Every position requires different analytical skills, so it’s important to thoroughly read each job description so you know which skills to highlight as you move through the hiring process. At all stages of your job search, make sure you’re specific: Talk about the individual skills you’ll be using rather than broad categories like “research skills,” “creativity,” or “problem solving.”
On a Resume
On your resume, your most important skills should be listed in at least two places: a skills section and the bullet points under your past experiences. Your skills section should list all of the preferred or required qualifications mentioned in the job description that you have experience with as well as any other skills you have that will help you perform the position’s job duties. If you have a lot of skills to list, particularly for an analysis-heavy role, you might consider creating a subsection specifically for your analytical skills (or even further subdividing to highlight specific types of analytical skills).
For example, a social media manager’s skill section might look like this:
Social Media Management: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter
Communication Skills: Blog Writing, Social Media Copywriting
Analytical Skills: A/B Testing, Data Visualization (Tableau, Microsoft Excel), Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Market Analysis, Conversion Rate Optimization
It’s OK to be a little broader in your skills section, Goodfellow says, but in your experience section, you want to add more details. For instance, if you’re saying you streamlined and automated reporting, include what tools you used, your role and impact in the project, and the results of the project, Goodfellow says. Whenever possible, you want to add numbers to quantify your experiences and show just how much you accomplished. And try to use the same language as the job description. If a posting is looking for someone who has experience with Tableau, don’t just say you’ve “created data visualizations,” for example.
Here’s how a bullet point for a product marketer highlighting some of their research skills might look:
In a Cover Letter
Your cover letter is a great place to call out specific analytical skills that are especially important to the job you’re applying to. Don’t just state that you have analytical skills, tell a (brief) story about how you’ve used them and what results you got for the company you worked for.
For instance, a budget analyst might say:
In my last position at Silver Inc., I conducted a full budget analysis for the sales department and found inefficiencies in spending. For example, a lot of money was going toward software that was very rarely used or where only the free features were being utilized. My analysis and recommendations ultimately resulted in a 20% quarterly spending decrease, which allowed the department to avoid layoffs.
In a Job Interview
Prepare for your job interview by reviewing common interview questions, and think about ways you might work your key analytical skills into your answers (when it makes sense, of course). Come prepared with stories of how you’ve used your analytical skills. You can use the STAR method to structure your answers to make sure that you’re hitting on all of the key parts of your story in a logical way.
A graphic designer or project manager wanting to highlight some of their problem solving abilities might answer the question “What is your greatest strength?” like this:
I’d have to say that one of my greatest strengths is adjusting my thinking about problems to find solutions that no one has thought of before. For example, at my current job, the graphic design department as a whole was having trouble meeting deadlines. I realized that the thing slowing us down most was the back and forth with clients as they asked for small tweaks to designs. To cut down on this, I came up with a list of questions to include every time we sent clients a design. We prompt them to comment on every aspect of the graphic—including font, color, and other elements—so that they think about every tweak they might want each time. Of course, this hasn’t eliminated the back and forth entirely, but it has significantly reduced the time needed to complete designs, with about 95% of our original deadlines being hit last quarter.
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