Essential Conflict Resolution Skills for Your Resume - Stand Out!

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Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

14 min read

A Guide to Conflict Resolution Skills, Including How to Add Them to Your Resume

Wherever human beings gather, there is always the potential for confrontation and conflict. And yes, that includes the workplace, where arguments and disagreements can occur with surprising regularity. The fact is that you will eventually experience some type of conflict in your job. That’s why it’s essential to include the right conflict resolution skills on your resume to help you stand out from rival candidates.

In this post, we will explore why conflict occurs in the workplace and how well-developed conflict resolution skills can help you manage disagreements in an effective way. We will also provide some important tips that you can use to highlight your conflict resolution skills in your resume.

What are conflict resolution skills?

Conflicts can involve any disagreement between two or more parties and can take many different forms. Sometimes, conflicts can be as minor as a basic disagreement over trivial matters. At other times, conflicts can involve major differences of opinion regarding strategies or courses of action. The problem is that even the smallest disagreements can escalate into major problems if they are left unaddressed. That’s where conflict resolution skills come into play.

Conflict resolution skills help disagreeing parties find common ground. 

  • For minor disagreements, this resolution can be as simple as an agreement to disagree – if everyone involved understands the need to work together to achieve the company’s goals. 

  • For major disagreements that impact productivity and workplace harmony, however, the resolution typically involves finding a solution that ends the disagreement entirely.

Why do employers look for conflict resolution skills on a resume?

Given that conflict occurs so frequently, it’s always important for companies to ensure they’ve hired people who can bridge those differences and maintain a healthy workplace. Conflict within the workplace can be one of the biggest challenges any company can face. Even healthy conflict – different ideas about how to solve a problem, for example – can become problematic over time if no one possesses the skills needed to resolve the differences.

While these types of skills may not appear in many job postings, employers are always eager to see them highlighted in a resume. By putting your conflict resolution skills on your resume, you’re sending a powerful signal about your problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Any employer who finds these skills in your resume is sure to take note of the type of value you might add to their team.

Different types of conflicts that you may see in your workplace

As noted above, conflicts in the workplace can take many different forms. For example:

  • Task conflict. Sometimes, employees may come into conflict over issues related to their roles, resource allocation, differing employee expectations, or strategies for achieving their common mission. While these conflicts can be productive if they are effectively resolved, they can harm productivity and team cohesion if they’re left unaddressed.

  • Leadership conflict. This is a common area of conflict and often occurs when managers disagree about the best way to lead their teams. Sometimes, different managers come into conflict over their respective levels of authority, strategic visions, or power to make and execute decisions. Without quick resolution, these types of disputes can be disastrous for any company.

  • Conflicting values. It’s also common for employees of a company to hold divergent values. Differences in ethics, morals, customs, and priorities can all lead to conflict that needs to be resolved so that team members can work together in an effective way.

  • Personality clashes. Interpersonal conflicts are among the most common types of problems within any workplace. Every person has their own unique personality, which can sometimes make it difficult for them to collaborate with one another. It’s important to be able to resolve these types of conflicts to promote tolerance, inclusiveness, overall team unity, and a more harmonious workplace.

  • Differences in work styles. Since employees all come from different backgrounds and all have their own unique work experiences, they often arrive with very different work styles. Their unique organizational, time management, and communication styles can easily conflict with one another. This too can create conflict and disharmony in the workplace.

  • Creative conflicts. Differences in skill sets, goals, and professional interests can all contribute to creative clashes that cause tension in the workplace. These conflicts need to be resolved to ensure that everyone on the team shares the same collective vision.

  • Interdepartmental conflict. In addition to conflict between individuals, companies can also experience conflict between departments within their organization. These conflicts can stem from individual personality issues, insufficient goal centralization, or competition for limited resources.

Most conflicts cannot be ignored for long. Without a resolution, longstanding disagreements can impact employee morale, teamwork, and overall productivity. The discord created by conflict can have a negative effect on customer interactions, disrupt vendor relations, and lead to declines in employee engagement and retention. The effective use of conflict resolution skills can help end these disagreements and restore company harmony.

Examples of conflict resolution skills for your resume

There is no singular skill that can be defined as conflict resolution. Instead, the ability to resolve conflicts involves the use of a variety of related skills. 

For the sake of simplification, we have identified the following core skills that can play a vital role in any successful conflict resolution.


To successfully resolve any conflict, you must be able to get the two sides together to find common ground. Your ability to facilitate this process can involve a variety of other abilities, including active listening, diplomacy, and collaboration – as well as traits like patience, intuition, and perception. 

Facilitation is one of those teamwork skills that any good negotiator will possess and is prized by companies that value sound leadership abilities.

Key facilitation skills:

  • Diplomacy

  • Collaboration

  • Patience

  • Intuition

  • Perception

  • Negotiation


Obviously, you are not going to get far in any conflict resolution effort without great communication skills. You will need to be able to employ active listening to properly understand the issues in dispute, paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal messages as they are being conveyed. 

Persuasiveness is also critical since your conflict resolution efforts can only be successful if you can convince the parties to reach a solution acceptable to everyone involved.

Key communication skills:

  • Active listening

  • Comprehension

  • Nonverbal and verbal communication

  • Persuasiveness

  • Finding areas of compromise


The ability to understand another person’s point of view is critical for resolving conflicts. Your empathy should enable you to understand how each person involved in the dispute thinks and feels about the situation at hand. Someone with solid empathy skills will be able to manage the different personalities involved in any given dispute, demonstrate compassion, build trust, and help the parties get past their emotional attachment to the issue.

Key empathy skills:

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Personality management

  • Compassion

  • Trust building

  • Impartiality


The ability to mediate disagreements is a vital skill for conflict resolution. If you’re a good mediator, you will be both assertive and welcoming. Equally important, you will possess superior emotional intelligence that enables you to remain impartial, unemotional, and measured in your approach to conflict.

A transparent, neutral approach to conflict resolution can help ensure that the search for a solution is conducted in a rational, respectful way that seeks to guarantee everyone is satisfied with the results.

Key mediation skills:

  • Assertiveness

  • Inclusiveness

  • Emotional control

  • Transparency

  • Fairness and respect


Problem-solving skills include abilities that enable you to analyze the true source of any problem and work toward a solution. Conflict resolution often requires you to use your problem-solving skills to find creative win-win options that provide a fair resolution to any dispute. This can involve integrating competing goals, efforts to restore strained relationships, and redirecting the parties’ focus to broader company objectives.

Key problem-solving skills:

  • Analytical thinking

  • Creative thinking

  • Ability to find common ground

  • Relationship building

  • Goal setting

Focus on accountability

Finding a solution to any conflict is only the beginning of the conflict-resolution process. Follow-up may also be needed to ensure that problems remain resolved. This helps ensure that everyone involved in the resolution process remains committed to the solution and can help prevent the problem from recurring.

Key accountability skills:

  • Expectation management

  • Strategic planning

  • Process management

  • Attention to detail

  • Constructive criticism

Tips to help you more effectively resolve workplace conflicts

If you already possess many of those basic conflict resolution skills, then chances are that you have what it takes to resolve disputes in your workplace. Still, there are some helpful strategies you will need to know before you dive headfirst into the next dispute you encounter in the office. 

Here are some key steps that you should take whenever you approach a problem that requires conflict resolution.

1.     Center yourself before you begin

The last thing you want to do when you are trying to resolve a conflict is to bring your own emotions into the process. To prevent that, you should always take the time to make sure you are calm and collected before you approach any disagreeable situation. 

Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and balance your emotions. 

When you are calm, you will have a much easier time helping others to restrain their own emotions.

2.     Obtain agreement that a problem exists

As you begin your intervention, start by getting the parties to at least agree that there is a dispute that needs to be remedied. Without that basic agreement, nothing else can be accomplished. 

Let the disputants know that you want to help them find an equitable resolution to their disagreement but that they all need to acknowledge that a problem exists before you can move forward.

3.     Gather in a neutral location

Mediation is always more effective when it is conducted on neutral ground, so try to take the resolution process to a location where everyone can feel at ease. Depending on your company, that safe place could be an empty office, the cafeteria, or a meeting room. 

Do not attempt resolution in a public space where an audience may gather. Instead, make sure that the selected meeting place is in an area where everyone has the privacy needed to openly share their thoughts and feelings.

4.     Make sure the parties agree to resolve the issue

Once you have gathered in a safe, neutral location, get everyone to agree they want to resolve the issue. Mediation can only be effective when disagreeing parties are committed to fixing their problems. 

Avoid beginning any serious conflict resolution efforts until you have secured that basic agreement. 

If either party is reluctant to commit to a resolution, you may need to take them aside and explain why this issue cannot be ignored.

5.     Assess the situation

Assessing the actual source of the conflict is the most important part of any conflict resolution effort. To do that, you should get all parties to convey their perceptions of the issue at hand. Make sure each party explains what they think is happening, their thoughts about the conflict, and their feelings. As you gather this information, be empathetic and use active listening skills to understand their point of view.

Throughout this process, try to determine which stressors may have led to the dispute. Those stress factors may include policies that have been inadequately explained, conflicting expectations, burnout, or even problems at home. You will need to fully understand why the conflict occurred if you hope to resolve it in a satisfactory way.

6.     Brainstorm to identify areas for compromise

This is where your problem-solving skills will need to come into play. Successful conflict resolution is usually the art of finding the right compromise since the best solutions are typically ones that leave everyone feeling like a winner. Collaborate with the parties to brainstorm possible solutions that enable them to meet somewhere in the middle.

7.     Create a resolution plan

Your solution will need an actual plan if it is to be properly implemented in a productive and satisfactory way. Ask each participant what they can do to make the compromise work and get them to commit to doing their part. Remember, though, that no plan will work unless and until each side is able to recognize how their actions and thoughts contributed to the conflict.

8.     Follow up to ensure accountability

To ensure accountability, create a plan to follow up over time. One way to do this is to schedule a follow-through meeting where everyone can revisit the issue and provide updates on the plan’s implementation. By scheduling this meeting, you can hold the disputants accountable for the resolution’s success.

How to include your conflict resolution skills on a resume

As you might imagine, employers place a premium value on these types of conflict resolution skills. They know skilled mediators can make excellent leaders and are thus always looking for job candidates who possess those skills. To ensure that prospective employers understand your ability to resolve conflict, you need to know how to include conflict resolution skills in your resume. These tips can help.

Including conflict resolution skills in your resume summary

You can be certain hiring managers will immediately recognize your experience in conflict management by mentioning these skills within your resume summary. Do that by citing one or two of your top conflict resolution skills, including an example of how you’ve used those skills to benefit past employers. 

For example:

Dynamic project manager with 6 years of experience in program creation and implementation. Consistently drive growth in revenue and market share, facilitating more than forty successful projects with a 100% track record of client satisfaction. Skilled team builder, resource manager, and conflict resolution specialist focused on common ground solutions, employee empowerment, and mutual success.

Including conflict resolution skills in your skills section

You should always include one or two of your strongest conflict resolution abilities in your skills section. You can refer to the skills listed earlier in this post and cultivate a list of up to 12 core competencies that speak to your overall career skill set and conflict resolution skills. 

For example:

  • Strong written and verbal communication

  • Negotiation and mediation

  • Active listening

  • Creative problem-solving

  • Conflict resolution facilitation

As a reminder, make sure you use the exact terms found in the job posting as you list your essential skills and qualifications. This maximizes the chances your resume will get past any applicant tracking system the employer uses to weed out job seekers.

Related post: ATS Resume Test: Free ATS Checker & Formatting Examples (2024)

Including conflict resolution abilities in your work experience section

The work experience section can provide another great opportunity to showcase your conflict resolution skills in your resume. Here, though, you will want to focus on highlighting specific examples of how you used those conflict skills to resolve an issue within a previous employer’s company. To do that, include your example as one of your bullet point highlights beneath the appropriate job listing. 

Of course, you’ll want to do more than just recount some story about how you saved the day by bringing people together. These achievement statements should prove how your efforts produced real value for your employers. The best way to do that is to focus on achievements that include quantifiable numbers demonstrating that value. 

For example:

  • Successfully led conflict resolution efforts between ABC Corporation’s Internal Operations and Marketing divisions, resolving a longstanding dispute over client acquisition strategies that increased collaboration between the two departments, reduced client friction, and increased productivity by 22% in the first quarter after implementation.

  • Coordinated and led team that resolved a two-year dispute with a critical vendor, identifying the source of friction and implementing solutions that eliminated supply chain impediments to ramped-up production. Those efforts were credited for an immediate production rate increase of 17%.

  • Revamped DDD Inc.’s customer complaint system, refocusing on customer service personnel training and standardized systems for resolving customer issues that prioritized customer satisfaction. The new program resulted in a 12% improvement in complaint resolution times, a 23% improvement in customer satisfaction, and an 11% boost in customer retention.

Notice how those achievements all start with strong action words designed to create a positive impression on the reader. Never use words like “responsible for” or similar language that dilutes the impact of your accomplishments. 

Remember, the goal is to convey your value to any prospective employer. To do that, you need to begin with strong action words, describe how you resolved a conflict, and quantify the results that you achieved.

Conflict resolution skills on your resume can differentiate you from rival candidates

Because conflict can occur at almost any time in the workplace, employers continue to value job candidates who possess critical conflict resolution skills. By learning to identify your own skills, strengthen your ability to resolve conflict, and effectively convey those conflict resolution skills in your resume, you can increase your chances of landing the job interview you need for your next great job.

Do you need help ensuring that your resume effectively highlights your critical conflict resolution skills? Then make sure to get your free resume review from our resume professionals today!

This article was written by Ken Chase in 2023. He updated it in April 2024.

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Written by

Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

During Ken's two decades as a freelance writer, he has covered everything from banking and fintech to business management and the entertainment industry. His true passion, however, has always been focused on helping others achieve their career goals with timely job search and interview advice or the occasional resume consultation. When he's not working, Ken can usually be found adventuring with family and friends or playing fetch with his demanding German Shepherd. Read more resume advice from Ken on ZipJob’s blog.

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