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Sudoku for Beginners: How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
Are you a beginner when it comes to solving Sudoku puzzles? Do you find yourself frustrated and unsure of where to start? Fear not, as we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to improve your problem-solving skills through Sudoku.
Understanding the Basics of Sudoku
Before we dive into the strategies and techniques, let’s first understand the basics of Sudoku. A Sudoku puzzle is a 9×9 grid that is divided into nine smaller 3×3 grids. The objective is to fill in each row, column, and smaller grid with numbers 1-9 without repeating any numbers.
Starting Strategies for Beginners
As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to look at an empty Sudoku grid. But don’t worry. There are simple starting strategies that can help you get started. First, look for any rows or columns that only have one missing number. Fill in that number and move on to the next row or column with only one missing number. Another strategy is looking for any smaller grids with only one missing number and filling in that number.
Advanced Strategies for Beginner/Intermediate Level
Once you’ve mastered the starting strategies, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques. One technique is called “pencil marking.” This involves writing down all possible numbers in each empty square before making any moves. Then use logic and elimination techniques to cross off impossible numbers until you are left with the correct answer.
Another advanced technique is “hidden pairs.” Look for two squares within a row or column that only have two possible numbers left. If those two possible numbers exist in both squares, then those two squares must contain those specific numbers.
Benefits of Solving Sudoku Puzzles
Not only is solving Sudoku puzzles fun and challenging, but it also has many benefits for your brain health. It helps improve your problem-solving skills, enhances memory and concentration, and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
In conclusion, Sudoku is a great way to improve your problem-solving skills while also providing entertainment. With these starting and advanced strategies, you’ll be able to solve even the toughest Sudoku puzzles. So grab a pencil and paper and start sharpening those brain muscles.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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How to develop and demonstrate your problem-solving skills
Analytical and critical thinking skills, why employers want these skills, examples of how analytical or problem solving skills can be developed or evidenced, final thought....
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We all solve problems on a daily basis, in academic situations, at work and in our day-to-day lives. Some of the problems that are typically faced by students include:
- Putting together an argument for an essay
- Dealing with an awkward customer when working part-time in a shop or restaurant
- Thinking about how you are going to manage your budget to keep you going until the end of term
- Working out why your printer won’t respond
- Developing a strategy to reach the next level of a computer game.
Any job will also bring problems to be faced. It is important to show to a recruiter that you have the right skills to resolve these problems, and the personal resilience to handle the challenges and pressure they may bring. You need to be able to:
- Evaluate information or situations
- Break them down into their key components
- Consider various ways of approaching and resolving them
- Decide on the most appropriate of these ways
Solving these problems involves both analytical and creative skills . Which particular skills are needed will vary, depending on the problem and your role in the organisation, but the following skills are key to problem-solving:
- Lateral Thinking
- Logical Reasoning
Analytical and critical thinking skills help you to evaluate the problem and to make decisions. A l ogical and methodical approach is best in some circumstances: for example, you will need to be able to draw on your academic or subject knowledge to identify solutions of a practical or technical nature. In other situations, using creativity or l ateral thinking will be necessary to come up with ideas for resolving the problem and find fresh approaches Not everyone has these two types of skills in equal measure: for this reason, team working is often a key component in problem-solving. Further skills, such as communication, persuasion and negotiation , are important in finding solutions to problems involving people.
Whatever issue you are faced with, some steps are fundamental:
- I dentify the problem
- D efine the problem
- E xamine the options
- A ct on a plan
- L ook at the consequences
This is the IDEAL model of problem-solving. The final stage is to put the solution you have decided on into practice and check the results.
Any workplace, project or task will have challenges or obstacles which need to be overcome. If an organisation employs people who are adept at solving problems at all levels, it reduces the need for complex chains of command or lessens demand on managers' time. In short, it will help save time and therefore money. Analytical skills are perhaps becoming increasingly important; we are all bombarded with huge amounts of information every day. Being able to quickly yet comprehensively identify and evaluate the most important or relevant information for the organisation or your specific job role will be an increasingly useful skill.
- Leisure activities (e.g. chess, logic games, computing).
- Overcoming obstacles to achieve an ambition or goal.
- Working in a customer environment and resolving complaints, particularly in situations where there is no protocol.
- Research (e.g. for essays or projects, or within the workplace).
- Particular achievements in the workplace (e.g. devising new working practices to improve efficiency, information systems development, diagnosing and rectifying faults or issues).
- Creative solutions to coursework problems.
- Identifying appropriate source material for assignments.
A large cosmetics company had a problem in that some of the soap boxes coming off the production lines were empty. The problem was quickly isolated to the assembly line, which transported the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department: some soap boxes went through the assembly line empty. The management asked its engineers to solve the problem. They spent much time and money in designing a machine with high-resolution monitors manned by staff; to scan all the boxes on the line to make sure they weren't empty. A workman hearing about this, came up with another solution. He got a powerful industrial fan and pointed it at the assembly line. As each soap box passed the fan, the empty boxes were blown off the line. Moral: the simplest solution is usually the best!
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- Resume and Cover Letter
- How Do You Describe...
How Do You Describe Analytical Skills on a Resume?
11 min read · Updated on November 02, 2022
Analytical skills are in high demand and can help you stand it out from the competition. But how do you communicate them in the right way on your resume? This blog will walk you through each step.
Challenges inevitably arise at work. Employers cherish employees with unique abilities to face problems and find solutions.
Analytical skills allow you to assess data and processes to find solutions that can boost productivity and address a company's challenges. Many job descriptions even include some form of analytical skills as a requirement.
It's one thing to possess problem-solving skills – being able to describe them clearly on your resume is another. Anyone can say they are a “critical thinker” or that they “think outside the box,” but those cliched phrases are easily dismissed, especially if there are no accomplishments on your resume to support the claim.
How do you describe your analytical skills in ways specific enough to attract a reader's attention? How do you demonstrate that they have brought tangible value?
In this blog, we'll cover:
What are analytical skills?
Why do they belong on a resume?
Where to place your analytical skills on your resume
The skills that enable you to investigate a problem and find the ideal solution in a timely, efficient manner are known as analytical skills.
Analytical skills are used when detecting patterns, brainstorming, interpreting data, integrating information, and making decisions based on multiple factors. They can encompass both quantitative and methodical skills or more creative and innovative abilities.
If you're unsure which analytical skills you possess, if any, take a detailed look at your accomplishments and your methods for getting the best results. You might have more than you think.
Here are a few analytical skills to get you started:
A creative eye can spot trends in data that others may not see. Creativity is also useful for problem-solving when the obvious solution is not always the best solution. Creative thinkers often find effective solutions to big problems.
Creative skills include: brainstorming, collaboration, optimization, predictive modeling, restructuring, strategic planning, and integration.
Thinking critically means being able to avoid the obvious. It refers to evaluating information and then making a decision based on your findings, often exploring even impossible angles to find a solution. Critical thinking is what helps an employee make decisions that help solve problems for a company.
Critical thinking skills include: process management, auditing, benchmarking, big data analytics, case analysis, causal relationships, comparative analysis, correlation, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, diagnostics, dissecting, evaluating, data interpretation, and troubleshooting.
Once you have a solution, you have to communicate it to your colleagues so that it can be shared and implemented. Effective communicators know how to discuss patterns, conclusions, and recommendations. They know how to draw attention and inspire colleagues. If the goal is to find a solution as a group, good communicators also know how to lead teams in effective collaboration.
Analytical communication skills include: problem sensitivity, active listening, reporting, surveying, teamwork, oral communication, written communication, and conducting presentations.
Data analysis is the ability to systematize information in order to uncover patterns and dependencies. No matter what the career field might be, data analysis involves being able to examine a large volume of data and identify trends in that data. It goes beyond simply reading and comprehending the information to clarifying larger concepts and presenting conclusions for top decision-makers. It can also involve the ability to see past the data and find the “spaces in between”. Sometimes the data you need isn't obvious. You need not only to see what is in front of you, but what is missing.
Data analysis skills include: observation, business analysis, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), cost analysis, credit analysis, financial analysis, industry research, policy analysis, predictive analytics, process analysis, qualitative analysis, and ROI analysis.
Why are analytical skills important on your resume?
Facing and overcoming challenges is critical to a company's survival. An employee with analytical skills can find new solutions to problems that arise and can lead teams down new paths to bolster efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Decisions and actions are based on those skills. This is why the most sought-after employees and executives have a proven record of verifiable analytical skills.
The ability to see trends, draw conclusions, and communicate options is a must in finances, data science, medicine, marketing, law, and many more industries.
That's why it's crucial to highlight what analytical skills you have for a potential hiring manager. But, simply saying you have “analytical” or “critical thinking” skills in a cover letter means next to nothing. Use your resume to demonstrate your skills in action.
How to demonstrate analytical skills on your resume
The keyword here is “demonstrate”, as in demonstrate the skill or skills in use. Countless resumes will use phrases like “critical thinker”, “communicator” or “solution-oriented”, but can you show how you've utilized a skill in a way that has brought value to an employer?
Give examples of situations in your job where those skills lead to a solution
Describe a specific process you utilized
List major achievements enable by your analytical skills
Include specific training courses related to analytical skills
Use synonyms to avoid repeating “analyzed,” “analysis,” and “analytical skills.”
Where do I list analytical skills on the resume?
The summary is a good place to introduce a skill that has served you repeatedly throughout your career. If you've assisted clients in analyzing their workflow, have often been called upon to find unique solutions, or are a manager known for leading teams through difficult situations, this is the place to introduce that.
Here's an example: Solutions-driven market analyst with 6+ years of experience consulting businesses on trends and products. Lead partner for Consulting Company X. Extensive experience with digital transformation. Revolutionized a client's reach by 20% by taking them online.
The work history is the ideal place to list analytical skills that lead to demonstrable successes. Here, you have the opportunity to use stats, percentages, and dollar amounts to show how your ability to assess and solve problems increased revenue, advanced markets, or led teams.
In the work history section, you're less likely to use the terms that define analytical skills and more likely to describe them indirectly by showing the success they've brought.
Make use of the STAR (Situation–Task–Action–Result) model when selecting accomplishments to list in your work history.
Situation: The employer wanted to achieve a target.
Task: You were tasked with devising solutions to meet this target.
Action: What steps you took to perform the task. (also, what analytical skills you used)
Result: What was the result of your actions?
When phrasing the accomplishment in your work history, follow the ATM model: Action verb // Task // Metric . Here's an example:
Analyzed $80k/month marketing spend // to optimize reach ; // increased conversion by 15% MoM and d ecreased cost per acquisition by 20%
Take a look at the following example. This resume shows how this person's strong data analysis and market research skills helped advance his company into a new market; how their process analysis skills helped optimize their inventory system; and how their communication skills helped them train and manage staff. The words “invented” and “generated” also elicit creativity.
Artus Springs - Phoenix, AZ
01/2017 - 02/2020
Developed a market entry strategy for the Northwest market, leading to $1.3 million in new market revenue in the first 2 years of operations
Increased stock turnover by 30% and KPIs by 15% by overhauling the inventory management process
Successfully managed a 5-member leadership team
Organized and led events with 40 suppliers
Recruited and trained a diverse team composed of 100+ brand ambassadors
Invented cross-category marketing solutions, bringing +12% market advertising penetration
The skills section
Because analytical skills are often listed in job descriptions, hiring managers will look for them in the skills section. ATS systems will also scan the skills section to filter for resumes with relevant skills. So, if the job listing to which you are applying clearly lists specific analytical skills that you have, be sure they are listed in your skills section as well.
Beyond that, it's important to list your analytical skills here in any case. But beware – less is more. Don't list every analytical skill in existence. The key is to list skills that specifically relate to the job or have a strong focus on the industry. Remember, it's crucial to tailor each resume to a specific job offer. That includes the skills section. For example, if the job posting doesn't explicitly list desired skills, look for keywords in the job description that might allude to helpful analytical skills. Is it a management position? Communication skills are a must. Is it a sales position that expresses a hope to expand markets? Market analysis and projection modeling are key.
Also, whichever skill you list in the skills section, be ready to be asked about it in an interview. Before you add a skill to your list, consider whether you can back it up with an anecdote, evidence, or achievement.
The next key is to strive for word choices that are as specific as possible. If the job description calls for “communication”, of course, list that. But is there a specific area of communication in which you excel? Do you have experience with “team management,” “surveying,” or “giving presentations”?
Remember there are both soft skills and hard skills that qualify as analytical skills. “Data analysis” can be trained, but “market prediction” is a skill developed with experience. When considering which analytical skills you possess, look to both categories.
See this example for a research assistant resume:
data management systems
A special achievements section
An achievements section doesn't occur on every resume, but there are a couple of reasons to include one. For example, an accomplishments section can be helpful if you have impressive achievements outside of the workplace, such as community organizing, volunteering, or hobbies with impressive, relatable skills.
If you're in a senior executive position in your career, it can be helpful to add a Career Highlights section at the top of your resume, showcasing the many accomplishments you've achieved throughout your career.
On the opposite end, if you're just beginning your career journey, but have significant achievements in school or your community, an accomplishments section is a great place to list them.
If you're looking to use this section to highlight your analytical skills, make sure to focus on accomplishments with demonstrable results.
See the examples below.
Example #1: outside the workplace
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Raised $10,000 for lymphoma research through community fundraisers
Created annual “Feed the Homeless” events within my community, raising $1,500 avg.
Led Girl Scout Troops on hikes of the full length of the Appalachian Trail in 2018-2022
Example #2: career highlights
Led a team of 15 employees in a local call center location for more than 5 years
Created and implemented a new training program which resulted in a 25% increase in customer satisfaction
Managed an international customer service team of 25+ employees
Implemented Lean Management directives at company X, which cut overall operating cost by 35%
Example #3: recent graduate
Tutored SAT and ACT improving their test scores by 40% for the average student.
Tutored 4 students in linear algebra, helping them improve by two grades on average.
Organized debate club travel logistics for away meets.
Analytical skills in your education section
If you have a degree, advanced training, or other qualification that could help demonstrate analytical skills, make sure you list it in your education section. Majors in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or statistics demonstrate analytical skills. If you're a recent graduate, include relevant minors. If the job is specifically looking for particular skills and you've taken seminars or have received certifications for new skills, be sure to highlight them under education.
Davis University, Bachelor of Science
Major in Computer Science
Minor in Statistics
Teaching assistant Sept 2019 - May 2020
Analytical skills are in high demand. Understanding how to communicate yours effectively on your resume will help you stand it out from the competition. Be specific and authentic.
Analytical skills are those skills that allow you to discover patterns, think critically and find unique solutions for success. Consider not only your greatest achievements but also your day-to-day successes when looking for your analytical skills.
TopResume understands that talking about skills and achievements can be a difficult challenge. Reach out to our expert team of resume writers to help build your resume that successfully highlights your skills.
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Strong Analytical Thinking Skills: Example Usage on Resume, Skill Set and Top Keywords in 2023
Here are the top ways to show your analytical thinking skills on your resume. Find out relevant analytical thinking keywords and phrases and build your resume today.
Is your resume ATS-friendly?
Drop your resume here or upload a file to find out if the skills in your resume are readable by an ATS.
What are analytical thinking skills?
Why are analytical thinking skills important on your resume.
- What traits, skills, and abilities help you demonstrate strong analytical skills on your resume?"?
How to demonstrate strong analytical thinking skills on your resume
Analytical thinking skills are a set of soft skills that help you recognize, collect and process data related to a problem that needs to be solved efficiently. They also help you identify improvement possibilities or predict and prevent disaster.
Great analytical thinking skills usually cover a spectrum of abilities such as Communication, Creativity, Critical thinking, Data analysis, and Research.
To demonstrate what we mean, let’s have a quiz. In WW2, the RAF aimed to reinforce their airplanes so that they have a better chance of survival. They knew which parts of the airplane received the most bullet holes. So, what did they do? Keep reading and you will find out.
Because analytical thinking skills are a set, you will need to demonstrate them indirectly in your resume, highlighting the abilities we mentioned a few lines earlier. HR officers will look for them in the skill section, especially if the job title you are applying for contains the word “analyst”.
In simple words, analytical thinking skills ensure survival and progress. In the corporate world, analytical skills are vital for making an enterprise profitable. Those with analytical skills show the way and lead the path. Decisions and actions are based on those skills and without them, any company is doomed. This is why the most sought-after employees and executives are the ones with a proven record of analytical thinking. To see patterns and trends, to draw logical conclusions, and be able to communicate that within the organization is a must in finances, data science, medicine, marketing, law, and many more well-paid and prestigious positions.
What traits, skills, and abilities help you demonstrate strong analytical skills on your resume?"?
- Observation skills and curiosity : sometimes the data you need to solve a problem is not delivered to your desk. You need not only to see what is in front of you, but what is missing. Remember our RAF planes? Some came back, but some did not.
- Research : once you notice a problem, you will have to look for data. Here you need to be patient, study the problem, and collect all the relevant information and data you can. You need to be creative in finding places where to look for it.
- Data analysis : to analyze data, you need to be able to concentrate and systematize the information. This is where the patterns and dependencies will show up. Your job is to make sense of it and come up with a conclusion.
- Creativity and Critical thinking : to be able to think critically and creatively means to be able to avoid the obvious. Often, critical thinking means exploring even impossible angles to find a solution. A good example that comes to mind is Israel’s 10th man approach, depicted in the movie “Z world war”. The rule states that the 10th member of their council is obligated to doubt anything if all nine others agree on a decision. By the way, do you still think about the RAF planes? Back then they found the solution, avoiding the obvious.
- Communication : once you have a solution, you will need to find a way to communicate it to your colleagues. Here you need to know how to present the information when to present it, how to draw attention and how to inspire.
- Give examples with critical situations on your job that demonstrate those skills
- Describe a specific process or method you use
- Think of major achievements and breakthroughs made possible by your analytical skills
- If you practice brain games and read a lot of books, make sure to include this in the “Interests” section, as these improve analytical skills.
- List specific courses or certificates related to analytical skills
Writing “Strong analytical thinking skills” on your resume is simply not enough. You will need to prove your case, convincing the HR officer that you might be able to think analytically. You have to show examples, achievements and be creative. Remember, the HR officer uses analytical skills as well to find a suitable candidate.
Below you will find relevant examples that will help you start:
Example 1: Show your analytical thinking skills in your experience bullet point
- • Developed a market entry strategy in California, targeting 1 million bottles sold in the first year of operations
- • Increased the store turnover by 20%and the main KPIs by 15% by proficient management of stock and orders
- • Successfully managed and motivated a 5-member team, reducing the staff turnover to 0
- • Successfully managed events with more than 50 suppliers involved and up to 500 participants
- • Recruited, trained and managed multicultural team composed of approximately 100 persons
- • First ever digital content into TV integration increased impressions +2%
- • Invented a cross-category solutions, bringing +3% penetration on Telivus portfolio and +5.7% sales increase
Example taken from our Project Manager resume guide
The applicant demonstrates strong analytical skills by meeting his sales forecast. His analysis of stock and orders allowed him to implement a strategy that resulted in savings for the company. This also shows that he can work with data. The experience in managing events with more participants and at a bigger scale repeatedly shows the candidate’s ability to plan and communicate. The word “Invented” speaks of creativity.
Example 2: Demonstrate analytical skills in your resume summary
Example taken from our Software Engineer resume guide
We can see that the candidate has a major achievement. More importantly, the achievement is for an “optimized” network. Any optimization is a result of analytical skills. Especially useful are achievements confirmed by a third-party organization.
Example 3: Use your achievements to make the point
Example taken from our Resumes of Chernobyl article
This is what counts. We can see that Mr. Legasov “Led the investigation” of the Chernobyl disaster, which is to show that he conducted research and collected data. Then he analyzed the data and using creative and critical thinking he came up with conclusions and solutions. “Pointed to the problems” is the most incredible part of his achievements. Although the party and the whole political situation did not allow for honesty and the spread of information, he put his will and communication skills and work and informed the world about the dangers of RBMK-1000 reactors.
Top related skills to strong analytical skills:
- Public Speaking
- Demonstrate, do not claim: Lead the HR officer through your achievements and results.
- Make them believe in you: List any awards and recognition.
- Be wise with words: Sort and clear sentences. Action and power verbs. Only the essence. You will explain the details later at the interview.
And what happened to those pilots and their planes? An analyst at the RAF concluded that they need to reinforce the parts of the plane where there are no bullet holes. The reason for this was that although hit many times, the planes they studied returned after all. The rest hit in other places, did not.
About this report:
Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com.
While those skills are most commonly met on resumes, you should only use them as inspiration and customize your resume for the given job.
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Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, and Analytical Reasoning Skills Sought by Employers
In this section:
- Critical Thinking
View the content on this page in a Word document.
Critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving skills are required to perform well on tasks expected by employers. 1 Having good problem-solving and critical thinking skills can make a major difference in a person’s career. 2
Every day, from an entry-level employee to the Chairman of the Board, problems need to be resolved. Whether solving a problem for a client (internal or external), supporting those who are solving problems, or discovering new problems to solve, the challenges faced may be simple/complex or easy/difficult.
A fundamental component of every manager's role is solving problems. So, helping students become a confident problem solver is critical to their success; and confidence comes from possessing an efficient and practiced problem-solving process.
Employers want employees with well-founded skills in these areas, so they ask four questions when assessing a job candidate 3 :
- Evaluation of information: How well does the applicant assess the quality and relevance of information?
- Analysis and Synthesis of information: How well does the applicant analyze and synthesize data and information?
- Drawing conclusions: How well does the applicant form a conclusion from their analysis?
- Acknowledging alternative explanations/viewpoints: How well does the applicant consider other options and acknowledge that their answer is not the only perspective?
When an employer says they want employees who are good at solving complex problems, they are saying they want employees possessing the following skills:
- Analytical Thinking — A person who can use logic and critical thinking to analyze a situation.
- Critical Thinking – A person who makes reasoned judgments that are logical and well thought out.
- Initiative — A person who will step up and take action without being asked. A person who looks for opportunities to make a difference.
- Creativity — A person who is an original thinker and have the ability to go beyond traditional approaches.
- Resourcefulness — A person who will adapt to new/difficult situations and devise ways to overcome obstacles.
- Determination — A person who is persistent and does not give up easily.
- Results-Oriented — A person whose focus is on getting the problem solved.
Two of the major components of problem-solving skills are critical thinking and analytical reasoning. These two skills are at the top of skills required of applicants by employers.
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Critical Thinking 4
“Mentions of critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009, according to an analysis by career-search site Indeed.com.” 5 Making logical and reasoned judgments that are well thought out is at the core of critical thinking. Using critical thinking an individual will not automatically accept information or conclusions drawn from to be factual, valid, true, applicable or correct. “When students are taught how to use critical thinking to tap into their creativity to solve problems, they are more successful than other students when they enter management-training programs in large corporations.” 6
A strong applicant should question and want to make evidence-based decisions. Employers want employees who say things such as: “Is that a fact or just an opinion? Is this conclusion based on data or gut feel?” and “If you had additional data could there be alternative possibilities?” Employers seek employees who possess the skills and abilities to conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information to reach an answer or conclusion.
Employers require critical thinking in employees because it increases the probability of a positive business outcome. Employers want employees whose thinking is intentional, purposeful, reasoned, and goal directed.
Recruiters say they want applicants with problem-solving and critical thinking skills. They “encourage applicants to prepare stories to illustrate their critical-thinking prowess, detailing, for example, the steps a club president took to improve attendance at weekly meetings.” 7
Employers want students to possess analytical reasoning/thinking skills — meaning they want to hire someone who is good at breaking down problems into smaller parts to find solutions. “The adjective, analytical, and the related verb analyze can both be traced back to the Greek verb, analyein — ‘to break up, to loosen.’ If a student is analytical, you are good at taking a problem or task and breaking it down into smaller elements in order to solve the problem or complete the task.” 9
Analytical reasoning connotes a person's general aptitude to arrive at a logical conclusion or solution to given problems. Just as with critical thinking, analytical thinking critically examines the different parts or details of something to fully understand or explain it. Analytical thinking often requires the person to use “cause and effect, similarities and differences, trends, associations between things, inter-relationships between the parts, the sequence of events, ways to solve complex problems, steps within a process, diagraming what is happening.” 10
Analytical reasoning is the ability to look at information and discern patterns within it. “The pattern could be the structure the author of the information uses to structure an argument, or trends in a large data set. By learning methods of recognizing these patterns, individuals can pull more information out of a text or data set than someone who is not using analytical reasoning to identify deeper patterns.” 11
Employers want employees to have the aptitude to apply analytical reasoning to problems faced by the business. For instance, “a quantitative analyst can break down data into patterns to discern information, such as if a decrease in sales is part of a seasonal pattern of ups and downs or part of a greater downward trend that a business should be worried about. By learning to recognize these patterns in both numbers and written arguments, an individual gains insights into the information that someone who simply takes the information at face value will miss.” 12
Managers with excellent analytical reasoning abilities are considered good at, “evaluating problems, analyzing them from more than one angle and finding a solution that works best in the given circumstances”. 13 Businesses want managers who can apply analytical reasoning skills to meet challenges and keep a business functioning smoothly
A person with good analytical reasoning and pattern recognition skills can see trends in a problem much easier than anyone else.
How to demonstrate your analytical skills on a job application
You’re looking for a new job, and almost everywhere you look, it seems that 'analytical skills' are a requirement. What exactly does that mean? And how do you know if you have them? Here, we’ll discuss what analytical skills are and how to demonstrate them when applying for a job.
What are analytic skills?
Analytical ability means that you can analyse a situation, problem or issue well. It means you can approach a problem or issue in a solution-focused manner and through different angles. You can also quickly distinguish the main issue from the secondary issues. In short, you aim to understand an issue first and then devise appropriate action.
Analytical ability is very similar to critical thinking. Critical thinkers don’t just take everything for face value, but they ask questions to get to the deeper issue: “Is that true? What does that mean? Why? And how does that work?” These kinds of questions help you better understand the issue so you can give a better answer.
Why are analytical skills important?
Especially if you often deal with more complex issues in your work environment, it is important not to get overwhelmed by all the information that comes your way. By categorizing and making connections, you can easily map out your tasks independently and perform them quickly. This is an important characteristic in technical and medical professions, for example.
Do I have analytical thinking?
Analytical thinking may be an abstract concept if you have never really studied it. The list below will help you determine if you have analytical thinking skills. Are these qualities familiar to you?
- You quickly see the core or essence of an issue
- You can distinguish between main and secondary issues
- You foresee the possible consequences of certain choices and can weigh them against one another
- You can quickly make connections
- You only take action after looking at the issue from multiple angles
- Questioning and listening is something you are good at
- Sometimes you think too much and keep contemplating before you come to a choice
- You first weigh all options and are therefore described by others as 'indecisive'
Develop your analytical skills
Are the above characteristics not immediately familiar to you? No problem. Like many skills, you can train your analytical skills. A good exercise is to not immediately take the first course of action that comes to mind when dealing with a problem or issue. First, write down in one sentence what the essence of the problem is. Below that, put all possible solutions and describe the advantages and disadvantages of the best three. By being goal-oriented, you develop your analytical skills until this kind of thinking comes naturally.
Demonstrate analytical thinking when applying for a job
Are analytical skills a requirement in an application ? Then you will probably be asked to demonstrate this during the interview. Practical examples of how you deal with a certain situation are your best course of action. Below are some examples:
- ■ Indicate that you never just choose a solution for a problem or issue, but weigh the options first. Describe an example from practice that shows this.
- ■ Explain how you can view a problem or issue from different angles.
- ■ Explain how you involve the input of others in a particular problem or issue.
- ■ Explain how to map connections by looking for background information or by comparing practical examples.
- ■ Give an example of how you distinguish between main and secondary issues.
Example: You apply for a vacancy as a journalist. When researching a story, you make an overview of main and secondary issues to quickly see through the common thread and not to drown in the amount of information.
Use your analytical skills!
Do you have analytical thinking? You now know what it is and how you can demonstrate this soft skill during your job interview — a must for more and more data-driven functions. Check which of our vacancies have this competence.
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