Top Organisational Skills For Your Resume and Workplace
Updated 14 December 2022
During the recruitment process, companies frequently search for quality employees with strong organisational skills, as they're one of the most important and transferable job skills available. Developed through practice and self-discipline, adept organisational skills can help you achieve greater success in the workplace. In this article, we define essential organisational skills and how you can develop them. We also explain how to highlight these skills when applying for jobs.
What are organisational skills?
Organisational skills are a set of capabilities that people use to establish structure and order in their daily life. They can help you work more efficiently and effectively plan, prioritise tasks and achieve your goals. In the workplace, organisational skills boost productivity and performance, and reduce the chance of you developing inefficient work habits like procrastination, clutter and miscommunication. Employees with strong organisational skills are attractive to employers because they'll also have adept time management skills, efficient goal-setting strategies, and adapt quickly to a company's business structure.
Why are organisational skills important in the workplace?
Employees with proficient hard and soft skills are essential to the workplace, as they help a business run smoothly and successfully. A strong organisational skill set is one of the most important for transferable soft skills and employability skills. With proficient organisational skills comes increased productivity and performance. This can save companies time and money, and ensures they achieve their goals consistently. Organisational skills also work as a foundation and support for the development of other important workplace skills, like critical thinking and communication. Employees equipped with this skill set will often receive opportunities for promotion and leadership.
Organisational skills examples
While there's a range of organisational skills, most fall into the categories of reasoning and physical. It's beneficial to use both reasoning and physical organisational skills simultaneously in the workplace, as they're both integral to achieving goals.
Physical organisational skills
Physical organisational skills refer to keeping a tidy workspace and orderly work habits. Here are some examples:
Documentation may involve taking clear notes at a staff meeting, documenting a project's progress, or recording new ideas and your personal and professional goals. Documenting this important information in written, photographic or audio form will help you meet deadlines and possibly solve future problems.
Whether it's in digital or paper format, having designated folders where you save important documents and correspondence can help you be more proactive in the workplace. For example, with efficient filing, you can quickly locate the timeline to give your manager an accurate update when they ask about a project's progress.
Systematically recording business transactions and events is an essential skill when working with clients or vendors. Record keeping can help you set clear expectations, track accountability and plan future goals.
An uncluttered space will inevitably help you declutter your mind. An organised thought process will allow you to solve problems effectively.
Reasoning organisational skills
Reasoning and critical thinking skills are attractive to employers because they help you solve problems, manage conflicts, plan projects and collaborate with colleagues more effectively. Here are some examples of reasoning organisation skills:
This refers to your ability to research, collate data, process your findings and draw an effective conclusion. This analytical and strategic behaviour requires proficient organisational skills.
Employees need strong collaboration skills to work effectively with their colleagues. This is especially true if your tasks include scheduling and running meetings, designating responsibilities, setting clear expectations or tracking deliverables.
Efficient communication is essential to every workplace, whether it's as direct reports or communicating with managers and clients. Organising your thoughts and communicating your ideas coherently ensures they're well-received and helps you avoid misinterpretation.
Organisation is imperative to planning, whether it's a project or a meeting. With projects, efficient planning involves understanding deadlines and working backwards to prioritise tasks.
Delegation is an important organisational skill, as it allows you to achieve more in less time. It involves using your interpersonal skills to decide on the best employee for each task and then communicating the assignment to them and helping them track their progress. Delegation is also an essential skill if you wish to progress to a leadership position in the future.
Time management is an essential organisational skill. It allows you to plan your daily schedule efficiently, complete your tasks in a timely manner, and meet deadlines, which leads to a more harmonious work-life balance. If you can keep yourself and your team disciplined, your company will benefit in multiple ways.
Can you communicate organisational skills to employers?
During the recruitment process, employers will observe your organisational skills to evaluate your experience. Therefore, it's imperative you show both reasoning and physical organisational skills so prospective employers can visualise your full potential.
From the beginning, your resume's visual appearance shows your physical organising skills, so ensure you pay attention to detail and present a simply designed resume that's error-free and formatted correctly. Choose a readable font, embrace white space, and use the reverse-chronological resume format. Next, highlight your organisational skills in your resume's summary, prior job experience and key skills sections. Use keywords from the job description and action verbs to show that you have the reasoning skills needed to succeed in this role.
When it's time for the interview, show your physical organisational skills by arriving early, dressing appropriately and asking thoughtful questions. Next, discuss your reasoning organisational skills when you're prompted to describe previous roles and how you achieve your goals. For example, explain how you organised an event that increased your company's brand awareness.
Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)
How to develop your organisational skills in the workplace
To form a habit of proficient organisational skills, steadily develop and apply them to your usual workday routine. Here are six effective ways to develop organisational skills you'll use regularly in the workplace:
1. Keep a tidy workspace
Assess your workspace and clear any clutter or unnecessary items from your desk and work area. Fewer distractions will help you enhance your organisational skills and focus fully on your current task.
2. Identify your career goals
Identify any career goals you hope to achieve, which may include specific projects or tasks you want to complete, or personal self-improvement goals. List how long it will take to accomplish these goals, as it may be hours or months.
3. Create a comprehensive to-do list for your goals
Once you establish your goals, create a to-do list that focuses on the tasks you need to complete in order to achieve your goal. Organise the tasks based on priority to ensure maximum efficiency and then input them into your schedule. Free online tools like Trello, Google Calendar, and Google Sheets are effective ways to build your to-do list and stay on track.
4. Organise your materials
To increase productivity and remain organised, ensure you place all important resources and documents in clearly labelled and designated physical or digital folders that are easy for you to find. Because you ideally want to establish a quick and efficient system, avoid creating too many folders. Instead, make folders that are based on broad categories, like 'team meetings', 'biannual reports' or 'training course', and then add sub-folders. Apply this same system to your email as well. Create folders for different subject matters, so it's easy for you to find and refer to a past email that contains important information.
5. Give yourself regular rewards
To encourage consistent organisational skills, build yourself a reward system. For instance, treat yourself to something enjoyable once you complete all of your scheduled tasks on time each day. Acknowledging your achievements in small ways gives you extra motivation to complete each project. When you create a productive work cycle for yourself, you're encouraged to remain organised.
6. Maintain a harmonious work-life balance
A successful balance between your personal and work life will help you remain organised and consistent. Your brain can process information better and more efficiently when you allow yourself to rest and focus on non-work-related activities. For instance, you might schedule time after work two to three days a week to work on a hobby, to exercise or to spend time with your friends. When you return to work after resting your mind, you may find you're better prepared for a productive and organised day at work, and more focused on achieving your goals.
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