Analytical skills are in high demand and can help you stand it out from the competition. But how do you communicate them in the right way on your resume? This blog will walk you through each step.
Challenges inevitably arise at work. Employers cherish employees with unique abilities to face problems and find solutions.
Analytical skills allow you to assess data and processes to find solutions that can boost productivity and address a company's challenges. Many job descriptions even include some form of analytical skills as a requirement.
It's one thing to possess problem-solving skills – being able to describe them clearly on your resume is another. Anyone can say they are a “critical thinker” or that they “think outside the box,” but those cliched phrases are easily dismissed, especially if there are no accomplishments on your resume to support the claim.
How do you describe your analytical skills in ways specific enough to attract a reader's attention? How do you demonstrate that they have brought tangible value?
In this blog, we'll cover:
What are analytical skills?
Why do they belong on a resume?
Where to place your analytical skills on your resume
What are analytical skills?
The skills that enable you to investigate a problem and find the ideal solution in a timely, efficient manner are known as analytical skills.
Analytical skills are used when detecting patterns, brainstorming, interpreting data, integrating information, and making decisions based on multiple factors. They can encompass both quantitative and methodical skills or more creative and innovative abilities.
If you're unsure which analytical skills you possess, if any, take a detailed look at your accomplishments and your methods for getting the best results. You might have more than you think.
Here are a few analytical skills to get you started:
A creative eye can spot trends in data that others may not see. Creativity is also useful for problem-solving when the obvious solution is not always the best solution. Creative thinkers often find effective solutions to big problems.
Creative skills include: brainstorming, collaboration, optimization, predictive modeling, restructuring, strategic planning, and integration.
Thinking critically means being able to avoid the obvious. It refers to evaluating information and then making a decision based on your findings, often exploring even impossible angles to find a solution. Critical thinking is what helps an employee make decisions that help solve problems for a company.
Critical thinking skills include: process management, auditing, benchmarking, big data analytics, case analysis, causal relationships, comparative analysis, correlation, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, diagnostics, dissecting, evaluating, data interpretation, and troubleshooting.
Once you have a solution, you have to communicate it to your colleagues so that it can be shared and implemented. Effective communicators know how to discuss patterns, conclusions, and recommendations. They know how to draw attention and inspire colleagues. If the goal is to find a solution as a group, good communicators also know how to lead teams in effective collaboration.
Analytical communication skills include: problem sensitivity, active listening, reporting, surveying, teamwork, oral communication, written communication, and conducting presentations.
Data analysis is the ability to systematize information in order to uncover patterns and dependencies. No matter what the career field might be, data analysis involves being able to examine a large volume of data and identify trends in that data. It goes beyond simply reading and comprehending the information to clarifying larger concepts and presenting conclusions for top decision-makers. It can also involve the ability to see past the data and find the “spaces in between”. Sometimes the data you need isn't obvious. You need not only to see what is in front of you, but what is missing.
Data analysis skills include: observation, business analysis, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), cost analysis, credit analysis, financial analysis, industry research, policy analysis, predictive analytics, process analysis, qualitative analysis, and ROI analysis.
Why are analytical skills important on your resume?
Facing and overcoming challenges is critical to a company's survival. An employee with analytical skills can find new solutions to problems that arise and can lead teams down new paths to bolster efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Decisions and actions are based on those skills. This is why the most sought-after employees and executives have a proven record of verifiable analytical skills.
The ability to see trends, draw conclusions, and communicate options is a must in finances, data science, medicine, marketing, law, and many more industries.
That's why it's crucial to highlight what analytical skills you have for a potential hiring manager. But, simply saying you have “analytical” or “critical thinking” skills in a cover letter means next to nothing. Use your resume to demonstrate your skills in action.
How to demonstrate analytical skills on your resume
The keyword here is “demonstrate”, as in demonstrate the skill or skills in use. Countless resumes will use phrases like “critical thinker”, “communicator” or “solution-oriented”, but can you show how you've utilized a skill in a way that has brought value to an employer?
Give examples of situations in your job where those skills lead to a solution
Describe a specific process you utilized
List major achievements enable by your analytical skills
Include specific training courses related to analytical skills
Use synonyms to avoid repeating “analyzed,” “analysis,” and “analytical skills.”
Where do I list analytical skills on the resume?
The summary is a good place to introduce a skill that has served you repeatedly throughout your career. If you've assisted clients in analyzing their workflow, have often been called upon to find unique solutions, or are a manager known for leading teams through difficult situations, this is the place to introduce that.
Here's an example: Solutions-driven market analyst with 6+ years of experience consulting businesses on trends and products. Lead partner for Consulting Company X. Extensive experience with digital transformation. Revolutionized a client's reach by 20% by taking them online.
The work history is the ideal place to list analytical skills that lead to demonstrable successes. Here, you have the opportunity to use stats, percentages, and dollar amounts to show how your ability to assess and solve problems increased revenue, advanced markets, or led teams.
In the work history section, you're less likely to use the terms that define analytical skills and more likely to describe them indirectly by showing the success they've brought.
Make use of the STAR (Situation–Task–Action–Result) model when selecting accomplishments to list in your work history.
Situation: The employer wanted to achieve a target.
Task: You were tasked with devising solutions to meet this target.
Action: What steps you took to perform the task. (also, what analytical skills you used)
Result: What was the result of your actions?
When phrasing the accomplishment in your work history, follow the ATM model: Action verb // Task // Metric. Here's an example:
Analyzed $80k/month marketing spend // to optimize reach; // increased conversion by 15% MoM and decreased cost per acquisition by 20%
Take a look at the following example. This resume shows how this person's strong data analysis and market research skills helped advance his company into a new market; how their process analysis skills helped optimize their inventory system; and how their communication skills helped them train and manage staff. The words “invented” and “generated” also elicit creativity.
Artus Springs - Phoenix, AZ
01/2017 - 02/2020
Developed a market entry strategy for the Northwest market, leading to $1.3 million in new market revenue in the first 2 years of operations
Increased stock turnover by 30% and KPIs by 15% by overhauling the inventory management process
Successfully managed a 5-member leadership team
Organized and led events with 40 suppliers
Recruited and trained a diverse team composed of 100+ brand ambassadors
Invented cross-category marketing solutions, bringing +12% market advertising penetration
The skills section
Because analytical skills are often listed in job descriptions, hiring managers will look for them in the skills section. ATS systems will also scan the skills section to filter for resumes with relevant skills. So, if the job listing to which you are applying clearly lists specific analytical skills that you have, be sure they are listed in your skills section as well.
Beyond that, it's important to list your analytical skills here in any case. But beware – less is more. Don't list every analytical skill in existence. The key is to list skills that specifically relate to the job or have a strong focus on the industry. Remember, it's crucial to tailor each resume to a specific job offer. That includes the skills section. For example, if the job posting doesn't explicitly list desired skills, look for keywords in the job description that might allude to helpful analytical skills. Is it a management position? Communication skills are a must. Is it a sales position that expresses a hope to expand markets? Market analysis and projection modeling are key.
Also, whichever skill you list in the skills section, be ready to be asked about it in an interview. Before you add a skill to your list, consider whether you can back it up with an anecdote, evidence, or achievement.
The next key is to strive for word choices that are as specific as possible. If the job description calls for “communication”, of course, list that. But is there a specific area of communication in which you excel? Do you have experience with “team management,” “surveying,” or “giving presentations”?
Remember there are both soft skills and hard skills that qualify as analytical skills. “Data analysis” can be trained, but “market prediction” is a skill developed with experience. When considering which analytical skills you possess, look to both categories.
See this example for a research assistant resume:
data management systems
A special achievements section
An achievements section doesn't occur on every resume, but there are a couple of reasons to include one. For example, an accomplishments section can be helpful if you have impressive achievements outside of the workplace, such as community organizing, volunteering, or hobbies with impressive, relatable skills.
If you're in a senior executive position in your career, it can be helpful to add a Career Highlights section at the top of your resume, showcasing the many accomplishments you've achieved throughout your career.
On the opposite end, if you're just beginning your career journey, but have significant achievements in school or your community, an accomplishments section is a great place to list them.
If you're looking to use this section to highlight your analytical skills, make sure to focus on accomplishments with demonstrable results.
See the examples below.
Example #1: outside the workplace
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Raised $10,000 for lymphoma research through community fundraisers
Created annual “Feed the Homeless” events within my community, raising $1,500 avg.
Led Girl Scout Troops on hikes of the full length of the Appalachian Trail in 2018-2022
Example #2: career highlights
Led a team of 15 employees in a local call center location for more than 5 years
Created and implemented a new training program which resulted in a 25% increase in customer satisfaction
Managed an international customer service team of 25+ employees
Implemented Lean Management directives at company X, which cut overall operating cost by 35%
Example #3: recent graduate
Tutored SAT and ACT improving their test scores by 40% for the average student.
Tutored 4 students in linear algebra, helping them improve by two grades on average.
Organized debate club travel logistics for away meets.
Analytical skills in your education section
If you have a degree, advanced training, or other qualification that could help demonstrate analytical skills, make sure you list it in your education section. Majors in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or statistics demonstrate analytical skills. If you're a recent graduate, include relevant minors. If the job is specifically looking for particular skills and you've taken seminars or have received certifications for new skills, be sure to highlight them under education.
Davis University, Bachelor of Science
Major in Computer Science
Minor in Statistics
Teaching assistant Sept 2019 - May 2020
Analytical skills are in high demand. Understanding how to communicate yours effectively on your resume will help you stand it out from the competition. Be specific and authentic.
Analytical skills are those skills that allow you to discover patterns, think critically and find unique solutions for success. Consider not only your greatest achievements but also your day-to-day successes when looking for your analytical skills.
TopResume understands that talking about skills and achievements can be a difficult challenge. Reach out to our expert team of resume writers to help build your resume that successfully highlights your skills.