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Decision-Making Skills That You Need on Your Resume

Your decision-making process makes a big impact on how you work. Here’s how to show recruiters in your resume you can think on their feet and make sound decisions.

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Decision-making skills for your resume

The definition of a decision is to make a choice between one or more actions or options to reach the best outcome. So you can see why hiring managers are attracted to job candidates who exhibit great decision-making skills. Job seekers who can convince recruiters they have great decision-making skills stand a real chance of having a successful job search. Here’s how you can add these skills to your resume.

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Why are decision-making skills important?

Recruiters and employers are interested in decision-making skills because they display a job seeker’s ability to manage situations, themselves, and others. Though the term may sound simple, decision-making involves information gathering, assessment, and planning. Most of us exercise this skill daily. But when the stakes are high it can be hard to make a reliable decision fast. Job seekers who think on their feet and consider the available options quickly and logically save businesses time and increase their profits. So, if you have this ability, you must be able to prove it on your resume.

Types of decision-making skills

Most people focus on one type of decision-making, but more than one can be used at once. The most common decision-making skills are:

Ethical

Ethical decision-making is about making moral choices in real-world situations. This kind of decision-making is important for everyone but is a particular focus in the medical and financial industries.

Executive

Executive decision-making is the process of gathering information and making decisions on a singular level. This is crucial for business owners and those who work independently and need to make quick decisions.

Group

 Group decision-making, or collaborative decision-making, is the process of making decisions with a team. This is important for those in managerial positions or in human resources.

Rational

 Rational decision-making is the process of using logic to make important decisions for a good outcome. This kind of decision-making is most sought after in management roles. 

Intuitive

Intuitive decision-making is the ability to go with your gut in stressful, fast-paced situations. This kind of decision-making is valued in the military and police service.

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15 Decision-making skills to list on your resume

  • 1

    Logical reasoning

    Logic is the foundation of a strong decision. Logical reasoning is the process of using evidence to determine the best possible solutions.

  • 2

    Emotional intelligence

    Emotional intelligence is strongly connected to interpersonal skills and team management. If you need to make good decisions about people, you need emotional intelligence.

  • 3

    Active listening

    Another people-centered skill, active listening will help you make decisions about team members. If you need to make the best decision about how to resolve a conflict, active listening will help.

  • 4

    Troubleshooting

    Troubleshooting is the process of making decisions about a specific problem. This is very useful when decision-makers work with people or in IT.

  • 5

    Information gathering

    Good decision-makers know how to gather information. The right information is key to making the right decisions.

  • 6

    Critical thinking skills

    Critical thinking allows people to make logical choices as a result of the analysis of facts. This is very important in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) industries.

  • 7

    Brainstorming

    Brainstorming sessions can help those in leadership roles make good decisions collaboratively. Recruiters are keen on this skill because it shows a person is a team player.

  • 8

    Collaboration

    Collaboration is key for leaders. If you can work well with your co-workers, recruiters will take notice.

  • 9

    Leadership skills

    The ability to lead is not as common as people think. Leadership skills are key for those who need to make decisions about and for others.

  • 10

    Team management skills

    Though they sound the same, leadership and team management are different. Team management is the ability to plan schedules for a whole team. This is very important in business and customer service.

  • 11

    Adaptability

    Making decisions can also mean knowing when to change your mind. Being adaptable is great in roles where you may not have all the information you need at first. Medical professionals must use adaptable decision-making skills, for example.

  • 12

    Time management

    While this may sound very simple, Time management is a form of decision-making. It’s about setting priorities. When you manage your time well, you are making good decisions about what is important in your day and why.

  • 13

    Outcome forecasting

    The ability to predict outcomes based on situations and possibilities is key when making choices. If you can assess your situation and forecast what will happen based on a theoretical action, you can make better decisions.

  • 14

    Analytical skills

    Great decision-making is based on analytical skills. The ability to consider the facts and contextual factors is very valuable.

  • 15

    Problem-solving skills

    Problem-solving is similar to troubleshooting. Troubleshooting often centers on technical skills, for example. Problem-solving is more social and creative. This is very useful in customer service.

FAQ: Decision-making skills for your resume

Have questions? We’re here to help.

As with time management, communication skills, and other soft skills, the best way to prove your decision-making abilities is with examples. Provide examples of times when you achieved good decisions through your decisions. These examples should be relevant to the job you are applying for. So if you are applying to be a stock broker, give an example of a time you made a good trade. It’s all about showing you have the know-how to choose the best course of action.

All jobs need some degree of decision-making skills, but there are some that require them, including any job that requires leadership, project management, or concerns high-risk situations needs a person who can make logical decisions quickly. For example, police officers, project managers, and doctors all require the ability to make decisions quickly and logically.

Yes. When writing your cover letter you should discuss the decision-making skills employers will be interested in, especially if they are important to the job description. However, you should not simply repeat information from your resume. Your cover letter should provide additional information to the recruiter. Give them extra examples or more details about times when your leadership skills or decision-making were important.

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Ho Lin Profile
WRITTEN BY Ho Lin

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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