What are problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving skills refer to an individual’s ability to identify a problem and find its solution. It includes understanding the core of the problem - not just the symptoms.

For instance, at a workplace employees perceive dealing with a customer’s complaint as synonymous with solving it. A different approach would be to understand why the complaint arose in the first place. So, eliminating the cause works the best.

Employers desire problem-solving skills as employees with this skill are self-reliant. Thus, owning this skill and knowing how to include it on your resume increases your chances of getting hired!

Read on to understand in-depth about problem-solving skills, their importance for job-seekers, and why recruiters value them.

What is the Importance of Problem-Solving Skills?

At your workplace, problem-solving skills allow you to fix issues that cost your employer time and money. Identifying the underlying issue, developing a solution, and implementing it saves your company’s expenditure.

Problem-solving can help you fix a range of issues from personal issues such as inefficiency to professional issues like ones that disrupt a project.

Problem Solving Skills

Going past income, problem-solving skills help you to work through problems as a team. It helps you work well with others. Most superiors prefer someone independent, and capable of dealing with their problems.

Why should Problem Solving Skills be Included in a Resume?

Employers want to hire someone who is fairly independent and can take care of everyday issues arising on the job. Including problem-solving skills in a resume conveys to the recruiter that you are an independent person. So, it increases your chances of getting hired.

How Should Problem Solving Skills be Included in a Resume?

There are different approaches to including problem-solving skills in your resume. For instance, when explaining your ability to problem solve, include examples where you have demonstrated this skill in prior experiences on your resume.

A problem-solving skills resume will:

Mention Them in the Experience Section

When writing about your past jobs in your resume, include specific examples of times when you used your problem-solving skills to improve business outcomes.

Don't just write problem-solving randomly in the work experience section— prove it by giving concrete examples.

You could write about situations where you had to analyze data to come up with solutions quickly - For instance: identified inefficiencies in the business development model and implemented solutions that drove a 10% increase in sales.

If there are any awards or accolades related to this aspect of your work record, make sure they're included as well.

Include Examples from your Educational Experiences

The educational background section could contain examples of experiences where you dealt with a problem or were in a conflicted situation.

For instance: Vice-captained the college basketball team and qualified for national competition despite losing team members.

List Skills that Represent Problem-solving Ability

In the skill section of your resume, mention problem-solving skills such as logical analysis, thoughtful planning, and efficient communication.

Pro Tip: Include instances where you demonstrated problem-solving ability in your cover letter and use bullet points on your resume to show how you solved a problem.

Demonstrate Problem Solving Skills in Summary

When writing the resume summary, mention an overview of how you demonstrated problem-solving skills at your workplace. If the company values such skills, this would fetch you brownie points.

For instance: Professional blogger with 4+ years of experience. Skilled in creative writing, blog writing, and SEO. Result-driven with excellent problem-solving skills.

Demonstrate Problem Solving Skills in Other Sections

Remind the HR manager that you are skilled at problem-solving. Make it a point to use instances where you came up with an idea and implemented it or simply failed at achieving a goal and how you dealt with it. It conveys that you provide solutions to issues or problems that you find concerning.

For instance: Started my YouTube channel in 2022 to showcase offbeat places of travel. Garnered 2000+ subscribers in less than 6 months.

How to improve Problem Solving Skills?

There are plenty of ways to develop your problem-solving skills if you feel out of your comfort zone when solving a potential problem. Here are some tips to improve your problem-solving approach.

Clearly Define the Problem

Multiple issues arise on a job that could get overwhelming. Clearly define each problem and approach it singularly.

For instance, a company ABC has 6 pay bands on the basis of the experience and skill level of the professional. Level 1 and level 2 pay band professionals have yellow-colored ID cards whereas level 3 and above had red-colored ID cards.Some discrepancies arise in the operations and level 3 pay band professionals are also assigned red-colored ID cards.

The first step to finding a solution in such a scenario is to identify such issues that get in your way. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do you have all the information to analyze the situation? If not, how do you gather relevant information?
  • Can you determine the source of the problem?
  • How many factors affect the problem?
  • Is there a company policy that has the issue covered?
  • Are the company rules being followed?
  • Why did the problem arise in the first place?
  • How those touched by the situation will act and respond?

Focus on the Outcome

It is easier to focus on the events that led to the problem but shifting your focus towards finding a solution gives a more positive outlook. Gather all the information required and find new and untested ways of solving the problem at hand.

For instance, you could feed the experience and skill level of the candidate in the database where the information of all employees is stored. This would help with choosing the color of the ID card. A copy o fit can be maintained in case this data is lost or can not be retrieved.

problem solving steps

Agree On A Process

In a team, it is a must to agree on the ground rules before you start problem-solving. It helps to prevent conflicts and streamline the process.

For instance, who would feed the information into the database? How would it be cross-checked? When would you roll out new IDs?

Talk to your colleagues and superiors and brainstorm ways to solve the problem. Generate ideas by using polls and discussion groups. Identify an optimum process to solve the problem.

Be an Active listener

The best problem solvers are always great listeners. Problem-solving requires you to analyze different opinions and for that opinions have to be heard.

Choose from the best alternatives depending on the budget, associated time, and risk involved.

What are the Examples of Problem-Solving Skills?

The problem-solving process requires a variety of other skills to work in tandem. The problem-solving skill examples are many, but here are some examples of problem-solving skills in the workspace:


It is the ability to identify the cause of a problem. When drafting work-related solutions or identifying issues in your workflow, analysis is done. Having the ability to identify cause-effect relationships can help you perform well.


The ability to convey ideas to your colleagues or superiors at the workplace. You would need to communicate in-person, over phone, email, etc. Effective communication while working in a team is very important. It helps in finding the issues while working in collaboration efficiently.


It is the process of dividing the action into doable steps to achieve a goal or a solution. It helps to manage issues and work in a goal-oriented way. It also helps with resource allocation- time, manpower, money,information, etc. Planning also helps to track progress easily and make changes whenever required.


It is the ability to assess one’s options and choose the optimal way. It helps to solve work-related problems quickly and thus saves time and money. Decision making is required every step of the way when solving a problem. So, having decision-making skills makes you a valuable asset.


It helps you visualize problems differently and develop unique solutions. You view problems from an open mind and see the big picture. You easily find ways around obstacles. It expands our perceptions and the solutions you develop help you stand out.

Key Takeaways

Problem Solving Skills are soft skills acquired through education and learning. They are highly desired by the employers and must be included in your resume. Keep these points in mind while drafting your resume:

  • Problem-solving skills are the ability to identify a problem and find its solution.
  • Problem-solving skills allow you to fix issues that could cost your employer time and money.
  • Analysis, communication, decision-making, planning, and creativity are examples of problem-solving skills.
  • Mention them in the experience section of your resume by including some instances where you made an impact.
  • Include examples from your educational experiences where you brought a change in some way by solving a problem.
  • Directly list skills that represent problem-solving ability.
  • Improve problem-solving skills by focusing on the outcome, clearly defining the problem, agreeing on a process in a team, and being an active listener.

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