If you’re in business, technology, or even education, you’ve likely heard of analytical skills. The term has become a modern buzzword that effectively piques the attention of many executives and hiring managers.
Why? Because analytical skills have become the standard by which job applicants are being measured.
These highly sought after practical thinking skills can easily transfer not only between industry fields, but between the realms of your personal and professional lives.
But just what are analytical skills? And why do they matter?
What Does It Mean To Have Strong Analytical Skills?
Analytical skills, while practical in nature, mostly involve your ability to perceive, organize, and assimilate information.
Simply put: analytical skills are problem-solving skills. They’re a collection of traits and abilities that emphasize a logical, rational approach to tackling new ideas, sorting information, and discovering creative solutions.
Having a natural inclination toward logical thinking certainly helps, but it isn’t necessary. An analytical skill is just that: a skill! And skills can be learned.
Here are a few examples of common analytical skills:
- Data analysis
You may have an inherent talent for thinking and strategizing – and that’s great! But rest assured, even if problem-solving doesn’t come naturally to you, these skills can be developed.
Why are analytical skills so important?
Analytical skills are useful in many ways. Developing analytical skills won’t just give you a leg up at work — they will help you become a better problem solver in many different areas of your life.
However, one of the real reasons these thinking skills have become such a hot topic is because of how invaluable they are in the workplace.
Employers are increasingly interested in the analytical thinking skills of their employees and potential hires. Workshops are hosted to develop facets of critical thinking. Seminars are provided that seeks to encourage collaborative problem-solving.
While analytical skills are certainly useful at home, they’re a powerful commodity within the workplace, which is why identifying what analytical skills you already have at your disposal will help nurture your inherent potential.
How do you assess analytical skills?
As you can see, it is highly beneficial to have good analytical skills. And, naturally, there are some questions that can help you assess your skills or the skills of your potential employees.
Here are a few questions to ask:
- What did you do when you had a problem to solve but didn’t have all the information you needed?
- How do you weigh a decision based on pros and cons?
- How do you choose between multiple options when you like all of them equally?
- You have a lot of work to do, but not enough time? How do you prioritize your time?
- How do you solve a fight with someone who just doesn’t want to listen?
What Analytical Skills Do You Have?
Think you don’t have any analytical thinking skills?
You’d be surprised at how savvy a problem solver you truly are!
Analytical thinking skills are about a lot more than creative solutions to tricky conundrums.
If you’d like to find out more about your critical thinking skills, why not try an online analytical reasoning test? This is a good way to discern where your natural talents lie, and where you may need to invest some time improving your skills.
What Are Examples Of Analytical Skills?
If you want your credentials to be as competitive as can be, you’ll need to add some strong analytical skills to your resume.
Executives and hiring managers love to see that you can exemplify these abilities. Anyone of these skills will look fantastic on a resume, but the more you’re able to confidently exhibit, the better!
1. Effective research
Being able to effectively research and gather data is an invaluable analytical skill, and gathering the right information from the right sources isn’t always easy.
As an effective researcher, you need to know what’s relevant and what isn’t. You need to know what sources are reputable, and which aren’t. You need to stay focused on the task at hand, and not gather extraneous data.
Assembling information in a timely manner is important to your manager because it means the company’s time is being utilized well.
Demonstrate that you can wield this analytical skill and your resume will shine.
2. Data analysis
The next step after curating your information is being able to analyze it. This is where critical thinking comes into play.
Analyzing data may sound super technical, but don’t worry! This is something we actually do each and every day, both in and out of the workplace. Data analysis is simply the ability to find and detect patterns in a volume of information.
Being a competent data analyst means you’re able to look at a collection of data and discern where logical patterns and sequences emerge.
Data analysis comes in many forms, so see where you can detect your own inner analyst at work in your everyday life!
3. Efficient problem solving
Problem-solving isn’t just about finding a solution. It’s about being able to identify that there’s a problem in the first place.
Sometimes, projects are sidelined by simple, small problems that were allowed to snowball into catastrophic monstrosities. An effective problem solver might have been able to detect the presence of such a hitch before it became a true hindrance.
Once a problem has been identified, critical analysis and a rational deduction will help you solve it. Try to find the most efficient, practical solution available. If your options are few, try some outside the box thinking and create something entirely new and unique.
4. Creative thinking
This ties in well with being an efficient problem solver. Creative thinking is an analytical skill that’s highly valued and very transferrable.
Nurturing your inner wellspring of creativity will help you tackle challenging problems. It will also encourage you to try alternative methods and inventive approaches that may help streamline the problem-solving process.
Being a creative thinker means you are able to see a problem from a different vantage point than most. This makes you an invaluable asset to the team.
5. Compelling communication
Being able to solve problems, think analytically and spot trends are all useful skills in and of themselves. But they require something else, something more to facilitate their effectiveness in the workplace:
Without communication, we’re unable to make our ideas heard. Without communication, we’re unable to share our other analytical skills with our teammates, our co-workers, or our project managers.
Whether it be written or verbal, we must be able to communicate our thoughts. As an effective communicator, we can facilitate the potency of all our other analytical skills.
How To Include Analytical Skills On Your Resume
Now that you know what hiring managers are looking for, you know exactly what to add to your resume.
But — how?
Besides compiling a laundry list of buzzwords and tossing them into your CV, how can these skills be demonstrated and displayed?
In other words: what’s the best way to integrate analytical skills into your resume?
Well, to weave analytical skills seamlessly into your credentials, you’ll need to identify the times in which you’ve displayed an effective use of these skills.
What job experiences have you had in which you had to use critical thinking? Data analysis? Creative problem-solving?
Once you know which relevant job experiences you’ve had that directly relate to analytical thinking skills, find a way to include them in the description of the work you did!
Carefully pick apart your resume to find spots where you can slide in a reference to an analytical skill or two. The next hiring manager you meet will definitely notice, and you may just get the call for that second interview sooner than you were expecting!
What analytical skills do you think are most important? Share it with us in a comment below!