If you have ever had anyone tell you that analytical skills can be an important addition to your resume, then there’s a good chance that you’ve wondered exactly which of those skills employers want to see. Just as important, you might be curious about how you’re supposed to present those analytical skills in a way that delivers the right message to potential employers. What is the right way to craft a great analytical skills resume that properly showcases your most relevant analysis abilities?
In this post, we will explain analytical skills and examine why they are so valuable to today’s top employers. We will also provide some great examples of analytical skills and show you how to successfully highlight them in your analytical skills resume.
What are analytical skills?
The simplest way to define analytical skills is to consider all of the various abilities you use to identify and solve problems. Basically, analytical thinking skills encompass all of the traits and abilities that help you observe situations, research and identify patterns, interpret data, and create solutions. These skills are used in any scientific approach to problem-solving and enable you to break down complex issues into simpler facts and data, develop a deeper understanding of the underlying issues involved in any problem, and create and test potential solutions.
The skills that can be properly defined as analytical can all be learned and developed. No one is born with these abilities. However, some people are more analytical than others and seem to have an easier time developing these traits. Nevertheless, anyone can become a more analytical thinker with enough time and effort. So, even if you feel like you might be lacking in any of these skills, rest assured that you can improve them and increase your potential value to any employer.
It’s also important to note that analytical skills can be applied in a variety of ways and by different types of problem solvers.
Evidence-based problem solving: For example, if you are someone who appreciates a methodical, evidence-based approach to resolving challenges, analytical thinking can help you with your observation, pattern detection, data interpretation, brainstorming efforts, and decision-making processes.
Creative problem solving: But what if you are a more creative problem-solver who likes to think outside of the box and come up with new, innovative solutions? Well, analytical thinking skills can help you there as well. While your brainstorming process might be different than less evidence-based types, you still need to be able to collect and analyze data so that your creativity is based on the facts at hand.
Why employers want candidates with great analytical skills
As the modern economy has become more innovative and fast-paced, employers have increasingly prioritized analytical skills resumes during their hiring processes. These skills are valuable in virtually every industry today since they empower employees to identify problems, understand cause and effect, create new solutions, and devise plans to effectively implement those ideas. For an employer, those skills can add immediate value to the company’s bottom line.
That’s why analytical skills in a resume can help to capture a hiring manager’s attention. Companies need analytical thinkers at every level of their operations, from senior leadership to customer service personnel. To understand why, let’s examine the difference between a customer service representative with strong analytical skills and an employee who lacks those abilities.
Someone with strong analytical skills: The analytical thinker will more easily recognize patterns in customer behavior, whether they involve purchasing habits, refund requests, or everyday complaints. That employee may be driven to analyze those patterns, attempting to determine the root causes of those customer activities. That can lead to creative solutions that enhance sales, reduce refunds, or improve customer satisfaction.
Someone lacking analytical skills: Meanwhile, the employee who lacks analytical skills will be more likely to just go through their work routine, oblivious to those behavioral patterns. While that is not necessarily a bad thing—the employee is still doing their job, after all—it should be easy to understand why an employer would prefer the analytical thinker if given the choice between these two job candidates.
Examples of analytical skills to include on your resume
Analytical skills resumes should include a variety of abilities that demonstrate your analytical thinking and problem-solving talents. Strong analytical thinkers have abilities that can be roughly categorized into five main skill areas:
Observation. The ability to observe a situation, identify problems, and recognize potential causes and effects.
Research. A good analytical thinker can gather facts and evidence, compile it, and differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information.
Critical thinking. These skills provide any analytical thinker with the ability to competently evaluate data and fact patterns based on all the available information at hand.
Creativity. A creative thinker can identify trends, make logical inferences to close the gap between disparate pieces of data, and create potential solutions that may not always be obvious to others.
Communication. This skill set can include both written and verbal communication and is absolutely vital for any successful analytical thinker. Without good communication skills, there can be no collaborative problem-solving, no successful reporting, and no real teamwork.
Within those five categories, there are a host of abilities that contribute to sound analysis. Below are some examples of the types of talents you might want to include in your analytical skills resume:
Attention to detail
By highlighting your attention to detail in your resume, you can make sure that employers understand your ability to recognize problems and identify root causes. This skill is vital for any analytical thinker who wants to resolve complex challenges.
Active listening is important for anyone who wants to fully understand a situation. It enables you to be more efficient in gathering data and information while also contributing to more effective communication and collaboration.
Data collection and interpretation
These research skills are vital for effective analysis because they enable analytical thinkers to gather the facts and data they need and properly interpret their importance and impact in any given situation.
Pattern and trend recognition
An analytical approach to problem-solving often requires you to recognize how data points fit together to form patterns and trends. Identifying these informational patterns and trends can help to inform any attempt to resolve problems.
This creative skill is used whenever problem-solvers begin to search for potential solutions to any challenge. In many instances, the brainstorming process will involve the creation of many possible solutions, each of which is then analyzed further to predict its viability.
The ability to collaborate is a key skill for analytical thinkers since they’re often called upon to work as part of a larger team. Vital teamwork skills can help facilitate deeper consideration of issues and fact patterns and provide new perspectives on possible solutions.
Tips to help you create your analytical skills resume
Of course, you also need to know how to highlight these skills in your analytical skills resume. For maximum effectiveness, you should try to include these abilities in your summary, work experience, and skills sections.
Analytical skills in your resume summary
The first opportunity you’ll have to showcase your analytical skills in your resume is in the resume summary. Of course, you should not just state that you’re an analytical thinker. Instead, include references to some of those analytical abilities you possess. For example:
Dedicated marketing analyst with 9 years of experience developing detailed market analytics for Fortune 500 clients. Led a 30-person team charged with revitalizing multiple client marketing strategies, using a range of predictive, prescriptive, and diagnostic analysis techniques to help customers keep pace with an ever-evolving marketing landscape.
Analytical skills in your professional experience section
Naturally, you will want to include analytical abilities within the experience section too. You can do this by pointing to specific achievements that you accomplished using these skills. List those achievements in the bullet points beneath your specific job roles. For example:
Dynacorp, Inc. | 2018-2023
Overhauled workflow process for client management, reducing annual costs by $300,000 and increasing annual profits by 18%.
Implemented a new data analysis process using Tableau, reducing data loss and disorganization by 62% in the first quarter of 2023.
Analytical skills in your skills or core competencies section
In addition, your analytical skills should be prominently placed within your skill or core competencies section. Be sure to identify any required analysis skills by reviewing the job description, and then include those specific keywords or phrases in your analytical skills resume to ensure that you satisfy any applicant tracking system the company might be using. You can include skills found in this post, as well as other analytical abilities like investigation, ROI analysis, policy analysis, cost analysis, data dissection, inductive reasoning, data prioritization, and more.
Creating the right kind of analytical skills resume can be essential for demonstrating your analysis abilities to a potential employer. By understanding your own talent for analysis and learning how to properly present those skills to an employer, you can increase your odds of standing out from any job competitors.
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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.