkers are good at tasks such as:
- High-level data analytics
- Setting priorities
- Deductive reasoning
You can add a variation of these keywords to your resume or provide a quick example demonstrating your critical thinking skills in your cover letter.
You don’t need to be a trained data scientist to perform simple data analytics tasks. In fact, data analytics merely means your ability to find patterns and draw correlations from large volumes of information.
Some of the activities that demonstrate this skill are as follows:
- Conducting descriptive analyses
- ROI calculations
- Creating demand forecasts
Most companies seek independent workers who can effectively find solutions for day-to-day issues, instead of constantly pinging others for help.
Research skills mean that you can effectively collect relevant information to learn more about the problem and translate it into a solution.
By mentioning that you can do effective research, you signal the hiring manager that you are independent, organized and smart.
Even More Analytical Skills for Your Resume
- Creative thinking
- Active listening
- Surveying and reporting
- Data mining
- Data and metrics interpretation
- Deductive reasoning
- Inductive reasoning
- Case analysis
- Comparative analysis
- Business analysis
- SWOT analysis
- Predictive modeling
- Strategic planning
- Numeracy Skills
- Industry research
- Policy analysis
- Qualitative analysis
- Quantitative analysis
- Project management
- Risk management
- Technical analysis
How to Improve Analytical Skills to Stay in Demand
Let’s keep it real: some analytical skills (e.g. PESTLE analysis or project management) will require some significant training.
Others like inductive reasoning or data mining can be developed on the spot, and oftentimes in a fun and creative manner. Below are several quick tips to help you hone the latter:
- Play “brain” games: Give your brain a regular ‘workout’ by challenging it with a game of chess, sudoku puzzles or specific analytical brain teasers. There’s no shortage of them around the web.
- Set daily learning goals: Intellectual curiosity is a common trait among people who have analytical skills. So train yourself to learn one new “fun fact” per day or dedicate at least 30 minutes to a new activity (reading a book, practicing some type of analysis, etc).
- Read more: Reading on its own can help you improve your analytical skills. But it should be mindful and concentrated. Take handwritten notes of everything you learn. Keep your findings neatly organized for quick reference. And practice what you’ve learned!
People with solid analytical skills are in-demand cross-industry. So don’t be shy to showcase that you have these! You now have plenty of examples to copy to your resume!
And if you are struggling with the other sections, check our full guide to writing a stellar resume.