Did you know that 78% of recruiters consider analytical skills as the second most important set of skills they want to see on resumes?
In fact, analytical skills are considered one of the three most in-demand skills in today’s ultra-competitive job market.
In this guide, you will learn about analytical skills, how you can hone them, and how you can demonstrate them on your resume to help you stand out.
Table of Contents
- What analytical skills are
- Top analytical skills
- Importance of analytical skills
- How to highlight analytical skills on your resume
- How to highlight analytical skills in a job interview
- How to develop analytical skills
- Key Takeaways
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What are analytical skills?
Analytical skills encompass a wide range of qualities that include the ability to process data, analyze information, think critically, identify cause-and-effect relationships, solve complex problems and make effective decisions.
Top analytical skills to include on your resume
Analytical skills are critical in virtually all industries and careers. A study by the Pew Research Center revealed that employment in jobs requiring strong analytical skills increased by 77%.
If you want to increase your chances of getting a job interview and get your foot in the door, here are the top 5 analytical skills you should include on your resume.
1. Pattern recognition
Pattern recognition is the ability to spot trends and critical events and use them to make better decisions and achieve success.
How to demonstrate pattern recognition in the workplace
- Creating new marketing strategies based on customer buying patterns and emerging market trends.
- Researching about the next big wave in your industry and proposing innovative initiatives to ride that wave.
- Calculating your target market’s purchase frequency and implementing outstanding customer service to convert your repeat customers into loyal, long-term clients.
2. Data analysis
Data analysis is one of the most in-demand skills in today’s digitized world. It is the process of analyzing large data sets, extracting smaller, actionable pieces of information from them, and making informed recommendations and decisions.
How to demonstrate data analysis in the workplace
- Analyzing your year-over-year sales data to come up with the top clients who bring in the most value to your company and adjusting your resources accordingly to better serve these customers.
- Identifying areas of inefficiencies in the production flow of your products based on historical data.
- Creating effective financial controls within the company after calculating the amount of money every department overspent in the past year and investigating the real reasons for the budget overruns.
Problem-solving is the ability to identify the right problem, determine the root cause of the problem, and come up with the best solution after weighing all the options.
How to demonstrate problem-solving in the workplace
- Helping improve the overall morale of the company by resolving a protracted conflict between two divisions in the company.
- Identifying mission critical projects that the company needs to prioritize to achieve maximum profitability.
- Boosting your team’s productivity by implementing open communication policies after realizing that the lack of clear instructions and open communication had negatively affected your team’s performance.
4. Critical thinking
Critical thinking involves thinking objectively and analyzing a situation from all angles. This skill set is essential for making sound decisions, whether in business or in your personal life.
How to demonstrate critical thinking in the workplace
- Listing your pending tasks and deciding which tasks to do first.
- Deciding which community development project you will fund first, given that you have meager resources.
- Using a cost-benefit analysis to decide to launch a big project, knowing that it will bring in more customers and drive sales.
While creativity is often thought of as an artistic skill, it can also be very analytical. Creativity is the ability to come up with new ideas and solutions. This is a valuable skill in any field, as it allows you to approach problems from a fresh and innovative perspective.
How to demonstrate creativity in the workplace
- Proposing value-added products which will generate new income streams based on surveys, online polls, and market research.
- Strengthening the quality of your company’s customer service and creating fun customer engagement strategies based on customer feedback.
- Introducing new productivity apps your company can use to streamline processes, expedite communication, and boost overall productivity after calculating the amount of time and resources wasted on doing things manually.
Why are analytical skills important?
Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to advance in your current career, having analytical skills gives you a competitive edge. Here’s why.
1. Analytical skills help you solve complex problems
If you can analyze a problem and break it down into smaller pieces, you’re more likely to find a successful solution. Analytical skills help you identify the root cause of a problem, analyze it through multiple angles, and make effective and rational solutions and recommendations.
In business, there will always be problems that will crop up and employers will want job candidates who can accurately solve problems and solve them fast!
2. Analytical skills help you understand data
Having strong analytical skills helps you sort out large volumes of data and see patterns and trends to arrive at meaningful conclusions.
Companies prefer candidates who can work with data and use it to determine business inefficiencies, make better decisions, and create strategies to bring the company to the next level.
3. Analytical skills help you make informed decisions
You will be faced with decisions in the workplace every day and having strong analytical skills will help you assess the situation, understand the main goal, listen to opposing views, and choose the best alternative course of action to take.
Employers value candidates who take into account relevant information to come up with informed and effective business decisions.
4. Analytical skills make you more marketable
Candidates with strong analytical skills will always be in high demand. Employers know that only a person who has strong analytical skills is able to solve company problems, use data to support decisions, analyze customer behavior, and detect industry trends. That will help the company achieve growth and success.
How to highlight analytical skills on your resume
- Use data to support your claims
- Be specific about the methods and tools you used
- Use strong action words
- Tailor your resume for each job you are applying for
Now that you know how having strong analytical skills will help you become a competitive candidate, you need to put yourself out there by showcasing your analytical skills on your resume. Here’s how.
1. Use data to support your claims
To showcase your analytical skills, include metrics and measurable accomplishments.
Here are some examples:
- Increased productivity by 20% by adopting a new financial software that automates all our financial processes.
- Analyzed month-over-month production data and identified inefficiencies that cost the company $300,000, then devised solutions that increased efficiency by 13%
- Created a quality assurance system based on industry standards and drove profits by 15%.
2. Be specific about the methods you used
When describing the analytical methods you used to achieve results, be as specific as possible.
Did you use Excel to create pivot tables and track data over time? Did you use Python to analyze your company’s financial data?
Mentioning the tools and techniques you used shows that you have a deep grasp of analytics tools and that you know how to analyze and interpret data.
3. Use action words
To make your analytical skills stand out, use powerful action words when describing them on your resume.
Words like “analyzed,” “investigated,” “calculated,” and “determined” will help paint a picture of you as an analytical thinker who achieves results.
4. Tailor your resume for each job
When applying for jobs, you need to tailor your resume to each position. That means highlighting the analytical skills and relevant keywords most relevant for the role you’re applying for.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in marketing, you should highlight your pattern recognition skills and your creativity. If you’re applying for a job in finance, you might want to focus on your financial analysis, forecasting, and decision-making skills.
Make sure your resume matches the job you are applying for by using Jobscan’s Resume Optimization Tool.
How to highlight analytical skills in a job interview
Here are some tips on how you can show off your analytical skills in your job interview:
1. Give specific examples
Interviewers ask about your analytical skills to know how you addressed complex problems in your previous roles.
In your answer, include a specific example of a time when you used your analytical skills to solve a difficult problem.
Be sure to describe the steps you took to solve the problem. For example:
“When I looked at our month-over-month sales, I noticed a sudden drop. I zeroed in on that quarter and collected all the data I would need from both the sales and production divisions to understand the cause of the reduced sales since there was a huge demand for our product. It was there I found out that the problem was with our production team. We weren’t hitting our production goals and the quality of our products was not good. When I delved into the issue deeper, I figured out that the main issue was the lack of open communication between the two production managers, which caused conflict and reduced productivity. It was only when I really sat down and sought out the root cause that I was able to properly address the issue that could have cost us millions had it not been addressed.”
2. Use analytical skills in the interview itself
Sometimes interviewers will ask questions to understand how you solve problems and deal with challenges. They also want to see you think on your feet and showcase your analytical skills.
For example, an interviewer might ask you to analyze a situation and give your opinion on what should be done.
In this case, you can do the following:
Step 1. Articulate what the main problem is. Nothing is worse than providing the right solution to the wrong problem.
Step 2. Provide the steps you would take to determine the root cause of the problem.
Step 3. Share the alternative courses of action you can take to solve the problem. Depending on the time you have, describe the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action.
Step 4. End with the best solution you think would solve the problem and prevent it from happening again.
3. Make connections to responsibilities included in the new job
When you are preparing for an interview, look at the job description and identify the duties that will require analytical skills.
For each responsibility, prepare an example of a time when you used your analytical skills in a similar situation. This will show the interviewer that you have the necessary skills for the job.
For example, if the job requires you to analyze customer data to identify trends, you might say,
“In my previous role, I was responsible for analyzing customer data to identify patterns and trends. I used this information to develop marketing campaigns that were more targeted and effective. As a result, we saw a significant increase in sales.”
You can also mention any crisis situations you’ve been in and how you used analytical skills to resolve them. This will show that you can think on your feet and make decisions quickly when necessary.
For instance, you could say,
“I was once tasked with resolving a production issue that was causing major delays. I quickly analyzed the problem and came up with a solution that allowed us to get back on track. As a result, we avoided serious damage to our reputation and increased our productivity by 11%.”
How to develop analytical skills
If you feel like you don’t have strong analytical skills, don’t worry. Analytical skills can be learned and developed. Here are a few ways you can do that.
1. Develop your research skills
If you want to be good at analysis, you need to know how to find and use information. This means developing your research skills. You should be able to quickly find relevant information and evaluate its quality and accuracy.
2. Practice critical thinking
Critical thinking is a key analytical skill. It involves evaluating information and arguments, identifying flaws and errors, and making well-reasoned decisions.
To improve your critical thinking skills, try to find flaws in your own arguments and the arguments of others. Challenge your own assumptions. Pay attention to your own biases and prejudices, and try to account for them.
3. Be open-minded
An analytical thinker is not someone who blindly accepts everything they’re told. They are open-minded and willing to consider different points of view. To develop this skill, expose yourself to new ideas and perspectives, even if you don’t agree with them.
4. Pay attention to detail
Details are important in analysis. A small error can lead to incorrect conclusions. To improve your attention to detail, try to catch errors in your own work and the work of others. Practice active listening and take time to process information before making decisions.
5. Be patient
Patience is important for analytical thinking. Rushing into decisions can lead to mistakes. If you want to develop this skill, try to slow down and take your time when you’re solving problems. Consider all of the information and options before making a decision.
Analytical skills are one of the most important skills employers look for in a job candidate. Here are a few more points to remember.
- Analytical skills will always be in high demand because employers want to hire candidates who can help them solve problems and create solutions.
- When showcasing your analytical skills on your resume, make sure you include measurable results.
- Tailor your resume to the job description of the position you are applying for. Look for analytical skills mentioned in the job description and take note of job responsibilities that entail analytical thinking. Incorporate these into your resume. You can also use these during your interview.
- You can hone your analytical skills. It will not be an overnight thing but with patience and consistency, you will be able to develop strong analytical skills that employers are looking for. The struggle will always be worth it especially because having strong analytical skills will make you an indispensable person in your team.