Beyond the Spreadsheet: Demonstrating Problem-Solving Skills in Your Online Resume

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The broad term “problem solving” stands for the ability to resolve any issues and address challenges that the company encounters. Minimizing costs, catering to changing needs of clients, debugging code and handling shortcomings in the company’s strategy all relate to solving a particular problem. 

Companies value employees who are willing to take initiative and handle a challenging situation, so problem-solving skills are a must to include on your resume. In this post, we will list specific problem solving skills you need to include and how to show them through examples. 

If you are a busy professional wondering “Can someone write my resume for me?”, then you should consider an expert resume writer. For example, at this website you can pay someone to write my resume online – they prepare custom resumes for professionals at all career levels. A resume writer will highlight your problem solving abilities and position you as the perfect candidate for the job. 

Skills related to problem solving 

When companies look for problem solving skills in candidates, they typically mean the following skills which are essential to effectively solve business problems: 

    • Research skills – these skills assume the ability to gather information from various sources, analyze it, and apply to a specific workplace situation. 
  • Creativity means coming up with innovative solutions to business problems and thinking out of the box. According to one survey, 60% of CEOs believe that creativity is one of the most important leadership qualities. 
  • Communication skills affect your ability to work with others effectively. They assume that you can listen actively, engage in a discussion, and come to a shared solution with your coworkers. 
  • Decision making is important for identifying a satisfactory solution to a problem and, most importantly, making an independent decision to implement it. 
  • Attention to detail means your ability to pay attention to the tiniest details of the project you are working on. This skill helps you take into account areas that others overlook, and eventually to come up with a more thoughtful solution. 

How to emphasize problem-solving skills on your resume?

To effectively list problem-solving skills and other competencies related to it, follow these tips and strategies: 

Use strong action verbs 

Using specific action verbs will make your resume more persuasive. Words like managed and responsible for are overused in resumes. Try using specific and powerful words instead – for example, initiated, developed, authored, or streamlined. These words will emphasize your ability to take initiative and be responsible for certain projects and situations in the workplace. 

Give specific examples of how you solved a problem

The best way to highlight your problem solving skills is through examples. Thus, the hiring manager will clearly see how you handled similar situations in the past and assume that you’ll be just as effective if they hire you. 

Specific problem-solving abilities you’ll need to highlight will depend on your profession. For an accountant, it can be minimizing taxes or cutting costs for the company, and for a software developer – fixing bugs and increasing code efficiency. 

Here are some examples of demonstrating problem solving skills for a customer service professional:

  • Reduced customer complaints by 20% by developing and implementing conflict resolution procedures
  • Introduced a new CRM system, reducing customer information input time by 35%. 

Examples of problem solving skills for a software developer

  • Debugged CMS software for a company, improving its efficiency by 25%
  • Streamlined an error documentation system, resulting in reduced labor costs by $3,200 per year.

Use a problem-action-result (PAR) formula

If you are not sure how to describe your ability to handle an issue in the workplace, use a PAR formula. Describe the specific problem that you faced, specify the action you’ve taken and the result you achieved. By giving recruiters some context, you’ll help them better evaluate your skills. You can use this formula during a job interview as well to describe specific problems you solved in more detail. 

Add figures and percentages 

Numbers add credibility to your experience and skills. If you managed to deliver measurable results, hiring managers will see it as a predictor of good performance in the future. Thus, they will likely prefer you over other candidates. Illustrate your successes in increasing sales, reducing costs, training new hires, or acquiring new clients using numbers or percentages

When a recruiter looks through your resume for the first time, figures and percentages will surely catch their attention. As a result, they will spend more time reading your resume and will be more likely to call you for an interview. 

Create a dedicated Skills section 

Using the separate Skills section will draw the reader’s attention instantly. Moreover, skills work as keywords, so it is a good way to optimize your resume for software screening. You can add the Skills section at the top of the document, next to the Summary, or closer to the bottom. Include 10-16 skills, focusing on those which are most relevant to your target job. If you have a lot of skills, consider dividing them into categories (i.e. software skills, management skills, programming languages). 

Professional tips to polish your resume 

After you have emphasized your problem-solving abilities, give your resume a few additional updates to make it more appealing to the hiring managers: 

  • Keep it to 1-2 pages. Graduates and entry-level professionals should limit their resume to one page, and experienced workers can use a two-page document. If your resume is longer, remove jobs you had over 10 years ago, irrelevant skills and experience. 
  • Format professionally. Use a popular sans-serif font, such as Arial or Calibri, and keep it readable. You may use some color and formatting to make the document attractive, but make sure it still looks professional. 
  • Proofread before sending. 59% of recruiters can reject a candidate because of resume typos or poor grammar. Read the document carefully and correct all mistakes to make an instant strong impression. 

The ability to solve business problems is one of the most crucial skills that employers look for. With the tips listed above, you can effectively emphasize this skill on your resume and make a positive impression on a recruiter. If you need additional help with writing a resume, you can always turn to a resume writer in your area and get a document that gets you noticed faster. 


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