Strategic Planner Skills: Definition, Examples, and Tips

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 9, 2022

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.

If you're looking for a position as a strategic planner, there are several skills that are important for you to possess. A strategic planner is someone who works to create action plans to help businesses achieve their goals. Understanding the types of skills that are helpful for a strategic planner can help you to further develop these skills and learn how to highlight them on your resume. In this article, we define the role of a strategic planner, share the types of skills helpful for a strategic planner, and provide tips for sharing these skills with a hiring manager.

What is a strategic planner?

Strategic planners work to help companies create action plans. Typically, strategic planners are experts in the industry where they work so that they can use their expertise to help companies define their business goals and the steps to take to achieve them. It's important that strategic planners understand the company that they work for so that they are able to properly present strategies to the company's stakeholders. Common job duties for strategic planners include:

  • developing company goals and objectives

  • creating plans and strategies to help the company meet set goals and objectives

  • performing market research to learn more about threats and opportunities

  • analyzing the company's current strategy to determine the level of success

  • ensuring departments align with the company's strategy

  • supporting the company in strategic changes

  • advising stakeholders in decision making

  • creating forecasts and analytical models

  • researching industry trends

Typically, employers require individuals to have a bachelor's degree for employment as a strategic planner. This bachelor's degree may be in marketing or a related field, like business or finance.

Related: A Guide to Finance Careers

Types of strategic planner skills

There are a number of strategic planner skills that can be helpful for a career in this role. These skills include:

Analytical skills

Analytical skills are very important in a strategic planner role, as you often review and interpret data to create strategic plans for the business. This may include analyzing market conditions and the potential feasibility of plans. Examples of analytical skills for strategic planners include:

  • forecasting

  • interpreting data

  • theorizing

  • data visualization

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition and 15 Workplace Examples

Communication skills

Strategic planners regularly share their research and plans with stakeholders, senior management, and team members. Because of this, having strong communication skills can help you share your findings and strategic plans with other individuals in a way that they can understand. This understanding can then help team members in working to achieve the company's goals and objectives. It's also important that strategic planners be active listeners in understanding the company's needs and potential concerns of team members.

Strategic planners may communicate through written content, such as reports and e-mails, and through verbal content, such as presentations and calls, so both written and oral communication skills are important. Examples of helpful communication skills for strategic planners include:

  • negotiating

  • presentation skills

  • active listening

  • verbal communication

  • written communication

  • body language

Related: Guide to Verbal Communication Skills

Leadership skills

Often, strategic planners are in leadership positions within a corporation. Even if they're not in a position of leadership, leadership skills can still be helpful in this role, as strategic planners often work to help leaders and team members identify goals that can help in meeting the company's objectives. Leadership skills, such as setting an example, utilizing creativity, and noticing team members' strengths, can further help to motivate the team.

Problem-solving skills

Companies usually hire strategic planners when they are facing a problem, so it's important for strategic planners to understand the problem and evaluate potential solutions. For example, if a company is facing the problem of not generating enough revenue, then it may hire a strategic planner to review its financial information and create a plan to improve its sales and profit. It's important for strategic planners to analyze a company's data and then use this understanding to present viable solutions.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definition and Examples

Critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills refer to the ability to review and analyze information and then come up with a suitable conclusion. These critical thinking skills can help strategic planners when they review company data and work to understand this data before creating a business plan. There's a number of different types of information that strategic planners may review in their role, including financial statements, facts, and data. Examples of specific critical thinking skills that are beneficial in a role as a strategic planner include:

  • creative thinking

  • analyzing solutions

  • determining relevance of data

  • observation

  • inference

Related: Why Critical Thinking Is Important in the Workplace

Research skills

A significant part of the strategic planner's role is to perform research, both to learn more about the company's workings and to gain an understanding of the current industry and market trends. This research can then be used to help support a strategic plan. Research skills often include more than just gathering information, including being able to evaluate what information is important, interpreting information, and attention to detail. Strategic planners may use these skills as they research both facts and data.

Related: Research Skills: Definition and Examples

Marketing skills

It's important that strategic planners have marketing skills to help them understand the market where they work. They can then use these marketing skills to help them in performing market research, such as determining potential growth strategies and understanding any marketing problems that the company might be having. They may also review current growth strategies to determine problems that might hinder company growth and to develop new marketing strategies. Examples of marketing skills that are helpful in a role as a strategic planner include:

  • market research

  • storytelling

  • digital marketing

  • social media marketing

Related: Key Marketing Skills for Your Resume (With Examples)

Business development skills

Business development skills can help strategic planners as they work to help a company expand its market and customer base. This can also help a company to increase its revenue. Using business development skills, strategic planners can develop strategies to help a company build relationships and reach its long-term goals. Examples of business development skills include:

  • decision making

  • adaptability

  • sales planning

  • collaboration

  • team management

Related: Business Development Skills: Definition and Examples

Information technology skills

Strategic planners often use various software systems to help them in recording and analyzing data. They may also work alongside the information technology department of an organization, helping to increase its effectiveness. Because of this, a knowledge of information technology skills can be helpful for strategic planners.

Tips for highlighting strategic planner skills

Sharing the strategic planner skills that you possess with hiring managers can help you obtain a job as a strategic planner. Tips for highlighting these skills include:

On your cover letter

Your cover letter is often the first introduction that you have with the hiring manager or team when you are applying for a job. This means that your cover letter is a good opportunity to attract the hiring manager's attention so that they review your resume. You can incorporate skills into your cover letter by choosing two to three important skills, and describing your proficiency in these skills in the body of the cover letter. When choosing what skills to focus on, review the job posting to determine what skills best help you in fulfilling the duties described.

On your resume

On your resume, you can provide more information about the relevant skills that you possess. You can do this by listing them under the skills section of your resume. Reviewing the job listing for keywords in the duties and requirements section can help you identify what skills to list on your resume. You can also add relevant skills to the work history section of your resume. You can include the skills and the results of you utilizing these skills in this section, which can help potential employers to see the benefit that you may have for their company.

In your interview

A job interview allows you to provide more details and information about your skills. Before your interview, take the time to review your relevant skills and think of examples that demonstrate how you've successfully used these skills in past positions or experiences. When the interviewer asks you questions about your experience and accomplishments, you can then speak about your skills. You can also bring up any skills at the end of the interview that the interviewer didn't directly ask you about.

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