Listing Problem-Solving Skills on a Resume (With Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated November 14, 2022
Published November 5, 2021
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.
Regardless of your industry, employers typically value candidates who can identify what caused an issue and develop practical solutions to overcome it. To show your ability to solve problems when searching for a job, you can include this skill on your resume. Understanding how to list problem-solving qualities on a resume can help your job search and make your application unique. In this article, we discuss why it's important to list problem-solving skills on a resume, present skills to describe, show ways to include these skills, and provide an example to guide you.
Why include problem-solving skills on a resume?
Listing problem-solving skills on a resume is important because organizations typically experience challenges. For example, a sales department may have challenges reaching targets, or an essential team member may be unavailable. Successfully dealing with these issues require you to apply your problem-solving skills. Solving problems also involves handling unexpected changes difficult situations effectively. Evaluate your ability to solve problems you expect to occur and show how you handled them in previous roles when creating your resume. According to Statistics Canada studies, employment opportunities and potential earnings are typically higher for individuals with strong problem-solving skills.
Examples of problem-solving skills to include on your resume
Here are essential skills that show you can solve problems in your expected role:
Problem-solving typically begins by identifying the cause of an issue and completely understanding it. You can start by gathering more information from team members, consulting with more experienced colleagues, or using online resources. Research skills can also help when searching for practical solutions. For example, you can apply this skill to find a management method that enables you to progress through projects quickly.
Read more: Research Skills: Definition and Examples
Analytical skills are qualities for objectively evaluating a situation and generating ideas about it. They are important for understanding why a situation occurred. Analytical skills can also help you distinguish between solutions or differentiate online sources when conducting research.
Creativity involves being flexible and thinking of original solutions to a problem. You can use this skill to find research sources, brainstorm ideas, and reach conclusions. For example, you may apply your creativity when looking for a solution to a department's budgeting problem. Creativity in problem-solving involves exploring new approaches to an issue.
After finding several alternatives, you can typically only select one option. Decision-making skills can help you choose among alternatives to ensure effective problem-solving. For example, if there are multiple ways of solving a financial problem, applying your decision-making qualities can help you select an option that offers the best economic value.
Throughout the problem-solving stages, you can expect to more effectively communicate with your team and other professionals. Communication is the ability to interact and exchange information with others for them to understand. For example, you can apply this skill when explaining the issue to professionals who may provide support and present your findings to stakeholders. Depending on the problem you want to solve, you may communicate information verbally or in writing.
Ways to improve your problem-solving skills
Here are several methods you can use to improve your ability to solve problems:
Acquire more technical knowledge in your field
Depending on your industry, it may be easier to solve problems if you have strong technical knowledge. For example, if you work in medicine, it may be easier to diagnose and treat medical conditions if you have medical knowledge of and experience treating the condition. You can gain more technical knowledge through additional coursework, practice, or training.
Seek opportunities to develop solutions to problems and view problem-solving as a learning experience. For example, you can volunteer to solve a problem in your current role, outside of your work environment, or for another team or department. Practising problems can help you prepare for issues that may occur and reduce the time you might spend researching possible solutions.
Observe how others solve problems
If you have colleagues who are skilled problem solvers, you can learn how they approach issues and develop solutions. Ask relevant questions when learning from experienced candidates and identify the techniques they use. Observing others can help you gain insights into methods of problem-solving that you can apply to your work.
How to include problem-solving skills on your resume
Follow these steps to list problem-solving qualities on your resume:
1. Identify the problem-solving skills you have
Start by reflecting on your career to recognize your ability to solve problems. For example, if you're a technical professional, you can explain your troubleshooting skills on your resume. Ensure the skills you identify accurately describe tasks you can complete using them, and check that they relate to the position you're applying for in a company. You also may want to look for practical examples of applying the skills you mention in previous roles.
2. Assess your ability to use problem-solving skills
Perform a self-assessment of your problem-solving skills. A self-assessment helps you evaluate your qualifications, progress, and career development. Completing one can provide insights into how you can better describe your ability to find effective solutions.
3. Decide on where to include your problem-solving skills
You can list your problem-solving skills in your skills section or experience section. Mentioning these abilities in your experience section enables you to expand on the tasks you can complete with them. In contrast, including them in a bullet list with other skills can improve their visibility to hiring managers and recruiters.
Examples of problem-solving skills on your resume
Here are examples of how to list your problem-solving skills on your resume:
Example of problem-solving skills within a resume skill section
This example shows how to include problem-solving skills in the skills section of your resume:
Dedicated financial manager with five years of relevant experience conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis to help businesses make informed decisions. Excellent analytical, numerical, and problem-solving skills and three-time winner of the Garitrade Magazine's "Financial Professional of the Year" award.
High-Drive Hilld Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, April 2020-June 2021
managed finance department of the organization and oversaw 15 financial personnel, including analysts, interns, and accountants
performed analysis of quantitative market data and discovered insights leading to a 15% increase in profits
created financial reports and presented them to company executives
Brigss and Hills Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, September 2018 - January 2020
developed data management procedures for the finance department
analyzed financial data and conducted due diligence on a $2 billion merger and acquisition deal
prepared financial reports containing company investments and recommendations
collaborated with other financial analysts to develop forecasting and reporting systems to improve the accuracy of financial data
Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAC)
Keytown Tree University, Toronto, Ontario, 2016-2017
Bachelor of Accounting
Keytown Tree University, Toronto, Ontario, 2012-2016
Example of problem-solving skills within a resume experience section
This example shows how to list problem-solving qualities with your previous duties on a resume:
Award-winning financial analyst looking for opportunities to apply problem-solving and critical thinking skills in a consulting firm. Skilled at assessing qualitative and quantitative data for discrepancies and recommending effective solutions to financial issues.
Adele & Paul Incorporated, Toronto, Ontario, June 2016 - September 2018
researched financial market to resolve compliance issues for the company
participated in a team project to perform due diligence for a $24 million joint venture
supervised and trained over six interns looking to begin their careers in financial analysis
created financial portfolios for individual and business clients by working with accounting professionals
developed solutions for management to record expenses across enterprises
worked with other financial analysts to develop reporting system, which increased the availability of financial data and improved profits by 6%
Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAC)
Keytown Gett University, Toronto, Ontario, 2015-2016
Bachelor of Accounting
Keytown Gett University, Toronto, Ontario, 2010-2014
documentation and reporting
Member, CFA Society, Ontario
Member, Canadian Securities Institute
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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