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How to List Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume + Examples

Problem-solving skills are an important part of your skill set. How can you list your problem-solving skills on your resume?

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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Problem-solving skills

No matter what job you’re applying for, there are a number of skills you’ll need to be good at to succeed. One of those skill categories is problem-solving. “Problem-solving skills” are skills that many people list on their resumes, but what does this actually mean? How can this be beneficial for your job? Lastly, how do you prove that you really have these skills to a hiring manager? Here’s everything you need to know about problem-solving skills.

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What are problem-solving skills?

As the name would suggest, problem-solving skills help you find possible solutions to complex problems. These are skills you use on a daily basis. If you’re under a time crunch and need to find a way to get an assignment done more quickly, for example, you need to use problem-solving skills to find the best solution and maintain quality work. If you find that teamwork within a specific group is regularly falling apart, you can use effective problem-solving skills to get to the root cause of the problem and help team members fix the problems.

Problem-solving skills to list on your resume

Problem-solving is really an umbrella term. When you use problem-solving skills, you’re really making use of a variety of skills. To show recruiters that you know how to use problem-solving techniques effectively, consider highlighting these skills:

  • Creative thinking
  • Decision-making
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Project management
  • Fact-finding
  • Active listening

A great problem solver will be good at all of these things. These keywords are all elements you should be sprinkling throughout your resume and cover letter, so recruiters can see examples of problem-solving capabilities everywhere they look.

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How do you express your problem-solving skills more effectively?

Recruiters are less likely to believe that you have problem-solving skills if you just state, “Problem-solving skills” in your skills section and never elaborate. You need to incorporate problem-solving skills as part of your overall resume.

Your resume summary is a great place to start talking about problem-solving skills. If you’ve ever gained notice for communication skills or created an action plan that seriously benefited a past employer, mention it in your resume summary. Your summary is supposed to be a punchy description of you that incorporates your absolute best qualities, so mention the key skills you’re trying to get across.

When it comes to your resume skills section, list the skills from the previous section. Adjacent skills like communication skills and management skills can also be beneficial in showcasing how you’re able to solve problems. The skills in this section should be listed in bullet points, so don’t worry about laying out problem-solving steps in this area.

Your work history section is where you can give examples of how you created solutions for problems you’ve encountered. In bullet points under past jobs, lay out accomplishments for previous employers that involved problem-solving and how you were able to benefit them with these skills. A good problem-solving history can demonstrate you have the important skills you’ve listed throughout your resume and cover letter.

FAQ: Problem-Solving Skills

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Proving your skills is one of the best ways to showcase those skills and ensure that a hiring manager takes you seriously. Take pre-tests to prove you really have the skills you’re talking about. You should also give examples of how you’ve handled many types of problems; in your cover letter you can elaborate on them a little bit and talk about how you’ve used your thinking skills throughout your career. Lastly, include any achievements you’ve earned thanks to your problem-solving skills.

Hard and soft skills can be important when you’re trying to solve a problem. The problem-solving process typically requires that you rely on a variety of knowledge, which can include hard skills that help you diagnose a problem in your field. Talk about how you used both hard skills and soft skills into the problem-solving process so recruiters can see your skills in brainstorming and decision-making are strong.

You can include problem-solving skills just about anywhere on your resume, from your summary to your skills section to your work experience section. The key is to have each section support each other – if you list “creative thinking” as a skill, give an example of how your creative thinking benefited a company in your work history section. It’s also important to include these skills in your cover letter, as your cover letter can be more in-depth with how you use these skills.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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