You are looking for a new job but, everywhere you look "Analytical Skills" is a requirement. What exactly does that mean? And how do you know if you have those skills? In this blog we will discuss everything you need to know about Analytical Skills and how you can demonstrate them when applying for a job.
What are analytical skills?
Having analytical skills simply means that you can look at a problem from multiple angles in order to find the best solution. People who have analytical skills are also able to quickly distinguish between critical issues and secondary issues and prioritize effectively.
Think of analytical ability as very similar to critical thinking skills. Someone who is good at critical thinking does not just take everything for granted, but asks questions to get to the heart of the matter.
"Is that true? What do you mean? Why? And how does that work?" These kinds of questions help you better understand an issue so that you can then give an even better answer or solution to the problem.
Why are analytical skills important?
In today's work environment there are more complex issues to deal with than ever before, and it can be overwhelming to deal with all of the information and decision points that come your way. Being able to quickly categorize and prioritize information in your head and make connections easily, you will be better able to map out your tasks independently and carry them out quickly. This is an especially important skillset in, for example, technical and medical professions.
Do I have analytical skills?
Analytical thinking may be an abstract concept if you've never looked into it before. The list of common traits for analytical thinkers below will help you determine whether you have analytical skills. Do these characteristics seem like you?
- You quickly see the core or essence of an issue
- You can clearly distinguish between primary and secondary priorities
- You can foresee the (possible) consequences of your choices
- You can quickly make connections
- You don't judge without looking at the issue from multiple sides
- You ask a lot of questions and are a "good listener"
- You like to weigh all of your options and can sometimes be called "indecisive" by your peers
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Developing analytical skills
If the characteristics mentioned above do not sound like you, no problem. Like many skills, you can train yourself to improve your critical thinking skills. A good exercise is to pause before taking an action on a problem and write down - in one sentence - what the essence of the problem is. Below that, list all possible solutions and describe the advantages and disadvantages of the best three. By being goal-oriented in this way, you can develop your analytical skills until this kind of thinking comes naturally.
Demonstrate analytical skills when applying for a job
Is analytical ability a requirement for a job application? Then you will probably be asked to demonstrate this during the job interview. Practical examples of how you deal with a certain situation are your best friend here. Below are a few examples.
- Indicate that you take your time to make a decision. Describe an example that demonstrates this.
- Explain how you can view a problem or issue from different angles. Talk about the different potential outcomes of a decision you've made.
- Explain how you involve the input of others on a particular problem or issue.
- Give an example of how you prioritize between main issues and side issues.
Example: You apply for a vacancy for a journalist. When researching a story, you make an overview of main and side issues in order to quickly see the common thread and not drown in the amount of information.
Use your analytical skills!
Do you have analytical thinking skills? You now know what that means and how you can demonstrate this "soft skill" during your next job interview. That's really important because as jobs become more and more data-driven this skill is a must. Check out our job openings for a new opportunity.