What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make reasoned judgments.
Critical thinking helps to think rationally and understand the connection between ideas. It helps to make sense of the world. Using critical thinking skills will make you challenge the loopholes.
For instance, it would enable you to find better solutions or ways to deal with existing issues, thus making you an asset. It is also why employers wish to find such people who think critically.
Read on to understand more about critical thinking, its importance, and incorporating such skills into your resumes.
Additionally, you can get a clear understanding of the following questions about critical thinking skills :
- What do you mean by critical thinking skills?
- How would you demonstrate critical thinking on a resume?
- What are the examples of critical thinking on a job?
- What are the 5 critical thinking skills?
- How to improve critical thinking skills?
What Are Critical Thinking Skills?
The skills that help us to analyze information, arguments, and situations are known as critical thinking skills. Critical thinkers can draw reasonable conclusions from plenty of information and discriminate between information.
Why is Critical Thinking Important?
A critical thinker evaluates sources of information- data, facts, and research findings. For instance, you can research the pros and cons of having a balanced diet. A quick Google search will give you plenty of information on why it is good for your health or is not.
You can find data to back up either side of the claim. Then, using critical thinking skills, you decide for yourself if having a balanced diet will be more or less beneficial for you.
So, critical thinking is important both personally and professionally. It is a skill that is highly valued by employers as well.
Why is Critical Thinking Important In a Workplace?
Critical thinking guides good decision-making, helping you spot possible obstacles and discover solutions to them. It assists you and your coworkers in coming up with new ideas to achieve objectives.
Critical thinking helps in identifying, and addressing workflow inefficiencies, improving management practices, guiding financial decisions, and cultivating a strategic attitude.
Employers want critical thinkers to evaluate a situation using logical thought and offer the best solution. Hiring a critical thinker implies micro-managing is not required.
How Would You Demonstrate Critical Thinking Skills in Your Job Search?
Critical thinking and critical thinker are the go-to words for employers, so much so that they mention them in the job listing. So, it fetches you brownie points when you mention critical thinking on your resume.
But is that all? Not really!
So, how do you demonstrate critical thinking skills in your job search?
Use Critical Thinking While Looking for Jobs
Read the job listing carefully and decide whether it would be worth your time. In your job search, it might happen that the role is suitable but the working hours are not, or the remuneration is not competitive. Would it then be worth going through the hiring process only to reject the offer in the end?
Add Keywords to Your Resume
If critical thinking is a key phrase in the job listing, then emphasize critical thinking skills throughout your job search. Use critical thinking keywords such as analytical, problem solving, creativity, etc. Include the top critical thinking skills that best describe you in your work experience and resume summary.
Demonstrate Critical Thinking in the Experience Section
Mention prior experiences where you had to make a decision in a challenging situation. It could be an instance where you supervised a project when no instructions were given or where you had to prioritize between many tasks.
What impact did your decision have? Quantify the results you achieved due to the decisions you took and mention them as bullet points in the experience section.
Demonstrate Critical Thinking in the Resume Summary
Craft a resume summary that encapsulates your experiences and sprinkle keywords such as implemented, result-oriented, problem solver, and driven. Keep the resume summary short and mention the most valuable experiences that you have had.
For instance, a driven individual with 5+ years of experience in app development who has led a team of 10 and implemented complex changes in software for IT companies.
Mention Skills in Your Cover Letter
Include critical thinking skills in the body of your letter. Pick relevant situations and experiences that you highly value and challenge you the most. Give specific examples of times when you have demonstrated critical thinking at work.
Show the Interviewer Your Skills
You can use instances when you demonstrated critical thinking at work when answering behavioral questions. Use the STAR method or situation, task, action, and result method.
Discuss times when you were faced with challenges at work and explain how you applied critical thinking to solve them. Explain your thought process clearly to the interviewer.
Also read: Should I include my soft skills on a resume?
What Are the Examples of Using Critical Thinking on a Job?
Aside from hard skills that decide how skilled you will be at your job, soft skills decide how tactful you will be with your tasks. Having rich soft skills will ensure that you perform your tasks correctly with very little mistakes or setbacks.
- Deciding the precedence order of tasks: A critical thinker decides the order by which the tasks should be completed on the basis of urgency and importance.
- Deciding the best course of action: A critical thinker reviews the evidence and devises a strategy to reach the desired outcome.
- Deciding favorable inputs: A critical thinker decides which information, data, or materials (in case a project requires using raw material) that would be required to complete the task.
The Top 5 Critical Thinking Skills
The in-demand critical thinking skills must be added to your resume and cover letter. They should be emphasized throughout the application process, such as during interviews.
The most important critical thinking skills are:
It means carefully examining something- a set of data or a text. Critical thinkers examine information, understand it, and convey its implications.
You have to communicate with colleagues and superiors to share your ideas effectively. Often, you will have to share your conclusions with them one-on-one or in a group.
So, you would use critical thinking and communicate effectively to figure out solutions to complex problems.
Also read: How to leverage communication skills in a workplace?
Critical thinking involves creativity and innovation. You would spot patterns in the information or provide a solution that no one else has thought of before. It requires a creative bent of mind.
To think critically, one needs to put aside assumptions or judgments. You have to analyze the information you receive and be objective in evaluating ideas without bias.
It is another critical thinking skill that involves- analyzing a problem, generating its solution, and then implementing it. It also involves assessing the success of the plan.
Hiring managers don’t simply want employees who can think about information critically. They need employees to come up with practical solutions.
How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills?
If you catch yourself making rushed decisions with no real thought, don't worry because it is a skill that you can build. Use the seven-step rule to develop critical thinking skills:
Step 1: Identify the Problem
Choose to be precise while identifying the issue. The narrower the scope, the easier it is to find answers. You do not have to do it all on your own either, if there are coworkers with the same skill set as you, consult them so that you cover all bases.
Step 2: Gather Data
Find several sources of information that contain different ideas and points of view. Doing so will help you avoid hasty decisions and understand how to ensure integrity of choices by looking at it from all points of view.
Step 3: Analyze and Evaluate the Data
To analyze and evaluate data, you need to check the reliability of the sources from where the data is derived. Check if the conclusions are backed by data.
Step 4: Identify Assumptions
Ensure that you identify any underlying assumptions before you come to a conclusion. Consider others' assumptions from every angle along with yours to eradicate any biased decisions and to come up with the best solutions.
Step 5: Establish Significance
Include information that is useful and relevant. While conducting surveys, use a suitable sample size to determine if the outcomes affect many people.
Step 6: Make a Decision/Reach a Conclusion
Identify various conclusions that are possible. Decide which of them are sufficiently supported. Weigh their pros and cons. Making brash decisions can be risky as the lack of thought can lead you to lose resources in many ways.
Step 7: Present or Communicate
Present the conclusion to all stakeholders. Instead of being unprepared, try to structure your thoughts and develop an outline so that you do not miss out on any points. Articulating your thoughts correctly can earn you great respect in a workplace.
Critical thinking skills are applicable in both personal and professional lives. More often than not, they are mentioned in the job listings. Keep these points in mind while incorporating such skills into your resumes:
- Critical thinkers can draw reasonable conclusions from plenty of information and are highly valued by employers
- If critical thinking is a key phrase in the job listing, then emphasize critical thinking skills throughout your job search
- Critical thinking would help you to decide the precedence order of tasks, the best course of action, and favorable inputs for a task
- Develop critical thinking skills by applying the seven-step rule
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