How To Highlight Problem-Solving Skills On A Resume
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 2 December 2022 | Published 12 May 2022
Updated 2 December 2022
Published 12 May 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Problem-solving is the ability of a professional to deal with difficult or unexpected situations in a workplace. Finding solutions to complex business challenges and team relationship conflicts is a crucial part of problem-solving. While hiring, organisations prefer candidates who efficiently assess situations and calmly identify solutions. In this article, we describe what these skills are, examine why employers value them and find out how to list problem-solving skills on a resume.
Why do employers value problem-solving skills on a resume?
When you mention problem-solving skills on a resume, employers learn about your ability in determining and rectifying problems. Most employers choose to hire independent candidates who are capable of dealing with their problems. These skills enable you to fix problems that affect an organisation's efficiency and profits. Possessing these skills can impress an employer because they eliminate problems that halt production or affect workflow.
These skills also help you solve a team's problems. Being able to work on different problems as a team rather than escalating them may help your employer value your ability. Providing solutions to problems that go beyond your job description is also a trait that employers appreciate in a professional.
What are problem-solving skills?
Problem-solving capabilities allow you to identify the source of a problem and find its best possible solution. There are several aspects of these skills, like active listening, dependability, decision-making and team-building. Here are the examples of skills you may use when solving a problem:
Research plays a pivotal role in solving a problem as it allows professionals to make informed decisions. A proficient problem solver easily identifies the cause of the problem and quickly comprehends it fully. They brainstorm with their team members and consult experienced professionals in the workplace to gather all the details of a problem. A professional may also conduct online research to think of alternate solutions.
Analysing a problem allows the professionals to understand the issue clearly. Once they determine the details of the problems, a professional conceives effective solutions. Analytical skills are also important to distinguish between effective and non-effective solutions. These skills allow the professionals to identify the strengths, weaknesses and dynamics of a specific situation. Using analytical skills is a great way to solve complex problems and interpret data to better understand an issue.
Once you have analysed the problem and developed potential solutions, you may start working on making the right decisions. When a problem poses bigger challenges, you may take some time to devise solutions or escalate the issue to someone more capable of solving it. Confident decision-making reduces stress and allows you to efficiently choose between two or more alternatives. You may also measure the result of a solution for future references.
Communication skills allow you to give and receive information. Communication is most effective when you consider your audience, what information you want to share with them and the best way to share it. When you identify a problem, it may be necessary for you to communicate it to others. Knowing how to select the right communication channel is also an important factor in the process. Communicating the problem coherently helps you eliminate confusion and implement the solution easily.
Being dependable means performing tasks, finishing assigned work and meeting deadlines and appointments. When you possess dependability, you are productive and efficient in planning and execution of work. These skills help you respond to work requirements by being available and remaining cooperative. Professionals with these skills often maintain a consistent work schedule. With this skill set, you are more likely to perform consistently because of the excellent prioritisation of your work.
Creativity is a skill that allows you to visualise problems and devise unique solutions that may not be apparent to everyone. Thinking of solutions that other team members may not have considered shows your inventiveness. Creativity skills allow you to be resourceful and may help your company save time, money and energy. Professionals with more creative potential have enhanced executive function. Possessing this trait also reflects your general intelligence and divergent thinking. Creativity is both novel and extremely useful.
How to list problem-solving skills on your resume
Highlighting your problem-solving skills on your resume helps employers gauge your capabilities to add to the effectiveness of a team. Showcasing your ability to solve problems on your resume improves your chances of getting the job. If you want to impress hiring managers, there are multiple approaches you may take:
1. Mention problem-solving skills in your work history
There are several places on a resume where you may highlight your problem-solving skills, like the skills section or the achievements section. Give specific examples of problem-solving while writing the experience section. When writing your work history, describe how these skills made a positive impact, like actions that saved a company's time and money. Mentioning your problem-solving skills by using a relevant example shows the employer how you identified problems and devised solutions that improved the company's overall efficiency and profits. Below is an example of what this might look like:
A To Z Media Limited
February 2016-March 2018
Identified inefficiencies in the content plan and implemented strategies that resulted in a 45% increase in site traffic.
Organised team-building activities that resulted in a 20% decrease in complaints.
Oversaw a team of 25 employees.
2. Include examples from your educational experiences
In the education section of your resume, include examples that highlight your problem-solving skills. This section primarily focuses on details like school and year of graduation, but this section is another area where you may include these skills indirectly. An example of how you have used these skills helps your resume to be more impressive than simply listing them under a skills section. Here is an example of how you may include problem-solving skills under the education section of your resume:
Indraprastha State University, New Delhi
August 2009-August 2012
Led the team to the final round of zonal debate competition and qualified for the national competition despite losing team members.
Maintained first-class results and topped in the second year of graduation despite unforeseen campus closures.
3. List the skills that represent your problem-solving ability
In the skills section of your resume, mention your problem-solving skills. You may include the related skills that helped you solve different problems effectively instead of mentioning the problem-solving skills specifically. Consider enumerating the various elements of problem-solving skills, like active listening, analysis, communication and decision making. This way, you not only cover your problem-solving skills broadly but also have the opportunity to list the sub-skills. Below is an example of what this might look like:
Example of a problem-solving skills resume
Here is an example of a resume that highlights problem-solving skills effectively:
New Delhi, India
Professional summary: Dedicated journalism professional who is adept at writing, editing, proofreading and sourcing information with a hands-on leadership style that focuses on solving problems before they affect the news production.
Effective team communication
Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication
Indraprastha State University, New Delhi
August 2009-August 2012
Bass guitarist of the college band and organised university music competitions despite bands dropping out.
Maintained distinction while working to fund education.
24x7 Media Limited
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Identified disorganisation in the team structure and implemented solutions that resulted in a 20% increase in productivity.
Held regular meetings that significantly eliminated confusion among team members.
Oversaw a team of 35 employees.
24x7 Media Limited Noida, Uttar Pradesh
July 2015-August 2017
Implemented strategies to increase efficiency that were later adopted company-wide.
Managed communication between the assistant editors and sub-editors when disputes arose over factual discrepancies.
Oversaw a team of 7 members.
How to improve your problem-solving skills
There are many steps you may take to improve your problem-solving skills. Whether you are searching for a job or leveling up in your career, improving these skills can be helpful. Below are some steps to help you enhance your problem-solving skills:
1. Acquire more knowledge in your field
Having an in-depth knowledge of your field helps you with career growth and professional development. It is also easier to solve complex problems when you possess strong working technical knowledge. Online courses, seminars and training programmes are a great way to improve your problem-solving skills.
2. Look for opportunities to solve problems
Your eagerness to learn and improve your skills may help you succeed at your job and remain confident. By putting yourself into difficult situations, you may learn different ways to solve a problem. Find opportunities in your present role that require you to exceed expectations and overcome limitations.
3. Observe how others solve problems
Observation is a great way to collect information on various situations. Observe your team members and colleagues who efficiently solve problems to learn from them. Ask one of your more experienced colleagues if they would like to share their problem-solving process with you.
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