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Have you noticed that some people are better at finding new and innovative ways to overcome challenges? Or, have you found that a specific person always has unique solutions to problems? If so, you have seen creative thinking skills and the benefits that they can bring to any situation. Creative thinking skills allow people to think outside the box and consider different perspectives in a fresh way. When applied well, they usually lead to new ways of doing things within a company, which in turn prevents stagnation and improves success rates. Some examples of creative thinking techniques include:
These creative thinking techniques can help you to gain new perspectives when tackling problems and challenges. Strong creative thinking skills is a key sign that a job seeker is a good problem-solver; this is incredibly attractive to many hiring managers.
Most people have some creative thinking skills, or at least the ability to think creatively, and these are highly transferable skills. If you consider yourself a creative thinker or you have strong creative skills of any kind, you should highlight them on your resume where you can. The most commonly listed creative thinking skills are:
You should look to improve your abilities in these and related skills, and list them in your skills section, but you should also take the time to give examples of times when your creative thought and analytical skills have been put to good use in your professional or academic careers. One example of this might be:
“Headed group mind-mapping exercises that led to more innovative website development strategies, increasing client satisfaction by 15%.” An example like this shows not only that you are a creative person, but that you are a team player who enables your coworkers to be more creative and effective as well. This is an attractive quality in any employee, especially if you can show that you are good at implementing ideas as well as generating them.
When you get invited to a job interview, it is highly likely that you will be questioned about the skills you mention in your resume. This is especially the case for soft skills that have no traditional means of qualification, and creative thinking skills will be high on a recruiter’s wish list. These are the questions you are most likely to be asked about your skills and creative thinking process:
Give the interviewer an example of a time you came up with an unusual but effective solution to a challenge by using divergent thinking.
Talk about a presentation that you built using creative skills and thinking. It may be particularly good if you were able to use parts of it for the company’s social media presence after the fact.
Talk about a time when you were able to come up with a number of unusual but effective possible solutions to meet an otherwise commonplace problem.
Give an example of a time when you wrote a report or gave an oral presentation in a way that benefited the company.
Critical thinking is a process that helps you assess a situation, understand its parameters, and analyze your own biases. Critical thinking skills can be included under the term analytical skills. Creative thinking techniques are about generating ideas and thinking outside standard processes. Each is a different way of thinking that has its own benefits and limitations, and are best deployed together in many situations.
Yes, it is possible to develop creative thinking skills and develop a creative thinking process that is robust and effective. The best way to do this is to invest your time in creative projects and endeavors that allow you to think about things from different perspectives and develop new solutions to common problems.
There are some fields and industries where creative thinking skills and creative problem-solving are a priority, but these soft skills can be beneficial in everyday life as well. Nonetheless, the benefits of critical thinking are most pronounced in jobs that require strategy development, visual design or innovative problem-solving.
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