What Are Risk Manager Skills? (And How to Improve Them)

Updated January 26, 2023

When navigating obstacles and analyzing risks, you may want to know which skills can help. Risk management skills can help you identify problems, evaluate solutions, and communicate mitigation measures in business. Knowing the key risk manager skills can help you become a more reliable and effective employee. In this article, we define skills for risk managers, explore how to highlight these skills, discuss how to improve these skills, and list necessary skills for this field.

What are risk manager skills?

Risk manager skills are the distinct set of abilities that enable risk managers to perform their diverse duties. Risk managers use their skills to oversee insurance and risk management programs. These professionals identify potential security, safety, and financial risks through various analyses and determine solutions for complex obstacles that can affect companies. Risk managers use analytical skills to evaluate existing risks and communication skills to explain these risks to the company's stakeholders.

The financial skills of these professionals help them calculate risks, while problem-solving helps them mitigate those risks and limits the chances of them occurring. A risk manager requires the use of their skills to identify both external and internal risks of an organization.

Related: Understanding How to Complete a Risk Analysis

Highlighting skills for risk managers

When applying for risk manager positions, you may find it beneficial to highlight your relevant skills. Here are some strategies you can use:

Highlighting skills on your cover letter and CV

If you want to highlight your risk management skills, consider including them on your CV in a separate section. You may include this before your work history. Be sure to read the job description or job posting to determine which skills the employer considers essential before you draft your document. You can tailor your CV to the skills listed in the job posting to help increase your chances of gaining the hiring manager's attention.

When developing your cover letter, consider focusing on previous experience, achievements, and highlights in your career that relate to the role you're pursuing. This can help show the hiring manager that your skills are applicable to the posted job, demonstrating your suitability for the role.

Related: Essential Project Manager Technical Skills

Skills for risk managers in job interviews

Before your interview, you can prepare several answers to questions about risks. Consider practising your ability to describe your skill set and how you can manage the responsibilities involved in the job position. Try to recall specific situations that relate to the skills you want to highlight. You can then draft answers with the STAR response technique. The STAR method is a behaviour-based technique that encourages you to answer questions with references to specific situations, tasks, actions, and results.

How to improve skills for risk managers

Improving skills for risk managers can help you obtain career advancement opportunities. It also helps you achieve your goals, provides you with a stronger foundation of work, and contributes to your overall motivation. Here are some ways you can improve your risk management skills:

1. Create methods of communication

Risk managers require strong communication skills because they often interact with people in other departments of an organization. You can improve your risk management skills by developing methods of communication that convey your messages more effectively. Do this by creating effective email newsletters or developing a communication platform for the company. Alternatively, you can also use these communication channels to update team members about potential risks within the company. When you promote open communication, you also allow colleagues and team members to provide you with constructive feedback.

Related: Personal Skills and Professional Skills You Should Have on Your Resume

2. Continue your education

You can develop your skills by pursuing and continuing your education. As you gain certifications and increase your skills and knowledge, you can increase your chances of getting hired for roles in which you're interested. To improve your skills, you can study and research aspects related to your industry. You can also research economic climates, varying consumer preferences, and different product characteristics. This helps you navigate risk mitigation strategies and increases your overall success within the company.

3. Improve your organizational understanding

Risk management requires you to navigate all departments within an organization and study the operations and processes of that organization. By gaining understanding of an organization, you can maximize your abilities to assess potential risks. You may also want to consider external risks when you perform this task, such as assessing regulatory compliance and changes in economic climates. You also require an understanding of internal risks, like a lack of employee morale and lack of resources. When you have knowledge of the company, you develop better forecasts about weaknesses and areas of improvement involved.

4. Consider previous issues

When developing your skills, it's beneficial to consider your personal and professional goals and how your past experience helps you accomplish those goals. For example, previous errors and issues provide you with valuable work experience and knowledge that you can later apply when completing tasks and overcoming obstacles. This previous experience also helps you develop the skills required for your goals and future work.

Skills for risk managers

Here are some skills essential for risk managers to consider in the workplace:

Communication skills

These professionals listen to people and teams across departments and help identify risks depending on their opinions and viewpoints. They also evaluate processes and operations and discuss their analysis of possible solutions with team members. From here, they communicate company needs and goals to members of upper management and to supervisors.

Risk managers promote clear communication within companies by identifying and communicating potential risks, along with ways to mitigate those risks. They have effective written and verbal communication skills in order to interact to a wide range of employees, from top management to entry-level employees. They typically use a variety of media tools to communicate both company-wide and department-specific risks.

Ability to work in fast-paced environments

When challenging issues and situations occur, team members usually ask their supervisors and risk managers for guidance. For this to be effective, you can develop your ability to work and provide guidance in a fast-paced environment. It's important to engage the team and take necessary actions for improvement when necessary. You can also use your communication skills in these situations to convey solutions and new strategies while remaining calm.

Knowledge and understanding of regulations

A major part of a risk manager's role is to maintain the field and industry regulations of the organization. Ensuring that the company and its goods or services comply with all industry standards is crucial to many industries, as lack of compliance can lead to product recalls and significant fines. Staying up to date on compliance and regulation requires an ongoing commitment to the role.

Analytical skills

Being able to anticipate and assess risk requires analytical skills to study relevant data. This involves reaching conclusions and using them to make strategic decisions, and also being able to identify gaps in the data and areas that require further research. Correctly analyzing data requires attention to detail and an ability to identify patterns.

Strategic thinking

Besides identifying existing and potential risks, risk managers also work with members of upper management to develop mitigation strategies. These strategies often require actions that affect the organization over the long term, meaning that risk managers provide solutions that affect the company's future. Risk managers also use strategic thinking to identify opportunities that arise from risks.

Financial knowledge

Financial errors are common to all businesses, so risk managers use critical financial skills to reduce risks from those errors. They differentiate the risks that they can manage from the ones that are beyond the organization's control. Most major employers seek risk managers with academic credentials in finance to help them navigate the responsibilities of the role.

Problem-solving skills

Once a risk manager identifies a risk, they start working on ways to minimize its impact. This can involve analyzing the nature and causes of the risk, creating strategies to either eliminate or mitigate it, and then implementing those strategies. Problem-solving skill sets typically involve qualities such as critical thinking, focus, and a natural desire to solve problems.

Ability to work under pressure

Working as a risk manager is a fast-paced occupation because errors can have significant consequences for a company's well-being. Risk managers use their skills and abilities in fast-paced environments and are often under a lot of pressure, as their decisions may cause substantial effects. They also establish multiple systems and strategies that limit the chances of a risk materializing, helping to systematize their role and reduce errors based on judgement.

Explore more articles

  • FAQ: What Is CCP Certification? (With Types and Benefits)
  • What Is a Logical Thinker? (With Definition and Examples)
  • 14 Regression Types (With Importance and Applications)
  • What Is a Tactical Plan? (With Benefits and How-to Guide)
  • What Is an Arm's Length Transaction? (With Examples)
  • 4 Google Certifications That Can Help Advance Your Career
  • What Is Quality Assurance? (And How Does It Work?)
  • What Is Desktop Publishing Software? (Plus 15 Examples)
  • How to Calculate Percentage Decrease (With Examples)
  • What "Making Inferences" Means and Tips for Making Them
  • What Are Business Pitch Examples? (With How to Write One)
  • Complete Guide to Employee Incentives (With Examples)