How to List Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Problem-solving skills refer to your ability to handle unexpected situations and challenging workplace situations. When writing your resume, including your problem-solving skills, is beneficial. Knowing how to showcase essential skills on your resume can improve your candidacy and help you get hired for a desirable job. In this article, we discuss what these skills are, explore its examples, understand how to include them on a resume and discover steps to improve your abilities.

What are problem-solving skills on a resume?

Problem-solving skills on a resume can showcase your ability to determine the source of a problem and find effective solutions. This skill set is essential for most roles and often requires job-specific and technical skills. Employers prefer candidates who can show this skill because it helps solve workplace inefficiencies. Using these skills, employees can identify potential problems and develop a solution. Working through problems and escalating them can help reduce employers' losses.

Employers prefer candidates who can solve problems on their own. Even when issues go beyond your control or the scope of your job description, being able to handle them quickly can help you speed up your job career path.

Related: 10 Problem-Solving Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

6 examples of problem-solving skills

Here are some common problem-solving skills you can list on your resume:

1. Analysis

The first step in solving any problem is analysing the situation. It helps you identify the cause of the issue and areas of improvement. While certain problems might be big, finding solutions improves workplace performance. The ability to analyse a situation or problem often requires meticulous planning. Your analytical skills help you differentiate between ineffective and effective solutions.

2. Dependability

Solving problems in a timely manner is essential, as it can stop you from preventing larger workplace issues. Another essential trait of problem-solvers is dependability. Employers often prefer candidates who they can trust for implementing solutions.

3. Communication

As most occupations require you to work in a team, excellent communication skills are necessary to convey your ideas and information. Effective communication is at the core of solving problems that affect many teams. After finding a potential solution, communicating the solution clearly to other team members can reduce confusion and enhance workplace productivity.

Related: Types of Verbal Communication (With Importance and Tips)

4. Decision-making

Decision-making skills can help you solve workplace problems faster. Employers prefer candidates who can assess various options and determine the best possible solution. This skill set is useful and helps you save your employer's time and money. With this skill set, you become a valuable asset to your employer.

5. Creativity

Often, solving workplace problems requires a candidate to have creative skills. This is primarily because many problems have solutions that come with their limitations. For example, your job might require you to develop a solution within a fixed budget or time constraint. Using creative skills, it becomes easier to find solutions to challenging problems. After finding the solution, focus on implementing it to solve the problem.

6. Evaluation

To find a solution to a potential problem, it's essential to understand a course of action. As a problem might not have an immediate solution, you might find various ways to address a problem. A good problem solver evaluates the strength and weaknesses of every solution before implementing it. Also, employers often prefer candidates who evaluate the impact of decisions after implementing them.

How to list problem-solving skills on a resume

Listing problem-solving skills on your resume helps you get hired for a desirable job. Apart from listing the skill on your resume, provide examples of how you used this skill set in your previous jobs. Follow these steps to highlight your problem-solving skills:

1. Include them in your experience section

When writing your experience section, give examples of how your problem-solving skills positively impacted the workplace. Mention how your efforts helped a company save time and money. While it's not necessary to use the word 'problem-solving', focus on using words such as analysis, evaluation and decision making. Here's an example of using this skill set in your work experience section:

Example:

Work experience
Karla Finance Private Limited
Data analyst
March 2019–Present

  • analysed financial trends and provided suggestions that resulted in 15% more revenue

  • validated assumptions and prepared a financial forecast for the demand that was 95% accurate

  • conducted feasibility analysis and risk assessment

When conveying your problem-solving abilities, show how your skill set increased the overall efficiency and profit of the company.

Related: How to Create a Stand-Out Resume (With Template and Example)

2. Include them in your educational background

Typically, every resume lists a section giving details about the educational background. While this section focuses on the marks obtained and educational qualifications, it's an excellent place to introduce your problem-solving skills. Here's an example of using this skill set in the educational background section:

Example:

Educational background
Monash University
B.Tech (Computer Science)
2016–2020

  • joined the university's core committee and implemented a new recruitment strategy that increased membership by 30%

  • provided support, time and leadership skills to a group project where members were unwilling to contribute

  • despite unprecedented campus closure, received the Best Outgoing Student award of 2020 for excellent academic performance

3. Include it in your resume summary section

Another great place to showcase your problem-solving skills is the resume summary section. Use this section to tell employers who you are, what you accomplished and how you used your problem-solving skills to improve workplace efficiency and productivity. As the resume summary is the first thing an employer notices about your resume, it helps create a positive first impression. Here's an example of including your problem-solving abilities in the resume summary section:

Example:

Digital marketing manager with seven years of experience leading and managing a team of 25+ team members. Fostered a communication culture and encouraged team members to open communication with one another.

In this example, the candidate shows they used open communication to prevent workplace problems and solve them instantly.

Related: How to Write a Resume Summary With Examples

4. Include them in the skills section

Most resumes have a skills section that highlight skills that a candidate possesses. Rather than writing problem-solver, include words that showcase your problem-solving ability. Here's an example of the skills section:

Example:

Skills

  • analysis

  • organisation

  • excellent communication skills

  • active listening

  • excellent research

How to improve your problem-solving skills

There are several methods to enhance your problem-solving skills. Whether you're looking for a new job or currently employed, improving your problem-solving skills increases your candidature:

1. Gain technical knowledge in your field

Depending on the industry in which you're working, having strong technical knowledge in your field helps solve problems. To gain technical knowledge, focus on enrolling in additional coursework and training. You can pursue higher studies or look for more learning opportunities with the existing company.

2. Look for opportunities to solve problems

When you constantly face new situations, you get exposed to unique problems and become better adept at solving them. So, in your current role, look for new opportunities in a project or volunteer to work on new projects. Also, knowing about common problems in your industry helps you find potential solutions faster.

3. Observe how others solve workplace problems

Look at how your manager and colleague solve workplace problems. Focus on understanding their methodology and strategy to improve your skill set. You can enhance your skills by asking relevant questions related to their technique for approaching and finding a solution to a problem.

4. Learn to isolate the variables

Learning how to isolate the variables that cause a problem helps you build problem-solving skills. This helps you identify the cause of a problem. Before isolating the problem, consider all components and test each one to determine the source of the problem. When testing various solutions, check one variable at a time to understand which solution resolves your problem.

5. Implement a plan

Once you decide the course of action, focus on implementing benchmarks that accurately determine whether your solutions are working. When implementing a solution, focus on knowing about changes in the standard operating procedures and convey the change to everyone in the organisation. Implementing a plan can help you find faster solutions to workplace problems.

6. Practise problem-solving

To enhance your problem-solving abilities, practise various scenarios you might face in your workplace. Practice how you might approach a problem and what technique you can follow to solve those problems. When you meticulously practise everyday workplace situations, you find viable solutions when they arise in the job.

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