“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” — Benjamin Franklin
Over 43 percent of hiring managers specifically look for organizational skills when reviewing the resumes of job candidates.
It’s easy to see why. According to a Gallup survey, employees who lack organizational skills cost the U.S. economy an estimated $544 billion each year due to lost productivity.
These unorganized employees are not only four times more likely to miss deadlines, but are also nine times more likely to be dissatisfied with their job!
Clearly, strong organizational skills are essential for success in today’s workplace, whether you work remotely or in an office.
In this article, we’ll show you…
- The top 10 organizational skills employers are looking for
- How to highlight organizational skills on a resume
- How to highlight organizational skills in a job interview
- How to develop and improve your organizational skills
Use Jobscan’s free ATS-friendly resume templates and start building your resume that gets noticed by recruiters!
In This Article
- What are organizational skills?
- The top 10 organizational skills to put on your resume
- Why are organizational skills important?
- How to highlight organizational skills on your resume
- How to highlight organizational skills in a job interview
- How to develop organizational skills
What are organizational skills?
Organizational skills are your abilities to manage time effectively, prioritize tasks, set goals, and develop systems for achieving those goals.
Employees with good organizational skills can juggle multiple responsibilities simultaneously, stay focused on deadlines, and handle complex projects efficiently.
Organizational skills are considered to be soft skills. These are non-technical abilities that help an individual work well with others, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership.
Because soft skills help foster a positive and functional work environment, hiring managers are placing a greater emphasis on them when searching for job candidates.
This is good news for job seekers, because organizational skills, like other soft skills, are transferable. This means that you can apply them to any job in any field or industry.
So If you’re thinking about making a career change, be sure to stress your organizational and other soft skills to potential employers.
The top 10 organizational skills to put on your resume
Employees who have good organizational skills are vital for the successful functioning of any business.
But what specific skills are employers looking for?
Here are ten of the most important organizational skills (with examples) that businesses want their employees to have.
1) Time Management
Time management is the ability to wisely and efficiently spend the 24 hours that we all have every day.
An employee with good time management skills is able to focus on important tasks first, delegate whenever possible, minimize distractions, eliminate procrastination, and stick to deadlines.
Time management skills are used in the workplace in a number of ways, including:
- Planning your day ahead of time.
- Breaking large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- Saying “no” when you have too much on your plate.
- Creating systems for tracking progress toward goals.
- Learning to work smarter, not harder.
2) Setting goals
Highly successful businesses and people all have one thing in common – they possess an extremely clear vision of where they want to go.
Without a clear vision, people can easily get lost, or distracted by life’s daily challenges.
When you are setting goals, be sure to make them measurable and achievable within a given timeframe. Vague goals won’t help you stay focused and motivated.
Some of the goals you might set in the workplace include:
- Increasing sales by a certain percentage.
- Developing a new product or service.
- Improving customer satisfaction ratings.
- Streamlining daily operations to increase productivity.
- Enhancing team morale by creating a positive work environment.
3) Setting priorities
Setting priorities is about determining which tasks are the most important ones to tackle first. This allows you to then focus your full attention and energy on them.
When you don’t set priorities, you can easily feel confused and overwhelmed. This lack of clarity can lead to procrastination, which only compounds the problem!
Ultimately, setting priorities in the workplace leads to better overall productivity and improved efficiency.
Examples of how you might set priorities in the workplace include:
- Identifying the tasks that are most important and must be completed first.
- Setting realistic, achievable deadlines for tasks.
- Delegating lower-priority tasks to others when possible.
- Breaking larger tasks into manageable chunks.
- Regularly reviewing your priorities and adjusting as needed.
4) Physical organization
According to a recent survey, employees spend about two hours a day searching for the documents and information they need to do their jobs. That’s 25% of their workday!
This is why it’s so important to be physically organized at work. This means having a physical and digital workspace that is orderly and well-maintained, so you can find everything you need quickly.
Getting rid of physical or digital clutter can also create more mental space for creative thinking, problem-solving, and positive feelings.
Examples of how you might physically organize your workspace include:
- Utilizing cloud computing services to store documents and files securely.
- Labeling shelves, drawers, files, and containers for easy identification.
- Using wall space and bulletin boards to post reminders, notes, or calendars.
- Minimizing distractions by limiting pop-ups and unnecessary notifications.
- Keeping any cables tucked away in order to maintain an uncluttered appearance.
At first glance, communication might not seem like an organizational skill, but the ability to communicate in a clear, concise way ensures that everything stays organized.
Communication skills include listening as well as speaking (or writing). Good listeners focus on what is being said, ask relevant questions to clarify information, and provide helpful feedback.
Ultimately, good communication skills will help you streamline your workflow, which saves time, money, and resources.
Examples of how you might use communication skills at work include:
- Being articulate and clear while speaking to colleagues and clients.
- Listening to others and considering their opinions before making a decision.
- Asking questions and seeking clarification when needed.
- Being open to feedback from colleagues or supervisors.
- Writing emails, reports, and memos that are concise and easy to understand.
Delegation is when you assign tasks to others instead of doing those tasks yourself.
Why is delegation an essential organizational skill? Because when you delegate, you give yourself more time and energy to focus on your own important tasks.
Despite the obvious benefits, delegation is a skill many people struggle with. In fact, only 30 percent of managers believe they’re good at delegating.
Delegation involves more than just assigning tasks — it requires providing clear instructions and giving proper support so that the task can be completed successfully.
When delegation is done correctly, it can be a powerful tool to help organizations reach their goals.
Examples of how you might use delegation skills at work include:
- Making a list of tasks and assigning them to team members.
- Providing clear instructions for each task, including deadlines.
- Encouraging team members to take ownership of their delegated tasks.
- Evaluating the progress of delegated tasks and ensuring that deadlines are met.
- Following up with team members to see that goals are achieved.
If you have good planning skills, it will be easier for you to handle workloads, accomplish tasks, meet deadlines, and collaborate with others.
If you don’t have good planning skills, you’ll always be scrambling at the last minute to get things done.
Good planning skills are key for any successful business venture, as they help companies stay on track and reach their goals in a timely and efficient manner.
Examples of how you might use planning skills at work include:
- Developing practical strategies to address short- and long-term goals.
- Breaking big projects into smaller, manageable tasks.
- Establishing clear roles, deadlines, and objectives for team members.
- Allocating resources for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
- Scheduling meetings and other events in advance.
8) Attention to detail
Paying attention to detail is considered an organizational skill because it allows you to produce quality work that is free of errors.
Producing good work that doesn’t have to be redone, again and again, saves the company time, money, and resources.
This is why hiring managers place a high value on job candidates who can show they are detail-oriented.
Examples of how you might pay attention to details at work include:
- Taking extra time to double-check your work for accuracy.
- Documenting changes in procedures or processes.
- Noting the individual preferences of clients and customers.
- Paying close attention to instructions given by supervisors or colleagues.
- Keeping careful track of resources used in projects.
Decision-making is a skill that allows you to effectively assess and evaluate different options, weigh the pros and cons of each option, and choose the best solution for a given problem.
You can’t make good decisions without being organized. This is because you have to systematically take into account current conditions, needs, resources, and other factors.
Good decision-making helps businesses save time and money while also ensuring they achieve their goals more quickly.
Examples of how you might use decision-making skills at work include:
- Using data and past experiences to inform your decision.
- Considering potential risks associated with a decision before making it.
- Being willing to seek advice or consider alternatives when necessary.
- Making decisions in a timely manner to keep projects on track.
- Being able to adjust when conditions change or new information is received.
Multitasking is the ability to handle multiple tasks or projects simultaneously. It does not necessarily mean doing two entirely different things at the exact same time.
The benefits of multitasking are that it can help increase productivity, reduce stress, and maximize time. However, multitasking can also lead to errors and reduced quality of work if not managed properly.
In order to be successful at multitasking you need to stay focused on one task at a time and avoid distractions.
It’s also important to recognize when multitasking is not appropriate—some tasks require more focused attention in order to be completed effectively.
Examples of how you might use multitasking skills at work include:
- Answering emails while working on a project or report.
- Scheduling meetings while taking care of administrative tasks.
- Participating in conference calls while managing other projects at the same time.
- Delegating tasks to team members while completing your own work.
- Juggling customer support inquiries while working on other projects.
Why are organizational skills important?
According to one study, employees waste an average of 40% of their workday because they don’t possess good organizational skills!
Employees who are organized, on the other hand, can save businesses a lot of time and money. That’s because these employees are able to:
- Complete tasks faster and more efficiently.
- Manage their own time without supervision.
- Quickly find the documents and information they need.
- Maintain data and records correctly.
- Create a productive working environment for the whole team.
Organizational skills are certainly useful in the workplace, but did you know they can also improve the quality of your overall life?
In general, people who are organized experience less stress, anxiety, and depression.
So don’t ignore your soft skills! They’re more valuable than you think, both for your professional life and your personal life.
How to highlight organizational skills on your resume
If you want potential employers to see how organized you are, you have to feature those skills on your resume.
Here are the two best ways to highlight your organizational skills on your resume:
1) Provide specific, measurable results
The more specific your resume is, the better. Don’t just say you have good time management or communication skills. That’s too vague and forgettable.
Instead, show exactly how you implemented your organizational skills at work and what the measurable results were.
Use numbers and metrics whenever possible. These will help paint a clear picture of what you did and how well you did it.
Here are some examples of specific, measurable results:
- Developed and maintained a filing system for tracking customer orders, resulting in an 80% increase in efficiency.
- Created a digital inventory system that tracked 200+ units of inventory with 100% accuracy.
- Automated invoices to improve accuracy from 70% to 95%.
- Designed and implemented a scheduling system for 50+ employees, improving productivity by 40%.
- Reorganized office space increasing the efficiency of the workspace by 25%.
2) Use keywords from the job description
Before you apply to a job, carefully read through the job description and pay attention to any words or phrases that describe skills.
These are called keywords (a keyword can also be a phrase).
When hiring managers scan your resume, they are specifically looking for these keywords. If your resume doesn’t have them, you might get rejected!
Keywords are important in another way. After you submit your resume it usually goes into a computer database called an applicant tracking system, or ATS.
Hiring managers search for job candidates by typing keywords into the search bar of the ATS. These keywords are usually the same ones found in the job description.
This is why it’s so important to tailor every resume to each job you apply to!
For example, if the job listing is looking for someone who is “highly detail-oriented and able to multitask” then you should try to use the keywords “detail-oriented” and “multitask” on your resume (but don’t lie!).
The basic idea behind keywords is that you want to use the job description’s own language on your resume – and then do this for every job you apply to.
It might take a little time and effort, but doing this consistently will increase the chances that someone sees your resume and asks you for an interview.
How to highlight organizational skills in a job interview
Now that you’ve landed a job interview, what’s the best way to talk about your organizational skills?
Here are three ways to highlight your organizational skills when asked questions about them in a job interview.
1. Describe your process
When asked about a time when you had to be organized, take the interviewer through your thought process step-by-step.
This will show that you not only have the skills to be organized but that you also know how to articulate them.
For example, if you’re a manager who had to organize team projects at work, you might say something like,
“I sat down and made a list of all the tasks that needed to be done and then divided them up among the team members that I knew were best suited for each task. I assigned deadlines for my team and checked in with everyone regularly to make sure they were on track.”
If you’re not a manager, but were in charge of multiple individual projects, you might say something like,
“I created a daily and weekly schedule for myself, mapping out when I would work on each task. I made sure to leave some buffer time in case anything ran over, and I always tried to stick to my schedule as closely as possible.”
2. Connect your organizational skills to the new job’s responsibilities
When describing your organizational skills, always try to make connections to the responsibilities of the new job.
For example, if you’re applying to become a project manager, you might talk about how your organizational skills helped you lead a team to success on a previous project.
If you’re applying for a position that requires frequent interaction with customers, you could describe how your organizational skills helped you keep track of customer needs and ensured they were always met.
If you’re applying for a job that involves independent work and self-motivation, you might describe how you keep yourself organized in a way that allows you to meet your deadlines on time.
3. Use specific examples and data
Just like on your resume, you should always try to use specific examples and numbers to back up your claims about your organizational skills.
For example, if you’re applying for a customer service position, you might talk about how you increased customer satisfaction by a specific percentage in a previous role.
If you helped your previous company save money by streamlining its inventory process, use numbers to show just how much money you saved the company.
If you used your organizational skills to launch a successful event, describe how you managed the budget and timeline to ensure that everything went off without a hitch.
Not only do concrete examples and data make your argument more convincing, but they also give the interviewer something to remember you by.
Remember, being specific – both on your resume and in an interview – helps create a more vivid picture of who you are and what you’re capable of doing.
How to develop organizational skills
Organization skills don’t come easy for some people, but they can be learned and refined over time with practice.
If you want to develop your organizational skills, It’s important to focus on the following five steps:
1. Prioritize tasks – Evaluate all of the tasks at hand and prioritize them according to importance, urgency, difficulty, or other criteria that makes sense for your individual situation.
2. Keep a planner – Keeping a schedule and/or a to-do list of tasks can be very helpful in making sure that all of the important tasks get done. Be sure to make time for both short-term goals and long-term goals, as well as leisure activities or breaks.
3. Break down big projects – Large projects can be very overwhelming, so it helps to break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This can include setting deadlines for each task and scheduling time in the day to complete that task.
4. Minimize distractions – To ensure maximum productivity and focus, try to limit distractions such as social media, phones, or even other people. Set aside specific times to check emails or social media.
5. Create systems – Creating systems, such as filing documents by category or using a daily checklist of tasks, can help streamline the process of getting things done. Once you create these systems, be sure to stick with them!
With consistent practice, organizational skills can be learned and improved upon.
It’s well worth the effort, as you’ll experience a more productive and stress-free life, both in the office and at home!
Use Jobscan’s free ATS-friendly resume templates and start building your resume that gets noticed by recruiters!
More expert insights on this topic: